Posterity, Eternity (3): Between Need and Excesses
By Eferovo Igho
If God is to define our needs or tell us what our financial and property needs are this present moment; O what excess He would likely find that we are holding on to! Yes, God gives to meet personal or close needs. Yes, He said He would supply all our needs (including financial needs, of course) according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:19. But what is ‘need’?
What is ‘Need’?
The dictionary says it is: want of something ONE CANNOT WELL DO WITHOUT; necessity; a state that requires relief etc (note my emphasis). It is not just want. It is certainly not lust.
How many brethren today are keeping things and monies they can do without? Lest you allow your flesh to answer that question lets rephrase it for the attention of your spirit! How many a brethren are keeping things and monies God knows they can do without? Need is what is necessary; a necessity! Allow your spirit to define or tell you what is necessary for you, and you will discover that you are holding on to much excess at the expense of the gospel and the brethren or the household of faith.
As we have already seen, ‘need’ is also a state that requires relief. Relief being the lightening or removal of any burden, discomfort, stress etc. We are talking about money and related things. There are many whose financial and related burden, discomfort or stress have been lightened or removed two, twenty, two hundred and even twenty hundred times over, who are yet piling up things ‘for themselves’ when ‘these least of the brethren of Christ are continually seeking relief with tears; not knowing that God has supplied their needs to the point of they not lacking any
good thing. “And the multitude of them that believed was of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common ... Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of house sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid them down at the apostles’ feet and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need” – Acts 4:32-35.
It should be taken for granted that if these wonderful brethren in Acts 4: 32-35 had bloated bank accounts they would have gladly and continually empty them into God’s work, vineyard and temples (the brethren). If they had stocks, savings or any form of bank accounts the urgent call from the mission fields wouldn’t have allowed ‘stockpiling’. Yes, there are some who may have invested, but with one obvious and chief purpose. Those brethren even descended on their lands and houses! Indeed, the early church (example for any generation) had no problem with pouring their excesses, excesses as defined by God, into God’s work. With them, that is taken for granted; but not with many today. They were living at another level altogether, a level that should put holy shame on us who are thinking of making it to Heaven in our day. Many of them were giving what they need. They gave beyond what they were able.
How do we give?
To give peanuts from ones excesses and call that ‘giving’ is terrible because it will make many things cankered back home at least in the reckoning of God, which is the only position that really matters anyway; and to live at this level therefore makes our desire to make heaven simply grand delusion. To set aside our excesses and with a view to diligently distribute same (all) to God’s people, vineyard and His other purposes from time to time and according to His leading is giving indeed; and this is taken for granted in Scriptures even though many of us are dangerously struggling with this today with all fleshly reasons and self-excuses, and that for what that really causes us anything in the true sense of the word we all call ‘sacrifice’. Then, there is giving from ones needs (what one really needs) which is the real meaning of ‘sacrifice’ in the context of these levels of giving.
The early church was living in the realm of sacrifice, sacrifice properly defined: “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the church of Macedonia; how that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with all intreaty (or urgency) that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord and unto us by the will of God” - 2 Corinthians 8:1-5. That these brethren first gave themselves TO THE LORD is key to understanding why they denied themselves of their dire needs. This is food for thought!
Bloated accounts plus multiplied houses and land plus what have you in strong and grip possession of one Christian man, in the name of ‘posterity gospel’ is very ruinous, and except we make a u-turn can be eternally ruinous. And you wonder why Acts 4: 32-34, 2 Corinthians 8: 1-5 etc represent no compass to many Christians today. The result of this type of Christianity is that few individuals are ‘riding high’ at the expense of the gospel of the Kingdom for as said elsewhere God has provided for His Church enough financial resources to cover the earth with the gospel of His Kingdom but some, nay, many have constituted themselves obstacle to the soon coming of ‘The Desire of the Ages’: Jesus Christ!
When Jesus asked us to pray the Father to come with the kingdom to earth as it is in Heaven, He knew the place of money or finance in bringing that to pass and has therefore made provision for that for His Church through stewards in all church ages. Stewards in past ages were stewards indeed. Those who think this age is Laodicean age may well be right in some sense after all.
When Stewards live sumptuously
When stewards are beginning to live sumptuously when servants indeed (many of whom are laboring hazardously in the various battle fields) are subjected to unnecessarily very hard times (most times made so by stewards God has so positioned to ease His projects but wont) and so such hitherto faithful servants are now beginning to ask questions about their faith and doubt their calling, then the gospel and the return of the Savior are both hampered. What that simply means is that danger is ahead! ‘Seek you great things for yourself; seek them not’, says God.
Jesus, of course, asked us to pray for our needs. But in The Lord’s Prayer He told us how: ‘Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread’. The asking here is for daily need supply, and not wanton outpouring to be stockpiled for ages to come; not some over bloated and mounting bank accounts for some rainy day (years) ahead when the brethren cannot even afford one or two meals a day today. Many who are not seeking these things have had them abundantly added. That is God’s way. But when God so deals with us thus i.e. when God either in our seeking the Kingdom and its righteousness or in our asking for our daily bread decides to give or, more appropriately now, decides to add to us beyond our needs it must be that He has graciously positioned us to be a precious channel to reach some others with bowels of mercy as a way of His answering their prayers unto Him. God answers prayers through channels, and if we are channels at a given time and we decide to block the channels and something negative happens to these brethren or they step into something negative then a fearful account rendering awaits stewards or caretakers, except they repent now.
If the Lord has prospered you and you are storing up treasure for the purpose of proper coordination of same with intent to properly distribute to God’s work, vineyard, temple (the brethren) so as to “fast forward” the Kingdom message and advancement as a faithful steward then you do well. If your distributive channels reach to our mission fields here and there especially those in the 10-40 windows, then you surely do well. Not to forget the disables, orphans, refuges and others! If your channels are reaching to Israel, Jerusalem and the Jews in need (especially in this end time when the needs of Jewry mounts up), then you do well. You may wish to know that the basis of the Judgment of the nations is how or how not we treat Israel and the Jews. This is what Matthew 24: 31-46 is primarily about.
But if we are storing up great things for ourselves there is danger ahead for stewards. When the Bible says we shall give account it simply tells that we are caretaker; caretakers who shall one day give account to the Owner. The Owner of the household (HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH) is God. He has put or set stewards over His house to reach to the needs of His people (the brethren) with His abundant provision; and to meet the other various needs of the house.
“Blessed is that servant, whom His Lord when He comes shall find so doing” – Luke 12:43; but if the servant is not doing this but is eating and drinking and getting drunk (suggesting ‘surfeiting’, defined by the dictionary as over fullness, gluttony, EXCESS among others). Scriptures say the Lord will appoint him his portion with unbelievers (see Luke 12:45, 46) even though he has been a believer. It is so implied. The way we handle God’s money and provision with us is a major determinant (after our salvation) of our portion or place of abode in that eternal divide or two ends of eternity.