When God planned for Abraham to be the "father of many nations," He miraculously provided a son in Isaac. When God commanded Abraham to offer his only son as a sacrifice, He provided a substitute that He found acceptable in Isaac's place. Abraham called the mountain "Jehovah jireh," that is, "God will provide" (Genesis 22:13-14).

The life of Abraham is a striking example of a basic truth of the Christian life that Susie and I learned many years ago. It has greatly encouraged us in our daily walk with God and the choices we make. It is this: God can absolutely be counted on to provide all the means necessary in order for us to obey His commands or carry out His plans. In other words, He knows exactly what resources we need to stay in His will, and He always makes them available.

Searching through Scripture for occasions of this aspect of God's generosity makes for a great Bible study -- it is interesting and also very faith-strengthening. Here are a few to get you started:

When God planned for the children of Israel to go down into Egypt, He sent Joseph ahead in order to provide for them (Genesis 50:19-21). When God planned for the children of Israel to come out of Egypt, He sent Moses to provide the way. When Moses said he wouldn't know what to say, God provided Aaron to be the spokesman (Exodus 3:7-4:17). And when God required that a temple be built in His honor, He provided the means with which to build it (1 Chronicles 29:14-16).

Susie and I refer to this principle as "whatever God requires, He provides." I am mindful of this principle as seen demonstrated in Hebrews 1:3: "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven" (emphasis added). When God's righteousness required purification for our sins, He provided Christ as our Savior.

And as wonderful as that was, He didn't stop there. God continues to this very day providing each of us with the very best -- Himself. His Spirit lives in us, strengthening and empowering us to obey His commands. That's why God's requirement that we "be holy as He is holy" is completely reasonable. Consider:

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3).

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

"He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful" (1 Corinthians 1:8-9).

"Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:22-24).