In these tough financial times a book titled The Promise of Provision: Living and Giving from God’s Abundant Supply is bound to catch people’s attention. In it the International Publishing Team of Derek Prince Ministries has assembled as-yet-unpublished writings by Derek Prince (who died in 2003), giving us a handbook on God’s abundant provision. The book examines what abundance is from a biblical perspective — and no, it’s not the name-it-and claim-it-because-God-wants-you-rich variety that some teach.
The book is divided into five parts. Part One begins by defining abundance:
“Essentially abundance means you have all you need, plus you have something to spare. Abundance suggests that you are lifted above the level of your own needs and thus are able to reach out to the needs of others” – p. 21.
Part One also looks at some of the reasons people do or don’t experience God’s abundance (e.g. Ch. Four: “How Curses Affect Our Lives”).
Part Two names and explores five principles of God’s provision. In this section Prince explains how God’s promises hold our provision, are our inheritance, are available through Christ, and are the expression of His will. In this regard I appreciated his insights on prayer:
“All successful praying revolves around the knowledge of God’s will. Once we know that we are asking for something according to the will of God, we know we have it” p. 61.
This bit from the powerful last chapter in this section — “Focusing on the Promise” — addresses another practical topic, God’s promises and circumstances:
“We do not need to try to make things easy for God. God wants to work in such a way that the glory goes only to Him. Remember: The purpose of God’s promises that pour forth His abundance is His glory. In a certain sense, the more impossible it is, the more the glory goes to God” p. 70.
Part Three describes practical steps we can take to claim God’s promises and make them our own. In this section I found Chapter 13: “Is Your Desire Good?” especially useful. In it Prince illustrates how to apply scripture promises to life and demonstrates how something we consider good for us might, in God’s wisdom, not be good at all.
Part Four — “Five Conditions for God’s Abundance” — helps us understand that our motives are important, faith is essential, and we need to be givers ourselves, letting God determine when and how abundance will come to us. These chapters provide some good checks by which we can measure our own quest for God’s blessing, as shown by this bit from the beginning of the chapter titled “Admitting Your True Motive”:
“The purpose of God’s abundance is this: for every good work. This means that abundance is not for our own selfish end. It is not for our own satisfaction or glorification. But it is for every good work” p. 99.
The final section (Part Five) is, I believe, the book’s most powerful, making the case that we get abundance not to amass personal wealth but to bless others. Prince especially focuses on the importance of using our extra to help the poor, to bless Israel, and to spread the gospel.
I liked the way the author(s) titled the main sections, often naming the number of points that would be made. This makes the book easy to follow. In addition to its clear organization, the book has helpful word and scripture indices at the back.
You’d never know from the way the book is written that Prince is not its sole author. As I read, I often heard, in my imagination, his warm British accented voice that came into my kitchen via the radio years ago while I was making breakfast and getting my kids ready for school.
For anyone struggling with lack or unsure about where abundance fits into God’s scheme of things, this book provides much scripturally supported food for thought and action.
(I received this book as a gift from the publisher for the purpose of writing a review.)