October 27, 2017

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT) — 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

I love the stories of the Old Testament because they give us so much insight into the character and the workings of God. You must read 2 Kings 7. The Aramean’s have had Samaria under siege for so long that people were starving. Things were so desperate that people were resorting to cannibalism to stay alive. And then the word of the Lord comes to the people through the prophet Elisha saying that tomorrow there would be plenty of food for everybody.

The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, “That couldn’t happen even if the LORD opened the windows of heaven!”

The phrase ‘if the Lord opened the windows of heaven’ caught my attention. Remember what the Lord said in Malachi if people would bring the tithe into the temple storehouse (for us that is the place where we are being fed spiritually)?

Malachi 3:10 (NLT) — 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!

In Matthew 4 Jesus told the Devil that we must not test the Lord our God. But in the area of giving the Lord said that we could test him to see if he would stick to his word and open the windows of heaven. Well the officer assisting the King refused to believe the word of the Lord and this was Elisha’s response:

But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!”

So the Lord causes the Aramean army to hear the sound of a huge army coming to get them that they panic and run away leaving all of their money, food, and weapons behind! A few lepers discovered what had happened and they went to Samaria and told the people. In the rush to get out of the city and to the Aramean camp the officer assisting the King was run over and trample to death. So the word of the Lord came to pass on two counts. First that there would be food for everyone and Second that the officer assisting the king would see it but would not get to eat any of it.

You see unbelief closes the windows of heaven. Unbelief is a killer. Knowing that the Lord always keeps his word should cause us to give cheerfully even though we can’t see any possible way that the Lord could provide for our extremely desperate situation. But the Lord is capable of bringing supply from the unlikeliest sources; like the Aramean army. Like when Pharaoh got Joseph out of jail. Like when ravens brought food to Elijah. Like when he brought water out of rock for the Israelites when they were in the desert. Like when he told King Cyrus of Persia to let the Jews go back home and rebuild their temple and he also funded the building program by commanding his own people to give towards it!(Ezra 1)

Knowing that God always keeps his promises should inspire all of us to go on an adventure of extravagant giving. Don’t let unbelief keep the windows of heaven closed. Give with a cheerful expectant attitude, the kind of attitude that says, “I wonder from what unlikely source God is going to use to supply need?”

I remember a time when Cleo and I were pastoring in Bloomington. The church couldn’t afford to pay enough for us to make ends meet so I got up at 3am every morning to work a paper route. And then one day when we needed a little extra we got a letter in the mail from a missionary in Japan whom we had only met once because he was the brother of a guy who attended our church. In the letter was the extra money that we needed! Talk about an unlikely source. God kept his promise by opening a window in heaven that he had in Japan.

Isn’t this vintage God bringing help to his people through channels they would never suspect. God will do whatever it takes to sustain his people.

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. In my reading today was Deuteronomy 24. In verse 19 God said to his people, “When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all you do.
    He wanted them to remember they were once slaves who had been helped to escape bondage. God had met their needs through the hands of others, so now it was their turn to help others in the same way. The windows of heaven would be open so God could bless them in all they did! Hmmmmm…I was a slave once who escaped bondage too. What am I “leaving in my fields”???