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In tough economic times, families often look for ways to save money. I remember a time in another era of economic challenge, when my parents did just that. They were pastoring a church in Concord, N.C. I vividly remember those days of conservative approaches to spending and creative attempts to save money in our household. While I didn’t fully comprehend it at age 12, those serious family talks around the table focused on sacrifice and sharing still hold court in my memory from time to time.

One of the ways that my parents chose to save money was to have my mom buy a barber kit. It seemed fairly straightforward. There were three boys who regularly needed haircuts. My mom lacked barber training — and some might even argue talent as a hair stylist—but she proceeded, with great enthusiasm, to cut our hair. The result required a quick trip to the barber shop to adjust the work that had been done! Looking back, it’s quite funny now, but to an emerging teenager it was a serious issue at the time.

When need presents itself, it is easy for us to look for a quick “fix,” assuming that if we just had the right tools or enough resources the task would automatically have a solution. In my observation, most journeys towards a solution don’t come that easily. There are often unexpected obstacles and unplanned interruptions along the way.

God rejected Gideon’s initial plans to use 32,000 and then 10,000 warriors against the 100,000 Midianites. Instead, He was happy with the 300 that made the final tally. What’s up with that? Why does it seem that the best thought-through plans are not always the right ones? Why doesn’t the Lord just allow us the privilege of working smarter or harder to arrive at our own solutions? In the face of seemingly impossible situations neither of those attributes is negative, in and of itself.

The answer reveals a God who will share His glory with no other. The Lord of the universe is extremely interested in whether we acknowledge His role. One of His purposes is to help us avoid the pride experienced by Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4) or Saul (1 Samuel 13). He is constantly leading us to places where only His intervention will work.

Miracles are His specialty. And, some of us need one today! This does not mean we should stop pursuing every reasonable avenue of solution. In our pursuit however, we also need to be reminded of our absolute dependency on Him. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught His disciples that even the provision of our daily bread is not to be assumed, but to be requested.

Accept this invitation to join in as we embark on a season of dependency. Some of our situations will not be resolved without prayer, fasting and divine intervention. Go ahead—buy all the barber equipment you have the money for! Just remember that quite possibly, you will still be woefully short of what you need.

It’s “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts!” —Zechariah 4:6 (KJV)

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.