Ps 115: 12-15
12 The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. 13 He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. 14 The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children. 15 Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.
Diligence, Obedience and Faith. God wants increase for us. He is the One who gives the increase. There are principles of increase that He has laid down for it in His word. One of the principles is Diligence, Obedience and Faith. It is best to consider them together since the three are related.
Are you Diligent? Many do not increase because they are not diligent. Many have a predisposition or talent for a particular skill owing to being born with it. Though it may be inside them, they cannot automatically increase within them. Unless they work with it and develop it, they will not have success in it.
A preacher’s example: A preacher is on who is called by God, but cannot hope to be successful just because he has been called by God. Being called is merely the first step. The preacher has his part to perform in learning and cultivating himself. The more he develops himself, the church develops and everything under his develops. The preacher’s development and the development of what he is associated with is connected with each other. The church cannot develop more than how much the preacher has developed. Many preachers are interested in developing themselves but do not develop themselves.
Developing our knowledge, skills, and faith is something we have to do despite God having called us. If we do not, we will not increase. This is where diligence comes in; applying principles what God is doing in our life. Taking care to cultivating it… we may be tremendously anointed, through which once in a while we may be mightily used by God.
Is there Oil in your lamp? Being diligent in ensuring the oil is there is being diligent. Having once tasted the anointing, we may feel we have received the anointing and it is there to stay; we may get up again without preparation and try to work it. Sensing something amiss, they try the actions that accompanied the last move: say a word, wave the hands, wag a finger, stomp up and down etc, all to no avail. The oil is not there. (How do I know that? – I’ve tried it!)- Samana vs. Athira halli. The Lord has called me and anointed me but has not anointed me today? You have to make sure there is oil in your lamp
Give me oil in my lamp,
Keep me burning…
If you do not put oil in it, you have to shout to keep it burning! We may have been really called of God, but God expects me to cultivate myself (to the exclusion of many distractions). When you get busy with it, you get soaked with that oil. And each time you need more. The last time does not count. You have to keep it burning all the time. Diligence is so important. Pr 22,
29 ¶ Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
Are you Obedient? The second thing is obedient. Some others’ problem is they do not know God’s will, they do not seek and try to find out God’s will; they do their own thing. Though they are diligent, they are not obedient, they do not go where god tells them to, nor do what God tells them to. Like Jonah they get into the wrong boat and set sail for the wrong place and end up in the belly of the whale sometimes. They pray from there “Lord save me”
God being kind, saves them… However obedience leads you to success. While being diligent, we ought to be obedient, in seeking , knowing God’s will and yield ourselves to the will of God and say, “Lord I will go and do what you tell me to do, May my will be done in your life! “
Don’t do things because your mother-in-law told you to! Train yourself in hearing God’s voice instead. To be successful, diligence and obedience are important.
Faith. The third important ingredient, faith is also missing in a lot of Christians. Many people have queries regarding the reason for many people in the kingdom, who could be so good yet unsuccessful. The reason often lies in the fact that though diligent and obedient, people are deficient in faith. What is this nonsense about faith?
Live By Faith. We want to go to heaven when we die! (Who told you not to?) We are interested in how you fare on this side of heaven, living by faith! Why are you always speaking about faith/ we ought to reiterate about heaven, holiness, outfit and other things? Not understanding faith they decry it; yet faith is the thing that the righteous live by. We are all for holiness; faith is paramount too!
The idea of faith is not alien to the bible! If we need to live by faith, we need to find out more about it! Faith is the breath of life for a Christian! Find out how to operate and live by faith! Being obedient and diligent, good and holy, hair and clothes right, bereft of faith, people do not increase. It is impossible to receive anything from God except by faith.
Receive by Faith. We need faith to receive from God. We need faith in the matter of sowing and reaping! We can only receive by faith by what faith provides. Salvation must be received by faith. Everything that comes from God must be received by faith. Faith takes what God has provided by grace. If we do not have faith we cannot possess what has been provided by grace. W cannot walk in the fullness of God’s blessings without faith though you may be diligent and obedient. We ought to be Christians with the knowledge of this faith in order to operate by it and take what Grace has provided. We need to be Christians with the knowledge of this faith.
How does everything work by this faith? The blessings of God that come from God are not just for eternity but for now and for eternity. We saw in Mk 10
30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
We often read the rich young ruler’s story with our religious dark glasses. Sell everything you have in this world and give it to the poor and till you die you will have nothing. That is not what it says.
The disciples too were astonished when He said it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (They looked at Jesus, who was a rich man Himself!) If we cannot get into the kingdom of God how will You? Jesus clarified: it is hard for a man who trusts in riches to enter into the kingdom of God. (We interpret it whichever way we want to!)
Peter, in continuation of this episode claims, what about the disciples who have already left everything and come and followed him? Jesus replied in v 30. (A hundred wives?)
A hundred times in this life and in the life to come! The blessings of God are to be appropriated in this lifetime and in the one to come. God never says: “not now; later on!”
