God is Creative: With Each Individual on the Support-Raising Journey

 

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph. 2:10 (NIV)

Comparison to others can destroy how we see God’s beautiful creativity in us. One of the biggest struggles I’ve had most of my life is with low self-esteem. Regardless of the circumstances of why, having the wrong sight to who I was in Christ held me captive to not seeing how God could fully use me. I saw the creative workmanship of God in other people with their gifts and talents, but would personally have a woe-is-me attitude, feeling as though God had forgotten me. That is obviously Satan’s lie, but it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t destructive and hard to overcome.

When you are on the support-raising journey, it means you are working toward the goal of being used by God for the works He has prepared in advance for you to do. This is an amazing thought. God has known all along where and how you are going to be used by Him in particular ministries and is equipping you to do them. We may have to fully rely on Him, but He doesn’t leave us unprepared. Think about the passions and the gifts you have that led you to do what you are doing. Even for spouses, who may not have an official title, God gave them special gifts and talents to glorify Him. God never forgets even the smallest details.

This is an important truth to reflect on, because the support-raising journey is a great avenue to worship for how He has created you. Conversations and speaking engagements give perfect opportunities to share with others the handiwork of God and how He is using the gifts He has given you. This attitude helps to combat the feelings that Satan throws our way of “maybe I’m not good enough” or “look at how God is using someone else.” This allows you to truly discover beauty in the details of His craftsmanship and give Him praise.

  1. List the specifics gifts, talents, and desires God has given to you.
  2. Prayerfully offer them to God to be used for His glory.

God is Jealous: For Our Attention on the Support-Raising Journey

 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

The jealous are possessed by a mad devil and a dull spirit at the same time. Johann Kaspar Lavater. This is a fascinating quote that shows the human perspective on jealousy. Quote after quote that I read about this trait showed it in a negative light, and apparently all we are supposed to do to cure this ill-fated curse is to throw in a little love. The reason why we feel this way is because human jealously tends to consist of coveting someone’s belongings, positions, beauty, etc., which usually ends in some kind of anger, bitterness or betrayal. This makes it hard to understand the purity of God’s jealousy.

My daily Bible readings have been taking me through the stories of the Old Testament. I believe one of the qualities of God that always strikes me the most as I read through the details of the offerings and cleansing ceremonies is His holiness. Our defiled bodies can’t even be in His presence without a sacrifice of atonement, yet He always provides a way for us to be cleansed. Hence why we needed Jesus. God knows that our greatest joy can only be found in Him. Therefore, God is jealous for us to experience Him to the fullest. That is an honor.

I think God’s jealousy is not often thought of on the support-raising journey, yet the distractions are great—busyness, laziness, lack of funding, pride. How ironic that money and deadlines take top priority and become the all-consuming force on our path to be used by Him. When this happens we become very inward focused. Our prayers become self-serving—Lord, help me to get the money fast. Our motivation in conversations is to see how much money we can get and are disappointed if it doesn’t go our way. It isn’t because we are worshipping ourselves when this happens, but we’re certainly not worshipping God either.

God is still jealous for our attention no matter what we are doing. It is for our own good, and we are to seek Him above everything. He knows when other things pull our focus off of Him, then we become stressed and begin to doubt. We must trust God in the path He has laid out for us and glorify Him. That way, no matter the outcome, our eyes are on our trustworthy God who loves us enough to do whatever it takes to get our attention.

  1. List ways to keep your focus on God and practice it when you find yourself becoming stressed.
  2. Trust God who loves you and who is jealous for you to experience His goodness in all areas of your life.

God Wants Our Prayers: To Saturate the Support Raising Journey

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV).

Our world has become more or less a people who’ve forgotten how to pray. One-liners and quick passing thoughts have become the norm, yet in our selfishness, we want God’s immediate response in our favor as soon as we need something. The things happening to the fabric of society are in direct proportion to how we are praying against the enemy’s schemes. We’ve resorted to a people who want God as our back-pocket buddy to whip out when it’s convenient, as opposed to being alert and praying in the Spirit as we trust a loving God who desires an intimate relationship with us and knows what’s best—even if it hurts—for His broken people. This type of relationship only comes by being in the depths of the truth of Scripture and prayer.

