Help, I’m Afraid to Give! (Part 5) ATL
18 Mar 2018
Fear in any area of our lives should not be tolerated. We must deal with it whenever and wherever we find it; it should not be allowed to govern our lives. Just like faith allows God to operate in our lives, fear allows the devil to enter in. Fear wants to produce unbelief, and the devil's goal is to bring us to a point where we are afraid to believe God’s promises to us. This is especially devastating when it comes to financial giving to support the church. We make a mistake when we trust God in all other areas of our lives, but stop short when it comes to money because we are too uncomfortable to give. Therefore, we must proactively guard against Satan’s attacks and develop a “No fear here” mindset.
- We must use faith to oppose unbelief and fear. Fear springs from unbelief.
- For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
- Fear comes from the devil. We should not tolerate anything from him.
- Faith allows us to receive from God; it is our response to what He has already done. Likewise, fear is our response to what Satan wants to do in our lives. We must be careful not to do what Job did.
- For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me (Job 3:25).
- The enemy wants us to be afraid that God’s promises will not come to pass in our lives.
- But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
- And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me (John 16:8, 9).
- The Holy Spirit was not sent to condemn us for wrongdoing, but to convict us of wrong-believing.
- Not only is unbelief itself a sin, but it is also the root of all other sin actions.
- When we do not give, the Holy Spirit does not convict us of not giving. He convicts us of not believing and trusting God for our finances.
- We are all tempted with unbelief at some point; even Jesus was tempted in this area. When He was in the wilderness, the temptation for Him was not about bread, but about a challenge to His identity as God’s Son. Jesus never gave in to the temptation.
- And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17).
- Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (Matthew 4:1-3).
- For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
- The reasons behind a fear of giving stem from believing the wrong thing.
- People are afraid to give because they see giving as a loss instead of a gain. When Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell what he had and follow Jesus, the young man’s reaction exemplified this attitude of loss.
- And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions (Mark 10:22).
- The issue here was not about money, but about trust.
- And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! (Mark 10:23).
- The opposite of the rich young ruler was the woman who gave two mites.
- And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living (Mark 12:43, 44).
- For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows(1 Timothy 6:10).
- The love of money, not money itself, is evil. To love money is to trust it more than God.
- The spirit of mammon tries to bring us to the point where we do not trust God and think we do not need Him.
- He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon(Luke 16:10-13).
- Money is considered the least important thing in the kingdom of God. Jesus meant that if we cannot be trusted with money, neither can we be trusted with the really important issues in life.
- Mammon tries to shame us into refusing excess, even if it comes from God.
- Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] (Hebrews 13:5, AMPC).
- We do not need money to be greedy; greed is a spirit.
- We must be grateful for what we have.
- Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (Philippians 4:5).
- Another reason people are afraid to give is that they are afraid of being accused of excess. Some think excess is ungodly and they equate it with greed.
- This mindset comes from misinterpretation of the Scripture, which actually refers to moderation in drinking wine.
- “Moderation” in this context means unselfishness, consideration, gentleness, and patience.
- Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon] (Philippians 4:5, AMPC).
- This advises us to let everyone see the character of a Christian.
- The misinterpretation of this Scripture is motivated and driven by mammon. Mammon wants to convince us that we need money to enjoy excess. Its goal is to make excess wrong in the eyes of a Christian.
- It is not a sin to have more than enough. As believers, we can give of our excess to others and bless them. A poverty mindset limits God.
- God wants to bless us excessively. Wrong-thinking limits Him in this area.
- How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel (Psalm 78:40, 41).
- God kept trying to do great things for the children of Israel, but they kept murmuring and disobeying. This limited God.
- For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).
- Comparing ourselves with others is another way we limit God. This builds a ceiling over our lives.
2 Timothy 1:7
Mark 12:43, 44
1 Timothy 6:10
John 16:8, 9
Mark 10:22, 23
Hebrews 13:5, AMPC
Philippians 4:5, AMPC
Psalm 78:40, 41
2 Corinthians 10:12