Living in God's Abundance
Steps to Receiving Abundance
Overcome the temptation of the flesh to “need” what God has not provided
Allow God to provide what is needed
Live in Gratitude of what God has given
Allow God to direct where His provision is used. Being a good steward of provision.
Galatians 5:13-21 13But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that . 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and and , dissensions, factions 21 and orgies, and the like.
The first step to receiving from God is to learn to walk in the Spirit and stop allowing your flesh to control what you want. We live in a time where there is no end to what we can set our eyes on and create desire. When we seek to satisfy ourselves, we will never have enough. There is always a better car, better phone, or a better TV. When we focus on what we do not have and want more than what we have provision, or money, for, we go into debt. It is a vicious cycle. We rack up lines of credit, mortgages and car loans until we become a slave to our debt. This happened to me in 2008, just before the real estate market crashed. My ambition was selfish. At no point did I consider using the money I was making to help others or give God the glory for my success. I was not walking with God or relying on the Holy Spirit. Instead, I used the world’s system to extend my credit. When this system crashed, I lost everything. My home was owned by the bank, not me. The home went back to the bank and I, along with my two-year-old son moved in with family in 2009. I learned the hard way that relying on worldly knowledge to increase provision leads to destruction.
We have access to food all year long with no end to sweets, alcohol, and food of all types, yet, malnutrition is rampant. As we indulge in desires of the flesh, our consequence is suffering lack of provision. This is most apparent with food. Obesity is a killer, a result of giving into wanting what we don’t need, and leads to our bodies being unable to process food and needing more food to support the extra weight we are carrying.When our bodies deposit the extra food around our mid-section, it causes our internal organs to work ineffectively, or not at all. This leads to a downward spiral of craving more food and depositing in where it will block your ability to use it. To get out of the cycle, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit and ask, what do I need, instead of what do I want.God showed us how this works when he delivered his people from Pharaoh.
2.Deuteronomy 8:3-5, 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Step two is accepting what God gives us as enough and all provision comes from and by His grace. Unfortunately, it is through humbling we often realize we cannot do it on our own and return to God. This was my road, as I began to rebuild and pull myself out of the overwhelming debt I had accumulated. I began to seek God’s plan instead of my own. I returned to church to hear the word of God and learn how to follow Him. Step by step, God led me to a job where I could repay what I owed. After the debt was paid, instead of using the provision God was giving me to get new things, I simply tithed to Him and waited until he directed me. He led me to a property to buy near where I was working. It was a well-kept doublewide trailer. Although I was grateful for having a home again, part of me was just waiting until I could have a better home. I had a room filled with boxes I refused to unpack. I was still not accepting that what God was providing was good enough, much like the Israelites in the desert as they grumbled against Moses wanting more variety in their food. (Numbers 11:4-6)
Deuteronomy 8: 16-18 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
What MUST come into agreement that it is not our own ability that have produced wealth, but God’s gift. As with receiving any gift, we show our gratitude by accepting it and using it. When it was revealed to me that I was not appreciating the home God had provided, I again humbled myself in gratitude and three years later unpacked my boxes and began to decorate the house. In my heart, I decided that if God wanted me in that house, I would make it the best home I could. Less than a month after I unpacked my last box, a realtor came to me with a buyer for the house. In four years, the value had doubled and we could sell it with enough profit to have a down payment on a new home. Later I learned that it was perfect timing because the foreclosure on my previous home would also be dropping off my credit score the following month as well. God had a plan, and all I needed to do is be happy where He put me.
This is a key to receiving more from God. Having a humble heart of gratitude open up an ability to receive more from God. Acknowledging that God is the one providing for you in whatever business you do will allow Him to give you more. My husband sees this in his Real Estate work every day. When he focuses on God and allows Him to provide, clients call him ready to buy or sell their property. He does less work and has more income. Every once in a while, my husband, Andrew, will look over our finances and think, I need more closings next month then begin to scramble, calling clients, and trying to drum up business. This is like a hamster on wheel. At the end of the day he finds himself exhausted, frustrated, and without results. It’s at this moment the Holy Spirit reaches him. Andrew can see that he is trying to provide in his own strength instead of trusting God. In the beginning, Andrew could struggle for a week before realizing falling for the trick of the enemy by trying to make provision happen in his own way instead of waiting on God. He has caught himself falling into that temptation several times, but now, he quickly corrects and refocuses on God instead of the provision. As fast as he turns back to God, God turns the provision back on.
The realization that God is providing and giving Him credit for giving it to us has had an unexpected result. Now, both Andrew and I feel differently about money and provision. We are faithful to give to God’s work, knowing that it is Him who is giving it to us first. We not only support our church but also other people who are doing God’s work. Even the money we don’t give God, we see as His and ask Him what we should do with it. We know that God is a good father who wants to give us good gifts (Matthew 7:7-12). Do not be misguided into thinking that God wants us to give everything away and keep nothing for us to live on. On the contrary, when we are obedient, seeking him first, he seeks to make us a shining example of how much he loves his children, and how much he wants to give them. This brings us to our final step in living in God’s abundance. When God begins to bless us with provision, we need to do what he asks us to do. We are his hands and feet on earth, and he bless us so that we may bless others. Jesus told a parable about this in Luke.
Luke 19:12-26 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ 14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ 15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. 16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ 17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. 18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ 19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ 20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 “His master replied, You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ 24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’
The final step is how we keep the provision from God flowing. Here you have the King, God, is away, in heaven. He is giving his servants, us, money or minas to use put to work. What we do with this provision decide whether He blesses us with more or takes what little we have. When you receive God’s blessing, it is important to put it to work, God’s work. Be careful not to use your own strength or mind to decide what to do. He has given us the Holy Spirit to direct us. We should all do a self-check when we are receiving provision before deciding what to do with it. Are you satisfying yourself and a selfish ambition, buying what you want because a friend has it (jealousy, envy), or making a thing (car, house, unneeded food, alcohol) your first obligation instead of God (idolatry)? If any of those apply, we need to stop and ask God what we should do first.Just like the servants above, we are held accountable. Those who do the work of God well will be greatly rewarded, but those who don’t may lose it all.