As society is saturating our churches—which should be the other way around—the way we view money is also affected. We want quick fixes. Look at all the Christian self-help books about raising support. You need money, so get it now, and here are the steps to do it. Money is obviously the need when we’re raising support, so we storm ahead with worldly approaches and concepts to make sure our needs are met. However, have you stopped to pray for the need of money to do your ministry? I mean really prayed, not just—Well, I know God knows my need, so I’ll offer up something to cover that base—then go about with the business of trying to persuade people to give to you.

If Christians got on their knees to pray again, think of the difference it would make in our nation, families, churches, and while raising support. We don’t have to resort to coercive tactics and making conversations uncomfortable. We have a Daddy who knows our needs and is waiting for us to give our full attention to him as we ask for what He already has for us, So as we pray, we must always remember that He has our best interest in mind as He uses our circumstances to transform us into the likeness of Christ.

  1. Truly pray and fast for God to lead you to the right people to join your ministry.
  2. Look for opportunities to praise God as you see Him moving in your life and support-raising journey.

*First posted on Godandelephants.com on January 5, 2017

 

God is Our Gift: Our Reason to Celebrate While Raising Support

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6 (NIV).

Christmas is definitely the time of year when materialism reaches its peak; however, the more monetary abundance we have as a people, the more we have an “I-want-it-so-I-am-going-to-get-it” attitude. Throughout the year people have a hard time passing up sales even if it’s for things they don’t really need, and many go into debt over things they assume they want. This microwave, immediate mentality has made us forget what it’s like to receive the blessings from a true gift.

On the night Jesus was born, the shepherds were given a glimpse into the spiritual realm as a whole host of heavenly angels were revealed to them, celebrating the birth of the Savior of the world. The angels knew the magnitude of this event—In one moment, with one baby, the world would never be the same again. Praise God!

This same celebration of the angels continues to this day as people encounter God’s gift He so willingly and lovingly gave to us. Luke 15:10 says, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” God may never open our eyes to the celebration that’s happening in heaven like He did for the shepherds, but His impact on lives is seen everywhere.

May we not get sucked into the “must-haves” of this world—many of which can, ironically, interrupt the support-raising journey. We may have thought that God would bless us with a lot of money so we wouldn’t be in want. We may have thought we would be further along in our ministry, or even that we wouldn’t have to suffer. All these things come from a human perspective that can blind us from missing the true Blessing. Let this season that celebrates the birth of Jesus re-kindle our desire to take the true Gift to the world no matter the cost.

  1. Thank God for your supporters, because they are on this journey of carrying God’s gift to the world with you.
  2. Don’t grow callous, but stay in tuned to God’s impact in the lives of people. Remember, angels are celebrating.
  3. Be satisfied as to where God has you.

*First posted on Godandelephants.com on December 13, 2016

God Wants Our Prayers to Saturate the Support-Raising Journey

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)

Our world has become more or less a people who’ve forgotten how to pray. One-liners and quick passing thoughts have become the norm, yet in our selfishness, we want God’s immediate response in our favor as soon as we need something. The things happening to the fabric of society are in direct proportion to how we are praying against the enemy’s schemes. We’ve resorted to a people who want God as our back-pocket buddy to whip out when it’s convenient, as opposed to being alert and praying in the Spirit as we trust a loving God who desires an intimate relationship with us and knows what’s best—even if it hurts—for His broken people. This type of relationship only comes by being in the depths of the truth of Scripture and prayer.

As society is saturating our churches—which should be the other way around—the way we view money is also affected. We want quick fixes. Look at all the Christian self-help books about raising support. You need money, so get it now, and here are the steps to do it. Money is obviously the need when we’re raising support, so we storm ahead with worldly approaches and concepts to make sure our needs are met. However, have you stopped to pray for the need of money to do your ministry? I mean really prayed, not just—Well, I know God knows my need, so I’ll offer up something to cover that base—then go about with the business of trying to persuade people to give to you.

If Christians got on their knees to pray again, think of the difference it would make in our nation, families, churches, and while raising support. We don’t have to resort to coercive tactics and making conversations uncomfortable. We have a Daddy who knows our needs and is waiting for us to give our full attention to him as we ask for what He already has for us, So as we pray, we must always remember that He has our best interest in mind as He uses our circumstances to transform us into the likeness of Christ.

  1. Truly pray and fast for God to lead you to the right people to join your ministry.
  2. Look for opportunities to praise God as you see Him moving in your life and support-raising journey.