SOMETHING I’VE NOTICED ABOUT GOD…

Spiritual Blog - Possible

1 Kings 18:17-19 – “17 Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him,”Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”  NKJV

 

I’ve noticed that He has a propensity to not do things the easy way, at least from our perspective.  In this situation, Elijah was being set up against 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah.  If my mathematical calculations are correct that is 850 to 1 odds.  Truthfully, that is no worse than some of God’s warriors had to face.  Remember Gideon?   He had 32,000 warriors with him as he went to face the Midianites.  God said, “Hold on fella, you’ve got too many with you.”  WHAT?  I’m sure that Gideon wondered what God was up to because even with 32,000 he was outmanned and outgunned by the Midianites but God said, ‘TOO MANY.’  The instruction found in Judges 7:2 was whoever, is fearful and afraid send him home and 22,000 hit the road.  WOW!  So much for those who said, as did Peter, “I will go with you to death, Lord.”  Nope, I’ll go home at the first chance if I can do so without incredible shame.  Gideon and God gave them an out and he was left with 10,000.  You’d think that would be okay for they were still heavily outnumbered but God said, “Sorry, Gideon still TOO MANY.”  I can imagine what Gideon and the 10,000 must have been thinking.  God had Gideon take them to the brook and said, “everyone, who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog drinks, set him apart and everyone who gets down on his knees and drinks.”  Hang on to your hats, “THREE HUNDRED lapped like a dog.”  God said, “Send the rest home, you don’t need them.”  I don’t what?  I needed the 32,000 so what am I going to do with 300?  We know from a later reference that there were about 120,000 Midianite warriors.  At the first Gideon’s band was outnumbered about 4:1. After the 22,000 went home leaving 10,000 it was about 12:1 and with 300 it was a paltry 400:1.  How do you like those odds?    Signing up for God’s Army will play havoc with your human reason and will demand you operate in faith or fail.

Although they did not face the same imposing odds of man against man the Three Hebrew Children in Babylon faced impossible odds.  They refused to bow before the king knowing they were faced with the fiery furnace.  That was more than an imposing problem it was an Impossible problem.  They could not survive this ordeal, at least not from a natural perspective.  The King, upon their refusal and declaring to him that the God of Heaven was going to protect them, became infuriated and commanded the furnace to be heated 7 times hotter than normal.  It was so hot that the men who threw them in the fire were killed by the heat.  How do you like their odds of survival?  In each case, God won victory through his people.  Elijah defeated the false prophets. Gideon defeated the Midianites and the Three Hebrew Children had the fourth man in the fire and were saved.

We are told in several places in Scripture that One Man united with God can put the enemy to flight, namely one can chase a thousand and two ten thousand.  With that in mind, 400:1 is no step for a stepper, hill for a climber, or jump for a jumper.  What about Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20 when the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir were set in battle array against him.  He was outnumbered, outgunned, and facing certain defeat.  He and the people went to God and prayed and God sent forth a prophet with incredible instructions.  He said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus, says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”  Jehoshaphat did an amazing thing and no military strategist would concur with his actions.  He took the Choir and set them in front of the Army and they began to sing praises.  They sang, “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.”  Imagine those enemies hearing that and the wonder that would be in their hearts.  God took the praises of His people and confused the enemy causing them to turn on each other.  Israel did not have to fight the battle God did and He used Praise to launch His power against them.  Remember what we are told in the New Testament, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” 

God delights in insurmountable odds, impossible conditions, and situations because when He moves in those, NO MAN can take credit or glory for it.  It is unmistakably God.  He has promised to never leave or forsake us.  He has promised that we can do all things through Him.  He has promised that the works He has done we will do and even greater works.  He has commissioned us saying, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” and then told us that we would have POWER and AUTHORITY over all the Power of the enemy.  We are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Jesus.  So, if God is on our side who can be against us or what difference does it make who is.  WE ARE A MAJORITY with Him.

If you are facing the impossible or seemingly insurmountable odds take a deep breath and allow the peace of God to flood your heart, mind, soul, and spirit and rest easy because that is exactly the situation God enjoys working in.  He has never failed and He is not going to fail now!

God, bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him! 

YOU WILL HAVE A HARVEST… (Conclusion).

