Give, and it will be given to you.
A good measure, pressed down, shaken together
and running over,
will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use,
it will be measured to you.
Right now I am in a slight financial crisis, so what better time than now to share the awesome principle that God is teaching me in my life? Most of you who face divorce and separation will also encounter financial crises, as they seem to go hand-in-hand. And with the financial crisis, fear uses it as an open door to torment you, and to attack your faith. This I speak of from personal experience.
The good news is, if we simply understand and embrace the principle of giving in the midst of your need, you will find, as I did, that God really designed trials to increase what you have, not simply to test your faith. Let me put it this way: when there is a “lack” in your finances (or any other area of your life), God wants you to give (as He leads you), so that He can increase what you have.
Of course, our flesh wants to do the opposite; when we are in need we tend to hide or hoard what we have. So like all things spiritual, we need to kill the flesh (by not feeding it) and instead walk in the spirit, so the spirit and our faith will increase. With this truth, you will now have the ability to change your state of mind, so that whenever there is a lack, you will rejoice knowing that God has designed this need in order to bring about an increase into your life!!
When my husband announced he was divorcing me, he also told me that he was going to leave me all the family debt (much that was hidden), and that he would not pay child support. Ladies, when you are being backed into the Red Sea, which, may I say I found is a wonderful place to be, it is not the time to panic. It just means God is about to show up! I honestly prefer these major crises to the other minor ones because I can easily see that God is Who set me up. I used to think that it was the devil or some other such nonsense (such as the other person who was out to get me). And due to this ignorance, I can’t imagine how many times I missed one of God’s blessings since I fought against it—all the while He was trying to bless me. I’m still not sure, but I can’t remember anyone ever teaching me this principle, is it due to no one really understanding it?
So, let’s make this clear, when you are faced with a lack or if you find someone who may appear to be pushing you into some sort of lack—don’t fight it and please don’t panic; instead rejoice—God is about to bless you! The verse that taught me what to do was this, “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” (Matthew 5:38–40).
Yet, even though Jesus told us what we should do, we instead want to hang onto our shirt or try to hide it. And God help us, we are not about to go one more mile! On the contrary, even Christians seek an attorney to hide money and maybe even try to get something from the other person who is in turn trying to get what we have. That’s what an attorney is paid to do, which is why I am so grateful Erin taught me early on to simply trust the Lord to fight our battles and release attorneys.
Let’s face it, when we act like the world does, we are showing our ignorance to God’s Word and His ways, and also proving that we are not His children, because if we were, we would not act so unbecomingly! And once we do act the way that is befitting an heir of our heavenly Father, we will prove to be so unusually strange that we cannot help but draw the lost to notice and soon they become believers in Jesus. Can you believe this added bonus to our increase?! This is what it means to “witness” to the lost, not handing them a track or reciting the Roman’s Road to salvation. The lost need to witness how we live differently.
So after each situation of need or lack that has recently been hitting me from every side, and also acknowledging with my lips, “God You’re about to bless me!” I can then go to my prayer closet to speak to the Lord to know just how He wants me to handle each situation.
For instance, last week I received papers from our accountant that stated that we (which is now “I” since I agreed to take the debt) owe thousands in back taxes. As crazy as it sounds, I was quite excited to see what God was about to do since I knew He had set the entire thing up just to show me how powerful and faithful He is. The Lord loves to be praised, and just like any husband, He wants me to know just how wonderful He is as my Husband since I am now His new bride (at least I feel like a new bride)!
Also, knowing how finances (or the lack thereof) can easily bring in fear, I did not read the pages and pages of paperwork too carefully, and instead I left them on my desk until the following morning so that I would have ample time to discuss them with the Lord. I wanted to know what He wanted me to do, and certainly not to come up with a plan (not my plan nor anyone else’s, which is why I also never discuss my problems with anyone!). Let us never forget that with each and every trial, test, temptation, or crisis, God already has a plan in place that includes a blessing at the end. He does not want us to think up our own plan on how to get out. Instead, He simply waits for us to come to Him, not in a state of panic or pleading, but in utter trust just as a child would go to a father who could (and would) fix anything!
