Incline Your Ear, God wants to bless YOU!

 At a time when so many families feel financially destitute and hopeless, it can be hard to imagine that silver lining. But the mind is a battlefield. The enemy is really busy and will do what he can to redirect our focus away from God.

Let’s remember the promises of long ago. Deuteronomy 28:1-14 provides a long list of benefits that result from our obedience to God, but let’s look specifically at verse 11: “The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity – in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground – in the land He swore to your forefathers to give you.” (NIV)

In Genesis 13:6, Abram and Lot experienced that prosperity – so much that they had to spread out to be better able to manage their possessions. Let’s explore God’s desire to bless us.

God recognizes our lack

The first thing to realize is that God knows what we are going though. It may feel like God has abandoned us when the hard times come, but He is always with us. Nothing that we experience is ever outside of God’s knowledge or permission.

Yes, God allows us to experience rough patches. Sometimes, we cause the problem, and other times we just feel the consequences of another person’s actions.

But God has promised never to leave us or forsake us. In Joel 2:24-26, He also promises us restoration: “The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.” (NIV)

To Him be the glory

Did you catch the end of that verse? Let me repeat it.

“…and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you…” Things may have gone from good to horrible, but God will bring us out on the other side.

When He does, there will be no doubt where the glory lies. God wants to make sure we know that coming out of this mess is not going to be of our doing. He will work the wonders for us. God wants all the credit.

Glory and generosity

Paul not only talks about God’s desire for the glory in 2 Corinthians 9:10-11, but he also gives us insight into why God blesses us to overflow: “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (NIV)

God gives us in abundance so that we can, in turn, bless others. When we bless others, people are able to see Jesus’ light in us. We may be the only image of Jesus some people ever see.

Proverbs 3:9-10 tells us to “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (NIV)

Luke 6:38 tell us, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV)

The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) shows us how important it is to God that we properly manage everything that He entrusts to us. If we were not being faithful stewards over our resources before, it is never too late to start.

It’s not about us

The financial struggles may hurt, but we have to remember that our lives are not our own. It’s not about us. God has each of us where we are for a reason. Are we going through this lesson to correct a personal fault or to be a testimony to someone else who needs to hear from us?

During these tough times, we have to remember that the battle has already been won. We know we have the victory. God looked out for His chosen people in Jerusalem, and He will do the same for us. Zechariah 1:17 says, “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity.'” (NIV) Don’t give the enemy the satisfaction of distracting you. Stay focused and keep pressing through.

O. J. Bonnette & “The WIN International Ministries” Team