Spiritual Blog - Harvest

Galatians 6:7 – “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”  NKJV

We have considered eleven principles regarding the Law of Harvest that I hope they have proven valuable in your Spiritual Walk and Progress and help you more fully enjoy the Full Harvest of God in your life. At the conclusion of the last devotional, we asked the question, “Is it wrong for the farmer to sow seed expecting a harvest?”  That demands a second question, “If it is not then why is it deemed wrong for a Christian to Sow expecting a Return?”  Why is it deemed wrong to expect a return of money, love, comfort, help, etc.?

The world teaches and believes that it is imperative that each person look out for Numero Uno.  They promote the idea that you should save, keep, and even hoard in order to preserve yourself.  The Word of God, on the other hand, teaches that we are to give, love, bless, lose our lives, and thereby live and prosper.  Faith is an indispensable element or factor in the equation.  If we allow our seed to fall to the ground and do not protect those seed we will find the thorns devouring or the birds eating our seed and no harvest.  If you sow, the reaping is 30, 60, and 100-fold.  That is substantial and that is true in money and it is also true in every area of life.

When we give to God, whatever we give, He personally takes the responsibility for making it up to us as 2 Corinthians 9:8 states.  With ever time of sowing, the promise is that EVERYTHING we need and more is the result.  There will not only be enough for our needs but an overflow to give joyfully to others.  In verse 9 of that Chapter, we discover that the godly man gives generously.  Why?  Because he trusts God and believes his principles are real and work.

I have people tell me, “Roy, you just don’t know my situation. I’m overextended financially, tapped out spiritually, spent emotionally, almost an invalid physically and so stressed that I’m no good to anyone. I HAVE NOTHING TO GIVE!”  That argument will not bear up under examination of Scripture.  Consider 2 Corinthians 9:10-11, “…God who gives seed to the farmer to plant, and later on good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant and will make it grow so that you can give away more and more fruit from your harvest.  Yes, God will give you much so that you can give much…”  Therefore, YOU DO have something to give!  If you have eaten your seed, repent of the misappropriation of what God has provided and agreeing with the devil.

This may challenge your idea of finances and other areas but remember the words of Isaiah 55:8-9, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Honestly, I do not fully understand the Law of Gravity but I recognize and respect it.  I know that I’m not going to float off the planet and know that were I to step off a skyscraper it would be disastrous.

Luke 6:38 is a Key in this process.  What is the IT of this verse?  It is anything or everything.  It is whatever you are giving.  Therefore, remember that the Type of Harvest is determined by the Type of Seed. The Size of Harvest is Determined by the amount of seed sown.  The Fullness of the Harvest is Determined by the care given to the crop.  We reap what we sow, later than we sow and more than we sow.  Therefore, if you are guilty of misappropriating the Seed for Sowing REPENT.  Make a determination in your heart that you will eat the seed designated for eating and sow the seed that is designed for planting.  Begin a lifestyle of Sowing for the Desired Harvest and begin a campaign of Good Stewardship in your life.  Jesus said in John 8:32, “… you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  What you know if applied brings liberty.

             I pray these devotionals will have a liberating effect on your life financially, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and in every way.   May you walk blessed of the Lord!

YOU WILL HAVE A HARVEST… (Part 3).

Spiritual Blog - Sowing

Galatians 6:7 – “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”  NKJV

We have considered Seven Principles of Harvest that hopefully have either been reminders or revelations for you and encourage your heart and enables you to Plant the Seeds for the Harvest you desire to reap.  There are a few more that I feel would be valuable for us to give consideration.

An eighth principle is, The Sowing is Always to Harvest Size, not From Harvest Size.  I don’t mean to be confusing in that but if you consider Genesis 26:12 that Isaac sowed in that land (famine was in progress) and received a hundredfold.  He was planning to go to Egypt, which would have been the world’s way but God said PLANT and as He obeyed He Sowed to His Need and Reaped the Harvest that was nothing short of miraculous.  You ALWAYS sow with your desired harvest size in mind.  That often means that you plant the most when it appears can least afford it.  Farmers understand that principle, but too many miss it in the spiritual realm especially in the area of finances.  Much of the time we tend to sow FROM our Financial Harvest rather than TO it.

One of the reasons for this is the Fear of Insufficiency.  In the Old Testament, you will recall the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 17 when God instructed him to go to Zarephath where he would encounter a widow who was to sustain him.  However, when he approached her she expressed her concern which was rooted in the Fear of Insufficiency and told the prophet that she had just enough to make one small meal for her and her son and then they were going to die.  WHOA NELLIE!  Didn’t God say he had commanded her to sustain the prophet?  Sustain?  Maybe she missed the memo because she said, I CAN’T!  She was missing the truth that when God commands He makes provision.  Finally, she OBEYED and her obedience brought blessing whereas rebellion would have ensured her death.  Therefore, NEVER allow a Fear of Insufficiency to prevent you from SOWING TO YOUR HARVEST.  God is God and He will not fail.

