Earlier today I was having a chat with someone online who was telling me that their finances were, well, let's just say messed up. (That's putting it mildly.) As they were telling me of their financial woes, they were also giving me a litany of excuses of why they just cannot give in the offering at church. I just sat and read message after message, excuse after excuse and finally after several minutes of this I simply replied, "You will never get your finances in order until you get God involved in your finances and keep Him involved." The reply came back, something to the effect of, "well, what other answer could I expect from a pastor?"
I told this person that first and foremost, I am a man, a Christian man, and I have never asked anyone to do anything with their giving that I have not first proven God in. The thing is, I am convinced that our finances are an area of our life in which we can have an ongoing interactive relationship with God. The thing is, and many miss this, we need to invite God into our finances. How do we do that? By simply obeying His Word in our giving. When we withhold from giving to the Lord, we exclude Him from opening up a world of blessing to us, and in return we open the door to curses upon our households. Have you ever heard of anyone who said, "Lord, I've withheld from you all these years while and tried doing things my own way, and now I find myself in an absolute mess. But I think my way will eventually work out if I keep at it, so you can go help someone else." Not hardly! No, when the bottom falls out and life is a mess, THEN we want God involved in our finances, so we start trying to persuade Him to come to our rescue. And when we are at this point, it's not about living by faith... we are throwing up "SOS prayers"! "Oh Lord... help me! I don't know what I'll do without you Lord! Please do something! Anything! I'm desperate Lord!" All of a sudden, after years of self-sufficiency... NOW we are ready and willing to acknowledge that God controls everything. Suddenly we are not bashful about asking Him to do what we've known all along He was capable of doing... that being bringing money into our circumstances and taking away the financial pressure.
Funny how things change when it's no longer about giving... but rather about receiving.
But the Bible says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you." It says if we harken unto His word and keep his commandments, THEN blessings shall overtake us. It also says that if we don't, the curses shall fall on us. But we never want to acknowledge that we brought the calamity and curses upon ourselves. We want to blame Satan... or sometimes even God!
But WE do it, by not obeying His Word.
So, I'll say the same thing here that I said to my friend today... "What is keeping you from inviting God into your finances?" His answer was that He had already asked, but nothing was happening. So I said, "Have you paid your tithe to your church and given in the offering?" He got a bit mad and asked me if I was paying any attention to what he was saying. He said he had no extra money to give. I told him that if he had not given, then he had not invited God into his finances yet. Paul wrote, "Now he who supplies seed t the sower will... increase your store of seed (so that you can sow more!)... you will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion."
To my friend, as well as you, the readers of my blog... I say, that you need to get God involved in your finances... and you do that by opening your hand to God to give what you have, and He will then open His hand to you, and pour out a blessing that you cannot contain it. That's how God's economic plan works! "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”