Abundance taps into the eternal- not just the external- Podcast #41
podcast Dec 18, 2017
True abundance isn’t the result of hard work or ingenuity (though it involves both). True abundance taps into the resources of the kingdom.
In other words, true abundance isn’t external- it’s eternal. The circumstances don’t dictate your reality: God does…
Yes, it’s easier to look at the circumstances and “do the best we can” rather than go deep, take a look inside, and tune into the voice of God. However, it’s this relational dynamic that leads us to the first point of abundance…
Here are four attributes of kingdom abundance…
First, God’s blessing is often strange and paradoxical, such that it continues growing our faith and fostering our relationship with Him. This happens because the blessing often comes in ways that money cannot buy. It comes through relationship…
(What we often confuse for “blessing” is simply our best financial efforts and debt-leveraging put forward.)
God’s kind of prosperity is the absurd abundance that He takes five loaves and two fish and then multiplies them exponentially to feed over 5,000 men- plus the women and children (John 6:1f.). Notice that He didn’t spontaneously create enough food to feed 25,000 people (the estimated number of people that were there- they generally only counted the men, so we need to add the women and kids to the 5,000) in order to hoard the food and store it. It was multiplied to be a blessing. It was given in order to be given away.
It still required faith in action, though. That’s the paradox.
Some commentators suggest the food only multiplied as the disciples distributed it, meaning they always had "just enough” to keep going. To “collect the scraps,” as Jesus asked them to do in the end, and to return with merely 12 baskets at the end of feeding 25,000 people meant that the entire ordeal required faith throughout the duration of the feeding. Twelve baskets seems like a lot- but it’s not much compared to 25,000 meals. Their faith was stretched until the very end.
Throughout the Scripture we see the absurd nature of God’s abundance and prosperity-
- God’s prosperity is the kind of blessing that causes shoes not to wear out after 40 years of walking through rough desert terrain (Deuteronomy 29:5). No, the clothes didn’t wear out; but, they were in a desert…
- God’s prosperity causes men to sow seeds during the year of a famine and then to reap one hundred fold- presumably while no one else does, even in the same environmental conditions (see Genesis 26:1,12). Yes, there’s more than enough; but they endured a famine…
- God’s prosperity is the kind that sends ravens to bring you food in the middle of the desert (1 Kings 17:6). Yes, birds bring meat to a human- rather than taking the food as they usually do; yet, at the same time, they’re, well… birds :-)
- God’s prosperity causes oil and flour not to run dry in a simple bin until a drought is over 3.5 years later (see 1 Kings 17:8-16, especially verses 14-16). Even so, there’s a finite-sized container that holds the infinite abundance.
- God’s prosperity is the kind where trained fisherman can toil all evening and catch nothing. Then, in an instant, they can toss the nets on the other side of the boat, presumably in the same place they've been for hours, emerging with so many fish that the nets break and the boats begin to sink (Luke 5:7, John 21:6).
Do you see what’s happening? Abundance happens in places where it SHOULD NOT (humanly speaking) happen…
Because of that, abundance still requires faith relational trust. It still comes as daily bread (Matthew 6:11), yet- paradoxically- sometimes it’s often astounding in its sheer volume and size. And we experience it the best when we walk in relationship with our Father.
Second, people see the blessing that God gives us and realize that it is from the Lord. When God’s abundance comes, people take notice. They realize that we are close to God; that He is close to us. They can’t help but make the correlation that the bounty comes not from the simple ingenuity of smart men but from the storehouses of the Kingdom.
God promised to provide so much that others know that He is the source (Malachi 3:11-12).
- Abimelech begged Isaac to make a treaty with him, as he could "see plainly that the Lord has been with you” (Genesis 26:7 ESV).
- Laban realized he was blessed because of Jacob, who was worshiping the Lord (Genesis 30:27).
- Potiphar sensed that the blessing on his domain was because of the God-fearing Joseph (Genesis 39:3).
In each of these stories the refrain is the same: “The Lord is with you…”
How did they come to this conclusion? Because the abundance was THAT radical AND it was THAT outlandish in how it happened.