It was in my prayer closet when the Lord assured me that He had me “covered” and that He would lead me every step of the way regarding my taxes. Without actually saying it, He reminded me of what had happened just weeks earlier when I began following these principles: when I gave when I did not have anything (and only because He provided the ability to give once I told Him I would), and then He blessed me with an unexpected blessing of thousands of dollars!
Now back to the back taxes. The next morning, He led me to get my checkbook and to begin reading carefully through the papers that listed all the different checks for the federal and state back taxes owed. At each flip of the page, the amount continued to grow until I realized that I owed tens of thousands that would wipe out that beautiful safety net (the thousands of dollars remaining in my bank account), and while reading, I could hear the Lord whisper, “Do you trust me?” and I smiled with my answer, which was “Of course!”
So He led me to write out one check after another. When I was done, He led me to leave the checks there on my desk. That night and the next morning, each time I would think about the back taxes, I would tell my Beloved that He was all I wanted, He was all I needed and how much I loved and adored Him. The next morning, when I was about to put all the checks into the proper envelopes to mail, God opened my eyes to the fact that I could not write these checks out of the church account as I had, but that they were personal taxes that I needed to pay out of our personal account! If this amount could wipe out that large safety net in our church account, there was no way I had that kind of money in my personal account!
Yet when I told the Lord this, He simply asked me again if I trusted Him and told me, “It is there.”
Ladies, we are asked to believe what we do not see, and trust God for each miracle by faith, therefore I did believe even though I “saw” I had nothing, and God was again wonderfully faithful! The Lord led me again to calmly write out one check at a time from my personal account, until finally there was only one check left to pay. That was when He led me to stop. When I did, I realized it was the largest check and that I had actually written the other checks “out of order” of their due date. That’s when the enemy tried to hound me about leaving this one unpaid and primarily torment me about paying the debts “out of order.” Yet I went ahead and left that one debt for almost a week until the Lord led me back to the papers and my checkbook.
When the ordeal was all said and done, I had paid all of our back taxes out of my personal account!! There is no way that was possible—no way!! But He made a way, though I cannot explain how He did it!
So, when facing my new financial crisis this week, all of my own testimony ran through my mind, when once again, I was pressed back to the Red Sea. I am sure that it was the after-effect of the back taxes, but this week when it came time to pay the mortgage payment for our home, I knew it was not there. I had nothing at all. What was sad, but made me laugh, was that I didn’t even have enough to pay for a field trip for my three youngest children—a total of just $6.00 (I hope you are laughing too)! I had just finished writing out payroll checks and paying the church bills, and that was when I came face-to-face with the Red Sea again.
What also made me laugh was that this was one area that my FH had mocked me on and that he kept telling me would happen. He had even made it a point to tell our older children that I was going to “lose the house” with my “foolish giving” that I had foolishly claimed was “faith.” Of course I never tried to defend myself because Lord knows I am a fool. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says, “For God has chosen the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and He has chosen the weak of the world to shame the mighty.” Yep, that’s me.
Though I normally try to do all the accounting on Saturdays, I had no idea what to do. So when I do not know what to do, I do nothing; I do not even think about what to do. Again, I left the checkbook and bills and went upstairs to rest in the Lord and in His goodness. I took every opportunity to get alone with the Lord, not so He could reassure me, nor so I could cry or plead, because I was actually full of joy and excitement. I got alone with Him simply to affirm my love for Him and His for me—telling Him that He was all I wanted and all that I needed. It was near the end of each of our little rendezvous when the Lord would tell me “It’s there,” meaning that the money was there. I know that I did not know where it was hidden, but if He said it was there, He would show me how to find it.
Let me interject that God has done wonders in building my faith. I have seen Him do the incredible, and to increase my faith, I spend lots of time every day thinking about each time He has come through and blessed me. “Counting” and listing my blessings, one-by-one each day is what lulls me to sleep, and it’s also how I wake up each morning by repeating them again. I do it to renew my mind, and in all my time alone with Him I also love to tell Him how wonderful this or that was.
