I need to share something important with you.
Something we all need to be aware of so we can all pray.
Each year about this time we experience a real drop in tithes. Attribute it to summer, or vacations or whatever; it is something that happens every year.
This year the drop has come earlier and is more severe than in years past and is something that we need to take to the Lord to seek wisdom about how to proceed.
The shortage is not as a result of bad stewardship or overspending or mismanagement of the resources we have been entrusted with, (I guess you have to take our word on that), it is due to the more than 40% drop in giving from April to May which has stayed at that level now into June.
What do we do Lord when the ends don’t meet? Maybe you have had that come up in your home at some point. Well in our case it is pretty difficult to “float” the bills much and we would never “put it on the card” so we are left with seeking the Lord (what a novel idea, eh?)
Your leadership and I, and what a truly great bunch of men you have serving you by the way; are praying about what these things mean, and more importantly, what the Lord would have us do.
It may be that the Lord says,
STOP - “(1) Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”, or, “(2) Be still, and know that I am God”, for us to act when the Lord is directing “wait” would be to get ahead of God. And we do know, “(3) those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
Waiting can get very uncomfortable at times! The Lord's timing is perfect and is perfectly planned to bring about His desired result. In human terms, my "logic" will begin to scream for a solution when it seems nonsensical to do nothing. But waiting is far from "nothing" it is a work! If the Lord directs wait, we had better wait.
GO – If the Lord is saying go and we are still standing still, that is not a good thing either, “(4) Son, go work to day in my vineyard.” We are not simply willing to do as the Lord leads, nor even desirous to do as the Lord tells us; we are desperate to be squarely in the center of His will. When we say this is His church, we mean that with all our heart.
God said to Moses, “(5) My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said in reply, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here..." If we are going we can only doso with the Lord.
So may the Lord give us “(6) ears to hear what the Spirit would say to the church."
CHANGE DIRECTIONS – God may be bringing about a change of some sort. If so we need to be responsive to his still-small-voice.
He said in Isaiah, “(9) thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” I pray like Samuel He would tune our hearing(7), that like Solomon He would give us a hearing heart(8)
He always leads us to victory
What I do know is that, “(10) But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ” The Lord is always bringing about the very best for His children. He is not leading us to defeat, He is leading us to triumph, to victory!
One more passage I want to draw your attention to is in II Chronicle's 20
Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi).” Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.
Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court, and he said, “O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power
and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. “Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? “They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying, ‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.’ “Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. “O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
All Judah was standing before the LORD, with their infants, their wives and their children.
Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel… and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.
Did you catch that at the end of the second paragraph… “O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
This is where we are at folks. We cant make it happen, we cant maneuver things to cover the shortfall, we are not seeking a man-made solution to the situation… we can’t, we have no strength, no power; we lack the ability.
So we look to God
So we seek the Lord and wait for His answer. Please keep our finances in your prayers. Perhaps the Lord would direct you to fast over it, which would be great.
But there is no question, this is not optional, we must see the hand of the Lord move in this area of our ministry.
1. Exodus 14.13
2. Psalm 46.10
3. Isaiah 40.31
4. Matthew 21.28
5. Exodus 33.14-15
6. Rev 3.13
7. I Samuel 3.1-10
8. I Kings 3.10
9. Isaiah 30.21
10. II Corinthians 2.14