A ninth principle is, Expenses Are Always Greatest at Harvest Time.  Money is important in giving because when you give money you are giving your life.  It reveals that you are not bound by doubt and Fear of Lack and expresses faith.  As our Lord taught about Harvest in Matthew 20 He reminded us that the householder went out early to HIRE laborers for his vineyard.  Harvest requires laborers and laborers are an added expense.  When your Harvest is ripe the Holy Spirit will give you, a divine unction saying, “It is time!”  That is the time to increase your giving.  In the natural, you must have laborers, combines, etc. to reap the harvest and those are expensive.  In the spiritual, it is important that we release the laborers into our field. One of the reasons that some sow but never seem to fully reap is they fail to Release the Laborers into the Harvest.  They stop giving or sowing TO THE HARVEST and try to reap a Rolls Royce Harvest on a Volkswagen budget.

A tenth principle is, remember that A Portion of Every Harvest is for Sowing.  Paul reminds us of this truth in 2 Corinthians 9:10 saying, “For God who gives seed to the farmer to plant, and later on good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant.”  You never want a ONE-TIME HARVEST but a continual harvest.   Years ago, I heard an illustration that clearly explains this principle and truth.

In the Mohave Desert, there was a small oasis located at the mid-point of the most treacherous point.  At this juncture, everyone needed water to sustain them.  In the middle of the oasis was a well with an old-fashioned hand pump.  In order to make the pump work, you had to move the handle up and down vigorously until a stream of water poured forth.  On the pump handle, there was a pint jar that was tightly sealed.  Inside the bottle was the water needed to prime the pump. Tragically people were found dead at the site because someone drank the pint of water refusing to trust the hope of abundant water if they poured it down the pump.  Their Fear of Lack cost them their lives and the lives of others who followed. Their faith was in a ONE-TIME HARVEST.

An eleventh principle is, A Portion of Every Harvest is for Eating.  Paul’s words illustrate that principle in 1 Corinthians 9:7, “…who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit thereof?”  It does not matter if it is literally seed used in farming, money, divine defense, etc.  It is all the same principle!  In 2 Corinthians 9:6, the apostle Paul reminds us, “…if you give little, you get little.  A farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he pants much, he will reap much.”   The amount of seed planted directly affects the Size of the Harvest it is the Law of Multiplication at work and no farmer ever questions that principle or law.  He knows it is real and he trusts it.  God often uses natural laws that are easily understood to convey spiritual truths and principles. If you plant a seed that seed will produce a plant which will produce fruit and the fruit always comes in multiples of the seed sown.  I sometimes shout when I read the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:8, “God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more, so that there will not only be enough for your own needs, but plenty left over to give joyfully to others.”  HALLELUJAH!

Is it wrong for the farmer to sow his seed expecting a return?  NO! Then why is it wrong for a believer to give expecting to receive?  I want to deal with that in more detail so I will pause here and pick this up next time.  Until then, God may the Lord bless you richly and abundantly as you enjoy this day in His presence.

 

 

YOU WILL HAVE A HARVEST… (Continued).

Spiritual Blog - Good Seed

Galatians 6:7 – “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”  NKJV

             We have touched on three principles regarding the Law of Harvest last time.  We realized that the Seed must be Sown before there is a Harvest.  We discovered that the Sown Seed must be rendered useless, it must be allowed to Die.  Also, the Seed that is Sown Determines the Type of Harvest.  I believe this subject is so vital to our attaining the place of overcoming in our Christian Walk that we will continue with more principles that will hopefully unlock some doors for you spiritually.

A fourth principle is, The Size of the Harvest is Determined at the Time, You Sow.  You don’t sow seed and later change your mind about what crop you want to harvest.  Imagine a farmer planting corn and after a few weeks decide that he’d prefer or needs a Soy Bean crop.  That is not going to happen. He planted Corn and Corn he will reap.  How much corn he reaps is directly connected to the amount of corn he planted.  If he plants one acre of corn he will have a limited harvest. If he plants 1,000 acres he will have a bountiful harvest.  In 2 Corinthians 9:6, “…a farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much.”   You cannot wait until the Day of Harvest to determine the Size of the Harvest. You may not know how large a harvest you need at the time of sowing, therefore, I suggest that you always sow as bountifully as possible.  In my view, abundance is far better than shortage so let that be the rule in your sowing.  Take the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 35:27 to heart, “…let the Lord be magnified, which has pleasure in the prosperity of His servants.”  Have spiritual eyes to see the Harvest at the time of planting.

