The Lord has need of it…
Mark 11:3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.
We all know the story, how Jesus spoke to his disciples to go procure for Him a donkey for the triumphal entry, and told his disciples where to get one, and what to say to the owners.When the owners came out to see what was going on with a couple of guys apparently stealing their donkey, they were informed: ‘The Lord has need of it!”
Interesting verse, especially in today’s Christian culture.
Could you imagine a minister showing up in your driveway, and taking your car proclaiming: “The Lord has need of it?”
Yet, we say, that Jesus is Lord of our possessions, that we are only stewards of them.
Round here, all I can say, is the Lord better be speaking to you, or you’re going to get shot!
This verse exists, and I am convinced that God still speaks to His disciples to give certain things at certain times.
Problem is, we have all seen the excesses.
Prosperity preachers who prophesy money out of people’s pockets, clearly padding their own pockets, and giving the gospel a bad name.
Yet, there have been clear cases where God did speak to His servants to tell people to give, and they heard correctly.
Like my pastor, Billy Joe Daugherty, getting a word in prayer, that he was to claim a summer camp for youth, of at least 100 acres, and he was not to pay one dime for it. We call it Camp Victory now, and it is a remarkable testimony, how God did it.
Or when God spoke to us to believe for a second vehicle for my wife, and a couple came to the church, having just closed their driving school, asking God what to do with one of the cars. They learned of the need, and showed up at our house with a little Toyota Tercel, that we drove for several years. We had no idea they even had an extra car, much less were intending to give it to us.
Yet, on the other side, we all get the letters, you know the kind: “I was praying last night on my prayer rug, and the anointing fell from heaven, and flowed down my forehead, over my body, and into this rug. The Lord instructed be to cut this rug, endued with Holy Spirit power, into 1000 pieces, and to send it to 1000 people with the following instruction: Lay this upon your body, and you will be healed, and if you sow $99.95 into this ministry, when you receive this, you will receive $10,000.00 harvest in the next 9 months”
Could God have spoken to a man like that?
Sure He could. Did He?
1. You cannot buy a miracle. You can sow a seed, and believe God for increase, but notice that when hankerchiefs were sent forth from the apostle Paul for healing, he was simply moving in love and power to heal the sick. He was not taking up an offering.
- Judge the fruit of the person’s ministry. If they were using this gimmick this month, what will it be next month?
The American industrialist, Henry Ford, was once asked to donate money for the construction of a new medical facility. The billionaire pledged to donate $5,000. The next day in the newspaper, the headline read, “Henry Ford contributes $50,000 to the local hospital.” The irate Ford was on the phone immediately to complain to the fund-raiser that he had been misunderstood. The fund-raiser replied that they would print a retraction in the paper the following day to read, “Henry Ford reduces his donation by $45,000.” Realizing the poor publicity that would result, the industrialist agreed to the $50,000 contribution in return for the following: That above the entrance to the hospital was to be carved the biblical inscription: “I came among you and you took me in.”
Bits & Pieces, March 3, 1994, pp. 1-2
I am not cynical about giving, like every Christian, I love to give. It is the nature of God, for God so loved the world that He gave…yet I preached a message recently entitled, ‘Be led, not bled”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x13nAPRbCE
I believe in vision based giving. Where a man or woman of God receives a visionary directive from God, then using common sense and sound business practice, they investigate how much what they believe God has called them to do is going to cost them, and they make the need known.
In the meantime, strong Christians and ministries are working the unshakable principals of the kingdom of God: Tithing, sowing financial seed, aggressively believing, and placing pressure on promises, not people.
God must honor His Word, but how He does it, is up to Him.
I have been thinking about the work of the Holy Spirit in all this too.
When God sent Elijah to Zerephath, 1 Kings 17:8 ¶ And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.
Similar situation I’d say. God had spoken to Elijah, and He also had spoken to the widow woman. Had they not both obeyed, things could have been pretty rough for both of them. God had the provison of the widow and the prophet on his mind.
Notice the key in my mind to the whole account, God spoke to both the woman, AND the prophet!
Much can be said here, but I will end with this thought: While God governs by principals, He speaks individually to people.
It is a relationship He requires, not religion. He is alive!
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
No matter what the emotional plea, the screaming financial need of a sin sick, hurting earth, we are only responsible to give what Jesus tells us personally.
If someone shows up at my door asking for money, generally, my answer is no, unless He should speak to me.
And speak He has!
I cannot count the times, we have had the privilege of God to meet human needs!
Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive! There is wonderful joy in giving!
When I owned my companies, and would receive the countless support letters sent out by various ministries, I would carefully open them, and place the reply letter on my shelf. When we were paid on various contracts, and there was some money in the bank, I would take down this sheaf of envelopes, and get quiet before God to see what He might have me do financially for any of them.
Sometimes, He would instruct me to give our men a bonus, or buy a new tool, or take my wife out to eat, but often, regularly, I would write checks to many of these ministries, sometimes sacrificially, as part of my worship towards God. He fully understood the long hours worked to earn the money, the battles fought, the fatigue, frustration, pressure, and sacrifice we had endured to earn the money.
In those moments of giving, I had a fresh insight into the verse:
Rom 12:1 ¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Giving, at those times was a deep sacrifice between me and God, worship, only He and I fully understood. Truly, He understands the long hours, stress, sweat, and brutal deadlines met, that produces the money, and this is our sacrifice…
Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure; where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness.
Yet, whatever a man sows, he must also reap. As I step out again on this well worn gospel trail, I am convinced that those sacrificial seeds, will richly provide the needs of this family, and this ministry…
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
‘Father, you have created us all uniquely with different jobs to do to develop us, support our families, and to build your kingdom. As we see the next season approaching, may we remain faithful where we are, carefully hearing your voice, and living in obedience to you, daily. Shepherd, pastor; lead, feed, grow, and speak to me today Lord Jesus, Amen’