In part 15 of How to Attack Lack, Ashley and Carlie share about the attitude to giving. When we give financially it moves our heart into the area that we are giving towards.
Announcer: Why live a normal life when you could be living the Abundant Life? Welcome to the Abundant Life Program with Ashley and Carlie Terradez.
Ashley: Hello, and welcome to Abundant Life. We’re so glad you’ve joined us today. We’ve got a great program for you. We’re excited. We’re talking about how to attack lack in your life. God wants you prosperous. He wants you prosperous in every area of your life. And during this series, we’re talking about how he wants to prosper you in your finances. And we’re talking about if you’re not seeing that in the natural… If you’re seeing a shortage in your finances, if you’re experiencing any kind of lack, and praise God, that’s not God’s will for you. God wants you to have an abundance for every good work.
Ashley: So we’re doing that attack in lack, amen.
Carlie: It’s good news.
Ashley: It’s the good news, it’s the Gospel. We’ve talked about a bunch of things. We can’t go back and tell you all that we’ve told because it would take forever. But if you haven’t seen the previous episodes, go back and see those. They’d really bless you, and we’re going to make this available as a series so you can go through this one at a time. But we’ve looked at so many different things. First, we’ve looked at the work of your hands, how the work of your hands, God can increase the work of your hands. We’ve looked at your stewardship, how you steward money and how you spend your money. Don’t consume everything, but steward it and actually save some of it. And then also we’ve looked at giving and that’s what we’re looking at now. We’re looking at giving and out of those three things, the work of your hands, your stewardship, giving is the most important. Now, some people just say, “well, you just give and you’ll be okay. Just give to God and you’ll increase.”
Carlie: Just randomly…
Ashley: Just randomly give and you’ll be okay, but there’s more to it than that. There’s the work of your hand and then there’s stewardship, and then how you give and where you give and the types of giving. So we’re in the middle here of talking about different types of giving. We’ve talked about tithing and we’ve done, I think, two or three programs on the tithe-
Ashley: … And how the tithe is still relevant today as new covenant believers. The tithe was established before the law. There’s two clear incidences where Abraham tithed and Jacob tithed before the law. Then the tithe become part of the law and there was a curse if you didn’t tithe, and now the tithe is still relevant after the law, but there’s no curse anymore.
Ashley: Galatians 3:13, Jesus redeemed us from the curse.
Carlie: We don’t have to give, but we get to give, right?
Ashley: We get to give. It’s not part of the law. It is not a command. You know what, now it is our choice and when we tithe now, we still get all the benefits. And we looked at the fact, that the whole point of the tithe anyway, was God trying to get more to us. In Malachi three He says, “I’m going to open up the windows of heaven and give you a blessing so great, you’re not going to be able to contain it.”
So the whole point of the tithe was God trying to get stuff to us anyway. So when we look at giving here, we’ve got to remember, God is the biggest giver. He invented giving. God is love, God is good and God is generous. And that’s part of who He is. That’s His nature. He’s very nature. So anytime He asks us to give, is because He’s trying to get more to us.
He’s not a taker. He’s a giver by nature. You know, John 3:16, He loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten son. So God’s the biggest giver. So when we give to God, we haven’t got to worry about him taking from us and us go and move out. Now when we give, it’s because God’s trying to get more to us. We’ll do different types of giving. We looked at the tithe obviously. Then we looked at offerings above the tithe. We said offerings to ministries, giving where you’re fed. If you’re fed from a ministry, if you’ve received something of value from a ministry, from maybe listening to a teaching, maybe whatever it is. Like the other day I was watching, I think it was on YouTube.
Carlie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ashley: The YouTube, I was on YouTube. [crosstalk]
I was on YouTube and I really got blessed by our ministers teaching, so I wrote my $50 check and put it in the mail.
Ashley: It’s good to give offerings where you’re fed and where you’ve received things.
Carlie: It’s showing honor.
Ashley: It shows honor, it’s that teaching. It establishes that teaching in your heart as well, whatever you commit to the Lord. So that’s offerings, and also offerings could be in partnership with ministries.
