Over the past week or so, a number of believers connected to faith-based organizations around the world have shared their needs and requested financial support. I did not feel led to donate to any of these causes even though the need is there. I stated this to the ones soliciting and received various manipulative responses instead of spiritually humble, yielded ones.
In each case, God helped me see that these people were following their own agenda and not God’s. What God wanted me to do was to point out that they need to rely on Him for help and provision and not their own efforts. Needless to say, this did not go over well. There were subsequent protests that God sends people like me to help them and that God rewards those that give.
I truly want to be obedient to God and His will, so I started asking myself questions like “Why do you give?” and “What makes the difference between choosing to give in one case and declining in another, especially when the needs are similar or even the same?”
Simply put, I give when God leads me to in the amount He leads me to give. That I have anything is because He has blessed me, and I truly want to be His blessing to others. I don’t give to get anything from God or any person. I give because that’s God’s way, and I want His way to be my way.
Some can be obnoxious in their demands and think that their need is the greatest. Thing is, almost all think their need is the greatest and deserves top priority, and they will do whatever it takes to literally strongarm the person into giving. Sometimes, God leads me to end my relationship with that person or organization in various ways. I know God doesn’t need me to provide for anyone financially. When He does lead me to do that kind of giving, it serves a purpose, and that can vary from showing God’s love to being a witness as to what Godly giving is all about. I am here to do His will and not mine or anyone else’s.
Scripture says God loves a cheerful giver. That means He loves it when we are generous with our giving and that we give whole-heartedly. We are not forced or coerced into giving. Is that how you give? Is that why you give? Or do you give out of obligation or thinking that you have to do so? I give because God wants me to, and I want to do what He wills or wants. That’s not coercion. That’s choice.
Pray with me, please: Father God, help us all to be the kind of cheerful giver that pleases You. Help us to know when it is Your will that we give generously and wholeheartedly. Help us to follow the lead of God the Holy Spirit in our giving and in all aspects of our lives so that Your will is done and not ours. Thanks for hearing the cries of those in need and providing for those needs, whether it be through us or others or from You directly. Help all of us to turn to You for every need and trust You to provide, perhaps in ways that we do not expect. Help those who fundraise to follow Your lead and to work where You work. In Jesus’ name, amen.
copyright 2015, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved