Abundance

Abundance

The beginning of this year I was asking God for a word He wanted me to focus on. That one simple word was abundance. I wondered abundance of what?

Abundance – a large quantity of something. More than enough.

Abundant life -  overwhelmed with the abundance of grace and goodness of God. 

We are either being overwhelmed by the enemies deceptions – things are not as they appear, or we are being overwhelmed with the abundance of grace and goodness of God!

          Satan’s weapon is deception.

When the enemy comes in LIKE A FLOOD – to overwhelm us.

Ill. Movie Shack the man Mac is out on lake in boat. Suddenly fearful thoughts bombard him – he begins to panic – it appears the boat is sinking with black sludge creeping up around him. Suddenly Jesus appears outside the boat and says, “Mac, look at me. Stop looking at the boat. It is not real Mac. Look at me- keep your eyes on Me. As he does the dark images that seemed so real disappeared and everything became calm.

We are either going to be overwhelmed by the enemies deceptions, or be overwhelmed by the abundance of God for us.

I think God has been wanting me to focus on abundance because I have been focused on the enemies lies.

          When you have been under pressure for a long time and not seen the breakthroughs you thought you would see by now, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the enemy. Maybe you have like me have been playing the same old records in your mind.

“Nothing is changing. It’s never going to get any better than this. My best days are over. I’ll never get my house paid off or get out of debt. So and so will never change.”

Ill. Quentin has been telling me for a long time that he knows God wants to bless me in every way – family, finances, church growth. He said God set you up in this church to bless you!

I would listen and say well I am all for that. What’s keeping Him from doing it.

 Then he said to me – You are. You are keeping Him from doing it. You have got to change your mind set! You don’t think He wants to bless you abundantly! You think He just wants to bless you to get by.

It is not humility to think God really shouldn’t bless your life with abundance like He has for others. It is pride.

I started recalling some abundance scriptures. Jn 10:10

          Question: Am I living the abundant life that Jesus came to give?

David wrote Psalm 23.

The Lord is my Shepherd = relationship

I shall not want = provision

He makes me lie down in green pastures = rest

He leads me beside still waters = refreshment

He restores my soul = healing

He leads me in the paths of righteousness = guidance

His names’ sake = purpose

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow

Of death = testing

I will fear no evil = protection

For you are with me = faithfulness

Your rod and staff comfort me = discipline

You prepare a table before me in the presence of

my enemies = hope

You anoint my head with oil = anointing

My cup runneth over = abundance

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the

Days of my life = blessing

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord = security

Forever = eternity

One of the names for God is El-Shaddai – the God of more than enough- the overwhelming God, abundant God.

Psalm 35 says, “LET THEM SAY CONTINUALLY, ‘Let the Lord be magnified who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His children.”

 Psalm 35:27

Note the people of God were supposed to go around continually saying, God takes pleasure in prospering me!

It was a way to help me develop the mindset for abundance!

Your life is moving towards what you are constantly thinking and talking about. Ill. If you have a headlock on someone then their body will follow where you take their head. The same is true spiritually. Your thinking in your head will lead your body there.

Eph. 3:20 I quoted this then the last part captured my thoughts.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly ABUNDANTLY beyond all that we ask or imagine, ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKS IN US . . .”  Eph. 3:20

I had preached on this before emphasizing how we partner with God and then His power works through us abundantly.

-        I know God is a covenant God – a God who likes to make covenants with us. He does His part and then has us do our part.

-        You got to know if the enemy knows you are expecting abundance from God then he is going to do everything the opposite to change your mind.

This week when I saw this verse I thought this is what is hindering us from the abundance God wants us to have! There is a power working in us that is either working for God’s purposes or against His purposes – it is in us.

Our mindset can be a hindrance to the abundance God wants to give us.

Ill. Israel had been slaves to Egypt for over 400 years. It was a life of drudgery and lack and barely making ends meet. One day God brought them out of slavery and took them into the desert and told them about a land of abundance He wanted them to have – Promise land.

The land where grapes were so large it would take two men to carry. Described as “the land flowing with milk and honey” – flowing means it never stopped – it never ran out = abundance.

          Do you believe it is God’s desire to bring you into His abundance now in this life? Is it hard for you to believe God wants to bless your socks off materially – wealth – and so many good things?

