Faith and finances

The journey of faith and finances has been a long one for Jim and I.  First as 'missionaries' leaving our home land by faith with hardly any finances coming in and seeing God provide, and in the process teaching us to stand on His word.  Then returning home and believing for finances in the home town while still living as missionaries in NZ and learning how much we look to man for finances even whilst 'working' for the Lord we still put our trust in man to provide.  Learning that our trust needs to be completely resting in Him for everything, thinking that we actually do trust the Lord but in reality finding out that we are still looking to man, for finances, for honour, for approval, for acceptance.  And yet the Lord wants to be first in our lives and so he strips everything and shakes everything that can be shaken, taking us back to the things that really matter.  Love of God and Love of others as ourselves.  The one true measurement that we can use as a plumb line.

It is so easy to compare, get jealous over, judge others because of our 'position of lack' in whatever arena.  Success in this world, in mans eyes, is measured by what we have done, what we possess, the number of friends, likes on facebook etc.  Not the measurement that the Lord would use.  When he returns will he find a people of 'faith'?  What does that look like?  What is eternal life "To know God and be known by Him".

And so the next journey begins for Jim and I when we start a church, believing for finances not only for ourselves but for others that the Lord would bring along to work in His vineyard.  And so I continue to ponder in my heart the issues that we find on a daily basis, why there is lack in finance in the house of God and within the people within her?  Why actually if we brought the whole tithe into the storehouse there would be 'food in his house' and yet we don't have enough to pay our workers.  Why I continue to see that people will spend money on their pleasures instead of out of obedience to the Lord.  We have a good heart and yet there is still lack and the word of God says to me its because we are still all busy building our own houses and not the Lords. (Haggai)

The other day I was given a computer by someone and she said to me 'The Lord told me to buy it and give it to you to do with what you want".   I am so thankful for the gift and commend all those who give, it is such a blessing, but from where I sit today, I need to take that computer which is also a much needed need in the ministry, but it is not my first priority, and sell it again, to provide 'food' for the people who work in the house of God.  As I have pondered this and in discussion with some friends last night, I look around in our church which is only a sample of the bigger and wider church of the body of Christ.  What I see is people will generously give in their area of their heart for example if someone is into worship they will give in the worship arena which too is much needed, but not a 'first priority'.  We put our money where our heart is and yet the church is still unable to pay the workers.  You see when the early church grew, they brought it all to the storehouse and the apostles decided where the need was and they gave according to the need.

Right now our responsibility as Christians is to give to Ceasar what is Ceaser's, in other words give to the government what is due to the government, the tax, or if you like a tithe of our income and allow them to do what they want to it because we have given them the responsibility to care for the people.  But many of us grumble because they are not spending it how we see fit and so we withhold what is our responsibility and what is right in the Lord trusting in His provision in our areas of need.
The same is happening in the church.  When we see the 'government' of the church not doing what we expect or want them to do with our money, we withhold it, or we demand it be spent the way we want it spent, in essence demanding that we still have the authority and yet the Lord has given people governance to care for and spend that money where they believe, under God, there is a need.  A responsibility given to those who govern and its a weighty responsibility under God.  And yet we are undermining and with holding the 'whole tithe' as it says in Malachi and so there is no food in his house to feed the workers.  And if there is no workers in the harvest field then there is no harvest.

And so it becomes a vicious circle of lack because those who 'feed' us in the house of God cannot feed us any more as we are not 'feeding' them and so we all lose out in reality because we are all chasing our own desires instead of honouring the word, honouring God and honouring those in authority which God has put there, whether good authority or bad.  When we honour God in the little, he will put us in charge of a lot, but if we continue to do our own thing, go our own way, then we will continue to struggle in so many arenas.  Mal 3:10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house....".v9 "You are cursed with a curse, yet you and the whole nation are still robbing me....."  but if you bring the whole tithe into the store house "then I will rebuke the devourer for you so that it will not destroy the fruits of your land and the vine in your field will not fail to produce fruit."
You see when we bring in the whole tithe to the House of the Lord we will be blessed that there will be so much that we will not be able to contain it, but when we withhold the tithe, we sit under a curse and the devourer has a right to steal as we are not living out of the alignment with heaven.

I encourage you today if this speaks to you, to 'repent', change your way of thinking and turn and he will heal our land of the poverty and lack that is within the church which should be the place of favour, of prosperity, of blessing so that we as a church (wider context church) can be blessed to be a blessing.  So that we as a 'church' would not find the people within her begging for bread.

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