Carlie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ashley: So partnership is very important as part of that. We haven’t had time to go into that, but partnership is very valuable because partnership, you know, partners catch more fish.
Carlie: That’s right.
Ashley: And God wants us in partnership with different ministries and things like that. We partner with a lot of ministries.
Ashley: And a lot of different organizations. Then we looked at benevolence giving where there’s need. If you see someone in genuine need and you can help them. We talked about that giving and James talks about it as pure religion. Giving to orphans and widows, it’s very pure to do that.
Carlie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ashley: And God’s heart is to give and to help people. So when we have an opportunity to help people and there’s a genuine need, then it’s good to do that. And that’s benevolence. Jesus said, “you know, when you give to those who can’t repay you, you will be blessed.”
Ashley: And then in Proverbs, it talks about how, when you give to the poor you’re lending to the Lord and He will repay you in full. God repays his debts. God repays his debts with interest. So when you give to the poor, God’s going to give you back. And that’s benevolence. Then we looked at firstfruits, about how if the Lord promotes you or gives you increase in a certain area, it’s the right thing to give the firstfruits of that back to God.
Carlie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ashley: Give that back as an honor, back to God and that’s when your bond will be filled. It says, in Proverbs, “you give back the first fruits and your barns will be filled.” So it looks at the four different types of giving there.
Carlie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ashley: Now we’re looking at attitude to giving. Our attitude has so much to do with how we give and, God… When Jesus was at the treasury, the story of the widow with the mites, the two mites, the poor widow it says, “Jesus looked to see how they gave.” So imagine that Jesus stood by the offering and He watched how people gave.
Carlie: I’m liking this.
Ashley: And he was interested in [crosstalk]
Carlie: This just reminds me, in church one time [crosstalk] and the pastor was standing over the offering bucket, and, you know, churches do different things with offerings, right? Some of them pass the buckets and some of them take all of the checks and things, and they make the congregation walk down the front. This church was one of those types of churches where everyone took that offering down the aisle to the front of the church and they put it in the buckets. Well, they had all these buckets lined out for different things and one guy… And the pastor is standing there, and one guy comes down, he puts the offering in the bucket and he goes to walk away and he goes, “come on now, Bill, you can do better than that.”
Ashley: The pastor called him back and said, “come on. You can do better than that.” He told him to give more. It was a type of joking, but actually he came back and gave more.
Carlie: He did.
Ashley: I think many truer words said in jest.
Ashley: I think it was serious, but Jesus watched to see how people gave. And when the widow gave out of her lack, she gave all she had, Jesus called the disciples over and said, “this woman has given generously.” So attitude to giving, remember, Jesus talked about how, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. So where we put our treasure, that’s where our heart is going to be and God ultimately wants our heart. This is about relationship. Everything we’ve got is about relationship. It’s not about systems or codes it’s about relationships. And when we give into the Kingdom of God, it moves our heart in that direction.
Carlie: That’s right.
Ashley: Proverbs said, “we can guide our hearts in these ways.” So when we give financially, our finances and our hearts are tied and when we give financially it moves our heart into that area.
So God’s very interested about how we give, our attitude to giving. We can look at some other attitudes of giving here today. We’re going to pick this up. In previous episodes, we looked at the Cheerful Giver. Paul says, “don’t give begrudgingly with necessity because God loves a Cheerful Giver.” And I joked and said, when I used to take up the offering in, sometimes I take up the offering in the church, we go to, we’re not on staff at that church, but that’s the church we attend. And sometimes the pastors ask me to take up the offering. I’ll say “at this church, we love all givers, not just the cheerful ones. We love the miserable ones as well.”
Carlie: And we’ll take your money.
Ashley: We’ll take your money, [inaudible] The point is, God loves it when someone understands the power of giving and receiving. God loves it when someone understands how powerful it is to give, and they realize the promises and that makes them cheerful.
Ashley: If you really understand giving, you’ll be cheerful.
Carlie: It should be an exciting event, right?
