The Intentional Investment of Initiation 1


Today I was reading Martin Luther’s “By Faith Alone” Devotional while drinking my coffee and something he said inspired me for this blog post. Luther said, “God’s work is accomplished when we use the resources given to us. He wants us to use our resources but not put our trust in them. While it’s true that hard-working hands brings riches, it’s also true that only the Lord’s blessing brings riches…”

How many times do we sit around “waiting for God” to move in our lives, when He is actually waiting for us? If you are a child of God, and have fully given your life over to Him, then you are already equipped with every good thing needed to do His Will for your life. You don’t need to sit around and “wait for something to happen.” You can begin today doing what you know God has planned for you to do, with the resources that He has already blessed you with.

2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” If God has called you to a mission, or put a passion in your heart for something, then He has already given you all that you need to begin to do that work.

After spending my entire life in the ministry and around ministries, I have seen far too often that money, or the lack of, seems to be a stumbling block for people in getting the job done. I completely understand that in today’s culture, money is a necessity for fulfilling the work of the ministry; (and I have been in that position more times than I would have desired), however, I do not believe that we should allow the lack of monetary resources to stop us from doing that which God has called us to do. I believe it is time for the people of God to be the examples of initiation and creativity to the world instead of the world being the forerunners of initiation. If God has called us to do a work, then He is more than capable of supplying us with the appropriate resources to do that job.

Exceedingly Abundantly All That We Ask or Think

We all love to quote the verse Ephesians 3:20 – 21 – “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” It’s exciting to know that God is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,” but have we ever taken the time to slowly meditate on what comes before that verse? In order to fully comprehend what Paul was saying there, I think we need to back up and read the preceding verses.

Ephesians 3: 8 – 18 – “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Appreciation of the Mystery

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Wow! If you did not fully comprehend what Paul is saying there, I urge you to slowly read that passage again. It is awesome! Paul is telling us that it if we ask Him (“I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” – Eph. 3:14) it is God’s intention “that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church” and that “He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man;” AND “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Whoa! As my Dad would say, “That is some really good stuff!” Please do not miss “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.” In my blog “Knowing the Mastermind of Innovation,” I touch on how with wisdom and knowledge the Lord created the earth, and with “understanding” He put it all together. Because God loves us so much, that is what He desires to share with us: His secrets of how it all works; His Wisdom, His Knowledge, and His Resources. When Ephesians 3:8 – 18 has become revelation to us, we can then move to verses 20 – 21,Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Do you believe this? If you will, then I believe your life, your ministry and your future will be revolutionized. I believe it is past time that the church rises up with the fullness, wisdom and innovation that God intends for us in order to fulfill His purpose here on the earth. We need to stop “waiting on God to move” and start moving with the power and resources He has already blessed us with.

We all know the story of Elisha and the Widow’s Oil in 2 Kings, but I want you to read it again. I know that our society has fallen victim to bad economic times and I want to encourage you with this story because I believe that many of you are in the same financial position as the widow.

Elisha and the Widow’s Oil

2 Kings 4: 1 – 7:  “A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”

So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”

Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out.

Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”

In this story, we see how the amazing power of God used the resources that the widow had in her house, a jar of oil, and multiplied it “to do exceedingly abundantly above all” that she could ask or think. She had enough to not only pay off her debts, but to bless her future and her sons, as well.  Because Elisha had a revelation of the power of God, he was able to take what resources were available (a jar of oil), hand them over to God, and believe that the resources that GOD HAS would be exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.

What resources are in your cupboard? I challenge you to an Intentional Investment of Initiation and ask God to show you the “jars of oil” that are hidden in your cupboards. We are all storing deep wells of untapped resources that will remain untouched unless if we search out the talents that God has given us and use them. Now is the time for the church to seek out the mysteries of the Kingdom in order rise up in the fullness and the power of God, for such a time as this. It is not for our glory, but for the glory of God alone. As this truly becomes a revelation and then a manifestation in our lives, we can joyfully declare with Paul “to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

  • http://www.tims-bits.blogspot.com Tim Bits

    I have had a hard time finding employment recently and so last week I had a brief meeting with what I will call an employment coach. His whole job is to meet with people like myself and help them find decent employment. One of his first questions was finding out my skills; the things I have done in the past that would help him in his (ok I guess “our” would be a better word since we are doing this together, but I digress…) employment search. Among the list of things I shared was the brief time I spent teaching English overseas.
     
    he then asked if I had gotten any education in the area of teaching ESL, when I told him I had no formal education in that field he proceeded to tell me about places that offer certification in teaching ESL and the possible grants I could get to help with funding etc etc. I then kindly told him that I’d already been to college got a degree to be a youth pastor somewhere and have yet to find a job in that field. The last thing I want to do is go back to school for something else. He then looked at me a bit puzzled and realized he’s going to have to work harder with me then he initially thought. Gears were set in motion that day to delve deeper into my situation.
     
    I share this scenario because I have a question in regard to your comment about being examples of initiation and creativity. Near the beginning of this post you said: “I believe it is time for the people of God to be the examples of initiation and creativity to the world instead of the world being the forerunners of initiation. If God has called us to do a work, then He is more than capable of supplying us with the appropriate resources to do that job.”
     
    I understand that God gives us gifts talents and abilities to accomplish the things He sets in our path. I believe that I’m a living example of that. I went to college but didn’t study anything in the field of journalism or writing for a career, yet I’m on the brink of publishing my first book. That’s a nearly impossible feat in my mind if it weren’t for the help of God.
     
    What do you do when you have someone in my position that says these are the gifts talents and abilities that God has given me over the course of my life, and that persons first response is: “do you have any formal training or credentials in ____________ field?” and your answer is “no, but I have experience doing it.”