A fifth principle is, The Seed Sown must be Sown in Good Soil.  I refer you to the words of Jesus in Matthew 13:8, “…other seed fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.”  In the natural only good ground produces a bountiful harvest, likewise in the spiritual that principle is true.  Jesus has given us promise after promise of His provision.  Mark 10:29-30 he declared, “…there is no man that has left house or lands, for my sake, and for the gospel’s but he shall receive an hundredfold NOW in this life, houses and lands…”  Luke 6:38 amplifies this principle saying, “Give and IT shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom…”  Good seed in Good soil produces a Bountiful Harvest and Honors God.

A sixth principle is, The Harvest is ALWAYS After Sowing.  Remember the illustration of Jesus in Mark 4:26-27, “…a man should cast seed into the ground: and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow…”  One of the only Instant Harvests is a Big Smile.  If you give a big genuine smile there is almost always immediate reciprocation.  We must learn Patience in the process. Impatience will destroy the harvest or result in us planting the seed that will counter our harvest with a contrary harvest.  If you dig up your seed to check on its progress you will subvert the process and render the harvest dead.  Galatians 6:9 gives us the answer, “…let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap IF we faint not.”

A seventh principle is, The Crop must be Cared for to Produce a Full Harvest.  In the parables of Jesus in Matthew 13, our Lord reminded us that there were “thorns that sprung up and choked the seed.”  You cannot leave the Seed unprotected against the ravages of a hostile environment or exposed to the bugs, birds, weeds, drought, etc.  You must water the seed with Prayer and make the directive of Jesus in Matthew 6:33 a daily pursuit of your life, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness; and ALL THESE THINGS shall be added to you.”  Make God and His Kingdom first in your life and pursue His purpose at all times and in all things.

We need to be discerning and able to hear the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit as God directs us regarding the soil into which we sow.  We must never forget that the harvest comes later and sometimes much later than we sow. We must also remember that it is incumbent upon us to protect and care for the Seed, watering it in prayer and tending to the seedlings so they can grow to maturity.

I desire to present a few more principles on this matter hoping to inspire, encourage, and empower you to HARNESS YOUR HARVEST.  God, bless you richly is my desire and prayer!

YOU WILL HAVE A HARVEST…

Spiritual Blog - Harvest

Galatians 6:7 – “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”  NKJV

             It is an inescapable truth from God’s word and in life that everyone REAPS what they SOW.  Sowing and reaping is a farming principle that touches every aspect and dimension of life.  It is unavoidable and inescapable.  We sow and we reap.  The question is not if there will be a harvest but what kind, when, where, and even why.  There are some keys that will unlock a measure of understanding and enable us to determine our harvest and harness it.

I have never met a person who does not need a good harvest in some area of life.  Some may not acknowledge the need and resist acknowledging that what they are reaping, is directly connected to their sowing but EVERYONE needs a Harvest.  It may be in the area of finances, faith, family, or future but a good harvest is needed and often desired.  If we are completely honest we will acknowledge there are areas in our lives where we need God’s divine intervention and His miraculous harvest to bring us forth into victory.  However, I declare without fear of having to take back my words, “There is a harvest coming.”  It may or may not be the kind of harvest you want or need but seeds are being sown daily and a harvest is coming.  That makes it important for us to understand this principle and begin sowing the seeds that will produce the desired harvest in our lives.

When I teach and preach on this subject I sometimes have people on both ends of the spectrum question and challenge what I am saying.  Some want to press this to the point that God becomes their supermarket, candy store, and Genie and others argue that some things just happen for no reason and there is no connection to their personal actions or attitudes.  Both views are outside the scope of what God wants us to grasp.  In the natural, there are Laws that operate in every principle of life and they operate whether we believe they are operating or not.  Likewise, there are some Laws in the spiritual realm regarding Harvest that are vital and valuable and they will operate regardless of our awareness or understanding.  The Laws of Harvest are universal and affect believers and unbelievers but the believer has a Greater Promise and Hope, especially if we understand God’s Principles and Purposes.

