Personal Touch (2)

  • Grace is always the manifestation of God’s power to do something that we cannot do ourselves. Our part is to take or receive. I’m not talking about greed. I’m talking about understanding what faith simply is. Like I said before, faith is an action word. The action is to receive what Grace supplies and love gives. Faith is the hand that takes from the hand of God.

    Religion will throw the scripture at you that says it’s better to give than to receive. Now that’s true when it comes to our relationship with man. With our fellow man, it is more blessed to give than to receive. But when it comes to God, we please Him most when we receive from Him.

    Scripture says that the lesser is always blessed by the greater. (Hebrews 7:7) Who is the greater? God will always be the greater one. So when we humble ourselves and take our place as the receiver, we’re letting God be God in our lives and He loves that.

    This thing called faith has been open game for religion and legalism. It is falsely taught that faith is something you conjure up. It’s measured by how much you believe something. Faith is not what you believe, but what action you take on what you believe.

    The problem many Christians have with faith is that we take too little from the Lord. Like his disciples, we have little faith. Jesus said to His disciples “Oh you of little faith.” Little faith? What was Jesus telling them in essence? I believe that He was telling them, “I am so full of supply, why do you take so little from Me?”

    Notice what Jesus didn’t say. He didn’t say “Oh you of little fasting,” or “Oh you of little prayer.” He said, “Oh you of little faith.” He was telling them, “Draw more from Me, take more from My supply.”

    So, my friend, our faith is small when we take only a little from God. When we take little from Him for our needs, we must be taking from somewhere else. Therein lies the problem. It isn’t what we want or need that gets us in trouble, it’s that we rely on our own strength to get us there.

    This means that our faith is in someone or something else and God is just a “standby” or “last resort”. That should not be the case. God should always be first choice, not last chance. Man will fail and disappoint you, but God never will!

    Typically, most of us are not good receivers. When you give someone a gift, you often hear them say, “Oh no, you shouldn’t have. I don’t deserve this.” We all need to ask God to make us better receivers, to enlarge our capacities to receive not based on how deserving we think we are, but based solely on His grace to supply and give.

    I love what a good friend of ours said once. She said “I’m a hog for Jesus. I want everything He has to give me”. Now that doesn’t even sound religious does it? You know something? She is right. When people say “If God doesn’t do anymore for me other than die on the cross for my sin, He’s done enough”. Well that’s just religion gone wild. It’s stupidity at it’s highest.

    The problem with that is they don’t realize what is theirs through Christ. I am entitled to every single promise that is made to me by God in the scriptures. People who are weak in faith will say something like I quoted above to prevent themselves from looking proud or arrogant. They will embrace stupidity and call it humility.

    He’s the God of more than enough and too much. We can receive in abundance all He has provided, but because we are such poor receivers, when we do take, we take a little or just enough.

    We tell ourselves that its the polite and refined thing to do. Now, again, I’m not talking about hoarding and being greedy, especially at the buffet table! I’m talking about how God’s nature or style is to give you as much as you want.

    Remember at the feeding of the 5,000 in John 6:11–12.

    11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.”

    They ate “as much as they wanted” until “they were filled”! Everyone ate to his heart’s content! Maybe you have been told this: “It all depends on God’s will. Sometimes He supplies more, sometimes He supplies less. God works in mysterious ways.” Yet, when you read the Bible for yourself, you’ll find that God’s style is to give us as much as we want. The supply only stops when we say, “Enough, Lord! Stop!”

    Remember the story of the poor widow who was helped by Elisha? Here it is in the NLT. 2 Kings 4:1-7.

    1 One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.” “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” “Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.

    Elisha, like God, asked What do you have? God will always use what you have and then multiply it. Look at her answer. She said NOTHING, except… The things we have may seem like nothing, but to God it’s more than enough to build upon.

    And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors.

    Here’s another great scriptural truth. Don’t forget your friends and neighbors when you are in need. Get as many empty jars as you need. The things you have or can borrow may seem empty, but to God they are already full.

    Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.” So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another.

    The sons kept bringing jars to her and she kept filling them.

    Soon every container was full to the brim!

    “Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons. “There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.

    When did God’s provision stop? When they quit bringing demand (empty jars to be filled) to Him. When you stop declaring provision for your need, that’s when God stops supplying. Oh His provision for more is still there. You just are the “ye of little faith” and stopped taking or receiving.

    I believe if they could have or would have continued to bring empty jars, God’s provision of oil would have continued to flow.

    When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”

    Did you catch that? Pay your debts and you and your sons CAN live on what is left over. When Jesus fed the 5,000 there were leftovers. Here we see the more than enough supply of God to provide leftovers for them to live on after paying the bills. He’s the God of more than enough and too much.

    What does He require of us? Nothing but to receive with thanksgiving. In God’s kingdom, the supply never runs out. It only stops, as far as you are concerned, when you tell God to stop supplying. You decide.

    God as Father continues to give lavishly and freely to you. What allows Him to do this is His Son’s finished work at the cross. God does not give with a miserly hand. He is not cheap or stingy. God loves you and His love gives. His love over-supplies.

    Your part is just to exercise faith by taking from God. Taking from God is simply putting a demand on what is due to you, because of what He did for you. When you understand this revelation of receiving through grace, you’ll be able to see His loving heart and generous supply when others see only the demand.

    When you realize that it’s all about God’s love and undeserved favor toward you, you’ll be thanking God all the time. Instead of complaining and being stressed out when you are demand-centered, you’ll be at rest and have more than enough to give to others. Make the correct choice to live in the realm of God’s constant supply and lavish love for you. God loves to give and He loves to see His children receive. James 1:17 reads “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow”. Grace and Peace.