Give, and it will be given to you.

They will pour into your lap a good measure—

pressed down, shaken together, and running over.

For by your standard of measure

it will be measured to you in return.

—Luke 6:38

 

This morning, as I do every morning since I’ve been living my abundant life, I was excited to discover the new revelation that the Lord was going to show me. So with my Bible and coffee in hand, anticipation was flowing through me to the point where I couldn’t wait for Him to share a new, hidden secret to me just as it says in Isaiah 48:6 that He would do, “I proclaim to you new things from this time, even hidden things which you have not known.”

Heart beating wildly, opening my Bible, I asked the Lord where, what verse, He wanted me to open to. He began leading me through a series of verses that are not just for me, but for each and every one of you who have yearned and wanted to know the secret to abundance. Not surprisingly the secret is—giving.

“‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘When the plowman will overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; when the mountains will drip sweet wine and all the hills will be dissolved. Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit. I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them,’ Says the LORD your God” (Amos 9:13–15).

Next He led me to, “Then the LORD answered me and said, ‘Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail, though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay’” (Habakkuk 2:2–3). So with my computer open, I began to document, to record and inscribe these truths, knowing too, that what He’s told me and envisioned will certainly come just as it said. Then I continued reading…

“Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days—You would not believe if you were told” (Habakkuk 1:5).

Skipping a few verses, He next had me read: “Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places” (Habakkuk 3:17–19).

What the Lord is telling you in this verse, those of you who have had a heart for giving, and also what He has been speaking to me, is that we are on the threshold of some amazing things that are going to happen in our lives! As He put it that morning, He said, “You would not believe if you were told”! And He ends by saying that even though right now we see nothing, by faith, we must continue to praise Him.

So, now that I’ve recorded the vision, it’s time for us to explore this wonderful revelation even more, so we can fully grasp this truth in order to remain in a constant state of praise!

It is so easy for me to believe these promises the Lord unveiled to me this morning, because, as I look back at my life now in comparison to where I was just one year ago, it’s not as difficult to see the impossibility of it really happening. For instance, prior to me finding the abundant life, I never ventured much out of my house, but instead, stayed mostly in my own room where I worked, and never even ventured downstairs. Downstairs to our family room, or the boys’ bedrooms, and also where my husband’s office was once located. That was a just year ago.

This morning I will head downstairs to my new office, while I begin completing plans to take my second trip around the world—visiting places that I had read about but didn’t even know where they were on the map—and even visiting countries that I didn’t know existed. Last year, if the Lord told me that all of this would happen over the course of just one year, I “would not believe if I were told”!

Whatever is about to happen this year is also going to be life-changing; not just in my life, but also my children’s lives, my ministry’s future, each of the lives of women whom my life touches, and your life too (which is why He’s led you to read this book). As a result, what is about to happen in your life will also touch every life that your life touches. You see, that’s the point: God touches our lives in order for us to touch other lives and to cause that ripple to spread His love, His truths to countless hurting souls who are desperately in need of Him. This, dear friend, is a revelation that you need to grab hold of and hide deep in your heart: God gives to us in order for us to give to others—that’s the secret to living abundantly.

In the same way and to the same measure as He gave us His Son, who now is our beloved Husband, who has loved us in such a way as to heal our hearts and make us feel cleaned, cherished and in need of no one and nothing else but Him, others desperately need Him as well. So this means we cannot keep Him or His love to ourselves, but we must give this gift of His Son, sharing Him with others. He wants to be to each woman we meet, the same Lover, Healer, Provider and Protector, which will happen—once our lives shine so brightly that everyone we meet asks us about our shining hope within us!

That’s why it’s important to be prepared for how you’ll answer when others ask, as it says we are to do in First Peter 3:15 NIV, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Reading it in the Message Bible it says it this way, “Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.” You need to respect that not everyone is ready to know Him, so your goal is to simply share your hope, and what has changed you, making sure you wait until you’re asked. Also, having a heart that is not trying to push anything on anyone, women especially will witness your shining love to them and others to the point that each will naturally be drawn to wanting to experience what you have, and what you possess is Him.