Carlie: You should be looking forward to going to church on Sunday-
Carlie: … Or wherever and giving an offering. It should be joyous.
Carlie: It’s an act of worship.
Ashley: And the other day I was traveling, I couldn’t be at church. So the first opportunity, I took my tithe check to the church office and gave it there because I was so excited about giving because I understand the power of giving. Our testimony is, we’ve seen God come through. We’ve seen God supernaturally bless us so many times, to the point where people say, “how come you always get the blessings? How come all these things happen to you?”
It’s no coincidence, it’s because we’re giving. We’re only saying this because we’re teaching on giving. Normally-
Carlie: Yeah. It’s the power in that.
Ashley: … Normally we wouldn’t share this type of stuff because it’s personal, but we want to tell you it’s the giving that’s done it. I mean, we’ve put our hands to things and we’ve been good stewards. Most of the time, we haven’t done everything perfectly, but it’s been the giving that’s really sent us over the edge. It really has. That’s what’s really, really put us over the edge.
Ashley: It’s the giving. It’s amazing when we’ve given, we’ve seen the return and we haven’t given to get. It’s not like we’ve given and said, “we’re giving this to get.”
Carlie: That’s a really important point.
Ashley: It is.
Carlie: You know, it’s that the motivation of our heart says a lot.
Ashley: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Carlie: And we need to make sure that when we are giving, we’re not giving with an agenda. If any of you have ever received a gift with strings attached, there’s no joy in that, right? You just feel like you’re beholden to somebody else because you can tell when they’ve given something to you in order to get something back.
Ashley: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Carlie: But we can’t approach it giving to the Lord with any differently. When we’re talking about being a Cheerful Giver, we’re talking about giving without any strings attached. Just for the sake of giving. Just for the sake of being a blessing. There’s a freedom and liberty in that.
Ashley: Amen. There really is. And it’s giving as part of worship. It’s part of honoring God. It’s part of showing your love to God. You know, James says “faith without corresponding actions or faith without works is dead.” And really giving is part of the action to our faith. If you really believe Proverbs 11:24, there’s one who scatters yet increases more. If you really believe that, if you believe the verses that talk about when you give, it’s going to be given back to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over. If you really believe that Deuteronomy 8:18, He’s given us the power to get well. So He can establish His covenant. You’re going to want to put action to that and giving is the action part to that faith. Remember grace… Through grace, God’s already provided it for you.
God’s already provided your prosperity. God’s already provided for you. But our part by faith is to say yes to that grace and accept it.
Carlie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ashley: So we still have something to do. We still have to accept that. It’s not work. It’s not like we’ve got to make God do anything. God’s already done it. It’s just stepping out and saying, “yes, Lord, I believe your promises and therefore I’m giving because I believe what you’ve done. I believe that as I give this money is actually going to be returned back to me increased.”
Carlie: Yeah. I remember one time, when you just mentioned this kind of reminded me, but we tried to short circuit the system-
Ashley: Oh, yeah.
Carlie: … Right? We kind of found out about the power of giving and we were a bit short every month and we just decided, we’re going to really test this. And so we figured out how much extra we needed every month. And then we started putting the extra in the offering and the little-
Ashley: With the wrong attitude though-
Carlie: … Challenge. With the wrong attitude-
Ashley: … We did it with the wrong attitude.
Carlie: Because we were giving with an agenda.
Ashley: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Carlie: Right. But the Lord, I mean, He really dealt with us about that. Didn’t He?
Ashley: It was amazing, you know? So basically, I called it reverse tithing.
Carlie: Reverse tithing, yes.
Ashley: I’ve made up my own doctrine.
Carlie: You’ve heard it first here, people.
Ashley: I’ve made it out of my own doctrine.
Carlie: Doesn’t work.
Ashley: Reverse tithing. The Lord tells you to do it and you’re doing it under… In faith.
Carlie: He didn’t tell us to do it.
Ashley: I just tried to manipulate the system and blackmail God a little bit. I was like, “okay, we need X amount of money.” I think it was a thousand pounds a week.
