07/17/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In January of 1985, I was a new, on-fire Christian fresh out of college. In church one day, the pastor took up a special collection. I heard the Lord tell me very clearly to give all that I had left in my bank account: $80.
I had no job or job prospects, so that $80 was my security. Being a new Christian and a newly-minted financial major, I saw that God didn’t understand how finances worked and that He clearly needed my help to see how unreasonable He was being. So we had the following conversation:
“Lord, I can’t give away that money,” I said. “That’s all the money I have and I don’t have a job yet.”
“Give it away,” He said.
“Lord, that’s crazy. I can’t give away my last few dollars. I don’t have anything to live on.”
“Give it away.”
He could have reassured me that He could provide anything and everything I needed, but He didn’t. He simply told me again to give it all.
So I did. I didn’t really trust, but I obeyed.
A few decades later, I met 11 Christian families on an ICC trip to Mexico’s southernmost state, Chiapas. When they became followers of Jesus, they were expelled from their homes, lands, and villages. They had spent the last six years in a homeless shelter in the big city, w h e r e their farming skills were useless.
Each family unit lived in a room that was approximately 12’x12’, with part of that space being taken up by a bathroom. Their entire living area was just a little over 100 square feet. As bad as these conditions were, the families were terrified of being kicked out.
Most of the children were denied an education because they’d fallen so far behind their grade level that school officials said they’d only be a distraction. The few who could get their kids into school fared little better, as teachers demanded large bribes for them to advance to the next grade level.
As I sat with each family, listening to their stories, I was burdened by their plight, and thought of my own children as I watched theirs run around in rags. I remembered all those years ago when God asked me for my measly $80 and realized this was another moment where I could freely give and bless others. After the meeting, I went to a store, and purchased 800 lbs. of beans and rice.
Right after the church service where God directed me to give away the little money I had, a church member told me her office was looking for some help for a few days while they moved to another office.
Those “few days” turned into several months of work until I began my “real” job, and didn’t need it anymore.
I obeyed God, and He turned $80 into almost $3,000. What a lesson for a new believer. Through that, I learned about God’s generosity, security, and how to obey Him even when it seems impractical or costly.
Satan works overtime to focus our eyes on the material world and encourages us to look at the future with anxiety and fear. He whispers to us that we’re alone and that God has forgotten us. He tells us to treasure the things of this world, and to rely on them as the bulwark against a frightening world.
But all the while, God sits beside us quietly saying, “Trust me. Your money offers you no answers. I AM the provider. I AM the sustainer. I AM life. Your possessions are a snare; turn your gaze away from the world and find LIFE in me.”
Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you.” If you’ve lived a few years, you know the profound truth of that statement.
No material possession or stockpile of money, no matter how high it goes, ever touches or feeds your soul. But when you give in response to God’s prompting, the feeling that wells up in