God’s provision is always astounding in such a way that people realize it comes from God- not (just) from the wisdom of clever men. Abundance is not contingent on the external conditions but on the eternal creator.
Third, other people are blessed by the prosperity that God gives us- as it comes from God through you to them (and vice versa).
God told Abraham that he would be extravagantly blessed in order to be a blessing to other people (Genesis 12:1-2). In the same way, Paul declared that we will always have enough Kingdom supply to do whatever the Lord has called us to do. He will use us as the means whereby He blesses this world (2 Corinthians 9:8). We are the conduits of Heaven.
Put the three points together…
- First, God’s abundance comes in strange ways, most often through a relational connection with Him.
- Second, others see that abundance and realize it’s the Lord- not us.
- Third, we become a connecting to the Kingdom of our Father when we bless them with the abundance we’ve been given.
This doesn’t mean that we will always have an over-abundance. It does mean, though, that we will always have enough to do everything God has called us to perform.
Finally, God’s abundance includes the wisdom to do something incredible with those resources. Think back to the story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The Scripture tells us that she’s clearly overwhelmed by everything she sees in the empire (see 1 Kings 10:4f.).
Yet she’s already acquainted with silver and gold and riches. She’s seen provision before.
The thing that astounds her is, that causes her to literally lose her breathe…
- The details of how Solomon’s servants enter and leave…
- The way in which everyone there walked with purpose and honor…
- The way in which things were organized, administrated, executed…
In other words, wisdom.
It’s interesting, because Solomon prayed for this wisdom. When the Lord offered him a “choose whatever you want” type of scenario early in his reign, he asked for wisdom AND the Lord gave him abundance and favor and everything else because he’d made the best ask.
Leads me to this…
The abundance of heaven always comes with the wisdom to manage the blessing.
In other words, abudance includes MORE than just money, stuff, and resources…
It doesn’t exclude this things. Rather, it’s that PLUS more!
The abundance mind-set
That said, let me give you a few mind-shifts, things to remember as you explore what this abundance is like. These are important to remember- and to believe. It may be important to review these regularly because Proverbs 23:7 tells us “as a man thinks, so is he.”
First, God operates from prosperity- not scarcity. Live from a position that affirms that God has more than enough- not that He lacks anything. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills- and all the hills (Psalm 50:10). The earth is His- and everything that belongs in it (Psalm 24:1, 1 Corinthians 10:26).
Second, God is a giver of the prosperity that He already has. Proverbs 35:27 tells us that the Lord actually has pleasure in your prosperity. Romans 8:32 asks the rhetorical question, “He who did not spare His own Son; how will he not freely give us all things?” Yeah- He’s already given you the best that He has. Everything else is… easy…
After all, God owns all things, right? He’s not looking to acquire something so that He can give it to you; He already has it all…
Third, there's always more goodness and grace. Since God owns all things and gives from the resources He already possesses, His supply isn't diminished when someone else is blessed.
This one is huge! All too often we feel that if another person receives a promotion, a miracle, or any other sort of breakthrough, that the supply of God’s treasures are diminished by whatever they received. In our minds, that means we're less likely to receive.
Here's reality: God is the Creator. And scientists confirm that the universe is actually expanding. That means He’s not only not running out of supply, His storehouses are actually self-replenishing at an alarmingly fast rate.
Fourth, finally, you are a conduit of God’s blessings. As long as you have your hands open, you can receive from Him so that you can give to others. Many people clinch their hands tightly around whatever they hold, afraid they will lose it. I’ve learned we can still lose things from “closed” hands- yet you can’t give or receive from the close-handed position.
Live from the mind-set that God has plenty, that He takes delight in handing it to you, and that He hands it to you to continue handing it off...
Jesus freed you to this sort of lifestyle on His way to The Cross. It’s the promise of the crown of thorns.
Links mentioned in this talk:
Download the free Redemption eBook at https://www.overflowfaith.com/p/redemption-e-book
You may want to review the previous talk if you’re just stepping into this topic. Go to talk #40 at https://www.overfowfaith.com/blog/40 to learn more about abundance.
Also, listen to the talk on The Blessing of Abraham https://www.overflowfaith.com/blog/05
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