Carlie: That’s a lot of money.
Ashley: I think we were paying five tuition’s.
Carlie: Yeah, yeah. We were.
Ashley: Five school tuition’s. I think it was about a thousand pounds a week. And I was like, “if we give a hundred pounds a week, then God will have to give us the [crosstalk].
Carlie: He’ll have to.
Ashley: The 900 pounds a week.
Carlie: We have a strong arm in God.
Ashley: So I was putting a hundred pounds a week in the offering and then one week we were actually traveling out of town and we traveled to a different church. So I put my offering into that church. Now, nowadays I know better, now I would still give to my home church. But at the time I didn’t know any better. So I gave… I wrote the check and the bank I used was Lloyd’s Bank, very popular bank in England. But Lloyd’s bank and I wrote the check out, the hundred dollar, hundred pound check, to the church that I was going to write out. And the church had two names. It was a funding deal. Had like two names. It had like a nickname, but I knew it had an official name. So I didn’t know the name of the church. So I just left it blank and I put the hundred dollars in the offering. Lloyd’s check, hundred pounds in the offering.
Then after service, I was just leaving the church and the pastor went up to me, and I only met him a few times before, hardly knew this man. And he said, “I’m really excited for you guys,” he said, “you know, so good to see you here today.” So listen he said, “I’d like to give you something.” Now remember, we’ve only been to this church couple of times before.
Ashley: We were from out of town and we were just visiting, we were just passing through. He didn’t really know us and he gave us a check and I opened the check up, and he hadn’t seen the offering yet. He hadn’t seen what we had given.
Ashley: I open the check up, it was a Lloyd’s check, the exact same check. Same star and everything.
Carlie: It looked like our check. It wasn’t, but.
Ashley: It was for a hundred pounds, the exact same money. And he even said to me as he gave it to me, he said, “now I can’t remember how to spell your last name, you know, first fruits. I wasn’t sure how to spell it. So I just left it blank.” And there I was holding basically the exact the same check I just put in the offer in a minute ago.
Ashley: The Lord really spoke to me about that. He said, “stop doing this. This is crazy.” So I was trying to give, and the Gods were just giving it straight back to me.
Ashley: He said, “you’re doing this wrong. This is not how it works.” So what we were doing, we were actually trusting in our giving.
Ashley: And this could be a subtle thing, but you can get to the point where, when you start finding out about giving and you can get the point where you start trusting in the giving, rather than the provider.
Ashley: And you start looking at the actual mechanism of the giving rather than the giver. God always does things in relationship.
Carlie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ashley: His relationship with Him. He wants our time. He wants our energy. He wants a relationship. He wants our presence with Him.
Ashley: So if we try and short circuit that system and try and give, and make it a formula, then you know what? We’re trying to short circuit the system.
Carlie: And no one likes to feel manipulated in a relationship and that’s what we were doing by trusting in our giving. You see, giving is an act of faith and when we give with other motivations, with an agenda behind it, we are not giving in faith, we’re giving with strings attached-
Carlie: … And nobody likes to be on either side of that coin in any kind of just human relationship. But nevermind with God. God’s the same way. He’s a person. He’s a real person and He wants to be in a real relationship with us.
Carlie: So when we’re giving, it’s just so important to understand that it’s relationship first.
Ashley: Amen, and that’s why if you’re starting to trust in your giving, you can actually put your trust in the giving, and like I said, it can be subtle rather than the provider. Rather than Jesus, who’s going to provide your needs. So that was one mistake we made. And you have to be careful with things. I mean, it’s easy to get off track-
Ashley: … With this type of stuff And it’s amazing how some of the mistakes we’ve made and some of the things we’ve done. Thank God for His mercy. Thank God for His grace, that He’s helped us, but it’s easy to make these types of mistakes and actually try and do these things. I mean, I’ve done this and maybe you’ve done this watching at home, but you know, naming your seed saying, “you know what? This is my seed for… I need this new car. This is my new car seed.” Or “I need this house. This is my house seed.”