Dear friend, each time God reveals mysteries to us, like revealing to us that we have a Husband who loves us as much as He does, it’s in order that we reveal these mysteries and truth to others, by living in such a way that our lives speak volumes and then giving them the truth when they ask. “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2). This is the correct and true form of “witnessing”—it’s others witnessing our lives, not by confronting others. Our Husband showers us with blessings and love so we can, in turn, radiate His love and shower others with His blessings and His love. This is the secret—giving what He’s given to us.

Blessings will Overtake You

Going back to the first verse where the Lord told me, “‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘When the plowman will overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows seed . . .” this, too, is something that happens almost every day of my life, and will in yours—if you have learned the secret, which is giving what He’s given to you.

What I understood this verse to mean is totally different from what I have now come to understand it to mean. The word “overtake” when running the race of life means that the blessing gets to the finish line before we do. “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1–3).

Some years ago, whenever trials hit me and my life, I began to believe that something good was going to come out of it—but some day—some year or some decade later. Yet, over the course of this past year I began to look for that blessing not a year or a decade later, but to look for the blessing immediately; immediately after the trial was over. Then, that’s exactly what began to happen. The day arrived when all that I had sown began to overtake me and would often show up even before the trial even hit my life. Money showed up in my hand or wallet or bank account before I needed it. Plans for what I needed to do showed up before anyone had even asked me the question.

Then, as I said, whenever God revealed a new truth to me, giving me something wonderful to walk towards, I then began to live that truth and would give the same truth to others. And since my children are those who are closest to me, and they too are my inheritance that will continue to give to others when I’m gone, I often am led to give truths to my children first. The principle of our blessings overtaking us was one such principle.

It happened the day my niece was flying back home, we needed to drive to an airport more than three hours away, so my brother offered to pay for us to spend the night in a hotel near the airport. Oh the favor of God. On our way there, we were driving through a small city in the middle of nowhere when my daughter leans up and whispers, “Mama, I’m so sorry but I just remembered I forgot to pack my swimsuit. I’m so sorry!!” and I could tell she was nearly in tears since we’d selected our hotel based on their amazing pool and hot tub. Immediately I assured her that there was no reason to worry, fear or feel badly, but to instead get excited because His blessings would overtake us! Without exaggerating, I turned my head and looked to my right to see a small Walmart; immediately I took a quick right turn explaining that He obviously wanted to bless her with a new swimsuit! Then paraphrasing Isaiah 40:2, “Speak kindly . . . And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed, that she has received of the LORD'S hand DOUBLE for all her sins [or mistakes].” Even though swimsuit season had passed, sure enough, as we walked in, right near the front of the store my daughter found one of the cutest swimsuits I’d ever seen AND it was beyond anointed. This swimsuit lasted for several summers and was even in good enough shape to pass down to her sister, which fit her just as perfectly. Only God could do this!

Not only did my daughters walk away from this experience with an understanding of how blessings overtake us, but to be sure to look for the blessings immediately, something He first gave to me. But remember, my niece was also with us, so she took this back and shared it, by her living it with her sister and her parents!! This ripple of His love for us spread halfway around the world!!

To Embrace Waiting

Now to move on and discuss that infamous and also loathed principle of waiting. Wow, has the Lord given me new insight into this principle too!

If you are anything like how I used to be, I simply hated, loathed, and squirmed when I was forced to wait. Now, I am thrilled when I’m asked to wait, since I know now that waiting is an exciting part of His plan. Why? What has changed? The revelation that was always there in Scripture but I never really wanted to embrace it: “Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:31).

Now I have gained enough experience to know that when I’m required to wait for something, anything, it’s because God has orchestrated that period of waiting so that it will give me the time I need to “gain new strength” so I will “not get tired or grow weary” when the new blessing shows up in my life. Waiting also signals to me, telling me that what is up ahead is going to need more strength (physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually) than what I have at the present time. Therefore, I am more than happy to wait and use that time to build my strength with pure excitement—the strength that will carry me through whatever wave I am about to ride. This is a good metaphor or picture of how to benefit from adversity, as this is how God created our world and how we, as His bride, are able to live abundantly.

