It seems that the times where it’s most difficult to hear from God is when we aren’t surrendering to him something he is asking of us. Searching my heart, is there something that I’m not giving to you God?
“Yes, it’s sad,” one of them said “We’ll pray for them.”
“God will use them other ways,” another concluded, hoping that was the end of the matter.
“Their doors will not close,” The preacher said sternly. The board members thought he was going to advocate a time of prayer, or a surge of faith, but the preacher knew what he meant and he prepared himself for the barrage his next statements would bring.
“Gentlemen, we have no debt, we have nothing looming over our heads, we have money in our accounts, and our rent for this building has been paid for the rest of the year.”
Silence… uneasy silence.
“Aside from the money that you have in your personal accounts, we will withdraw all that we have and give it to our brothers and sisters who need it.”
Concerned looks and alarmed glances. Surely this wasn’t coming from their leader’s mouth!
“Sir,” one of them politely began. “I don’t know if you have thought this all the way through.”
“How so?” the preacher asked.
“How are we going to function if we remove all funds and give them to someone else? This is a great idea, and we would love to give to their ministry, but we just can’t swing it this time.”
“Is that how the board feels?” asked the preacher. They nodded, then he spoke. “It is not a question of whether or not we can, continue to function… It’s a question of whether or not we should continue to function. And that is a question for God to answer.”
“How?” one asked without tact.
“By whether or not he provides and keep our doors open while we obey Matthew 7:12, giving to others as we would have them give to us… If our ministry was about to close down, would you not want others to give to us all that they had in order to keep us a float?”
“Well, yes, but how will we tell the congregation what we have done with the tithe they gave to us?”
“Is not tithe a gift to God and not to man? Is this not what the Lord want us to do? Unto others as we would have them do unto us?”
Silence again, then another spoke up.
“What about our families? If we are closed down how will we feed our families?” Others agreed, but the preacher saw that one coming. “What about their families?” he asked, silencing the room again.
The preacher sighed, then spoke. “How can we declare following the Teacher only in certain conditions? Unless we surrender to God all aspects of our lives, truly following what Christ has called us to with all our heart… we are simply making a living off of people’s spirituality.”
He paused for a moment to make eye contact.
“Gentlemen, my age is catching up with me, and my memory is beginning to fade, but one thing I know is that we are to do to others what we would want done to us. This is the ray of light that cuts through all theological jargon and distinguishes the children of God from the children of the Devil. I have consdered all these objections before the meeting began, and-” He clasped his hands together and shut his eyes in desperate prayer “I now see that obedience causes our lives to be in God’s hands more today than ever before.”
Could it be, that while other religions seem to look at selfish ambitions, calling them the will of God, Christianity calls looking after the interests of others the will of God?