FROM PASTOR'S DESK 2021 Pastor's Desk

How you hinder His provisions | Pst. J.O. Lawal

Now one of the things that can hinder the flow of God’s provisions into our lives or our access to His provisions for us is stinginess, stinginess to God and to the people He wants us to be generous to. For instance, in addressing

Date: July 04, 2021 | Number: Vol. 10, No. 9

Beloved: grace and peace be yours immeasurably from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. It is with great joy that I welcome you to the first week of the month of July 2021. And I pray that you will be kept from doing anything in the month that will hinder the flow of God’s provisions into your life and home, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Now one of the things that can hinder the flow of God’s provisions into our lives or our access to His provisions for us is stinginess, stinginess to God and to the people He wants us to be generous to. For instance, in addressing His people through Prophet Haggai, God says the following:

“”Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.”” (Hag 1:7-11NIV)

Did you see that? God, in this bible text, is taking responsibility for the failure and poverty that His people are experiencing. In other words, He is the one preventing them from experiencing His blessings in their lives and affairs. But why? As He points out, it is because they are not generous to Him. All of them are busy building their own houses and taking care of their personal businesses. But they will not do the same for the house of God in their midst. They just won’t commit their time or resources to building it. Therefore, they began to experience labour loss. And as God further tells them, until they repent and start using their time and resources to build His temple, things will not get any better for them.

In like manner, if we too ignore the work of God’s kingdom, if we will not commit our time and resources to doing it, we will block the flow of His blessings in our lives. Yes, He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3). However, we can hinder the activity of His blessings in our lives through selfishness and stinginess. So, though we are blessed beyond measure, we may also find ourselves being frustrated beyond measure in life, that is, because of our stinginess.

Also, speaking through Malachi, God accuses His people of stealing from Him by not being faithful in bringing their tithes and offerings to take care of His priests, the poor people in the land and the strangers among them. That means when we keep for ourselves what God wants us to give out to others, we are stealing from Him. How, then, are we going to steal God’s properties and still expect His blessings to freely flow in our lives? It won’t work. (Cf. Malachi 3:8-12)

Furthermore, God says that even when these people bring Him offerings, it is blind, lame and diseased offerings they bring to Him. Think about it. These people are so shameless that they bring to God things they will not offer to their bosses, governors or even in-laws. And this gets Him so angry that He tells them to just shut the doors of their temple altogether and stop bringing Him useless sacrifices and offerings. If He, then, considers what they are bringing to Him as useless, will He reward them for it? No! (Cf. Malachi 1:6-14)

In the same vein, if we too are stealing from God by not being generous to the people He has commanded us to be generous to, we will be shutting the windows of His provisions against ourselves, as the people of Malachi’s day were doing. And if we are giving for His work or to those He wants us to give to blind, lame and diseased offerings (things that are beneath us and beneath His grace on our lives), we will have no reward from Him for our giving, whether here on earth or in His eternal kingdom. How sad would it be, then, if I found out someday that all my giving had been done in vain? It would be really sad.

But then, someone may say, “But the bible says we are to give on the basis of what we have and not what we do not have. And that is what I am doing. Why, then, should God or anyone say that I am not giving enough?” True talk! But that person must also understand that God knows everything we have. So, He can tell when what we are giving out of what we have is something beneath His grace on our lives. And when that is the case, we are cheating Him and so can get nothing from Him for our giving. Therefore, pay close attention to your devotion to generosity because God is also paying close attention to it. And I pray that He will always find you faithful in these matters, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do have a pleasant week.

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