The Fifth of Seven Victories of the Generous Spirit
A few years ago a friend introduced me to a revolutionary idea. In our battle against the enemy, one of our greatest weapons is generosity. You may have never considered generosity as a weapon against the enemy. Neither had I. Here is the fifth of the seven victories that we win every time we perform an act of giving that flows from a generous, Christ-centered spirit.
Victory #5 – I want to worship God with all I have, and this is part of what I have – no withholding.
There is a powerful and disturbing lesson that comes from the story of Ananias and Sapphira from Acts 5. The entire church in Jerusalem was experiencing an amazing overflow of generosity. Everyone was selling land and possessions and bringing all they had to put at the feet of the apostles. They did it with joy, understanding that God was their provider, that they had been set free and that this money was going to be used to bless others and further the kingdom of God. Their giving was a supreme act of worship. In the midst of this outpouring of generosity, Ananias and Sapphira decided to withhold for themselves part of what they received from the sale of some land. While this may not seem unreasonable at first read, the problem was with the disposition of their heart. So many of the temptations we’ve talked about can be found in this story. Their sin was giving into their sense of ownership, withholding from God was rightly his, and reducing their worship to a financial transaction. If we believe everything belongs to God, then giving is a sacred act
We cannot separate our giving from our intimate life of worship to the Father in the name of the Son by the power the Holy Spirit. God wants all of us – heart, soul, mind and pocketbook. It’s all his, and he desires that we lay it all before his feet with great joy, anticipating what he will do with it for our good and the advancement of his kingdom. Are you giving joyfully and freely, holding nothing back but responding obediently as God leads you? If so, you’ve won a great victory in this battle.
What kind of life do you want for yourself? Do you recognize the chains that keep you in bondage, that rob you of the life God created you to live, that stress you out and wear you down? Are you listening to the lies of the enemy regarding money, possessions, power, pride and praise? Most importantly, do you want to be free?
The loving God who created you has an amazing vision for your life, and it includes a heart of a faithful steward that is opened up to the world through Christ-centered generosity. I pray that you will embrace that life today. It begins with a simple but profound affirmation, “It’s All His.” To God be the glory