When we consider God’s Law of Harvest we must address some specific and clear principles that are powerful.  It would be impossible to consider each of these in depth but we will hit the high points as we enumerate them.  I hope you will prayerfully consider and study them, mining the gold from the Word regarding Harvest and the Law of Sowing and Reaping.

First, Seed Must be Sown before you can have a Harvest.  Jesus said in John 12:24, “…except a grain of wheat falls into the ground… it abides alone…”  That seed regardless of what it might be must be planted or sown in the ground before there can be a harvest.  If there is no sowing there will be no reaping.  Obvious, right?

Second, the Seed Sown must be rendered Useless.  I refer to John 12:24 again and remind you that the Seed (act, deed, attitude, money, etc.) enters a state of uselessness to the planter.  It is out of your hands and control.  You can’t dig it up and look at it and you can’t eat it or it will not be a Harvest Seed but food or an object of curiosity and has no reproductive value.  That seed must DIE and once it dies the process of multiplication begins.  It must leave your control.  One of the problems that some have is the refusal to allow the seed die and leave their control, thus they destroy the seed and negate the harvest.

Third, the Seed Sown determines the Type of Harvest.  You cannot escape the consequences of your actions and Genesis 1:12 reminds us of this principle, “…herb yield seed after its kind…”  What you plant determines what you reap.  If you plant corn you do not get cucumbers.  If you sow anger you will not reap peace. If you sow jealousy you will not reap trust.  If you sow love you will not reap hate.  WHAT you sow determines WHAT you will reap.

I want to give you several more principles and truths but will pause here and ask that you muse and meditate on those three principles.  I believe that as we grasp their Truth of Sowing and Reaping or the Law of Harvest we will learn to plant the seeds to achieve the harvest we desire and need.

God, bless you richly and we will consider more on this in the next devotional.

BUT LORD, I JUST CAN’T DO IT…

Spiritual Blog - Forgiveness.PNG

Romans 12:17-21 – “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”  21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  NKJV

 

I’m sure that many of you have found it difficult to forgive some people for some things they have done or perceived to have done.  I’ve had people tell me, “Well, I forgive them but I will never have anything to do with them, to me they are dead.”  I suspect there may be, at a minimum, a tiny bit of unforgiveness left in that statement and I suggest that it would be well to ask the Holy Spirit to examine the heart because we do not want to harbor unforgiveness toward anyone.  Here in Romans 12, the apostle Paul is giving godly counsel and direction for us in our interpersonal relations.  God’s way is not always easy but it is always right.  God’s way is not always easy but it is always rewarding.

The first thing he says is to AVOID vengeance, “repay, no one evil for evil.”  We are not under the Old Testament principle of “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.”  We are under Grace where we FORGIVE and release the offender into the hands of God for His judgment and retribution.  We are focused on redemption, not punishment.  He says, “Have regard for good things in the sight of men.”  Simply, remember and stay keenly aware that you are being watched and your actions reflect on the Gospel message and the God of the Message.  You are an epistle known and read of men, therefore you need to determine that your walk, word, and attitude will embrace goodness and godliness so that you are without reproach.  Yes, they hurt you and they were wrong BUT it is not yours to exact a pound of flesh.  They are creations of God and He loves them and desires to bring them into the fold and transform their lives so determine that you are going to FORGIVE and PRAY for their eternal souls.

He says something that may be missed or misunderstood, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”  First, it is possible in Christ, but in the natural, there are two sides of the equation and two people involved.  That person may harbor such resentment and hatred toward you that they will not allow peace to exist.  It may not be possible to live in peace with them.  However, you must never seek to avenge yourself and allow anger, wrath, hate, bitterness, wounds to fester in your heart you are to COMMIT THEM TO THE LORD.  It may be that you need to find a prayer place and place them on the altar before God and once you placed them on the altar LEAVE THEM THERE.  When you hear a new complaint, a new allegation, and a new arrow of hurt is launched toward you hold to the declaration of God, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay…”  This is not an easy task but a necessary one.

Here’s what you do and this will be impossible without the help and anointing of the Holy Spirit:

  • If your Enemy is Hungry – FEED HIM.
  • If your Enemy is Thirsty – GIVE HIM A DRINK.

