Giving is part of God’s heart. Not only did God give us the breath of life, but an everlasting gift of life. Have you ever given something that never died or never ran out? God’s gift doesn’t.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16
We are to be imitators of God in all that we do… “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children” (Ephesians 5:1).
When our hearts are stirred to sow, we are compelled to provide and give. However, we must use discernment given to us by the Holy Spirit about WHY, WHEN, and HOW to give.
- “…Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”—Matthew 10:16
- “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”—Philippians 1:9-11
Together we are going to explore the biblical bases of giving. Giving is where many Believers fall into the schemes of the enemy. They are misled and go down an unintended path. Misinformation leads them away from destiny, blessing, and prosperity.
The reasons people give vary as much as the amounts given. There is much research on the topic of giving, and it should not surprise us that the science also lines up with the Word of God.
Research shows people report being happier when they give. The hormone that reduces stress, oxytocin, is released in the body. The giver and the recipient feel connected.
The connectedness prompts the desire to increase giving, as well as a deeper sense of empathy.
“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”—Acts 20:35
God’s Word is the sword of truth that splits bone from marrow and takes us deeper into wisdom and knowledge.
Therefore, to give according to His will, we have to know His heart.
The Lord knows giving and managing finances are a worrisome obstacle for a number of individuals, families, and the Body of Believers. But He takes the world’s view and offers a solution—His Word.
The World’s View…
Keep in mind Satan has been studying human nature for years. He knows what levers to pull to tempt us into sin. God graciously gave us emotional fruit such as joy and peace, but He also gave us a spirit of self-control.
6 Lies Satan tells us:
- Give only to get.
- Give in haste and high emotion.
- Give and tell others about it.
- Give to influence
- Give because someone else told you to do so.
- You will feel guilty if you don’t give.
When these thoughts enter the mind, they are dangerous. Why? The big question is, “Where is God in your giving?”
The Lord wants to be front and center of all you do. Giving is a type of worship and every lie the enemy whispers is about self-worship rather than God-worship.
Giving out of anything other than God’s instruction is a direct block to blessings. There must be a shift in mindset for our sown seed to grow and fruit to flourish.
The Biblical View…
The Lord instructs us why and how to give, but the foundation of it all is aligning our hearts with God’s.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”—Psalm 37:4
The Lord is our Rock. When there is a crack in the foundation, the rest of crumbles.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”—Matthew 7:24-25
7 Truths the Lord tells us:
What did Jesus do when the Spirit led him into the wilderness and was tempted by the devil? He used the Word of God as His defense. He took every thought captive and made it obedient to God’s Word.
- Giving to get or for recognition does not align with God’s instruction.
“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”—Matthew 6:3-4
- Emotional giving is impulsive and based on feeling, not founded on biblical principles, and is not responsible.
“A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.”—Proverbs 29:11
- The Holy Spirit prompts you to give based on peace and wisdom, not guilt or obligation. The Lord tells us to take every thought captive. Bring it to Him in prayer and ask for discernment in giving and managing finances.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”—2 Corinthians 10:4-6
- Give out of what you have, not out of what you don’t have; this is wise stewardship of time and money.
“For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.”—2 Corinthians 8:12
- God wants you to seek and worship Him when you give. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His will to you.
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”—2 Corinthians 9:7
- God desires you to come before Him first, allow the Spirit to cleanse and purify your heart so that carnal desires will not block your giving.
“For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise.”—Psalm 51:16-17
“For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”—Hosea 6:6
- God says to trust Him completely, and He will bless you.
“‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.’”—Malachi 3:10
Spiritual Warfare and Discerning the Voice of God…
Satan’s lies are intended to keep you from God’s blessing and furthering His Kingdom!
God wants us to give out of a pure heart. When we run into a financial situation that inhibits us from giving, it’s time to come before God and the Holy Spirit to reveal areas He wants to cleanse by the outpouring of His fire.
“And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”—Deuteronomy 8:2-3
Storms are going to come, and God wastes nothing in our lives, looking for every opportunity to shape our character in order to fulfill His divine destiny in us for His Kingdom growth.
Blessings are on the other side of the trial, but your mind, will, and emotions can get out of alignment during the process if you don’t keep your eyes on the Lord.
Take Job for example…It is easy to praise the Lord when we are blessed. However, during tests and trials, God also wants to see you prosper in spirit and to rely on Him alone.
How we respond to the tests and trials speaks to our character, as well as to our weaknesses.
How Should We Respond During Tests and Trials?
- Come before God and declare who He is. The Lord does not change. We are to praise His Holy Name in times of plenty and in seasons of struggle.