The verse on Seek ye first the kingdom of God is also read wrongly: we take it to mean ‘seek only the kingdom of God; nothing will be added to you until you die and go to heaven. (the exact opposite is meant here!) All these things would be added to you. This the way how you can get all the things you need!
The issue is what is first? Some turn spiritual and turn crazy at the same time: they kick off their job or business, since they want to follow God. I was so successful but the bible taught me to seek the kingdom of God, you shall not serve two masters… Seek First the kingdom! Set your priorities straight and everything will be alright! For this life and that which is to come.
Look at 1 Tim 4
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Read with religious glasses, it was understood- bodily exercise profits nothing! Wrong! What does it mean?
How is true spiritual exercise in comparison to other things!
Here Paul compares two things; bodily exercise and the exercise unto godliness. When compared with exercising unto godliness, bodily exercise’s profit is minimal!
In what way is it minimal? Exercise of the body is only good for this life- 80 or 100 years- for earthly life. The exercise to godliness has a twofold benefit by contrast- it not only benefits this life, it also benefits the life that is to come!
Godliness includes everything: godliness is not a different styles of clothes and wearing a long face. Godliness is about how you think about everything; body, family, money, work, friends…
The the question , What is holiness,? It is about what you think! If you think right , you will live right! Many are content to just forcing ‘rightness’ in clothes, punctuality, haircut, etc. It goes deeper- with what I am thinking! What is your approach to life? Are you a carnal(fleshly) person or are you a spiritual person? It is how you think and approach issues. Godliness includes everything, including money!
When you embrace godliness and use your money and material things in a godly way, your heavenly account (your 24 hr ATM card) builds account builds up as you deal with your material things in a godly way. The benefit can be derived on earth and in heaven!
1 Tim 6 12
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Anything that you get from God, you have to lay hold of it and possess it: (there are many things that are battling against those things that you want). Fight the doubt out, fear out and lay hold of eternal life.
Faith lays hold of the blessings and receives the blessings!
17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
( we saw last week, if you do the right things with your money, your heavenly account will be built up) It does not stop right there (with enjoying it)
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
We go on to distributing it! Stopping with merely enjoying is bad. Therefore we give since we hare rich and we have much more! That is a godly exercise of money.
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
When you give here, it is not going out of your hand; it is merely going up there to be laid up as your treasure. This is the wonderful thing about giving- many do not understand this and are therefore afraid to give! Laying the money on the plate, they feel, It is gone!
Depositing your money in a bank, when the cashier wheels it away, do you feel it is gone forever? No! It is not gone! You gladly put it in there knowing that it is going into your account and you strut out knowing that you can withdraw it anytime you want!
That s exactly what happens spiritually too- when you give, you are laying up n store! That is why Jesus said ,
19 ¶ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
In other words, Jesus seems to be saying, Are you using your money in such a way that you are storing up treasures in heaven? Are you eternity minded; are you looking at your giving as storing up? As going into your heavenly account?
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
For the time to come… we do store up in a bank to use it on a later date- in retirement… so that you can later on you can make a withdrawal!
When you give money to a bank you are not making a donation to it! You are going to come one day and you are going to lay hold of it! Knock on the counter hand over the cheque and say, “Get my money out, I put in 10 lakhs, give it to me” !
You put it in there so you can withdraw! You put it in store, so you may later lay hold upon it!
This is how God’s economy works too! When we give and do things with our money in a godly way, it is profitable for now and for eternity ! (not just for eternity)
God never said, you can deposit it, you can never touch until you get to heaven! No! You may lay hold upon it, you can put your hand upon it later on! The profit is now and in eternity.
What will you do when you want money? Do you sit at home and say, I have given to the bank; the bank knows very well that I have given into it, and therefore they will send it to me, they will never forget me! ? No! They will never give you one penny!
You have various methods of withdrawals- you have your ATM card, you have money transfer, wire transfer, bankers cheque, you have internet transfer, so many ways to do it- you can lay hold on it whichever way you want!
Why did you put it into the bank in the first place? Because Jesus said, in Lu 6
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Why did you give it? Mal 3
10 … open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
In modern language- it means the deal is good, returns are good, the rates are good and you will get many many times more than what you put in!
Those who give have a right for withdrawal! If have put it in the bank, you have a right to withdraw. You have to do it by faith! If you banker is SBI, you write a cheque and they will give you the money! None can deny it! You do not stand before the bank and thing, may be they will say yes, may be no; I will just stand before the bank and pray…
It is yours; they will give it to you!
In the heavenly account too, it operates by faith: you have put it in there and you have to make a withdrawal! Mk 4
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
He puts in the sickle… the sower does something!
When it is time to sow, does the man do something or does God do the sowing? The farmer, the man, casts seed.
After you sow, who makes it grow, the man , or God? You don’t make the seed produce, you sow, God sends the sun to shine, sends rain, so that the seed begins to grow- that is God’s part!
