It is a simple trap to ask God to supply your needs, but not consider others. Some people think that it’s selfish to believe or to ask God for extra. However, the truth is that it’s selfish not to! If you have extra you can give it away—you can help more people.
Abundance Is Not Selfish
“There is one who scatters [gives], yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.” – Proverbs 11:24, brackets added.
God wants good things for you, and He wants you to live a prosperous, abundant life. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says that God not only wants to provide for your needs but also have an abundance for every good work. As born-again believers, we should want to have an abundance for every good work! We shouldn’t be confined to only seeking God to meet our own needs; we should consider others as well.
“…let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” – Ephesians 4:28
If we are just barely getting by how can we help those who have need? You may have heard the saying, “As the money comes through, there’s always plenty for you.” God won’t be out given; He is the biggest giver! As Proverbs 11:24 says, as you give, you’re going to increase more.
We are free to give because God has already taken care of our needs. When we get this mindset that we aren’t just trying to look after our own needs but desire to look after the needs of others, we give God the room to bless us with that abundance. When we consider others, God will supply extra than we need. With this abundance, we can be used by Him to express His love for other people in tangible ways.
Thinking Small Was Actually Selfishness!
When we were in the process of moving across country to go to Bible college, we began to consider our finances. We were going to quit our jobs and move our family of five to another city. There would be a total of five sets of school tuition, and because we were going to attend school, we would have less time to work regular jobs. The prophets of doom soon came out and said we were going to die! But we were following the leading of the Lord. We knew that as long as we were following God, He would take care of our needs.
Still, there was a part of us that tried to rationally set up a budget and see what we could afford. We figured that with five sets of tuition, and no income, we would to try to find the smallest apartment that we could and felt we could scrape by with next to nothing.
Yet, as we started looking for a place to live in Walsall near the Bible college, we couldn’t find anything! We were even looking at 2-bedroom apartments, thinking we could just squeeze the three children in one room. Finally, the Lord challenged us. He said, “The reason you can’t find a house is because you’re only looking after your own needs.”
We were confused because we thought we were being unselfish by trying to live as frugally as possible. But He said, “No, you haven’t been considering My needs, you’ve only been considering your own needs as a family. That’s why you haven’t been seeing any provision.”
Our Eyes Were Opened
We started praying about this and asking God what He meant. He told us, “You need to have a bigger house, with a spare room so that you can host other families who come into town and take care of other families who have needs.” Because we had taken the time to ask Him, He began unravelling to us of the ways He would supply our needs and use us to be a blessing by supplying the needs of others.
With our eyes opened, almost right away we found a beautiful five-bedroom house in the country that was still within our budget! We never would have considered looking at houses with five bedrooms; we’d never had a five-bedroom house in our lives. So, during that time in Bible college God gave us a massive house—way bigger than we would ever have needed—because He wanted us to help supply the needs of others. Sure enough, during that time we were able to host missionaries and others who were coming into town to visit and even had other families that came to live with us.
God Wants More For You Than You Know!
There was another reason God wanted us to rent this big house. We didn’t know that Ashley would need room to run his business out of our home. This house had acres of land that allowed us the room to run a part-time business that brought in more income than we had before when working full-time. As a result, not only did we earn more, we were able to give more! This aspect of believing God for more than we needed hadn’t even occurred to us. Yet, He knew ahead of time what we would need to succeed!
Focusing on your lack doesn’t provide the Lord opportunity to bring you abundance. As soon as our attitudes changed, and we started looking at the needs of others rather than simply our own, God was able to provide for us in greater ways! Stay in tune with the direction the Lord is giving you in how He wants to use you to be a blessing to other people, and He will provide you with more than enough. As you focus on how, where, and when to scatter (give) you will increase!
This testimony is one of many that Ashley and Carlie share in their 20-part series entitled How to Attack Lack. If you’re experiencing lack, don’t feel condemned. It’s time to attack it! This series gives practical and spiritual principles to help you get out of debt and lead a life of abundance with plenty left over to help others.