Paul gave a strong admonition to Timothy concerning wealthy Christians when he wrote,
1 Tim 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
This instruction certainly applies to Americans because no matter how "poor" our citizens think they are, they are "wealthy" indeed when compared to the standard of living of most of the world's population in other nations. Where else can a person get a job flipping hamburgers at McDonalds, for example, and still be able to rent an apartment and own a used car? In many nations if you have a grass hut, a chicken, and a bicycle ... you are considered wealthy.
In first world nations such as America, it is so very easy to "trust in uncertain riches" rather than in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Most people alive today in America did not live through the Great Depression when employment was scarce, no matter how willing you were to work. If we were to experience such a depression again, few would be the people who could live without fear of lack because of their rock-solid "trust in the living God" to meet their needs.
Some might say, "Gary, I don't think America will ever experience a depression like that again so why should I be concerned about learning to trust God instead of money?" I hope you are right concerning America never experiencing another depression, but what if God calls you to serve Him in some impoverished land where you would be cut off from all traditional sources of income? If you can learn to trust Him while living in America, you can learn to trust Him while living anywhere on earth. There is only one true and Living God, and He is the great Provider ... anywhere and everywhere on earth!
When Sue and I were thrust into the ministry full time, we suddenly found ourselves cut off from all "normal" sources of income. We had to learn, and I mean learn quickly, HOW to trust in the Living God as our Provider. I often say on the tapes, "We had to learn to trust God for every biscuit on our dining room table." That is no exaggeration! Because of my ignorance regarding both my "relationship" with the Father and my "inheritance" from Him, those first two years were financially very difficult, to say the least. Had I known then what I know now, I could have learned to trust Him more and more without having to experience such trauma.
A few years ago a friend of mine came and began asking me questions along the lines of learning to trust God as his Source rather than the economic system of the day. I told my friend, "It is simply a matter of putting into practice the practical instructions given in the Word of God and seeing for yourself that God is not a liar, but will perform everything for you that He has spoken." When my friend asked for an example I quoted,
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
I suggested, "Why don't you put that verse into practice in a practical way in the supply arena? Think of something you desire to have, not something elaborate, but something that you would truly like to have. Also, make it something that you could easily afford to purchase right now, but rather than go plunk down the money to buy it, you are going to ask your Father to supply it instead. Can you think of something like that?"
My friend thought for a moment and said, "Well, I would like to have a money clip. They don't cost very much and I've been intending to go buy one. Would something like that be okay?" I told him that would do just fine and then I gave him these additional instructions; "All right, now ask the Father to give you a money clip, describe it to the best of your ability, believe that He hears your prayer and grants your request at the moment you pray, and then thank Him for the money clip every day even though you don't have it already in your possession."
This next part is very important. I said, "Be sure not to let anybody know about this prayer request. Not your friends, not your wife ... nobody. The reason is so that YOU will know that this is between you and your heavenly Father. When the manifestation comes, and it surely will, your confidence, your trust in HIM, will grow by leaps and bounds because you will KNOW that it was HIM who heard your prayer and it was HIM who provided what you asked Him for!"
My friend followed the instructions precisely. A few months went by and no manifestation of the money clip appeared. He continued to thank God for it every day just as if he already had it in his pocket. The day after Christmas that year, I got a phone call from my friend. He was so excited and talking so fast I couldn't understand what He was saying at first. I finally got him to calm down and speak in a normal tone of voice. He said, "We were at my parent's house for Christmas and when I opened the gifts that my relatives had bought for me ... not only was one of the gifts a money clip ... but I received two money clips! One of them was very much like the one I had described when I asked the Father for a money clip, but the other one is much more expensive than anything I would have bought for myself. Not only did He supply the need, but He supplied exceeding, abundantly beyond anything I had thought or asked."
That was the beginning of a whole new walk with the Lord for my friend. In a new and practical way, he knows for himself that his heavenly Father is his Provider. Mine and Sue's faith began by believing God for every biscuit on our table. My friend's faith in God as Provider began with believing God for a money clip. But the point is .... you have to begin trusting HIM as your Provider! I suggest that you begin much the same way that my friend did. Begin learning, in a practical way, that you can truly trust your heavenly Father as your ultimate SOURCE!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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