Lies that Stop the Harvest 03: Looking to the Wrong Source!

One of the things that stops many people enjoying the abundance of life that Jesus Christ wants us to have is looking to the wrong source.  What many people fail to realize is that: your harvest comes through people, not from people.

Now it is easy for me to say “You need to depend on God, not men”, and it is equally easy for me to say teach your people to depend on God, not men, but how can you actually know if you are relying on men instead of God?

I will tell you right now how to know who you are depending on: by what makes you angry.  If you are furious at your boss for not giving you the promotion or raise, you are relying on him not God for increase. If you are angry at the bank for turning you down for the loan, you are depending on the bank not God. If you are annoyed at a loved one for not helping you more with money, then you are relying on them and not God.

This is why many, many Christians will never walk in abundant life – they are waiting for their blessing from men, when it comes from God.

I know it hurts when people fail to recognize your character, your hard work, your efforts, your everything goes by unacknowledged by people, but you have to get inside your heart and mind right now: promotion comes from the Lord (Psalm 75.6-7).

You must realize this to experience great overflow: God wants to be the source of your divine increase and God wants you to trust Him for increase. He doesn’t want you to trust Potiphar, He wants you to trust Him!

I was speaking to a travelling minister the other week and the church he went to took a love offering for him. The offering was larger than the church expected so the pastor decided to keep some back for the church’s use. The minister said that he didn’t want a penny from the church, and wouldn’t get into a fight with them over money.

What was going on there? The pastor didn’t see God as the source, but the travelling minister did. Let us always be the people who see God as our source, then we will not be in strife with people. I have over-given to people before because God is my source and I will not get into a dispute about finances.

You have one Jehovah-Jireh in your life and it isn’t your rich auntie, or your boss, or your church, or your friends. Harvest comes through people, but from God.

Ultimately harvest depends on your seed, sown in faith and joy. What you can give, you have mastered.

Quit looking for men to be your source, look only to Jesus. When you depend on God, you will see the greatest flow of harvests you have ever seen.

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Lies That Stop the Harvest 02: The Dream-Prosperity Connection

Last week I started a series on lies that steal the harvest, part 1 is found here.

You are a leader.  Your job as a leader has a number of different facets, but all good leaders must help the people who follow them to dream big dreams.  One of the areas in which we must give people the words that enable them to dream big dreams is in the area of finances, by the way we act, the way we talk and the way we lead.

For example, a few years ago I started talking to people in our church that many of the Israelites as they entered the promised land were multiple home owners.  They had houses.  I started telling people that it was fine to own multiple homes, fine to have a property portfolio.  At that time, no one in our church owned their own house.  Now several people have more than one house.

So many people (in churches especially) consider surviving success!  If they just make it through the month they have done great. They have no long term plans, they don’t dream for themselves or for anyone else. The idea of building an orphanage is not in their brain. The idea of buying a car for someone else will never enter their mind. The idea of houses will not be there. Our job is to put these ideas into people by speaking about them – our words paint pictures. Many people couldn’t even imagine saving to have a college fund for their children!

Life should not be “one day at a time, sweet Jesus”, it should be planned for. To live the special life, you have to dream special dreams.

You need to knock the apathy out of your people, you need to paint a picture of hungry people needing feed, of millions of believers in China who need Bible schools and churches, of the vision you have for the church. Give people dreams. Dreaming and prosperity are tied because indifference leads to mediocrity.

Oral Roberts said that the most dangerous days of your life are the days you don’t have a need. Self-sufficiency will stop dreaming and choke your prosperity. It will stop you pushing to use your faith to change the world.

A lack of dream always causes a lack of resources. A big dream always brings in the necessary resources. Please encourage your people to dream big, to see big, to see themselves as the head and not the tail and to dream accordingly.

And if the dream isn’t so big, it needs God – it’s not a God-given dream!

God wants you to grow and all the people around you to grow. Let’s not be the guy who buries his talent in the ground and fail to multiply.

Help your people dream so big, every ounce of faith inside them is woken up and needed to bring that dream to pass.

Lies That Stop the Harvest 01: God Doesn’t Care About my Prosperity

For the next few weeks, I want to talk to you candidly as leaders, especially those of you who are spiritual leaders. The truth is that God wants the church wealthy, and most of you reading this will believe that and preach that. But you all know people who are giving generously and radically but that are not receiving their harvests. It just isn’t working for them. They are sincere, faithful and generous people.

The problem is that there are mindsets and ideas that prevent seedtime and harvest time working. I want to share these with you because that will help you not just individually and with your ministry, but will help the precious people in your church who are giving generously and kindly and faithfully to prosper.

The truth is that poverty has never done any good to anyone. Right now people are starving to death on our planet. And the truth is that poverty is unnecessary because God is good and God works miracles still. God has promised to provide.

Prosperity is probably still the single most controversial subject to discuss and talk about in the body of Christ because there is still so much wide spread ignorance on the topic. People still have many strange ideas about prosperity and about the prosperity of the saints.  In the next few weeks, probably months, we will deal with some of these ideas.

You can prosper. Your ministry can prosper. Your people can prosper.

The first lie that stops harvest is the lie that God does not really care about your finances. I believe no one is more misunderstood than God. Some think He is just a force, others a supreme being who is distant from us. But the truth of the Word is that God is touched with the feeling of our infirmities (Hebrews 4.15), and that God said to approach Him with boldness in every need we have (Hebrews 4.16).

God wants you to have the money necessary to look after your loved ones (1 Tim. 5.8). God wants you to have the money to give great, generous, uncommon gifts to your pastors (1 Tim. 5.17-18). God wants you to have the money to send preachers all over the nations preaching the gospel (Romans 10.15).  God wants you to have enough money to pay your taxes and your bills (Matthew 22.21).  God wants you to have enough money to tithe (Lev. 27.30). God wants you to have enough money to give gifts to your children (Matt. 7.11). God wants you to have enough money to help the poor (Pro. 19.17). God wants you to have enough money to face any problems that comes your way (Ecc. 10.19).

Elijah faced a financial crisis in a drought that affected an entire nation.  God firstly told Elijah exactly where to go to get provision (1 Kings 17.3-9). God will tell you where to go and what to do to bring finances into your life.

Everything God made was made to multiply.  Every tree, every animal, every fish, every bird was designed to multiply and increase. You are no exception.

Today settle in your heart that God’s will is for your financial increase. The more settled you are, the easier you will preach it, the easier you will impart that confidence and faith to people, and the better leader you will be. God gave people cities for looking after a few coins well – He is generous! You matter to Him! He delights in your prosperity (Ps. 35.27).

Now prosperity is so much more than gold and cash and diamonds and fancy things!  Prosperity is having the supply to fulfill your destiny. God wants you to be able to do what He has called you to do, He wants you to have the wisdom, the strength, the energy, the health and the provision. God is not poor and He doesn’t want you to be poor.

So now your finances are going to turn around. No one can do that for you. You need to get those things in your brain. You need to meditate on the Scriptures I have listed today and get them in your heart. You are not serving a God who doesn’t care, you are serving a God who does care. He wants to discuss your mortgage with you. He wants to discuss everything on your finances with you. He is a good God! He has plans to show you and reveal to you, and everyone you are leading.

Next week: the Dream-Prosperity Connection