In addition, I never keep exciting things to myself. I also find many opportunities to tell others about each miracle He has done. And because I have five children, I like to tell them each separately. Because each time I speak about it, it increases my faith (and theirs) and it also gives God the glory He deserves. So often when God comes through for us, we barely acknowledge that it happened. This weakens our faith rather than builds it. Those who send praise reports to RMI, which by the way I love to read, and who make a point of telling others of God’s faithfulness, are those who see great and mighty things in their lives! So when God does something, think back to when you did not know what you would do, and then how perfectly He worked it out for you. Think of it over and over and over again, and use each opportunity to increase other people’s faith by sharing your testimony each time God gives you the opportunity. This also fulfills the principle of giving away when you’re in need, and also is “witnessing.” So if you need more faith, give away what you have by sharing what He’s done for you in the past.
So, it was the next morning, which was a Sunday, when I woke up in my usual way by telling the Lord how happy He makes me and how much I loved Him and listing everything wonderful He did for me the day before, when God brought something to my mind. He reminded me that when my FH moved away, he had asked for “a loan,” which wiped me out financially (making it impossible to meet our payroll. By the way, I did not “loan” the money to him, but instead I told him that it was a gift he did not have to pay back). That week, because there wasn’t enough, He told me not take a paycheck (or I would not have been able to pay our employees). But then I remembered, I still had my huge safety net (it was still there, remember, because I miraculously paid all the back taxes from my personal account!). Therefore, just as the Lord had said, the money was there! I simply paid myself a back paycheck owed to me, but in my mind, as I quickly calculated it, I would still be short—but I wasn’t! I was able to pay all (not just some) of our family’s personal bills. Though it has been more than 24 hours since this miracle occurred, I am still blown away and I can’t figure out how He did it!! It’s impossible. Mark 10:27, “Looking at them, Jesus said, ‘With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’”
Before I had paid my house payment, the Lord had led me to write a very large check to our African Missionaries, and still, there was more than enough in my personal account! Later, knowing that I needed to increase what I had (not just get the bills paid), I asked God how else He wanted me to give. Immediately, I remembered that one of my sons was in need of a comforter set for his bedroom. So, while running errands a few days ago, I had seen masculine comforters at a nearby store, and I remembered that when we had moved into our new home, this son was the only one who did not get a new comforter set for his bed. So after church, I headed to the store that the Lord had placed in my mind. I knew I would find just what I needed, which I did. And later when I told my son what I had bought for him, he told me that this was something he kept thinking that he needed to get, but he did not have the money for it, so he had trusted God to provide. God wanted to bless him, and He chose to use me!
Since there is still a need in my bank account, and I know that God brought this need in order to, once again, increase what I have, I will continue to look for opportunities to give. Many different ideas have come into my mind, but I will simply wait and allow the Lord to begin opening the doors to the ones that are His idea and not mine. What I love is that we do not have to make things happen, all we have to do is to walk toward the doors that the Lord illuminates in our minds or hearts, and then wait for Him to open the door (as a Gentleman would). And if a door does not open, just keep moving towards another open door. Never, ever force a door open—His ways are effortless; the only effort will be in exercising your faith.
Testimony: More Giving
The principle of giving when you are in need is not just applicable to finances and money, it also holds true for every area of your life. When I was feeling the effects of being a “single mom of five,” my son asked me about his friend moving in for a week since he had nowhere to go. Within a few hours, my daughter’s friend found that she was locked out of her house because her mom was away for almost two weeks, so I suggested that she stay with us. That’s because I knew that God was about to increase my strength and stamina, and I wanted to work with God!
That same week, my brother who lives in Asia had for some unknown reason, not gotten my emails that his daughter could not come live with us for a year to go to school, and he was pressing me to make the arrangements for her flight! Once I cooperated with what the Lord was doing, I found myself with strength and stamina that I did not know I had! In my need, God brought opportunities to give away what little strength I had left in order to give me the increase I needed!! And now whenever I have financial troubles, I know that I need to watch for what God wants me to do to give away what little I have left.
