Good Girl Book Club



Inspirational Insights

Plant the Seed (continued)
by Shellie R. Warren


Is it because God needs our money, or anything that we have to offer for that matter? OF COURSE NOT. It is because God knows that if we are willing to step out on faith and give Him the best that we have, then He can trust us enough to give the best that He has to offer.

Think about it. If someone told you that they loved you more than anyone else, but they would spend time with you only after they see fifteen of their other friends, you would question their true desire for your company. It is not because you don't think that they love you. Its not because you don't love them. Its because you are not a priority in their lives---their actions prove it, and it is hard to give your all to someone who you cannot trust to do the same for you. No matter what they say about their loyalty to you, their actions show otherwise.

Well, since we are made in the image of God, so why wouldn't we expect Him to be the same way? When we give Him our best---our firstfruits---we are showing that that He is number one in our lives, no matter what else demands our attention.

But when you think about it, firstfruits should be pretty easy. I mean, if you don't have anything else to give, you have that. If your check is $50, $1500 or $15,000, before you spend it on anything, there is something there to give to the Lord. But
what happens after you have paid your tithes, paid your bills and purchased your necessities, you're running on financial fumes and God still requires you to give? What do you do then?

Well, according to God's instructions and the story found in the verses for today, you still give---even if it means that you have to go without...initially. So often we read stories found in the Bible like they are good fiction to read at bedtime, rather than factual non-fiction for our personal reference in our daily living.

The woman in I Kings was like a lot of us. Perhaps, if you modernized the story, she was a college student just barely surviving on Ramen noodles or a single mother with rice and beans to last a week. Most of us have been at this same place one time or another in our lives, but could you imagine someone coming to you and asking for a meal, when that was all you had?

I'm sure most of us would feel completely comfortable and justified in refusing them or referring them to someone else, because hey, its a cruel world out there, and if we don't take care of ourselves, who will? Besides, you are having to figure out how to survive, so why shouldn't others have to do the same?

Trust me when I say that this selfish mentality is a set up---pure and simple. God gets no glory out of
us starving while we serve Him. As a matter of fact, at the times when it is hardest to give, the greater the harvest will be. Why? Because it is at these times when He is seeing if faith is motivating us, or our flesh. However, when it is faith, the sky's the limit. James 1:3&4 reminds us of this
fact:

"Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing."

"Well, that's all well and good, but why do I often have to fulfill a need where I too am needy?"

Look at it this way. What better place to sow seed than in a desolate garden? Sometimes we have an overabundance in one area, and very little in another because we plant our seeds only in certain areas in our lives.

For instance, I have tons and tons of clothes. I also have no problem giving them away. As a result, I never seem to run out. However, I am in need of a new car. Other than family and close friends, I can pretty much count the times I have picked someone up or dropped them off. I have not sown nearly as much seed when it comes to my automobile, as I have with my clothes.

I'll give you another example. There are several publications for which I write for free. As a result, God has opened more and more doors for me to receive paying gigs. However, I don't spend nearly as much time as I should praying for other people and their needs. I have not sown nearly as much seed of intercession for others as I have for my writing career. If I want prayers to be answered on my behalf, I must sown seeds of prayer in the lives of others.

This philosophy can be applied in so many areas. If you want a new home, help others when they move into theirs. If you want to travel more, provide ways for others to get where they need to go. If you want a spouse, celebrate and support those who are in relationships. If you want children, help those who are already parents or young people who need mentoring. If you want answers to your own prayers, stand in the gap for others.

When God asks you to make a sacrifice, it is not so you can suffer, but actually so that you can have your needs---and wants met, even sooner than you may think. Don't let the Enemy fool you. If you find yourself having to give in an area that is challenging for you, be assured that God is going to bless you in abundance, specifically in that area because that is where you planted good seed into the lives of others. No matter how things appear, God has to, because His Word said He would, and His Word is true.

So today, rather than worrying about what you are going to get next Wednesday, or even what you are going to give to the expected ones on your list, ask God how you can plant seed into the areas in your life for which you are most in need, and then watch how He moves.

The seed He requires you to plant may surprise you...but its no where near the harvest that will come to you as a direct result of your obedience!

About the Author

You can see more of Shellie R. Warren at doenetwork.com. To receive her daily devotional or contact her send an email to swarren99@yahoo.com.

ON A LITERARY NOTE

Review: Emma Dash

Emma Dash
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