On Thursday, we talked about the supremely important matter of trust in God. During this time of quarantine, Daddy is working lovingly on taking our trust in Him much deeper. We also touched on “the uncertainty of riches,” and how He is taking us through a hands-on, practical training process not to rely on them (1 Tim. 6:17).
Today’s verse is the next step in the sequence. It follows Thursday’s key verse sequentially with good reason. If we wholeheartedly put this Scripture into practice, we will find ourselves developing robust trust muscles more quickly.
How does this work? Well, let’s discuss the two possible conditions of our heart outlined in this passage: trust in money, versus trust in God. The tendency to be self-focused and myopic with our resources is the direct fruit of trusting in money. Deep down inside, even in better times when the world is not in crisis, we know that riches are uncertain. Therefore, if we are relying on them, our instinct will be to hoard. This is our human attempt to safeguard against them running out ; it is what fear-based living looks like.
On the other hand, when Daddy God shifts us to complete trust in Him, we know that our resources will never run out. Fresh manna will be provided every morning. We know that the Shepherd of our souls cares for us passionately; therefore we truly will “lack nothing” (Ps. 23:1,NIV). This propels us into a lifestyle rich in good works, marked by generosity and rejoicing in the opportunity to share.
Sometimes, though… it seems as if fear has a strangle-hold on us. What should we do when we have habitually lived life this way? How do we break free? Here is a key verse that will bring liberation to our souls:
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21, ESV).
For every kind of evil we need to overcome, we can plug specifics into this verse:
- Do not be overcome by bitterness, but overcome bitterness with forgiveness.
- Do not be overcome by judgement, but overcome judgement with mercy.
- Do not be overcome by wrath, but overcome wrath with soft answers.
- Do not be overcome by fear, but overcome fear with love.
You get the picture. So let’s apply this principle to the matter we are examining today. Here goes: Do not be overcome by tightfistedness, but overcome tightfistedness with generosity!
Yes, dear one. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is always mightier than the works of the flesh. Want to drop a bomb on some ingrained tendency you’ve been wanting to change? Deliberately take action and move in the opposite spirit. Has fear been gripping your heart about your financial future? Then how about this: ask Daddy to put a specific person, or ministry, or other worthy cause on your heart. Ask Him how much to give. And do it! Blast that fear away with the power of generosity!
If fearful thoughts and emotions protest, don’t let them stop you. Meditate on the picture of the little boy offering his lunch to Jesus. He could have fretted about going without and being terribly uncomfortable and in need… but I have a feeling that something inside of him knew: Jesus was worthy of trust. Stepping out in faith with extreme generosity meant that he got to see a whole multitude fed – with leftovers! – through his offering of love.
What might Jesus do with the gift you put in His hands?
Have you experienced the power of giving in the face of great personal need? Can you relate to the Macedonians described in this verse?