Saturday, June 06, 2015


I make myself very vulnerable to criticism in this post.  I feel, though, that some will be touched by His call as we all make effort to develop as believers in and for God.

I am convinced that there is a secret code which unlocks beautiful, wonderful mysteries to life.  It is so secret that the mere mention of the topic causes bells, whistles, and alarms to go off.  One can't approach the subject without immediate and impulsive rejection....just at the name of the topic.

Why is that?  Why has this door to impossible-wonder-becoming-possible so ultra-intimidating.  How can those who fail to abide by it feel such confidence that they are an authority on it?  Why?

The answer, I believe, is that because it actually cracks the code of flesh control there are mighty opponents against the hearts of mankind to keep us from knowing about such a power.  God teaches us to trust it.  He emphasizes its technique.  Yet, we have a way of ignoring it without disturbance of conscience.

And what is this matter?  Our giving.  (Did someone just now set off an alarm?)

The spirit wants to give.  The flesh wants to keep.  The Bible says to sow.  The fearful want to store.  God calls for us to trust Him for provision.  We, on the other hand, are sucked into the temptation of believing from our own understanding.

I am not charging you.  Rather, I'm revealing my struggles in this matter.  I've been convinced; yet afraid.  I read that His grace is sufficient.  Too, the Word says that when we give that this grace of His is the big supplying element.

There hasn't been a time that Mary and I have increased our contribution that I haven't wondered if we could complete the financial year at such a pace.  The last time we raised our giving my words to her were, Let's try this until the money just isn't there and then we will know we can't do it at this level.  Yet, weeks and months have passed and we seem to be ahead.

However, the threat still looms.  It pulls at me; tempting me to doubt and making me wonder if I really believe this stuff.  And then, after doing battle in my mind, it seems that I really do.

I have put a bit aside for retirement.  It's very meager for I have always felt my giving was my retirement investment (and I still believe it on my faith days).  This week I learned that the income from this little amount set aside (due to kick in at 70) will be immediately swallowed by an increase in my life insurance at age....70.

This was one of those knock the wind out of me moments.

And it's been very good for me.  The question is whether I believe God can handle retirement days.  He has handled my non-retirement ones with much higher provision than I could have ever afforded on my own.  I live an amazing life.

So now I face yet another test.  Does God know how to do retirement years as well as He did working ones?  I'm saying He surely does.  His grace does not wilt at age 70 (I'm 68 next month by the way).  And I share this personal trek with you because I believe many of you face moments where you question God, your faith, even yourself.

Our greatest threat, I am convinced, is our very greatest opportunity.  I want to see God do more with my money than I could do on my own.  I simply wish at the moment to encourage you in your struggle.  Giving is not about building the church banking business.  It is about trusting God's talent over ours.  We actually believe that the giving away of what we need the most will show up in the strangest and most mysterious ways.

Together may we not fear what we cannot fathom nor calculate.  Instead, may we trust the Creator to do His stuff for God still has this creative knack of making something out of nothing.  We love to experience Him working...and it does seem that each new day He surely must just be getting started.

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