Sometime ago, I met a lady who was quite bitter at a singles’ ministry that we both support. She had been a financial partner of the ministry for many years and according to her, it was to ensure that she would have a good marriage but three years after her wedding, she was headed towards a divorce. It was her opinion that God and the singles’ ministry had failed her
The Christian singles ministry preached abstinence & sexual purity, discouraged dating non-Christians, encouraged at least one year of courtship (which they referred to as the’ interview period’) so that the dating couple might get to know each other better and taught that prayer was essential to a successful courtship.
As she recounted her story however, I realised that she had ignored everything the singles’ ministry preached and stood for.
Within a few weeks of meeting her husband, they became sexually active and when she became pregnant some months later, they got married quickly and quietly. Three years into her marriage, she was the family breadwinner and faced constant verbal and physical abuse from her husband whenever he returned home from his frequent long unexplained absences.
Nothing worked out the way she thought it would and she was quite angry at God for not giving her a good marriage after she had “paid her dues” so faithfully.
So really, what more could God have wanted?
I know that many churches and ministries ask for financial support and say to their congregations and partners that God will give back to them in measures ‘pressed down, shaken together and running over’ and that is true BUT they often forget to mention that ‘terms and conditions apply’.
Here is the plain truth: money has never gotten anyone into God’s grace; He can NEVER be swayed by it.
The silver is mine and the gold is mine says the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:8)
When God told Saul to go destroy the Amalekites, he was to ensure that every living thing was destroyed but Saul decided to save some of the choice cattle and sheep to “sacrifice to God”. I find God’s response to Saul very profound:
God named His price and it isn’t money, it is obedience!
Our offerings, seed, and worship are only as valuable as our obedience to God is.
When Samuel went to Jesse’s house to anoint a king for Israel, he took one look at Eliab and was so impressed that he thought surely this must be the one, but God told him,
It’s the same with our seeds and offerings; God’s attention isn’t focused on the money but on the heart of the giver; that was why
- God rejected Cain’s sacrifice (Gen 4:5-7)
- Jesus commended the widow’s two mites (Mark 12:41-44)
- Peter rebuked Simon the sorcerer sharply (Acts 8:13-21)
A relationship with God is quite easy because He doesn’t play games; He says it as it is, no secret meanings, no insinuations. You want the best of God? The bottom-line is found in the following scriptures:
If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good things of the land (Isaiah 1:19)
If you love Me, obey My commandments (John 14:15)
It really is this simple.