6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
I have been in School of Prosperity for a while. In the last few months the Holy Spirit has been teaching me a whole lot of stuff about God’s thoughts on prosperity. I thought I had learnt all there was to learn when He brought something new to my attention.
Let me start from the beginning. My first encounter with sowing and reaping was in 1991. I had just finished my MBA from University of Lagos and was set to go into the world. It was towards the end of the year and my pastor came up with the idea of a blessing pact he wanted us to get into. My church was not one of those places where a separate sermon is preached for offering. Money was never overly discussed. So it was something different and special for all of us. He wanted us to sow towards a program for the poor which eventually became an annual event for our church.
So he asked people to make pledges at different levels. I was an unemployed graduate and very broke. I had no money and nowhere to go for money. My relationship with my father at the time was not very good, so asking him for money was out of the question. He stared from N50,000( just over current day $300), then 25, 10, 5 etc. I could not pledge any of those figures. Finally, he came to the lowest N500( just over $3), I could sign up. I did not have it and was shaking all over. But it was an act of faith. It was my only chance to be a part of this event towards the poor.
As I left church that same afternoon, a friend of mine offered me a temporary job for which I would earn exactly N500. I was so excited, that God came through for me so fast. I was able to get to work for the week and as soon as I was paid, I put the entire N500 into an envelope and took it to church the next Sunday. That is how I began my prosperity walk with God.
Soon after that, my pastor did a three year teaching on prosperity from which I learnt every imaginable thing about the subject. I was so happy because I had the keys to my prosperity. I just knew I would never lack, because I just needed to engage with God in my finances. For me it was my ultimate deliverance from people. I no longer needed people in my needs. God would meet my needs.
In all this time, the Lord would give me instructions to give all kinds of things, money, clothes, a car etc and I would obey. Sometimes I would give reluctantly, but I would. I thought I had perfected my giving skills until recently. He asked me to give something that was really dear to me. My husband gave them to me. What were they? Very expensive designer perfumes. The bottles were pieces of art. Their aromas were out of this world. And they had designer names-Gucci and Nina Ricci. And they were gifts from my husband really precious to me. I had barely used them, they were practically full. I just began to argue. That was what brought on my last class.
The Lord showed me how all the while I had been giving, I was giving because I had better stuff I was looking forward to. I could give out my little Toyota Corolla car because I was looking forward to a RAV4. I can give the RAV4 because I am looking forward to my state of the art BMW X6. But can I give out the X6? It is my dream car. The other cars were means to an end but the X6 is the ultimate car for me. Can I still give as willingly and joyfully as I used to. That was where I let the perfumes go.
One of the things my pastor taught about prosperity was that the widow with 2 coins gave more that others because she gave out of her lack. It gives the impression that sowing from prosperity is less than sowing from poverty. While giving out of lack is depriving the giver, giving out of prosperity also requires a different kind of deprivation. We must make decisions, either way. God expects us to respond, either way.
As I begin to really experience prosperity and begin to be able to afford stuff that were just dreams in the past, posh state of the art cars, jewelry, designer apparel, beach houses, holidays, expensive schools etc, I must respond just like I always did. The fact that they are up-market, expensive does not mean they cannot be sown. God will also make demands of me, at that level. The need to sow does not become less. So instead of giving a scholarship to a kid in local schools, He can demand you to give them foreign education. He does not care that the money can train many more kids locally, just do as He asks. My eyes opened to what had been going on in my heart. I was willing to let go of stuff because they were less than what I ultimately truly desired.
So I need a new mindset to give the stuff I really desire. I thought it was a timely lesson and felt I should share it. Because I know many of us are being prepared for this place of prosperity, I feel it is important to remember that nothing is too big for God to demand of us. I now understand why wealthy people are not as generous as you would expect. Having arrived at the point of their dreams, they cannot easily let go of their stuff. The believing wealthy people who do have probably been through this lesson at some point in their walks with God. I believe it is key to enter into the fullness of God’s prosperity.
I like today’s text as it defines prosperity right across board from the point God has to give seed to the sower, to the point where grace abounds towards us that we have sufficiency in all things. I believe that the verse that does it for me is verse 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. It does not matter if it is from a place of lack or prosperity.
I am not sure if this lesson makes as much sense to you as it did to me, but like I always say, I need to share my lessons so whoever is on my boat gets closer to God’s heart in the matter of prosperity. I gave out the perfumes but even more important, I learnt a crucial prosperity lesson for my next level. I wonder if the lessons will ever end? I kind of doubt it. Bless you. Ck