Now if God leads you to do that, and that’s a word from God, that’s fine. But I don’t see that, personally, as something we should be doing all the time. I don’t see that particularly in the word where it’s like you name this seed. What I see in the word of God is Philippians 4:19, “My God will supply your needs according to His riches in glory.”
Carlie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ashley: So I believe that God’s going to provide our needs, and in fact, when Jesus talks about this in Matthew, he says, “you know what,” Matthew 6, He says, “the birds of the air, they don’t sow or reap. And yet the Lord provides them. How much more valuable are you from the birds of the air?”
So really if we’re looking at it, the reason we sow and reap, the reason why we sow to reap is that we’ll have more to give. God’s going to take care of our needs. When we do the Matthew 6:33 model, which is “seek first, the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” And then all these things. And if you read Matthew 6, He’s talking about the natural things, what we’re going to wear. You know, if they had cars in that time, it would have been what you’re going to drive. How are you going to pay your rent? Things like that, all those natural needs. God’s going to take care of if you get committed to giving and if you give and you start to trust God with your finances. When you give, you are allowing God into your finances. You’re allowing God to provide for you. So when you don’t, you’re out there on your own, and you have to jump and make it happen yourself.
When you give you saying, “God, I’m trusting you with my finances, I’m trusting you. You’re a great provider. That’s what you do.” I think it Psalms 10:34 says, “you know the young lions, they lack no good thing.”
So God’s going to give you your own needs and he can look after you better than you can look after you. And then we believe God for extra. So we can give more and we can expand more in the Kingdom of God and do more for God.
Ashley: So that’s how I see it. If you name your seed, I’m not against you. It’s just my opinion. I think personally, we should be giving because we love God. We want to give back to God. It’s a form of worship. It’s a form of honor and it shouldn’t be all about us. When you start giving so you can get something, it becomes about you. It can become selfish. It can become what you want and what you need. And you know what? God knows what you need. God knows what you want. And He’ll give you the desires of your heart if you’re delighting yourself in Him.
Ashley: So that’s how I look at it. Let’s look at some other attitudes of giving here. I’ve got here, the generous gift. This is the generous gift.
Carlie: How do you know if a gift is generous or not?
Ashley: Well, there’s a way you can tell if a gift is generous because the good thing is God set it up, that anyone can be a generous giver. So you can be a generous giver. It’s great how He set it up. In fact, if you have… The less money you have, the easier it is to be generous givers sometimes because the more money you have, the amount changes. It’s like the tithe is 10% or a generous gift depends on how much you have left over. So the widow woman gave in two mites. We just looked at that. She gave in two mites. That was a generous gift for her. For some people, generous gifts-
Carlie: Because she didn’t give up her abundant. She gave her out of her livelihood.
Ashley: … Of what she had, all that she had. I’ve got a friend. He gave a hundred thousand dollar one time check. Now that for him, that was a generous gift.
Carlie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ashley: For you watching at home, a hundred dollars might be generous. A thousand dollars might be generous. It depends on how much you have left over. But I tell people this, if you want to know what’s generous, because those who sow generously, reap generously. Those who sow sparingly, reap sparingly. If you want to know if you’re sowing a generous gift or not, because it’s not up to us.
Ashley: Okay. So, we can’t just say “that’s a generous gift.” No, we will know it’s generous when we start giving. When your heart starts beating fast, when God tells you, when you pray and say, “God, how much should I give?” Now, we have already established the tithe, and we’ve established the offerings in partnership and things like that. This is beyond the tithe. This is times when you feel like I want to give a gift and you pray and you ask “God, how much shall I give?” If your heart starts beating, hands start getting sweaty-
Carlie: When you start praying just for the refund.
Ashley: … God tells you an amount and he’s like, “I want to you to give this amount. You think, “oh no, what I’m going to do?” Your hands start getting sweaty. You write the check, get up a shaking. You put in the offering bucket and you watch the offering bucket goes like, it’s gone.
Carlie: You keep watching it all the way.
