by Ronald L Taylor
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him? Therefore all things, whatever you desire that men should do to you, do even so to them….” Matthew 7:11-12
Although the Lord does not withhold provision from us, as His children, we should ask of Him concerning our needs. Then we can express our thanks, when He responds.
Whatever we may need, we are to first sow to the Lord, believing that He will multiply it back to us – not just the seed that was sown, but many times more. No farmer would plant seeds in order to harvest the same amount as was sown. Rather, he expects an increase of sixty, or a hundred fold.
Some believers expect to harvest a crop of financial blessings, yet they have failed to first plant seed. They may say, “When my ship comes in, I will give thousands for your ministry.” I then wonder if they had sent their ship out, as they fail to give from the resources they presently have.
I have a friend, an only brother with several sisters, who plants good seed. These sisters live in scattered locations, but he feels responsible for them. One day, as he was driving along the highway, he noticed a woman whose car had a flat tire.
He thought, “If this were one of my sisters, I would help her, so I cannot do less now.” He stopped and changed the tire. A short time later, he received word that one of his sisters had been in the same situation, alone and in need of help. A stranger stopped and changed her tire. His good seed had borne fruit. This is the law of sowing and reaping in action.
“But I say this, He who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully… Now He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for eating, may He supply and multiply your seed, and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” II Corinthians 9:6, 10
Notice that it is the Lord who provides, and that He provides two things; seed for sowing, and bread for eating. We will never get beyond having our basic needs met, if we do not sow seed. If we eat the seed, there will be nothing to plant and therefore, no increase.
“For the Lord your God brings you into a good land….” Deuteronomy 8:7
This was a sure word, and in the Lord’s eyes, it was as good as done. But the Lord expected a response from them, as He does from us.
“And you shall eat and be satisfied, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God….” Deuteronomy 8:10-11
Along with this, we should consider verses 15-16:
“He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground, where there was no water; who brought you forth water out of the rock of flint who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, so that He might humble you and so that He might prove you, to do you good in your latter end.”
Often, the path to His provision is through dry places.
We must look at the Lord’s long-term plan, and be willing to go through tribulation in order to reach the promised land. Otherwise, we may quit part way through, saying, “I did not count on this when I began this spiritual journey.”
We are told in Verse 18:
“But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth….”
How does the Lord do this? The key is in our attitude regarding work.
Paul says in Colossians 3:23:
“And whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” NIV
Here then is the key to our having an overflow: give with a generous, glad heart instead of looking to receive. Work is not the result of man’s failure in the Garden of Eden. Adam was given work to do as a keeper of the Garden, long before sin entered. Probably, there were no weeds in the Garden of Eden before the fall, but there was work – good, wholesome, gratifying work.
If you do your work as unto the Lord; you will be both diligent and skillful in all you do. Christians who are sloppy in their work bring discredit to their Lord.
“Do you see a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings….” Proverbs 22:29
With promises like this, it behooves us to work heartily as unto the Lord, and then look to Him for His provision.
First, the Lord will arrange our circumstances. He will make a way through the impossible, as we align ourselves with Him.
Second, the Lord will allow us to go through a time of testing and humbling – through dry places where there are many snakes and scorpions, and the occasional blessing. He is more interested in what we are becoming, than in what we are doing.
Third, when we reach our promised land, we must not forget the Lord.
We may be sure that the Lord will take us through these three stages; for our own good and for His glory, but the end is assured as we head for the promised land and put these principles in operation.