The next part of the verse has inspired some wrongly, “for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”   I’ve had people tell me, “Well, I’m heaping coals of fire on their head and they are being burned.” The glee in their voices was disturbing and I could sense the imagery of that person being tied to a stake and this person dumping burning coals on their head tormenting them.  That is not what this is referring to. Yes, they may be tormented in their spirit but it is the CONVICTION of the Holy Spirit that is working on their lives and those “coals of fire” are designed to purge out the dross not render punishment.  Never allow the thirst for vengeance to motivate you for if you do you not only enslave them but yourself as well. You can FORGIVE if you keep in mind FORGIVENESS.  Never forget the forgiveness you have received.

God, bless you richly as you enjoy this wonderful day in Jesus!

GIVING GOD’S WAY…

Spiritual Blog - Giving

Exodus 35:21 – “Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the LORD’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.”  NKJV

 

One of my pet peeves in Christian gatherings is what I have called “Auction Offerings” where the service is placed on temporary hold until enough people respond to the offering and the targeted amount is received.  I have watched people respond, not because they truly wanted to give but to move past the focus on finances.  Rather than having a “spirit that was willing” they had a “spirit that was coerced or bribed” and sadly, they did not receive God’s desired blessing for their contribution.

Israel was facing the need to build the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and God gave His instructions for what could only be called an elaborate facility.  When the need was presented to the people, their hearts were stirred and it does not say that everyone gave but everyone whose spirit was willing gave and gave abundantly.  Those of a willing heart brought offering after offering.  I am confident that as this spirit of giving began to sweep through the people some participated not because of a willing heart but out of a sense of obligation or duty and because of what others would think if they did not.  I’ve had preachers tell me, “I don’t care why they give so long as they give.”  I care because I understand the principle of God in giving and receiving and understand that God loves a cheerful giver and His blessing is in direct response to the heart, not the sum.  This continued for some time and the workers received all they needed to complete the task set before them but the people continued to give.  I wonder how many churches have experienced that problem?

Then in Chapter 36, we find an amazing declaration. In verse 5, the craftsmen came to Moses and said, “We have a problem.”  It is a problem that I don’t believe I have ever encountered in church.  They said, “The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the LORD commanded us to do.”  Then in verse 6, Moses made a decree that few pastors would give even if the offering far exceeded the need.  He instructed them to stop giving and later in verse 6 we read that “the people were restrained from giving…”   THAT IS AMAZING! 

I understand all the arguments for continuing to receive the offering and they are not invalid but if God directs for a specific project and the Spirit of God moves on the hearts of the people the need will be met.  Had Moses allowed the people to continue to give and created a stash of overage to fall back on in the future would have been an insult to God.  It would have indicated a lack of confidence in God to provide and a lack of trust that He would be Jehovah-Jireh to them.

You must understand that in their journey in the wilderness they were not giving out of their increase because they had no increase.  They were not earning more money or amassing a greater fortune.  They had what they left Egypt with and the spoils of Egypt was designed to be their nest egg for a new start in a new land.  THEY GAVE THEIR DREAMS in this offering.  You must see that.  They were so confident that God was their source and would provide they were willing to give that to which their dreams was connected.  But not only did they give of their possessions they gave and gave and gave UNTIL Moses and the elders had to say, NO MORE and restrain them.  They were beginning to grasp the Seed Principle and the Law of Sowing and Reaping.  But most of all they were stirred in their hearts and manifesting their TRUST, their FAITH, and their CONFIDENCE in God.  They were worshipping God in an act of faith!  That is Giving God’s Way.  Remember when Jesus sat in the Temple near the offering and watched?  People paraded by giving their large gifts and then the widow came and put in two mites, a mere pittance compared to what the others were giving.  Jesus was so moved by her act of love he called His disciples aside for a teaching moment and said, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had, her whole livelihood.”  (Mark 12:43-44) 

God looks at what is left not what is given.  It is not the amount of the gift but the heart and sacrifice of the gift that stirs the heart of God.  The teaching of Jesus in Luke 6:38 was the measure or proportion you use in giving determine the return from God.  If you dip a spoonful out of your giant reservoir that’s how it is coming back. You didn’t notice, miss, or feel it when you gave and you won’t when it comes back.  But, if you give as this widow and as the Children of Israel in the Wilderness you will assuredly notice it when it returns.  It will be good measure, shaken down, running over.  Giving God’s Way is out of a willing heart and a willing spirit. It is out of love and is an expression of faith in God and His Promises.

Remember this the next time you are presented with a need and as Paul said, “Do not give due to pressure from man but out of a willing heart with cheerfulness.”  God Loves a Cheerful Giver!   God, bless you richly is my desire and prayer!