Building up believers and the New Testament church

New Testament Giving

Equality and the Way of Faith

When God speaks of equality, what does He mean? Is equality a plan in which those who have much give more than those who have little? We can see some truth here, but not what the natural mind can figure out. In II Corinthians 8:15, Paul shows us an outworking of God's equality, "He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack." This verse speaks to us about what we receive--here is where God moves supernaturally to bring about His equality. Equality is seen in another way in verse 14: the abundance of one becomes the supply of another. This speaks to us of the blessings and overflow of God. We can see this in other areas also. Our lives can never bless others until there is an overflowing or abundance. Knowing this, the question to ask ourselves is, "How do I get this abundance so that my life can bless others?"

In II Corinthians 9:6, Paul tells us something of how this abundance works. "He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, but he that soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully." One verse speaks of God's blessings on what we receive; the other verse speaks of God's blessings on what we give--so equality lies in the blessing of God's hand. If we are living in His life, we are being blessed and have abundance because of the fullness of God's life, love, which is flowing out to others. That same love is flowing through others to us. Each supply is sufficient. This is God's equality. This can only be fully realized when we are moving in the life principle. Any other plan or method will never bring God's results. We must be directed by the Spirit if we are going to share in God's equality.

In the scripture we never see any church or believer begging or asking for support. This would not be in keeping with faith. Faith depends only on God and His promises. God's children are never called to beg. Psalm 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." In II Corinthians 8:4, we see that the believers in the church at Corinth were entreating for the favor of participation in the support (or service to the saints) of the Jerusalem church. But we never read about the believers at Jerusalem sending out an appeal for help.

We will never have a spiritual work until believers begin to look to the Lord for their support and provision. A work that has a natural means of support can never be a spiritual work. If those who do the work of God cannot trust God in the area of support, where can they begin to really believe God? If workers use natural ways and methods to obtain support, we can be sure they will also ask God's blessing on the rest of their schemes and methods, and say they are living by faith. After a while, they will begin to believe this is how faith works. They will believe that to have your needs met, you must make them known. But aren't we only fooling ourselves to believe that this is faith?

Man will always propagate what he believes and make disciples like himself. This is why there is begging today in the "church" world. Men have built their golden calf, and God is letting them feed it--it will never be any other way. Man may call his methods faith, but he has only made himself an image and is trying to get others to bow down to it. There are some moving in the natural who have been taught that this is the way. Then there are others who are very sincere, but this doesn't make them right. So the blind are only following the blind. They are both walking in the ditch, the way of the flesh--man serving God in his own way and strength.

If our lives and work are not based on faith, it is sin. God's children need to enter into the "rest" of God, ceasing from their own labors and letting God labor through them. This always brings honor and glory to the Lord. In Luke 12:25-32, Jesus gives us the way of faith. First, our hearts must seek for His kingdom. Then He will add the things we need. In verse 29 He says, "And do not seek what you shall eat and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying." If we can't come to this place of trust in the One who has called us, then how can our work be based on faith? Let every worker enter into his prayer closet and ask his heavenly Father in secret (Matthew 6:6). If God is not hearing us secretly and rewarding us openly, we had better not work for Him until we have a better relationship with Him.

Any work that is not based on faith will fail, or there will be no glory to God. Oh, for a reviving of the revelation, that men would get back to God's plan and His ways! The way of discipleship is always the way of faith, and the least likely to please the flesh or the carnal mind. The natural mind would pick the ways and means of man, or even try to convert some of God's ways and make them work to do what man desires. The spiritual mind chooses Christ. Christ has made the way; He upholds that which He is building and those whom He has called. All provisions must come from God's direction, born out of a vital relationship with Christ. The principle of life is the way of faith, for those who want to please God and walk in truth.