“He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.”—Deuteronomy 32:4
- Spend time listening to Him both in prayer and in His Word. Ask God to remind you of the covenant relationship you have with Him. Pray for a renewed mind so that you can discern the will of God and walk in victory.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”—2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”—Romans 12:2
- Lay down your old habits and put on your new self, your identity in Christ. God wants to release a new mindset in you about the importance of managing time and money.
If you are going to be at peace in life, you must understand that you are a steward of what God owns. We are not owners… we are stewards!
“…put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”—Ephesians 4:22-24
- Ask the Holy Spirit to lay on your heart Godly compassion to give.
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”—2 Corinthians 9:7
- Find a faithful and spiritually mature accountability partner and pray together.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”—1 John 5:14-15
God promises us in His Word that if we practice good stewardship of what He owns, there will be an increase in our lives. If we can be trusted with little, then He will give us more.
How do you we define poverty? Is it a basic lack of necessities? Or is it more about physical and mental wellbeing?
Many times the “feeling” of poverty is a lack of social connections or support. However you choose to define it, poverty means that we are lacking!
So, what about spiritual poverty? Can we be poor in spirit?
Scripture records that the very first instruction Yeshua gave us in His Sermon on the Mount regards spiritual poverty, telling us that we are blessed if we are poor in spirit!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”—Matthew 5:3
These are not the first words that we would expect to hear out of Yeshua’s mouth as He took center stage amongst the multitudes at His famous conference on the mountainside overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
How can we be blessed and poor at the same time?
In Western culture, we equate being blessed with earthly wealth—not lacking in physical needs or desires. We perceive being blessed as the polar opposite of poverty.
Exploring the Jewish roots of the text, the Hebrew word for blessing is esher, which also translates as happiness.
“Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.”—Job 5:17-18 (emphasis added)
The blessing here is connected to the knowledge that God is at work to direct your path and has a divine destiny for you that furthers His Kingdom. The word blessed is all about being completely content, satisfied, and welcoming God’s instruction for your life.
When we examine the meaning of the word blessed in the context of Matthew 5:3, we find that the Greek word used here is Makarios, which means being in a true, deep state of contentment, or happiness.
When Yeshua began His beatitudes discourse and uttered the first word, blessed, He was saying that you can find true contentment in what I am about to tell you.
In essence, He told His audience, “You are truly a content person if you are poor in spirit—if your inner being, your spirit man, is found in a state of poverty.” [paraphrased]
If poverty is a state of being poor, then when Yeshua said poor in His opening sentence to the beatitudes, He meant that we should be in a desperate state for His Kingdom.
Why would God give His Kingdom to the poor in spirit? Being poor in spirit means recognizing your inability to buy, earn, deserve, or purchase spiritual blessings. Without the Holy Spirit’s intervention, we are blocked from growing spiritually.
God desires that you recognize your need and turn to Him, to the One who can provide the spiritual life that you lack.
God allows us to grow and learn from the lack, so we know He is the only One who can fill us. Yeshua declared His everlasting, eternal Kingdom there at the Mount of Olives to those who would listen, and to those who would follow Him and His instructions…
“If you will humble yourselves and hear My words with truly desperate hearts, you will then be ready to receive with understanding and revelation, all that I am about to instruct you in so that YOU can rule and reign in My eternal Kingdom—the Kingdom of Heaven!” [paraphrased]
Don’t lose hope. Be hungry and thirsty only for Him, because He has great plans for you concerning His Kingdom.
Is there a financial area in your life where you need a breakthrough?
The truth is, we often do not want change when we say we do—or at least we’re not willing to work for it, especially if the journey is difficult.
When you give, and nothing happens, the enemy says to stop giving and don’t take your hurt, frustration, or confusion to God. Satan knows if he paralyzes your efforts blessings are blocked.
This way of thinking contradicts God’s instruction. You are to take it before the Lord and openly ask Him to reveal a solution to the obstacle before you.
So many times, people have approached us during one-on-one prayer with an issue of spiritual blockers in their lives and are in need of a breakthrough. However, in their hearts, they are merely searching for validation for harboring areas of unforgiveness, pride, and other areas of sin in their lives. When given sound practical biblical advice, they choose not to follow it.
The epidemic of financial burden is growing in the Body of Christ. But Jesus says He gives us life abundantly! He’s already given it, and is asking us to partner with Him to further His Kingdom.
Sincerely coming before God in prayer and consistently following the steps listed above will allow you to experience more of Him. Experiencing more of Him will lead to breakthroughs!
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