Ashley: It’s gone. My money’s gone. You know, if you go to bed that night and thinking, “man, did I really give that amount of money?” If you wake up in the morning and think, “did I really give that amount of money?” You know, you’re not worried about harvest. You’re just happy for refund.
Ashley: That’s how you feel.
Carlie: That’s it.
Ashley: Then that’s probably a generous gift to you because your flesh is freaking out.
Ashley: Your flesh is saying, “don’t do it. You’re going to die.” You know?
Carlie: And I think God asks us to give generous gifts when there is something specific that He’s trying to get to us. I remember one time we had been saving up for a car, actually. We needed a new vehicle, and so we’d been saving up for car and our savings account was building up, building up to the point where we could buy the car that we were trying to get for cash. We didn’t want to get a loan, we wanted to buy it for cash.
So we’re about halfway there I guess. It was a significant amount of money in there. And then Ashley calls me one day and he’s been to a church meeting. Actually, it was a missionary that was coming into town. They were having a missions banquet. And it was like a snow storm or something, wasn’t it?
Carlie: It was almost like we’d been so, so busy. It was almost like, “oh man, maybe you think they’ll mind if we don’t go?” You know, it was kind of treacherous out, but you really felt like you needed to be there. It was really good because there’s only a handful of people that showed up, right?
Ashley: The reason why I went there is because they had actually asked me to speak at it.
Carlie: Oh, that’s why.
Ashley: It wasn’t my choice.
Carlie: I was trying to be kind.
Ashley: It wasn’t my choice, I had to go.
Carlie: He had to go there, but.
Ashley: So I went through the snow, and I got there and they had a set up for like a hundred people. And literally like five people turned up.
Carlie: It was a shame.
Ashley: Three of them were the missionaries themselves, and it was me and a couple other people. I mean, there’s hardly anyone there. And the whole idea was they were raising money for the-
Ashley: … For their missions program. So I spoke a little bit and then the guy whose mission it was, he stood up and spoke and it was interesting. He said he spent some time with Oral Roberts and he knew Oral Roberts personally. He said, “Oral Roberts told me that when you go to pray, when you ask God for something and you pray, especially when you pray in tongues, the first thing that comes to your mind is usually God. Comes to mind, bam, and then our logic like talks us out of it.”
Ashley: And we still have to-
Carlie: We have to rationalize it.
Ashley: …We still have to rationalize it, then that’s not work. But he said, “when you pray in tongues and you have an idea, it’s usually that first idea you have is usually God. So go with it.” I thought, “oh, that’s interesting.”
So anyway, he did that and then we did the offering for these missionary thing. So we were at decent check. I forget how much it was for now. I thought, “that’s a decent offering.” I feel that type of sorry for him that no one else had turned out. Put it in the offering bucket and then I left, and as I was walking out, I started praying in tongues. Just talking in tongues, for probably the first time that day. And just as I said that, bam, the Holy Spirit told me “that money you’ve got in that savings account, give that to that missionary.” And like Carlie said, it was a significant amount of money. In actual fact, I think we’d sold a car and that money was going to be a down payment on a house.
Ashley: That was a down payment on a house. It was a decent amount of money in the bank. And my first thought was, “I can’t hear you Lord.”
Ashley: I really didn’t want to hear it. I’ll just be honest with my flesh freaked out. I didn’t want to hear it.
Carlie: I didn’t want to hear it when he phoned me up and said, “Hey, I think the Lord is telling us to give these back to…” Like “let me get back to you on that.” Put the phone down, and I’m like [inaudible].
It was like, let me just get with Jesus on this for a minute.
Ashley: It was the biggest one-time gift we’ve ever given. It was significant five figure gift. It was like “whoa.” Anyway.
Carlie: That was a knee wobbler, right?
Ashley: It was a knee wobbler. And you know what? We wrote the check. I talked to the guy, in fact, the friend of his, I said, “can he come and meet me tomorrow?” And he said, “it’s a couple of busy tomorrow.” So I said “I just need 10 minutes. If he can come and see me you, it would just take 10 minutes.” And he said, “okay.” I said, “I think you’ll want to be there.” So anyway, he came and met me. I gave him the check and he started crying. I started crying. He was like “this is a lot of money.” I was like, “I know.”
