We have been bombarded with teachings regarding receiving by faith, especially in material and financial aspects of our Christian life. We have become masters of the principle of “Receiving by Faith.” How about the principle of “Giving by Faith,” is there such a thing?
Majority of believers thought that the application of faith in their lives is only for receiving God’s goodness and His blessings. But that is not always the case. In the Book of Philemon, the Apostle Paul prays that Philemon would become an effective generous giver by means of his faith. Yes, faith has so much good things to give. It is by faith to share the blessings to those who are in need.
The truth is God will prosper you anywhere you are in the universe. You could be in Mars, or Jupiter, or wherever, God will prosper you not only spiritually but materially. The Word says that God will bless you in the city and in the country, and you will bear fruits in season and out of season. Even in the midst of great famines, you will harvest your crops until your barn has no more space to catch on. (Read Deuteronomy chapter 28).
Many years back when prosperity teaching was sweeping the entire English speaking population, I was listening to one of the veteran members of a local congregation recounting funny stories regarding financial hardships of some local pastors in a small town. It’s funny, but it’s so serious that I have to learn a lesson quickly: that prosperity is not relative.
A profound story went like this: At a very young age, Martha and her siblings were a bit of uncomfortable to see their pastor visit their home, because of the fact that he was known in town to be a financially challenged servant of God. At one time, during a pastor’s visit, Martha had already been salivating and could not wait to devour the decent family dinner (with delicious meat of course), which can happen once in a blue moon. But to her surprise, the dinner suddenly disappeared from the table. To their helpless protest, mother had given up the happy meal as a “love gift” to their beloved preacher and to his family. And as soon as the preacher left the house, Martha and her siblings had to settle for boiled backyard vegetables with the “imaginary” beef of course. Consequently, at her young age, Martha had difficulty believing a notion that God is good. Because of these unpleasant experiences, she was terrified of becoming a minister too. Somebody owed her honest answer to why these things were happening?
According to Paul’s prayer for Philemon, generous giving comes only by faith. There’s so much truth in that statement, because those generous givers have a deeper insight of faith than those who are not. It takes faith to release and give up a possession to someone. Giving by faith is the opposite of receiving by faith. Instead of believing for something to receive, it is however, believing for something to give. It’s either you give your wealth or your power or even your position to someone. Lord have mercy on us!
Again Paul teaches us faith through his letter to Philemon. Faith that gives is a result of having the knowledge and experience of all the good things we have in Christ. Faith is having the understanding and knowledge, and the experience of all the good things Christ has provided for us. When you meet these criteria, you will be a blessing to all. Instead of you, who was at the receiving end; now, you become a giver. You have crossed the aisle. You are now using your faith to give, and not to receive. You become a channel of blessings.
The Epistles, mainly the writings of Paul, address the things we have in Christ. To become efficient in giving, you must have revelation knowledge of these basic truths:
First, we have been blessed with the blessings of Abraham.
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessings of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14 NKJ).
Notice that the “blessings” of Abraham is also the blessings of the children of God in Christ through faith. God has blessed Abraham exceedingly: spiritually, physically and materially. God did not limit his blessings with spiritual blessings only. God blessed him with great wealth, great financial blessings great physical strength. He died blessed.
These blessings of Abraham, they are for us in Christ Jesus. You can only experience these exceeding blessings if you are in Christ. You must be rooted and grounded in Christ Jesus if you want to experience the blessings of Abraham.
Second, we have been delivered from the kingdom of the devil.
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14 NKJ).
We, the children of God are living in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We don’t live in the kingdom of darkness and trying to free ourselves from its torture. Some believers think that way. Their life is in constant struggle with the devil. They sincerely believe that every waking day of their lives is trials, test, and temptations. They are just coping to survive the fight of faith.
You must enjoy the REST that Jesus has given you. You must enter into that rest. When you learn to live in faith, you learn to live in His rest. You don’t worry of anything else, because Jesus said not to worry. You don’t carry your burdens, because you give them up to Him.
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest…” (Hebrews 4:9-11a NKJ).
Faith in the integrity of His word is the key to enter into God’s rest. Act as child of God. You really need to understand who you are in Christ, and what you have in Him. You must have the God kind of faith in your heart. You can only become a generous giver by faith. It’s about time to grow.
Let’s see how Abram dealt with the principle of “Faith that Gives”: Read Genesis chapters 13 and 14.
The story went like this: Abram and his nephew Lot became wealthy. The land could not support both of their flocks and herds, and so disputes broke out between their herdsmen. Everybody wants to occupy the greener pasture and well watered part of the land.
Here’s what Abram told Lot. “Let’s not allow this conflict to come between us … The whole country is open to you. Take your choice of any section you want, and we separate. If you want the land to the left, then I’ll take the land on the right. If you prefer the land on the right, then I’ll go to the left” (Genesis 13:8-9 NLT).
Here’s what Lot took. “Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley … the whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the Lord or the beautiful land of Egypt … Lot chose for himself the whole Jordan Valley …” (Genesis 13:10 NLT).
Abram had no ties or whatsoever to material and physical possessions. He gave the best to Lot. Once again, the father of faith, Abraham, gives us a perfect lesson on how to use faith when it comes to giving.
The story ends with Abraham getting wealthier and powerful; while Lot lost all that he had to ashes.