Generous Blessing

Deuteronomy 15: 10        NIV

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

Yesterday’s Word of the Day set me thinking, so I ran a search on the word “generous.” This verse from Deuteronomy stood out to me in particular because I know that in a few chapters we will learn explicitly about The Blessing! Clearly, Moses had the blessing in mind when he wrote this because we see its operation.

I will be very honest with you. I want to be under the blessing. I want it chasing me down in the street. My life is much easier with the blessing working in it than without. Actually, something didn’t go exactly my way the other day and I was surprised. It wasn’t a big thing but it was noticeable because it frustrated my purposes slightly. On the other hand, a different matter worked out better than I could have orchestrated. The point is, I have become accustomed to the way life works with the blessing.

Now, do I give just so the blessing will work in my life? Not really, but I will say that God’s thoughts on giving do influence me. The blessing only works when you give freely, not begrudgingly. If you cannot give cheerfully, it is best to take the whole issue to God in prayer or even journal it.

Our challenges with giving sometimes have to do with brokenness in our spirits. So, if I don’t want to give, then I immediately begin to question it. What is wrong with me that I need to hold on to this? I think about people I know who are so generous and people like Sister Teresa and it reframes things in my mind. I see myself positioned differently. Then I imagine how I want to think and feel and I see myself in that posture. I see myself confident in my giving and generous. That helps me. If I am having a hard time letting go, it is a good sign something is wrong with me because that certainly is not God’s Spirit speaking within me. When we are in our right place with God, we are always generous. If we find ourselves hesitant to give, then something has gone wrong in our hearts. The most important thing to do is to ask the Father about it so that he can heal us or mend that which broke.

God wants to bless everything you touch. That is The Blessing that Moses wrote about in Chapter 28 of Deuteronomy. The blessing works through our divine connection with God the Father. You cannot be divinely connected to God and also be stingy. It just doesn’t ever happen that way. He is the supreme giver. This verse attests to that. Jesus’ life attests to that but God’s blessing flows according to the streams of life and one of the most significant of those is generosity. When we get in the flow with the Father, life bubbles along smoothly.

Be a generous giver. Not because I say so, but because it is God’s way. Speak with Him and ask Him to help you be generous in your giving and let the blessing flow in your life.

Blessing or Labor

Proverb 10: 4

Poor is one who works with a lazy hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

What about this? I wrote you recently that it was the blessing of the Lord which makes rich (Proverb 10: 22). So, which is it, the blessing or the work of your hand which makes rich?

I heard an expression years ago that stuck with me, “God can’t steer a parked car.” The message was that we are to begin moving and then He will direct us. In recent years you have actually heard me teach this under the moniker, “Partnership.” Therein lies your answer.

Deuteronomy 28: 12 reads, “The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless every work of your hand; and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow.” This chapter is about the blessing and you can surely see it in this passage. If you look closely, though, you will also see our part in the partnership. Let me rephrase this combining the verses from Proverbs and Deuteronomy. It is the blessing of the Lord which makes rich as God blesses the work of our hands. We must set our hands to something. Second, we must do so in the name of the Lord, committing our work to Him.  Third, we must allow Him to steer us. The outcome is blessing. If we will allow the Father to be our partner in everything we do, He will anoint and bless the work of our hands. He will show us the way to go.

Neither looking to the might of our hand nor sitting around waiting for God to do something will result in the success we desire. It is the combination of allowing God to direct us and then putting our hand to the plow which yields results. God is waiting to bless you, but you must pull away from the curb and then let Him navigate. It is the combination of our joint labors that wins the day.

Going Viral?

Psalm 91: 3

For it is He who delivers you from the . . . deadly pestilence.

Here is what I have to say about and to the coronavirus, “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you,’” (Isaiah 41: 13). God has faced this problem before, and He has already spoken to the problem. He tells us to put our trust in Him because He is our shield and refuge. He delivers us from the pestilence. He guards our homes and health. When the plagues tormented the Egyptians, our Father held His people within the shelter of His wing.

Now, if you believe this, if you are with me here, then it is time to pull out what we learned last week from Romans 4: 17 (See the Word of the Day for Tuesday, February 25, 2020). It’s time to speak what you believe. The blessings of God do not rain on you from the sky. They are already yours, yes, but you have to move them from the spiritual realm to your life by the exercise of your faith and your words. This is the critical bit. Of course, you must believe that what God has said is true and that He is well able and willing to back up His Word with His faith and with action, but you must remember that we are in a partnership with God AND that He will not violate your freewill. You can be sick if you choose. You can go to hell if you want. It isn’t God’s will. It isn’t what He wants, but He will respect your choices. So, that means that you must be an active member of the partnership. The blessings are yours, but you must accept them. You must requisition them from the provision warehouse that Yahweh has already stocked for you. How do you know what the inventory is within that warehouse? There is an inventory list. It’s called the Bible and the way you get your order filled is by speaking words which are in accordance with the inventory.  If your words match the inventory list then the order is filled and shipped to your house.

If you fear the coronavirus guess what – you will attract it to you. I am not saying that you will contract the disease, but you certainly will not repel it. Do you remember what poor old Job said, “For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me,” (Job 3: 25). That which you focus upon is attracted to you. Then, God forbid that you say something like, “I catch everything that comes around so I will probably get the flu.” Dear One, please don’t confess anything remotely similar to that! Say, “By his stripes I am healed!” Say, “My Father delivers me from every deadly pestilence including coronavirus.” Get a stiff backbone and refuse to receive the curse. Stand in the blessing. Go read the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy and claim the blessing for you and your household.

Be healed, be whole. Reject the pestilence and remember the Word!