By Pastor Ian Rapier of the Repairer of the Broken Ministries
Have you watched the news lately? Have you read the papers recently? There is an excess of gloom and doom hanging over the world in which we live in. Individuals, small businesses, corporations, and nations are all filing bankruptcy. The financial climate of the world is falling fast, and whether we like it or not, Grenada is part of a global economy that is in trouble. Is there any hope in sight? What’s going to happen to my family, my home, my business, my job?
Friend, there is no need to become fearful. The Bible shows us that while Egypt, who represents this world’s system and way of living, was in darkness, there was light in Goshen. Goshen was where the Israelites lived during the time of Moses. Even though things look bad out there, God wants His goodness and blessings shining through your life. It’s time for you to move into the economy of God.
Living in God’s economy means you must maintain a positive, prosperous, progressive mindset, and become givers. To become a giver seems contradictory to increasing your financial resources. However, God’s way is opposed to the world’s way. The world says, “Get all you can”, but God says, “Give and it shall be given back to you”. Giving never starts with what is in your hand; giving always starts in the heart. If it’s in your heart to give, it will automatically flow out of your hand to give. When it comes to giving, the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (KJV) says, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” A giving hand is always connected to a grateful heart.
What’s your attitude toward giving? When you are able to recognize and acknowledge that it was God who blessed you, you become grateful for the blessings. Some people think it is because they have the intellect, skill, and know it all; that is the reason they have been blessed. Deuteronomy 8:18 (KJV) says, “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.”
The reason you are blessed is because God gave you the intellect, skill, knowledge, ability, and strength to do what you do. The reason He did was not because of who you are, but because of who He is. He has a promise to keep that He made to someone long before your parents ever thought about you. He deserves all the praise! It is easy for me to give to you when I can acknowledge that it was given to me. As long as I think I earned it, I never give the Giver any credit for giving it, and I never give to you because I earned it, and so should you. When there’s an attitude of gratitude God is able to lift us to a higher altitude. We are able to live where God wants us to live. God wants us to live with a positive, prosperous, and progressive attitude. The giver’s attitude is, I always have something to give.
The converse of a positive, prosperous, and progressive mindset is a negative, poverty, regressive attitude; in short, a poverty mindset. The poverty mindset is always bent on the negative because it is connected to greed and a lack of gratitude. The reason many don’t have what they need is because of the thief called greed that robs them of their seed. The poverty mindset is not about what or how much you don’t have, it deals with a negative attitude concerning what you do have and cannot do. It always looks at what you don’t have and tells you that you cannot do. However, it says, what can you do for me? It looks for a hand out but God wants to give you a hand up. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand”. You develop a poverty mindset when you keep thinking what you have is not enough to give. As long as you keep telling yourself you don’t have enough to give, you will never have enough, and you’ll never have. It robs you of the power to change your life and the lives of others.
The danger of the poverty mindset is that it blinds you to the reality of the resources that you do have. I want you to catch the revelation of what I am about to share with you. This revelation has literally changed my perspective, and I now have clarity about how to change my living through giving. If you get nothing else from this article, grab hold of the following statement. Proverbs 13:23 (KJV) says, “Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.” The problem of the poor is not what they don’t have; the problem is what they don’t do with what they have. For this to be a spiritual principle it must be replicated elsewhere in scripture.
You keep thinking if you only had more of whatever it is you need, but God is saying your problem is you’re not doing the right thing with what you do have. You already have it, now here’s what you need to do with it. 2 Kings 4:1–7. A woman comes to the man of God, Elisha, to complain to him about her financial condition. Now this is her situation: her husband who was the only bread winner in the house is dead, she is unemployed: no income, no job, and no money. Everything she has is about to get repossessed, her utilities are about to get cut off, you could already guess that she has no food. To make matters worse, she has two mouths to feed, and social services is about to come to her house to take the kids. Her life is in a mess.
There are so many people right here in Grenada that can identify with at least one, if not several of her problems. Now let’s pick up the story in 2 Kings 4:2 (NIV), “Elisha replied to her, How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house? Your servant has nothing there at all, she said, except a small jar of olive oil.” You would think the preacher would say, let me pray for God to bless you. Instead, he recognized that she had been in a negative situation for so long that her thinking was also negative. He asked her, what do you have? The positive, prosperous, progressive mindset always ask, what do I have to give? However, her response was, I have nothing, just a pot of oil. Her poverty mindset would not allow her to see the value and potential of what she had because she was too busy looking at what she did not have. 2 Kings 4:7 (KJV), “Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.” Her transition from a poverty mindset to a prosperity mindset did not come until she believed the preacher. In one day she went from being broke and unemployed to being a successful business owner, because she believed the preacher and the little that she had that she thought was nothing was an industry waiting to be born; she was now owned an oil company. I release new business ideas and concepts over you as you begin to be a giver on a higher level. I release increase in your businesses, new jobs, and promotions; your broke days are over.
Your problem is not that you don’t have, the problem is that you are not making the right decisions to do the right things with what you do have. Proverbs 13:23 (KJV) says, “Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.” When it says, much food is in the tillage of the poor, we need to understand what that statement means. It is saying that the poor have everything that they need to meet their needs and not only theirs but also the needs of others. This would mean that the poor don’t have to be poor any more. But if they have it, then where is it because they are still poor? The verse says, it’s in the tillage. The tillage is the land of the farmer that has been prepared to receive the seed. If the poor can only sow their seed and stop eating their seed they’ll have what they need. Having what you need is based on your ability to give in the economy of God. To receive much you need to sow the seed in the land prepared. If you eat the seed you’ll be lacking and wanting because that is bad judgment. The seed is always that same thing that you need. If you have a financial need give something financial. If it’s not enough to meet your need it is a seed.
“There is that is destroyed for want of judgement.” There is what? Your seed is destroyed because of bad judgement. What is judgement? Apostle Nataniel Holcomb of the Christian House of Prayer in Killeen, Texas defines judgement as “the capacity to come to a quality decision, having your senses exercised discerning both good and evil”. You keep making bad financial decisions because you have not put into use what you have heard concerning giving, therefore your senses have not been exercised to discern the good from the evil. Every time you withhold what you should be giving you are demonstrating a lack of judgement. A lack of judgement always produces a lack of resources that were designed to meet your needs.
The poverty mindset says keep it, you’ll need it. So you’ve been keeping it, yet you have not noticed that you still need it. This preacher has come to instruct you to give it, so that God can multiply it, so that He can increase you. 2 Corinthians 9:10 (TLB) says, “For God, who gives seed to the farmer to plant, and later on good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant and will make it grow so that you can give away more and more fruit from your harvest”.
God wants to take you from financial stress, struggle, and strain into His rest. You need financial rest! The principle of giving breaks the back of greed, stinginess, and the poverty mindset. Giving moves you out of the world’s system of never enough and moves you into the economy of God, where my God shall supply all your need. Our giving establishes our living; we can live in the positive, prosperous, and progressive of God, because we are positive, prosperous, and progressive givers. The attitude of the positive, prosperous, progressive mindset says, I always have something to give. The attitude of the poverty mindset says, I can’t afford to give because I never have anything to give. The level of your giving reveals whether you are empowered to affect change or whether you are powerless. Your giving establishes your living. Make up your mind to become a giver of all that God has blessed you with: time, talents, gifts, possessions, and money.