A question should help enlighten this subject: What is provision to God? And what is provision to man?
Let’s begin with the latter. To man, provision is security, peace, promise, needs being met or even wants being granted. Provision is the working of God in the life of man – and in the view of man, that provision is for his own good, and often, though at times misunderstood, a result of his good (but more truthfully a result of His good).
The last part will confuse most and enrage the rest. God does not give to us because we are behaving well, but he will bless those who follow his commandments and are faithful in the areas he has entrusted them with. There is no way to trick God into getting what you want. There is no super-holiness you must acquire before your every want can be met. That is not the provision of God, if your focus is on the it and not the Person of Christ, than may your idolatry bring you happiness; because the fires of hell will not. I do not want to get too off topic so let me simply say, God rewards faithfulness, but religiosity will never fill you.
As I was saying, to man provision is a thing to be got. To God, provision is a didactic experience to be had. God has all things under His control. If that is so, why not send some more my way? He cares too much for you to have too much. Read that last sentence again. God is not concerned about you having, He sees and knows your every need. But more than your physical needs He knows your spiritual needs and the best way in which to provide them. To us, provision is something we need to survive; to God, provision becomes an opportunity for us to thrive spiritually. The beautiful thing about God’s provision is that you don’t need any of it to be taught by it; for it is often in the absence of material we are most reliant on God.
So then is God playing some sick game of trying to make us need Him – in a beautiful understanding of Grace, yes. If you had the most satisfying thing under your possession, and in infinite quantity, wouldn’t you want people to want it? Christ is the most satisfying, and is in infinite quantity. But we are so often distracted by the momentary good we become blinded to the eternal better. A bite now is better than a meal later – but ultimately you will die this way.
God uses times of provision and times of need to teach us. Teach us to rely on Him, teach us to seek Him, and teach us to trust the Giver more than the gift. Provision is not an object but an experience.
Perhaps I should not despise money but rejoice in God’s redemption of it. Though it beckons me turn from Him, His voice is stronger – bringing both me to my knees and money to the end of itself for His purposes.