A Storm is ComingIt has been a little over a week since I sent out a request for help in hearing from God about the issue of investing in His kingdom before the storm. I am very grateful for the five responses I received. I include them here for your edification; and to encourage you to join us in the conversation.

  1. Well, as a European living in Geneva, it seems to me that we have to be aware of the principalities ruling our continents. Above Asia a dragon is seated, and Christians have to fight against violence and often pay it with their blood. Over Europe, a prostitute is seated, Christians have to fight against desire, bad feelings, seduction and have a lack of vision and light. Over America is Mammon, asking to pay attention about money in many different ways. As an American Christian, being generous is taking position against this spirit and choosing to serve God, as no one can serve both Mammon and God, being lightened in his eye (which means being generous in Hebrew). Sorry for my English, I am French speaking .
  2. Have you ever looked at the images that the Hubble space telescope takes? God owns it all. He doesn’t need our so called wealth. It is nothing to Him. But He is interested in our heart, our attitude. Our shallow faith shows itself as we forget the promises of the Bible and imagine ourselves in a state of poverty after having given away too much. Malachi 3:10 is still true. If it’s read you will see God asking for a tithe not all your wealth. If He is asking for more than a tithe, He is concerned about your trust. Is it in Him or your money? He doesn’t say, ” I’ll shower you with blessings when you tithe but not if you go over one tenth. I’m not made of money!”

    I’ve spent 30 years in the insurance business. With the condition of our economy and the weakness of the dollar, we just might want to give it away while it has some value. It changes the entire way we look at money. The Bible says to put our wealth in heaven “where thieves don’t break in and steal.” Today, inflation, taxes and the confiscation of money by various agencies are the thieves. I have ZERO confidence in bank accounts, 401k’s and IRA’s. If you want to be able to help your family and the “poor” in the future, store food and silver.

    Silver and gold are interesting in the fact that for several years the price has been pushed down by the powers that be. Don’t be fooled. The silver and gold mentioned in the Bible are still real money. Silver and gold being low priced does not mean the dollar is strong. I’ve sold silver for several years and though the price is being manipulated now, it won’t go on forever.
    Sorry to drone on so long, but we are facing times that have no precedent. Don’t be shocked when we see the evaporation of home values, 401k’s, bank accounts and pensions. But God is still God. Nothing surprises Him. He still owns everything that our eyes and our telescopes can see.

  3. Rob, I believe I hear the sincerity of your heart in your recent article.  What we are looking at is quite challenging to say the least.  It is very tempting to believe that we are handling all our “talents” in a wise and godly way, if we simply are tithing, giving when prompted, caring for our household and seeing “increase” via interest or return on investment.  However, as you – I believe – are suggesting, there is more to it than that.

    For my wife and I, we are very hand-to-mouth, as they say.  It would be easy for me to believe that since I don’t own my home, and don’t have savings/retirement, that the questions you are asking don’t apply to me.  But your foundational point – that even without those things (home equity and savings/retirement) – we are still wealthy is an unmistakable truth.  I eat 3 meals a day – have 3 vehicles – have a home (despite it being a rental) – I have income – I have skills.  What do I do with these?  Am I generous with them?

    Despite living paycheck to paycheck, we often cover the cost of meals for friends – especially – but not exclusively – when it is ministry/discipleship.  We have loaned our 3rd vehicle out when we encounter someone in the Kingdom who has no means of transportation.  We give our time and skills to help others when we see need.  We presently have even opened our home up to a 33-year old single mom and her 8-year old who have nowhere to call home right now.  We hardly have enough groceries for the 2 of us (especially after routinely helping our adult son & adult daughter with their frequent shortages financially), but we are sharing with her and her son, and know that the Lord will provide.  Our water and electric bill has gone up with them saying… but that is okay, the Lord will provide.  She can use our 3rd vehicle, but we help her with gas.

    I am tempted to say what I think I would do [in your situation] … but I don’t know really.  I do know that there are many saints to our left and right that, despite being wealthy compared to much of the planet, are waiting on a miracle to come, so that they can buy groceries, buy school supplies & cloths for their kids, make the rent/mortgage payment, and so on.

    I am a firm believer that God gives some excess, so that they can meet the needs of those who have want… you don’t have to look far to find them.  There are pastors preaching the gospel of the Kingdom that are struggling to make ends meet with a dwindling congregation.  There are gifted and talented ministers who, if they just had some funds, could do amazing things for the Kingdom.

    But, the quandry is simple – if you don’t do what you have heard Father say to do, it is sin (disobedience); and yet if you do what you haven’t heard Him say, it too is sin (lawlessness).

    I have mostly rambled… but I wanted to reply to your writing… maybe somewhere in here is some helpful words…

  4. Brother Rob,

    I would not attempt to respond by email or text to such a loaded and complex set of questions.

    I believe the Lord has entrusted you with much. The impact the Map Maker and workbook are having is benefitting the kingdom already.

    With respect to gifts and especially wealth I believe the Lord has expended many to you. I believe He expects us to exercise faith (Hebrews 11) in the use of them. The great men and women of Faith were not given exacting or copious direction. It seems to me, the Lord expected them to step out in faith to exercise the wisdom and knowledge they had gained in choosing how their entrusted talents are invested; Sort of, in all your ways acknowledge Me and I will make your paths straight.

    My experience is that God does not dictate everything. He reveals Himself to me and who I am to Him and beckons me to trust Him. In the midst of that trust relationship I find that I become necessarily yielded to His all knowing will and am given the liberty to move freely.

    If that doesn’t make since and you want to pursue it further, buy me lunch. 🙂

    The Lord be with you.

  5. My comments / answers to your questions and responding in the order you have given them:

    God gave much to us so we could be a blessing to others for their sake in Jesus’ name.

    Only God knows the answer to that one. We have done NOTHING ‘more’ above another child of God that we should be so blessed. We were, however, born in a country (the US) whose founders believed even more strongly than our generation that goodness can be exercised in a country where freedom of religion flourishes. That just might be the key. If other countries really had freedom of religion, they might have the opportunities that we take for granted. (Do dictators promote freedom of religion?)

    Yes. I think that would be the Lord’s greatest desire for us, to invest in things of life that are important to Him.

    Sad to say, but ‘yes’.

    Probably. But remember, our founding Fathers had no problem with this. Their honor was at stake: they believed God and were willing to die for a cause much greater than each of them individually (FREEDOM!). Some people ‘want’ to believe the prosperity gospel because it appeals to them: you give to God and God gives back. (But, I can’t help but reflect on Hebrews 11 where a LOT of folks [millions of them] have been persecuted for their faith. They would rather die as long as they knew their reward was not in this life, but in the next.)

    Not impossible for those folks will lots of money who strongly believe and give and give to those missions they are passionate about but perhaps a struggle for those who ‘love’ what money can ‘buy’. Unfortunately, it is not happiness. Jesus said it Himself: the love of money is the root of all evil.

    Time to reflect on what is really important: Rewards, here or hereafter? Are we working to save money for our retirement, or working for the words we long to hear in eternity: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

As you can see, these are very challenging and encouraging responses. I hope and pray you will hear the LORD as He speaks to you through them. We are in a very strategic time for the church. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. Our great and mighty God can be trusted above all things.

Humbly yours and forever His,