Many of you know God's promises in scriptures, but have you ever lived it?
I have, somewhat by accident, and if you will stay with me, I would like to explain from God's word and my experience How.
Jesus fed 5,000 people on two small fish and five loaves of bread just by thanking God for it and breaking them into pieces. There were 12 basket loads left after everyone had their fill. (Gospel of John chapter 5) Jesus told us that those who believe in him will do the works that he did and greater works. (John 14:12) Jesus is telling us today, that we should expect and do these same things that he did and more.
Jesus said, “Anything you ask in my name, that, I will do”. Take a look at All of the bible verses that Jesus repeats this message. When Jesus says verily, verily he is telling us to pay attention because this is very important. Seven times it is written in pretty much the same way. The key being -Ask Whatsoever of the Father, In Jesus name and Believe you will receive it. He said Whatsoever we ask. What does He mean? (Matthew 18:19 and 21:22 Mark 11:24, John 14:13, 15:7, and 16)
I am sure you have your own stories, I would like to share one of mine. Someone pointed out to me that most of my “But God” stories have happened in my car. That is probably because when I drive my car, especially on long trips, I keep my radio off, and just talk and praise God. I just think about Him. I quietly sing or speak to him in the spirit.
One of these times, I was traveling in my little Mustang car over the mountains to my home town to visit family, when I totally spaced filling up my car with gas. I was between Rifle and Meeker with about 30 miles to go when my car was driving on fumes. Right at the moment when I realized my folly, I noticed over the steep mountain a small family gas station at Rio Blanco Hill. I thanked God with joy and somehow made it up the mountain and pulled into the station to fill up. I put the lever into the hole to fill my tank and the hose kept popping to stop the flow. I did it several times, but it would not go. I went inside to ask the man behind the counter for help. He was kind and came out to see what was the problem. He tried several times, and then said to me, “I can't fill it up because your tank is already full.”
I asked him, “How could that be? I had been driving all of the way from Greeley without stopping to fill up my gas tank in Rifle. (Which for those who don't know is 242 miles of driving between Greeley and Rifle, and another 12 miles from Rifle to Rio Blanco Hill.) He looked at his records of fuel and told me that not even a gallon had been used since their last customer. He knows because he keeps the records. He showed me the numbers on his clipboard of sales and the numbers on his tank. Yet, I had a full tank of gas. We know that because he checked inside my tank with a measuring stick and sure enough, it was completely full of gas. God had filled my tank with gas. I kid you not. It was an amazing day to experience the truth of God's word.
God places many promises for us in his word. But many pastors are teaching that if you give your money to the church, then you are promised prosperity. Can you buy prosperity or blessings from God? Is prosperity something God promises us?
Although churches should not be selling blessings and anointings of God as they did in Acts 8: 16-22, " the workman deserves his support" God's anointed deserves their living, shelter, and food. (Matthew 10:10)
Giving freely allows the giver to decide what the deliverance or revelation or teaching is worth and support those God has sent a message through, This is God's way. When we give, it is not to the person, but it says, "God, I believe You have sent this person or ministry and accept this message is from you." It allows Him to respond to your act of obedience and flow more powerfully into your life.
Here are two verses in the New Testament on that topic:
If we have sown [the seed of ] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?....[ on the same principle] the Lord directed that those that publish and share the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel (I Corinthians 9;11 & 14)
Let him who receives instruction in the word [of God] share all good things with his/her teacher [contributing to their support]. Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow himself to be sneered at. (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by HIS precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap. (Galatians 6:6 AMPC)
This is the correct order that God shows us in His word. First, we give what God has revealed to us freely, then we wait for God to speak to those who have received it. You decide what to give: It is a matter between God and the person who has received something of value and it is completely in their hands. What is going on now is backward: we give for a price, collecting before we even know if what we have given has helped others.
Notice the warning at the end of the second verse. If you receive something of spiritual value from God and don't respond according to His way of doing things, you won't benefit from what you are learning. Responding in the way God tells us to not only acknowledges that this has come from Him but it also opens up the door for God to move with power concerning revelation. Think of it as giving God the "thumbs up" for God to move into your life where this knowledge is concerned.
Those who are anointed by God to do His work, who provide spiritually for His people should get there substance from that work. I hope you will pray and ask God what you should give in return only if you have received spiritual insight, new information, peace, hope or encouragement. Send what God tells you to send.
A prosperity verse people quote is “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.” ( III John 1:2)
Does this mean that you can ask God for wealth and he will give it to you? Remember that when Jesus was tempted by the devil he was offered all of the riches of the world if Jesus bowed down to him. Jesus answered him with the word of God every time. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shall thou serve Luke 4:5-13” He did not correct the devil by telling him he couldn't offer him the world because he could. He is the god of this world. ( IICorinthians 4:4)
How did the devil get the authority and become the god of this world?
It was when he told Adam and Eve they would not surely die, the lie of all times. (Genesis 3:4) You won't really die, you will just become like gods and know good and evil. Adam and Eve already had good and dominion over the earth. (Genesis 2:26) God had given it to them. What they got out of the deal was evil and the loss of human dominion over the earth. From then on God told Adam he would be toiling all of his life to make ends meet. And Eve in labor and sorrow she would bring forth children and her desire was given to her husband and he shall rule over thee. (Genesis 3:16-19 )
Do we struggle with these things today? Yes, definitely.
The reasons our prayers are not answered are because we don't believe God will help us. Also, we have bitterness in our hearts and strife and envy against others. These thoughts and feelings are not from God and work against us. We must resist these and humble ourselves.
Take a look at James 3:14
But if you have bitter envy and strife in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descends not from above but is earthly, sensual, and devilish.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 7 Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels”
I hope you will pray and ask God what you should give in return only if you have received spiritual insight, new information, peace, hope or encouragement. Send what God tells you to send.