Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It is good to receive


Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life-this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past" (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 NLT).

So what does this mean to you today? I will once again focus on the phrase "It is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it."

1. You cannot manipulate God. While I am 100% convinced that sickness and poverty are not from God, I am equally convinced that we don't get to tell God what to do. If you got to tell God what to do, then you would be God's God, and let me assure you that you are not. So you cannot spot a Rolls Royce and then magically say, "God, I command you to give me a Rolls Royce." Or, "God, you said you would give me the desires of my heart. My desire is for a yacht. Therefore, I receive a yacht by faith, in Jesus' name." Once again, faith is not about you telling God what to do. Faith is not about you attempting to get God to put a yes on your plans. Faith is about submission and surrender. Faith is about God attempting to get you to put a yes on His plans. God will freely give you everything you need to accomplish His Kingdom plans and purposes in the earth. Millions or billions are nothing to God. Solomon was a billionaire. But just remember that God is not your servant and He is not obligated to give you everything you come up with to satisfy your selfish desires. Don't pursue things. Pursue "your thing" (your purpose) and things will pursue you.

2. You minister to others out of your overflow. Jesus got up every morning focused on the Father and open to do whatever the Father led Him to do that day. This led to a life of purpose and service. Jesus spent His days ministering to the needs of others. Here's my point: Jesus could not spend His time focused on others if He was personally struggling. I am not going to be focused on allowing God to use me to be a blessing to another marriage if my marriage is falling apart. It will be hard for me to hear from God in order to help someone else with their children, if I am 'pulling my hair out' because of my own kids. I probably won't be apt or open to helping someone out financially if I cannot pay my own bills. Jesus ministered out of His overflow; meaning that His needs were met and He was free to be a blessing to others. He could minister peace, because He had overwhelming peace. He could minister love, because He was love personified. He could minister healing, because He was not sick or bedridden Himself. Guess what? Jesus said we would do what He did and even greater works (John 14:12). That's why God is not opposed to giving us more than we need. When we have more than we need we are prime candidates to be used of God to be a blessing. If you say, "All I want is enough for me." What you are saying to God is that you are only focused on yourself. God wants to bless you TO BE a blessing, but if you are only focused on yourself, you are too selfish to see the greater opportunity for God to impact the world through you.

3. The real answer to poverty is the Word, not money. In Luke 7 John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin, found himself in jail and he was upset that Jesus was not coming to get him. He sent his disciples to go and ask His cousin this question: "Are you the Messiah we've been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?" This is obviously a question birthed out of frustration, because John knew who Jesus was. But let's look at Jesus' response. Jesus said, "Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard-the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor." Did you see it? Look again. Jesus always ministered the answers to life's problems. What did Jesus minister to the blind? The ability to see. What did Jesus minister to the lame? The ability to walk. What did Jesus minister to lepers? Clean skin. What did Jesus minister to the deaf? The ability to hear. What did Jesus minister to the dead? Resurrection/life. And what did Jesus minister to the poor? Your first response is probably to think it was money. But Jesus never gave the poor money. He ministered to their needs, but He did not give them money. Jesus gave them the WORD! He said, "The Good News is being preached to the poor", not money. You see, you can give a poor person money or meet their immediate need, but if you don't change their heart and mind, they will need the same hand out the next day. Jesus' answer to poverty is the Word. If we can get the Word down inside a person, then they will find their divine purpose and their purpose will lead them out of poverty.