Carlie: He was like “I really need this. I really need this.”
Ashley: No I gave with good attitude and he said, he’d been believing for that amount of money because-
Ashley: He was building-
Carlie: It was a specific amount.
Ashley: … A Bible school. He was building a Bible school, literally brick and mortar Bible school, in this third world nation. He was this much short to finishing it, to actually building it out. And we gave him that money. And that was the money they were believing for, so he was overwhelmed. It was totally God. And you know what? We were overwhelmed.
Ashley: But in a good way, and I got in my car and I was driving home. And as I was driving home, I was just thanking God. I was like, “God, thank you. Thank you for being able to give generously, thank you for this.” And as I was driving home, God spoke to me as clear as anything I had to pull the car over. I was so emotional. He said, “thank you.” I was like, “thank you? God thanked me.” And I was like, “God’s thanking you me?” And I felt God say to me, “you know what he’s been trying… I’ve been trying to get that money to that missionary for a while now, but no one even had it on their radar. No one even thought about giving that amount of money. But you’d been thinking about it. You’d already had it on your radar.”
And I was like, “Lord, when did I think about it?” And he said like 10 years earlier or whatever it was at that stage. Probably 10 years earlier. We’d written out faith checks.
Ashley: We saw ourselves giving big.
Carlie: Now, don’t give out the faith checks.
Carlie: You put them in an envelope, put them in desk drawer or keep them safe somewhere.
Ashley: Yeah, don’t give them out. Don’t give someone a check, you know, “here’s a check for whatever, however many-
Carlie: Here’s your million dollars [inaudible].
Ashley: … Thousand dollars, but don’t cash it because I haven’t got the money. Don’t do that. But we wanted to see ourselves as givers. And when you use your imagination, when you start to see things, you need to make plans, you need to actually visualize yourself doing it.
Ashley: So we’ve got a checkbook and imagine what it’d be like to give away these large amounts of money. We wrote a check for that amount of money, probably 10 or maybe 15 years earlier.
Carlie: Yeah we did.
Ashley: And put it in the safe and God said “that was on your radar to give that amount of money.”
Ashley: And I was like, “wow. But God thanked me.” He made me want to turn around and give it all again.
Ashley: It was amazing how God thanked us for giving that amount of money.
Carlie: Afterwards, when we found out that he’d been… The whole story of him been believing for a specific amount. And then what it was going to go to, man, that was so exciting. We knew because we knew because we knew that we’d heard from God. And it was exciting to get to be a part of that. Now, when Ashley called me on the phone, I wasn’t excited at that moment. I was like, “oh, hang on a second.” I seriously needed to go. I said, “let me call you back in 10 minutes.” And I just went and I just prayed. And I was up praying in tongues. I’m like “Lord, I know you’ve spoken to Ashley and I want to be in agreement with my husband, but I’m going to… I need to hear from you, you know, because we want to be in agreement and that kind of thing.
Ashley: Amen, yeah.
Carlie: It was significant because if he did just given the money and not ask me, that could have really been unwise in the marriage.
Ashley: Yeah. Definitely.
Carlie: That could have caused some stress and tension. So he respects me enough to call me. And I just said, “just give me 10 minutes. I just want to, I going to ask and hear from God myself. Not that I don’t think God’s spoken to you, but I want to hear from God myself.” And you know, in that few moments, as I was praying, I tell you, it wasn’t like I suddenly felt really excited about giving all this down payment away. I just thought my flesh was thinking through the consequences. We’re going to have to live in this place for so long. You know, we’re not going to get where we want to be going. And our plans are going to have to change, and we’re going to have to make some sacrifices. My flesh was screaming a little bit.
Ashley: Because it looked like in the natural, it was sending us backwards.
Carlie: It did, it totally did.
