How are you? Hope you had or are having a good day today?
In addition to my previous blog, “Financial Blessing,” today I would like to write more on finance. Have you read a George Mueller book, Answers to Prayer? I’ve not read it yet, but I wish I would read it this year. I’ve heard of him and his book, Answers to Prayer many times through sermons and other authors’ books, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I heard and read that he never reached out to people to be able to feed the orphans he looked after but only prayed to the Lord. And miraculously he was provided for daily living. I remember a story of him and Preacher, Charles Spurgeon, but can’t recall the source for now. One day when Charles Spurgeon got to know that he didn’t get the fund he had been praying for, he visited George Mueller, knowing George got it, and saw his cushion he had been using for prayers, which was worn out. Charles Spurgeon said to George Mueller, “Now, I know why the Lord gave the fund to you.”
In 2019, I read a Korean missionary’s book and listened to his sermons online. He shared his testimony in his book on the time when he needed around US$5 million for the project to build an international university. He thought of George Mueller and decided he wouldn’t share the need for the money with anyone and any church. He chose to trust in the Lord to provide for the project He Himself initiated. Later, bills continued to pile up on his desk, but he had nothing from the outset. Many volunteers who gathered to partner with him looked at him and waited for him to find some ways. Yet he kept on praying for it, not disclosing the need to anyone. Miraculously, some people he knew came to him and gave him offerings, not knowing his need. He started to see miracles, yet he still had a lot to pay for. One day, a man came to him and said, “Brother, does the number 113 mean anything to you? When I prayed, the Lord gave me a heart that you are in financial need. My wife and I prayed together over it and we got the number 113.” And the missionary said to him, “Yes, I need US$1,130,000 dollars for a bill.” It was the Lord’s miraculous provision through His children. Later, the last bill for the remaining US$1 million was also provided by the Lord and he said, “We had no debt for the project, not even US$1. It was all provided by the Lord.” And he also wrote about His perfect timing. The fund started to be provided when the currency of the country where he worked got weak. I believe the Lord provided it at a later, but perfect timing, to test the missionary’s faith and to make the best use of the exchange rate of the currency, as He is the God of economy too. I believe it would require great faith for George Mueller and the missionary to totally trust in Him in finance.
I think Pastor Robert Morris mentioned about manipulation in his book “The Blessed Life.” He wrote something like some people use manipulation, not trusting the Lord on material provision. And he wrote the people who have the gift in giving can discern who uses manipulation. A few days ago, I happened to read Dr. Kevin Zadai’s article, “The Heavenly Mechanics Behind Christian Giving” that I saved in my mobile phone back in 2019. I would like to share part of his message which I think is so important in our giving:
Before any meeting where an offering might be collected, the best thing to do is to pray ahead of time before that meeting.
One good strategy is to simply inquire of the Lord, "What am I going to be giving tonight?" Asking this question before attending a meeting helps ensure that a person will follow the Scriptures. It also helps circumvent any manipulation that may come from those in the meeting through the offering message or any other situation.
A Believer needs to take precautions so that he or she is not being manipulated into giving. In Corinthians, Paul spoke concerning preparation of the offering before a meeting took place. If a Christian will determine ahead of time what he or she will give, then he or she will feel comfortable with the gift that is given. He or she will already have heard from the Lord concerning the offering to give, and then the giving will be done in faith.
I follow this strategy. The Lord will speak to me concerning the offering, and then I ask my wife, "What is the Lord laying upon your heart to give?" Her response is almost always exactly the same figure that I have heard from the Lord. Almost one hundred percent of the time, the amount that I am led to give and the amount that my wife says we are to give are identical. Therefore, in that manner, the Lord confirms the amount that we are to give completely! And that confirmation gives us freedom and the opportunity to rejoice in our gifts!
A Christian is to enjoy giving and not allow anyone to take that joy by making a gift compulsory. In other words, a Believer must not allow the pressure from others to take the joy of giving from them by submitting to that pressure to give. …
Christians must never give offerings when there is pressure to comply. One's purpose to give must not be a response to pressure, but rather a response to the Lord and an expression of love toward Him.
As I shared in my previous blog, “Unmasking the Witchcraft,” Derek Prince wrote in his book, “The Coming Revival” that unmasking the witchcraft in church is one of the keys to the coming revival, and manipulation is witchcraft. I’m sharing again what he wrote in the book on the definition of witchcraft the Lord gave to him:
Witchcraft is the attempt to control people and get them to do what you want by the use of any spirit that is not the Holy Spirit.’
Then He gave me an additional insight:
If anyone has a spirit that he or she can ‘use,’ it is not the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is God, and no one uses God.
Sadly, even in churches, there are people who are under the witchcraft spirit. We must discern the voice of the Holy Spirit and obey the Spirit of truth, not the witchcraft. Not only churches, but individuals can use manipulation to get what they need or want. So, I think we should ask for discernment and give to the Lord out of cheerful hearts.
I would like to share another story of the missionary that I wrote earlier in this blog. He and his family had a sabbatical year in the US, after serving the Lord in Mongolia. When he left Mongolia, the Lord told him to give everything he earned and had in there to the people in Mongolia and he obeyed the Lord. When he spent a sabbatical year in the US and was about to leave the country soon, a young male student in a Korean church in there who knew his story in Mongolia came to him and said, “I heard the Lord speaking that you must give your car away to me when you leave here.” And I think the missionary’s answer to him was wise. He said to the student, “Brother, if it’s the Lord’s will for me to give away my car to you, He would definitely let me know too.” And he wrote that his car was given to another person, before his departure from the US.
Personally, I had some good and bad experiences related to giving. I gave offerings a few times to a ministry, not being voluntary or out of a cheerful heart, but out of pressure. The minister approached me in person, “Please pray and do according to what the Holy Spirit spoke to you.” In all honesty, I gave the offering to the ministry, fearing the minister. Of course, I don’t respect those who use manipulation and I’m not part of the ministry anymore for other reason. I repented of giving out of pressure. Yet, I had good testimonies when I was truly led by the Holy Spirit and gave to those who never used manipulation. I got to know from them only after my giving, that their needs were miraculously and timely met and they all said, “You were led by the Holy Spirit. Thank you for obeying the Lord.” In giving without being manipulated, there was always joy and thanks and praise to the Lord in both giver and receiver. And I do respect those who completely trust the Lord like George Muller.
I wanted to share the story of George Mueller and others to encourage you to put the total trust in the Lord when you are in need, and also to give to Him out of a cheerful heart, not out of pressure or being manipulated. I pray that you and I ask the Lord for discernment, and we are always led by the Holy Spirit and become cheerful, hilarious givers, in Jesus’ name.
Have a bliss!
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14~15)