Waves of Adversity

Another revelation was that for years I swam into the waves of my life only to eventually become weary and defeated. Yet, over the course of just one year, I learned the secret to overcoming these waves of adversity differently, by no longer resisting evil and each time something or someone comes against me, I need to instead turn around and ride along with the adversity because God wants to bring me up higher, living even more abundantly. Remember, “He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places” (Habakkuk 3:19). It actually happened by me living out the often neglected Beatitudes found in the book of Matthew. Most stop reading after He lists all the “blessed are you” but instead, just keep reading and grasp an even greater truth, when Jesus later on says…

“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5: 39–45).

Riding the wave of adversity means that you go with the flow, never opposing it. Jesus explained how we are to react when people tell you to do something, but this is far from what the church tells us. Yet Jesus made it a point to document what He said, “But I say to you . . .” So like everyone ignorant of the truth, I resisted evil, and made sure I never stood close enough to anyone who’d once slapped me. I would avoid seeing them and if I was forced to see them, I’d stand back emotionally. And I certainly didn’t do more or give more than what someone asked me to give them; therefore, I continued to miss the blessings of His message and the secret to living abundantly and powerfully—by giving—especially to those who hurt or use us.

What changed was that after finding my abundant life, I began getting what I needed directly from God like wisdom, and directly from the Lord, like the love that I desperately needed. So once I got what they each gave me, I was finally able to give what was lavished upon me to others. Once I received so much love and acceptance from the Lord (when I fully became His bride), then any evil person who wanted to slap me (emotionally by their words or by actions) no longer hurt me at all. After a while, each slap was just a wake-up call alerting me that I was about to go up higher again, and that meant that the Lord was going to ask me to give more than what was asked—giving to those who hurt and wanted to use me, which is when the huge blessings come—when the person you’re giving to doesn’t deserve it!

Giving is incredibly powerful when it is demanded, stolen, or asked for unkindly. Adversity, I now understand, is actually the fuel we need, or like watering the seed that will bring about a bountiful harvest that He has promised us. So, with this truth understood, it’s now very easy to embrace adversity rather than running from it or pushing my way through it. And keep this in mind when your crops, your fields are not producing fruits. If you don’t water them, or if you don’t put fuel in your spiritual engine, is it any wonder why you are not moving forward? Read this verse:

“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11). To be honest, I was never content with anything close to difficulties or persecutions, only because I hadn’t been open to or knew that I needed to openly receive what God and my Husband wanted to give me. Then, once I took it, absorbed it, lived it, and then gave it, only then was I able to be “content in whatever circumstances” I was in.

The Root of Evil: Love of Money

One area that I have learned to embrace this principle of giving is in the area of giving money. We are all so fearful of not having enough that we foolishly withhold what we have, due to the love of money, only to find that our fears are realized and will then happen. What we fear actually happens because it’s manifested or created because of and due to our fears. How true this verse is to me now that I have learned the secret of giving, especially in giving to and blessing my enemies: “There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want” (Proverbs 11:24). While the opposite of this verse is in Job 3:25, “For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.” “The worst of my fears has come true, what I’ve dreaded most has happened.” Message Bible.

When we are afraid that we will not have enough, we fear, then we withhold what is justly due for us to prosper (by giving to our enemies more than they asked for or demand from us). This withholding results “in want”—so that the fear of not having enough and the dread of being short on funds befalls us! This is the horribly vicious and endless cycle that so many Christians live and what the world “witnesses.” And the truth is that this futility can only be broken by receiving all the love that the Lord has for each of us as we become His bride, so that we can trust Him enough to walk out what He has told us, “But I say to you . . .” “give and it shall be given, pressed down and overflowing.” Who of us doesn’t want to receive overflowing blessings?!? We all do, but it takes giving when it’s difficult to do, and giving to whomever we don’t believe deserves it.

If giving is something that you have found hard to do, the source is that you still do not have enough of Him. What you need is not more money, but more of Him who loves you in such a way as you really truly feel like His bride! When we seek the Lord and His love wholeheartedly and want, yearn for and focus on only Him, He promises that, “all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). No longer will things or other people matter in your life. It’s really true. Once you have enough of Him, you’ll want more and more of Him—not things, or money or other people. You won’t want attention nor need companionship. And it’s then that you will finally be free to give because the love that saved this world will be overflowing in your life! You then no longer need or want things, money or people—then all of these blessing will be “pressed down and overflowing” to the point that anyone who comes close to you will be drenched by His blessings too.

This is the secret of life—He gave.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

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