September 8, 2011

Always Equipped to Give?

We have "things" and that's okay!  It's not wrong to have things, even nice things.  But we've got to have the right relationship with our things. We have to be able to enjoy our things but never let them get ahead of God. We mustn't ever let anything we own become so important to us that we can't let go of it or walk away from it if God tells us to. There is no life in any of our things. They cannot comfort or encourage me, or give me love or wisdom. All it can do is sit there while I pay for it.

Now, things can be used to bring life to other people.  But the thing in of itself has no life in it. 
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or haughty, or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy-1st Timothy 6:17
To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: ...a time to break down and a time to build up, ...a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, ...a time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away.
-Ecclesiastes 3:1-6
We all have things that are like treasures to us.  Maybe not necessarily even because of the thing that it is, but the love that was ministered to us through either the person who gave it to us or the "God story" in how we got it.   But listen, anything we own that has a wrong hold on us is a problem.  We have to learn that we're stewards, not owners.  The world uses and abuses people to get things, but what we must do is use things to bless and minister to the world. 

There are sowing seasons and there are reaping seasons.  Give when God is leading you to give.  Let go when God is leading you to let go.  If it is your season of sowing, sow; knowing that plants do not sprout in a day, but when they come to full fruition next season, you're going to be grateful you sowed because you're going to need a harvest then that you don't know you're going to need.

There are two tests about our money and things:
  1. How we act when we don't have enough.
  2. And how we act when we have a lot.
We have to fight selfishness and greed.  Once God tells us to give something away, it no longer belongs to us.  And I believe that if we keep it after that, it can no longer ever give us joy.  We pray and pray for provision, but rarely consider the possibly that we are God's provision to another that they have been praying and praying for.  Also, we cannot be the judge of whether we think the person needs what we're giving or not.  Sometimes the person receiving no more needs the thing than the man in the moon, but they need the blessing.  You see, sometimes it takes a little more than words or hugs for someone to feel love from God.  Sometimes He channels it through a thing for me to love them through.

Our desire as a couple is to ready ourselves, to arrive and come equipped with seed on a regular basis.  I want to be a giver that is ready to serve God with my stuff.  This is hard for me.  Actually a real struggle because we don't have much currently.  Well, we haven't had much at all in our first 8 years, this beginning and foundation of our marriage.  When we don't have much, especially when we don't even have enough, we must firmly reject a poverty mindset.  There is a big difference between being wise in our spending, saving, even being a good steward of what we do have and unintentionally growing selfish over our things because of a poverty mindset, clinging to our things and not feeling we have anything to give because of the fear of not having enough for ourselves and our family.

I had a dream very recently that as I was preparing to go somewhere and my eyes fell upon this simple item of little importance or need to me and I felt the Holy Spirit say, "Take that with you; give it to who I tell you."  I thought, "What a silly thing for someone to need, but okay God, I will," and put it in my bag.  At some point later on, after I had arrived at my destination, I witnessed a women approach another women that she did not know.  She said, "God loves you and He told me to give this to you."  I looked and saw that she was giving exactly what I had in my bag!  But I knew in my spirit that it was really a test for the women to give it because she and her family actually needed what this thing was being given, and she was giving it on faith because God told her to.  I could see the mix of joy and slight fear on her face that accompanied her gift.  Then we both experienced the response from the other women.  She immediately lost all public dignity as she leaped and sobbed and hugged this kind stranger, out of an overwhelming joy of receiving something that she and her family desperately needed and had been praying and praying for God to provide.  I joined the conversation explaining that the Lord, too, had prompted me to give the same gift, but to the first women who gave out of faith.  We all three were moved to our depths as we discussed that God could have just told point A to give it to point C, but He orchestrated this amazing symphony of trust, faith, sowing and reaping by leading point B to give to point C, and point A to replenish the need of point B.
May you and I be blessed today, whether by sowing or reaping or both.  May you and I not let a bunch of dead stuff that has no life it it control us.  May you and I fight the spirit of greed.  May you and I put God first and remain balanced in our finances and things.  May you and I be sensitive to His voice and know His heart for us and others more intimately today.

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