LORD your grace & mercy are more abundant than my dreams could ever imagine.
Sometimes I hear ministers and fellow laymen discourage others from thinking that the LORD is into material blessings so the people don't get their hopes shattered when they don't receive the desire of their heart. I used to believe that myself. I always wanted to give God an "out" in case He didn't answer my prayer with what I thought I needed... usually money to solve a problem. Sometimes that problem was one I had created myself through my own selfishness or impatience.
Many preachers of prosperity and wealth teach that there is no limit to what we can ask God for in material things. I don't know that I believe that to be true either. I know my God is not a genie in bottle to be rubbed just the right way and have miracles dropped all about me for my own pleasure.
Now here is what I do know... God's word is true. It always has been and always will be. Unlike us, He cannot lie.
19 God is not a man, so he does not lie.
He is not human, so he does not change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
Has he ever promised and not carried it through?"
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Nu 23:19). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
So the only thing I know to do is believe in what is already in His word. I'm not going by what anyone tells me but what I can read for myself and what I've lived out through my own testimony. I serve an amazing God and this is what God's word says:
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
9 Fear the LORD, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing."
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 34:8–10). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
When my purpose is aligned with His, then He will provide me all I need to fulfill his measure. I have lived almost half a century now and I've just recently come to get a very, very, very small glimmer of what God will do for those who are intent on His purpose. He makes this very clear in John 15 and Matthew 6.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father."
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Jn 15:5–8). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
33 Seek the Kingdom of God* above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Mt 6:33). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
His doors, windows and even the gates of Heaven are open to fill us with what we need. Just look at Malachi 3:10:
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease.* Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies."
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Mal 3:10–12). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
God doesn't stutter! This is, flat out, a promise that He even challenges us to test for its validity. That should be more than enough to make anyone want trust in Jesus.
Now I'm not saying that we give tithes and give offerings for the purpose of our own financial returns. Our tithes and offerings are to be given with a heart of thanksgiving. This should be the point in life where we believe God has done so much for us that we have to give back for the purpose of honoring Him and fulfilling the needs of others because of our love for Him. He loved us first so we must love others first. In loving them, we must provide for them.
Believe me, I've been in that place of need with my family. I never want to go back and even more so, I never would want even my worst critic or worst enemy to go through that level of pain. Once our minds are made up to be more like Jesus, we can no longer concede to the desire to put ourselves first. It's not easy but it is simple. Back up on self-centered desire and move forward with love and sharing to benefit others then God can find purpose in blessing us. He makes that pretty clear in James 4.
2b ...Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure."
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Jas 4:2–3). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
That's something that has always been really challenging for me. Learning to put my own desires down so that others will benefit first. It has to come from recognizing just how good God has been. It has to be there from appreciation and recognition of all that grace given by God in the first place. It has to come from knowing what it is like to be in need then we can say, like Job...
5 I had only heard about you before,
but now I have seen you with my own eyes."
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Job 42:5). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
If you do not know with absolute certainty that Jesus has saved your soul, then don't delay another second. Stop what you're doing. Pull over to the side of the road. Put down the remote. Step away from the electronic device and ask God to forgive you of your sinful selfish nature. Decide at this very moment that no matter what else, knowing what God did for us all by sacrificing His very own perfect son to die on a cross in shame and humiliation in place of me, you and all; we owe Him everything including our obedience and our very lives. Make that public commitment to following His will for the rest of your life. He will forgive you and accept you as His own child. The blessings of adoption are there in His word, we just have to make ourselves available to Him and choose to make His agenda the purpose of our life.