Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Faith

So lately I've had a STRONG inclination to reach my next level, particularly financially. I don't know if I've talked about it, actually I have, just not on this platform. A couple years ago I was working at a top notch law firm. I had a really good salary but was completely miserable. Long story short, I left, went back to school, graduated and here I am in my current role. So I'm making 30 percent more now then I was then. However pay check after pay check I've found myself struggling to retain money. It's literally going out as quickly as it's coming in. So I'm thinking about it, and my expenses are the same as they were two years ago. In fact back then I wasn't living at home. So what gives?

Anyway, I start watching a sermon, “Ways To Retain Faith” – Pastor Mark Baker. A guest Pastor at One Church LA. He challenges us to a sacrificial offering. So what is that. As Christians we are mandated to tithe 10 percent. That's just what we are suppose to do. A sacrificial offering is an offering by faith. An offering that makes you say mmhmm, lmao. So I have to confess. When I started my new job, I knew I had to give a first fruit offering. I had resolved within my heart that I'd give my sign-on-bonus as my first fruit. God had pressed in my heart to give it to a particular cause. Now as bonus time came around, I started looking around and convinced myself to give the money to my family instead. I knew that money wasn't going to me. That was a given. But I went against my first inclination. In my mind I was giving it away and blessing my family. What's wrong with that? Nothing. However...

By doing what I did, I was honoring my family first, before God, who got me that job. This sounds crazy I know. Real talk though. When I gave it to my family, my heart felt burdened, and guilty. I didn't feel at peace with it. So a few months passed, and I talked myself out of the guilt, and here I am month after month struggling with my finances. Even at times annoyed with my family. I must admit as a side note, my heart continued to feel burdened due to not sacrificing to the the cause I was meant to sacrifice to. It kept surfacing in my thoughts.

Fast forward to the sermon, Pastor Baker throws out a crazy number to offer. Now a little background. One Church LA is based in California, which is currently 3 hours behind the time zone I live in ( NY/NJ). At that point I already watched the Potters House which had moved me to offer $100.  That was a sacrifice to me. Now I switch onto One Church LA, and this pastor is challenging us to another level of sacrifice. The funny thing is, I had the money, and had a little flex room to defer what I intended it for. That wasn't the issue. The issue, was that I  thought it was too much money to sacrifice at the current financial level I was at. Like seriously. Jesus, I'm struggling to hold on to this money. In fact I was just complaining to you about this. How am I then going to just give you this large sum of money. Large on my level, alright! So I felt a bit guilty, God was pressing on my heart and I said fine. I called up the cause, that I was suppose to offer to 6 months ago, and made the offering.

Funny thing, as soon as I made the offering, the burden was lifted. Sounds crazy, but I was at peace with giving that sum of money away. To put it into perspective, it was 52 percent of my paycheck. Mind you at this point I had already made payments to bills and such. So I was bare bones. With all that for the next two weeks, I wasn't pressed for cash. At all. Prior to that, having left myself pressed for cash, I'd be going through a serious struggle week.

So there were a few revelations that I came to through this.

1. I actually had 52 percent of my paycheck that I was wasting, or not utilizing productively - That revelation only came through because I offered it to God. When I offered it, I wasn't stressed, my bills were still paid, and I had wiggle room. So thoughts came to mind, as to what I had been doing with this 52 percent in prior paychecks. Here's a challenge to you, offer something beyond yourself to God, so that he can show you the secrets to your life.

2. Although I've been saying that I put my faith in God, when it came to money, I placed money above God. This was shown in my trying to control the amount I offered to God. There are Ways to determine if your placing Money above God. I'm going to write up a separate post on that though.

3. Based on Revelation from point 1 above. God equips you with everything you need. Here I am struggling with finances, and feeling a lack in that department. And through obedience it's revealed to me, that I have excess, and that I need to put it to work.

4. Be obedient. I should have listened to God from the start. I am now offering that first fruit to the intended cause.

5. Arrest all thoughts contrary to what God is asking you to do. Thoughts of doubt, thought of delay, thoughts of deviation. Arrest them all!

Cheers!

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