what I have learned about giving...
Its not for them.
Its for me.
I used to think that God depended on me to give a certain amount of money, that it was a rule. And that God was only pleased with people who gave that certain amount. But he has just changed my entire world. He has just changed my view of whats normal.
Basically he has showed me that you don't need to be wealthy to give and that he is more interested in the changes our hearts will go through when we let go and give him authority over our finances rather than the actual exchange of money.
Last night I was sitting at my computer and was just thinking about dinner and how badly I wanted a tiny little cheeseburger like my kids were having...I know that seems strange but I am allergic, we all know that by now. I am just having a tough time with my restriction these days. God has taken away all that comforts me, in order for me to find comfort in him. And I am grateful for that.
I have to die daily, to myself. I have to in each moment...battle this sin of comfort. The sin of gluttony. Because really its not about the actual food, food is good. Nourishment is good. But my sinful nature uses it wrong. I'm tired, I eat. I'm happy, I eat. I'm sad, I eat. Its what I use to fill me, its my idol.
So instead I decided to cook up some broccoli and turkey, choose life and not death and then I just decided to take it to another level. I decided to just give a hundred bucks for mission feeding. I chose food poverty for a reason. I just wanted to acknowledge that I had a hunger but God provided my good portion and helped me make a better choice, and that under his authority I could confidently give knowing that he would meet me there. He would honor it.
It wasn't church. It was tithe time. Nobody was watching... nobody cared. But one hundred dollars is alot for us and i know you know what I'm talking about. A hundred bucks these days is alot to anyone. But when a hundred bucks is alot to me and I hand it over, its making me more like the woman who gave out of poverty and less like the rich, and I pray to be like her everyday.
I just want there to be less of me and more of him. I want him to know that I acknowledge that every single thing I have is because of him. All the countless surgeries I have had for this and that, its a luxury. I get sick and just drive myself to the doctor and get fixed. I am hungry, I open my fridge. My kids go to school and learn and have abundant clothing and resources. Being a mom is easy here. Being a human is easy here. I do not have to hunt and kill for dinner or wash clothes in body of water and then drink from that same place. I have so much. And I have been praying to be able to get to the point where, when the spirit comes over me, I just let go. I don't look twice, back or forward. I just in the moment, can say here...take my offering, my God will provide.
So I just thought what better way to kick this sin back to hell than to instead of reaching for something that temporarily comforts me, just do the opposite. Make satan really pissed.
I said hey, I'm hungry...so Ill give some money to some hungry people. And then I will just let God do whatever he wants to do, give him time to speak, to act. I felt no worry, like I would be missing that money or how I would pay this or that. I just did it because its who I am, who i want to be. I just LOVE TO GIVE. But I have never had much to offer....
Until now. So, wouldn't you know that I was laying in bed and heard a small "ding"the sweet sound of my shop letting me know that I had some sales....and wouldn't you know that God turned my $100 dollar offering into $900.
Just like that.
This is real. He is real and he is near. He is close to those who relentlessly seek him. He just wants us to get rid of the tight grip we have on everything. He wants to reward us for turning over our burdens to him.
He wants to bless us.
I was speaking with a friend of mine yesterday about marriage. We were talking about a beautiful submission that is necessary to bring unsaved husbands to Christ. I said its crazy I know, that its not your job to change your husband. God hates it. And the only way to win a family member to Christ and restore marriage, is to hand over your authority to God. I said, how far are you willing to go to let God know that hes in charge? Are you willing to instead of opening your mouth and letting daggers flare, are you willing to instead show love, mercy and grace to people who don't deserve it knowing full well that God sees you? And he honors that? And that same love that you are extending to your husband is a love that Christ shows you each and every day, each moment.
And God just spoke to me in that, about food. How far are you willing to go Melissa...in submission to me? Are you willing to say no to that craving, using my authority and then wait on me?
Because your saying no, then not asking me to meet you there, and then you give in.
I want to meet you there, I promised you I would.
So I just thought how precious obedience, hopeful obedience is. That when we give to the Lord, or we chose our better portion, or we chose to follow Jesus even when it goes against everything the world says to do, he honors it.
Every. Single. Time.
John twelve twentysix
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.