Ashley: But remember this isn’t natural. This isn’t natural. This is the Kingdom of God stuff. So there’s one who gives yet increases more. So actually when you give like that, and it’s led of load you’re actually increasing and you’re not decreasing.
Ashley: Even in the natural, it looks like you’re decreasing.
Carlie: But it took my brain a little while to get round to that way of thinking. And I’m just being honest with you because you know what, we might end in the spirit, but we start in the flesh most of the time. And I was definitely starting in the flesh. This was a generous gift and I was in the flesh. Actually, made it to the other side, but I was still, in that moment, kind of like my knees were shaking. And so, as I prayed in tongues, this is such a powerful tool for believers. As you pray in tongues, I tell you, the peace of God can fill you. When you pray in tongues, you’re praying the perfect Will of God. Amen. You are focusing your mind on the Will of God and praying the perfect Will of God. And Holy Spirit is speaking to you and giving you revelation.
Carlie: And so in that moment, even though I was in the valley of indecision in my flesh, what filled my heart and mind was a peace. Not to the point where I was totally excited about what we were doing, but to the point where I knew that it was God, and that’s how I was able to step out and obedience. And sometimes God’s going to ask you to give a generous gift and it’s not necessarily going to be like, “whew.”
Now, afterwards, we were, right?
Carlie: Afterwards, we were celebrating. But in that moment, I’m just being honest because I think this is going to help somebody. Sometimes God asks you to do something that’s way beyond your comfort zone. But what I’d encourage you to do, is follow the peace of God. Amen.
Carlie: And let peace be your own [crosstalk]
Ashley: And your flesh might not have peace.
Ashley: Your flesh might not… The peace will be in your heart. The peace will be in your spirit. It might not be in your flesh. So if your flesh is still freaking out, that’s okay. But if you’ve got peace spiritually, “let peace be your empire,” Paul says. Then you can go ahead with that. God’s never going to be out of giving. God’s the biggest giver, so the testimony after that was that we had so many things happen to us. I think that money we gave has come back to us so many times. We’ve we got a supernatural deal on a car shortly after that.
Ashley: And now our house, we don’t just have a down payment on a house, now our house is paid for, outright, and we own our house outright.
Carlie: Within a short period of time.
Ashley: It was a short period time, we paid our house off for cash. So you know what? God is able to get things to you. Praise God, but we need to be obedient. So real quick, let me read you this scripture. This is what we’re looking at today, the generous gift. This is second Corinthians chapter… Chapter nine, verse six. Remember second Corinthians eight and nine. Both of those chapters are talking about money. And right here, Paul says, “but this, I say,” this is second Corinthians nine chapter six, “but this I say he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in His heart.”
And then in Luke 16:38, Jesus says “the same measure you give, it will be measured back to you.” So really it’s up to you. If you want to give generously or not. You can give generously today and pray about it. Ask God, say, “God, I want to take my level… My giving to another level.” And you can give generously.
Ashley: And praise God, you’re going to see rewards. You’re going to see the reaping come back to you generously on a different level.
Carlie: It’s a step of faith.
Ashley: It’s a step of faith on a different level. Praise God. So isn’t God good?
Ashley: Well, we want to thank you for watching and being a part of this today and we’ll be back real soon. We have another program. I’m going to keep talking on finances and the supernatural blessing. So until next time, remember, don’t just live a normal life when you can live the Abundant Life. We’ll see you soon.
Announcer: To order your copy of the book featured in our program, visit our website, Terradezministries.com. Download your free copy of Ashley and Carlie’s teaching notes at our website, Terradezministries.com. Coming up next on the Abundant Life Program.
Ashley: This is an important part of giving, by the way, is ask God what to believe for. Ask God what you should be believing for. Ask God what you should be giving in to. We would establish the different types of giving. We looked at the tithe. We looked at benevolence giving. We looked at offerings. We looked at first fruits. But when it comes to special offerings, now ask… This was a special offering that they were doing for the work of the sanctuary. Ask God what you should be giving. Ask God what to believe for.
Announcer: Join us next time for the Abundant Life Program with Ashley and Carlie first fruits.