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
"Be assured and understand that the trial and proving
of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and
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
"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!
see more of Shellie R. Warren at doenetwork.com. To receive
her daily devotional or contact her send an email to email@example.com.