God showed me this principle many years ago when I was breastfeeding my babies. The more my babies nursed, the more milk I had. Many doctors or lactation specialists will sadly tell a mother that she needs to supplement with formula and that she does not have enough milk when her baby is fussy and wants to nurse all the time! But the truth is that God made that perfect baby and gives the mother all the food for her growing baby. Though I had doctors telling me that I would have to supplement (since I had huge babies, one close to 12 pounds at birth), I knew that I would have enough milk if I just would sit still and let my baby nurse as much as he wanted at each growth spurt!
Not only did I not have to supplement my baby’s diet with formula, but I was also able to donate my excess milk to a neonatal hospital. At one point they asked me to help a little girl who could only tolerate my milk. So the hospital sent out a cab to pick up my milk each day. During this crisis, I decided to feed my baby on one side and gave the milk from the other side to the hospital. Months later, I received a picture of the healthy little girl who was well enough and able to go home to her family.
God wants to do great things when we trust Him enough to give away what we naturally want to hang onto or hoard because we fear that we will not have enough.
As I keep saying, this principle works in every area of your life: finances, love, strength, and time—the list is endless. When you begin to notice a “lack” in any area of your life, this is when God is saying, “I am about to increase what you have! Now, put your faith to work for you. Believe what you don’t see, walk in that faith. Don’t pull back; don’t begin to fear that you will run out. I am your Source, but I need your faith, shown by your works (walking it out) for this spiritual law to manifest itself.”
And walking out your faith does not mean that you say, “Let me give this, this and this,” but instead, watch for the opportunities that the Lord brings and sets before you. They will be large and small. One morning, I saw an opportunity to bless a teen (whom I know needs Jesus) with a cup of Starbucks coffee. When she resisted, I was able to share with her how God loves to bless us and that I was excited when God showed me areas where I could bless others! So she took it understanding where my Source is, and where hers could be too. There are so many who need to see evidence in order to understand the goodness of God, but how will they know if they don’t see it first hand in our lives?
In the midst of all this giving, I had a situation come up that I had to go to God for understanding. I actually went to Him to repent, since I thought I had missed an opportunity to give. A woman came up to me and wanted my business card, but I hesitated and I asked her why she wanted it. She told me that she wanted to get to know me and to call me sometimes just to talk. I told her that I am so busy with my five children (and my niece) and that when I am home (and not traveling), I have very little time for any social life. And as a matter of fact, I had to cancel an appointment with a dear friend because I was home-schooling my youngest three in the morning. Thankfully, I was interrupted by another friend who came up to say Hi, so the woman simply walked away.
When I spoke to the Lord about it, repenting, He told me that He had led me to resist this woman’s efforts because it was the enemy who comes to steal from us and wear out His children. He told me that though He puts out opportunities for us to give, the enemy is also right there to steal or to simply wear us out. When I asked Him how we know when it is Him and not the enemy, He said that when we stay close to Him, we will instinctively, in our spirits, discern His leading and will naturally not fall prey to it.
Another way we fall prey is when we begin to become prideful about our giving. Our testimonies no longer praise God, but praise us (and how generous and giving we are)! This will ultimately be the net for us to fall into or a podium for us to fall off of. So be very careful when you share your testimony. Make sure that it is the Lord you are lifting up and not your greatness.
Also, look for opportunities to give, but don’t just run around giving. God needs to present opportunities to you and open the door for it to bring His increase. There are times when we might see a need, but God doesn’t want us to fill it. It might be that the need is for someone else to fill or it may be that the lack is what God is using to get the other person to cry out to Him. And as God told me, staying close to Him will give us the greatest protection of doing it just right!
So once again, take some time to fall in love with your Lover today and this week. Tell Him that He is all you want and all that you need. Sing your favorite love song to Him and remind yourself of all the ways that He has blessed you. No one needs to live a life of lack when our God, and our Husband, is the ultimate Source for everything that never runs dry!