The subjects of worship and giving cannot be separated. Worship encompasses both the spiritual aspect of loving God, spirit, soul and body, but also the tangible worship to God with giving of our material substance and time. In fact if you consider both the Tabernacle of Moses and Solomon, the people first had to give both financially and of their time and talents to build the places of worship. God asked them to first sacrifice their wealth in order to build a place of worship. Man will worship either God or himself. When he worships God he will put God ﬁrst, but when he worships himself, he will put himself ﬁrst. Whoever he puts ﬁrst (worship) is where he will prioritize his stewardship (resources, time and money). What we do with our material resources and our time is a reﬂection of our worship. When the focus of the Church is to worship and serve God we will see the outpouring of God’s Spirit in an unprecedented way. The church’s most prosperous time is when we prioritize Him and His kingdom, giving worship and unselﬁsh service to build the kingdom. The church in the past has been so occupied with the gifts that God can provide to meet our needs (and there is nothing wrong with this), but things are changing and we are realizing the awesome power of God at our disposal to meet the needs of those also outside the church. We have to be ‘giving conscious’ and this begins in the worshiping heart before it is expressed in the giving hand. However the mindset toward prosperity is the key.
I once heard a preacher say, “The last great satanic stronghold to be overcome in the Body of Christ is the spirit of poverty”. I found this very thought provoking and true, because there is very little that can be done without the availability of finances. Financial lack is a heavy burden that negatively affects our freedom as individuals and ability to extend God’s kingdom. I define prosperity and poverty as follows. Prosperity is not the state of having, but the expectation of increase, so that you generously give what you have in tithes and offerings as an act of worship.
Poverty is not the state of not having, but the fear of not getting so you hold on to what you have. It’s not the amount of money you possess that makes you rich or poor but the spirit that you have allowed to influence and control your attitude toward it. If you have renewed your mind in God’s word to the place of trusting Him to prosper you, there will be no room (in your mind) for thoughts of lack or poverty to rule your decisions to give into His kingdom. Beloved I pray that you prosper and be in health, just as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2). If however there is doubt about God’s ability to prosper you when you give, you will feel the need to control your finances yourself without considering God’s commands to give freely and joyfully. When the mind is renewed to God’s principles of prosperity, the way we handle money becomes a blessing.
Money is a blessing but it’s also a test of ones stewardship. We are commanded to honor God with our possessions and the increase of all our ﬁrst fruits (Proverbs 3:9). We are also instructed to freely give (2 Corinthians 9:7, Matthew 10:8). God has given His children the power (ability) to obtain wealth in order to establish His kingdom (Deuteronomy 8:18). He tests our stewardship in relation to how we build His kingdom with personal wealth as an act of worship. Many commentators agree that one in six verses in the New Testament deals with stewardship (the way we handle what we’ve been given), which suggests that our spiritual environment is affected by the way we steward our possessions. The Bible say’s the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). This lends one to think that there could possibly be more demonic activity associated with stewardship than any other area. Money is not the root of evil but our attitude toward it can result in evil. When God’s people give, the church will move into a tremendous time of prosperity characterised by God’s presence and abundance, resulting in a great harvest of souls into the kingdom. God is moving His people to become generous stewards of His kingdom in such a way that we can hardly imagine the blessings it will bring both to the church and the individual.
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