After the passage of time the seed is ready (for the harvest) the fruit is ready to be enjoyed. It s like an account coming to maturity. What do we do? We do not sit at home and wish, something will come my way! You do not sit with a matured fixed deposit certificate in hand saying, well, the bank knows I need the money for my daughter’s wedding, they will surely send me something! No!
Sowing is not automatic and so is reaping also not automatic! The crop does not march in and get into your barn! The farmer get out and reaps just as he went out to sow! God is using this natural illustration to exemplify the spiritual.
Harvest Every Inch of it! A farmer may own a few acres; if he wants more of a certain crop, and he goes in and sows more, all over his acreage. Why did he sow in all of his 15 acres? The farmer says, I want to reap two hundred bags of grain, I want to have a profit of 10 lakhs… and therefore he sows… His calculation says , if he sowed in all 15 acres he’d get such a harvest. And he goes forth to sow.
The seeds grow and comes to harvest. If the farmer went to reap merely 2 acres, and left the remaining 13 acres un-harvested, those acres of grain is going to perish!
No farmer will sow in 15 acres and reap in only two! He will sow in 500, and reap in every inch of those five hundred acres! In the spiritual too , you get ready to reap… But the reaping does not happen automatically! You have to take the sickle and employ it to work! Just like you write the cheque to transfer to your account, you have to do something, to learn to make the withdrawal.
A man of God, when beginning his ministry 50 to 60 years ago, was mightily used of God. People were getting healed, they were having miracles in body mind and finances, relationships etc! Following God’s directions, he resigned pastor-ship and began to travel and preach. However, he noticed that, he was out of a steady income ( the house, car, salary that the church provided) and he was struggling to make ends meet! Not enough money. He was suffering financially.
One day he was complaining to God, Lord, I went out believing you, and now look, I have nothing! Week to week, I spend depending on you, but I have nothing! People are being blessed through my ministry, Blessed, saved… but I am not blessed, and I am lacking! Why is it so, after all these years of ministry?
God showed him the answer because he asked the question. He was like the man who made a deposit in the bank but did not know how to withdraw! To get it when he had a need; how to receive from God for his needs. He knows, give and it shall be given unto you… he did not know how it shall be given, he presupposed it‘ll be given automatically! God would come over press into his hand!
In the meantime he was praying for sick people and they were being healed! He was exercising his faith in that area and was good at it! He was commanding the sickness to leave in the name of Jesus! He spoke to the mountains! He used his spiritual authority! He was not passive hoping the sick person would be healed! Jesus dies on the cross, he took our sickness, therefore this person should be healed. He goes and literally forces the devil and his works out and literally administers healing! He commands it and it comes to being!
God told him, what you do when it comes to healing, why don’t you do it for finances? You say, be healed, Devil come out… when it comes to money, you sit there hoping someone will bring it to you! Use faith in the same way!
Command money to come to you, command that the angels of God will be sent to bring it to you! That it will be loosed for the earth’s resources and be brought to you for your needs. Say , I have given, it shall be given unto me! Angels of God go and cause it to come to me; money come to me in Jesus’ name! Why can’t you do for money what you are doing for healing?
Where you drive out devils to enforce healing, why cannot you charge the angels to bring the harvest in? Why not use your spiritual authority to command money to come to you? Why don’t you speak and command?
That man has now gone to be with the Lord and his ministry grew to enormous proportions in his lifetime! After that he never prayed for money! He merely commanded money to be released from places it was held up and come to him! he never begged God for it, because it says, give and it shall be given to you! He never begged from the bank of heaven; he had laid it up and it was good for now and for eternity; he could withdraw whenever he wanted! It was there for him. It revolutionised his life!
It has revolutionised my life and it works… that is why I am preaching it! That is how your needs will be met on earth! You have a royal authority and a royal depositor to make a withdrawal! Because you have given, it shall be given to you; the windows of heaven are open above you! God has commanded the blessing, with no room to contain!
So do not stand there expecting that he is going to pour it out! He is waiting for your sanction! Your command is necessary! It will come in-
Just like you swipe your card, punch in the PIN number, type the amount and the money ejects out!
You can bow before the ATM machine, worship it, pray to it, and wait by it for 24 hours! (24 hour ATM is not the waiting time, you can withdraw 24/7!)
Use your authority in Jesus: When you command it shall come to you! It will come to you from far and wide. It will brought by so many; it will come by various ways!
God has enough ways to get it to you: the postal service may be on leave; the internet service may be shut down; ATM machines may not work, but God has ravens! He will send it! God will deliver to you through the hand of a ‘grabber’ crow if need be! God will change everything to get it to you! God will turn heaven and earth around to get it to your hand! You have the authority in heaven and on earth! Command it and it will be so! Lay hold on it ( you have laid up)! Lay hold by faith; declare that it is yours; claim it in Jesus’ name! Make it yours in the time of your need! Possess it!
Reaping does not happen automatically; you have to put in the sickle, this is how you do it! If it is ready, put in the sickle, gather it into the barn, by faith you have to do it! You can withdraw; every need can be met; you can increase! Because God’s blessing is upon your life!Share