The problem with Israel was they had been slaves so long they still had a slave mentality or poverty mentality. “I’ll never get ahead. Things just don’t turn out good for me. I’ll never get a better job. This is all I will ever have. My parents never had much so we are like them.”

You limit God with this kind of settlement mentality. Pam preached a great message titled, “Don’t settle!”

Ill. Accident lawyers on TV – specialize in settlements not court cases.

Ill. Parable prodigal son- When Father (who represents God) saw him He said “Go kill the fatted calf – let’s have a party.” The fatted calf was the best. Notice he didn’t say – get that skinny goat, it will be enough cause I’m saving the fatted calf for something better!

God is not cheap. He is extravagant.

Ill. This idea came to me when I was flying back home on mission trip to Honduras. While sitting in plane I was reviewing what good was accomplished on this trip. I asked God what was one thing He really liked the most on this trip. My mind went to an orphanage we visited and after missionaries did a Bible lesson for all the kids. Our team just played with the kids in the open courtyard. At one point music was playing and everyone was dancing just having fun swaying back and forth. One little 9 year old girl named Sonya caught my eye. She wasn’t dancing just sitting by herself. I asked one of the workers about her. She was new, parents either died or family too poor to keep her. So slow dancing music was played over the oud speakers in the courtyard. I asked her to dance with me. She hesitated like she did not know how or want to. Eventually she joined me looking like, “I don’t know what to do.” I showed her to put her feet on top of my feet and hold my waist. She did and we danced all around the courtyard with her big smile and laugh.” I had forgotten about that moment till back on the plane.

I asked the Lord why He liked that moment so much. He said to me that is what I sent you to Honduras for. What? To dance with Sonya. Why?

She will never have a father to dance with her when she gets married so I sent you to dance with her now. God is very extravagant!

God has ways to increase your life with abundance that you cannot even imagine.

Ill. Imagine Israel (over million people) in desert and God supernaturally provided manna every day. When they complained about wanting meat to eat God supernaturally sent probably over 2 – 5 million quail for them to eat, out in a desert where there are no quail! And not just quail for one meal but an abundance, more than enough.

God said in Exodus to Israel and He is saying to us to: I am bringing you out of the land of affliction and into the land flowing with milk and honey. But we have to believe Him and cooperate.

-        That generation did not believe God for abundance and died in the wilderness – not God’s plan.

-        They wanted Him to lay it in their lap but God wanted them to believe Him in spite of the obstacles in the way.

On the Border Moses sent 12 spies. Most people only remember 2 names of the twelve. Majority rules – you can’t go with the majority and expect to have God’s abundance – even in the church!

Ill. People born and raised in the great Depression grew up poor compared to our lifestyle today. What I noticed is the lack mindset can still cling to them.

Sometimes this translates into thinking it is wrong for me to have a nice house or car. “God, doesn’t want me to have too much!”

If God can get it through you – He will give it to you!

          Ill. Sometimes God gives us money or things not for us but so we can have the joy of partnering with God to give it to someone else in answer to their prayers.

There is nothing wrong with having money or even great wealth.  The key is don’t let money or wealth have you. Don’t let it have the focus of your life. Don’t seek the provision – seek the Provider – He has plenty.

God is not limited by your circumstances or your finances or your lack of education, or your disability. We need to get into agreement with God. First thing is asking Him to help us think like He thinks and renew our mind.

Ill. In my journal this week I asked God to help me have the revelation of abundance that HE wants me to have in my life.

Almost immediately this scripture came to my mind.

He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not freely give us all things.  Romans 8:32

God is not holding back on us – we are holding back on believing that He wants to do exceedingly above and beyond all we can think or ask.

Another scripture that I read later is:

May the Lord God of your fathers increase you a thousand times more than you are. Deut. 1:11

Can you believe God really wants to bless you like this? Can you receive it?  A thousand times more health. A thousand times more peace, joy. Things money can’t buy as well as things money can buy.

Concl: I ask you to join me in meditating and talking to God about abundance for your life, this church, for my life, for this area.

I have had ideas for years for ministries I know would greatly bless this area like a pregnancy care center in downtown Wildwood, a Bible school to prepare people for ministry, a children’s home, a shelter for battered women and other things – but it will take God and people with an abundant mindset and generosity to get there.