Living a life of abundance and freedom is so much more than material abundance and financial freedom, but these are certainly tangible examples that we can easily relate to. Talking about finances and provision is uncomfortable and awkward but a lot of what has God has taught us has been either in the realm of money or money was a factor in the lesson. My personal hangups have to do with not wanting to ask for money or misinterpreted as such. I am still on a journey in this and I haven’t arrived, but please know that this isn’t a sales pitch.
Working in impoverished communities has brought us to some points of personal crisis. We have had to look at the poverty within ourselves. I have had a poverty mindset for my entire adult life. Being confronted with systemic economic injustice and financial struggle at a different level has brought up guilt and condemnation. It has challenged me to search my perceptions of poverty and its causes. How does spirituality relate to poverty? What is Jesus saying when He talks about finances? How do we bring the kingdom into lack? What does God’s provision look like?
We really believe we have been called into a space between the rich and the poor. We identify with the rich. We have the economic, societal advantage of being born white and have had a good education. We come from the United States’ robust economy. We identify with the poor. We have considered ourselves to be lower on the economic spectrum. We have lived paycheck to paycheck. Our businesses haven’t succeeded and I have gone through spells of unemployment.
This struggle is what God loves to use for His glory and Kingdom. He loves to take weakness, failure and inadequacy and make them strengths. The areas where we have the most difficulty is often the areas with the most potential for impact with others. When things come easy, people have a difficult time relating to that. When the journey is uphill and marked by defeat and victory, hope arises in those around us if we are willing to share our struggle.
The poverty mindset is something I struggle with every day. It is inwardly focused in that I don’t consider myself wealthy or that I have enough and it is a lens that I look at the world through in that I look at impoverished people differently than I look at wealthy people. The poverty mindset isn’t necessarily a function of material possessions. It is possible to have more than you need and still feel you don’t have enough. It is also possible to barely have anything materially and live a life of abundance.
Breaking this mindset has been a long journey. It started with recognition, and repentance followed. Conscious awareness and choosing to think differently were the next steps which often led to deeper recognition and the cycle continues. Seeing through God’s eyes and perspective and thinking that way was a shift Holy Spirit wanted us to do early in our time here. Hudson had a very vivid dream over three years ago where an angel brought him a scroll that said all of heaven’s resources were his. He already had everything he needed. When he shared that with us, he felt that the message was for the whole family. So we find ourselves walking toward this reality but still dealing with what we see around us and the numbers in our bank account.
Having a wealth mindset is something God brought to my attention recently. One thing wealthy people do is invest their resources. I am trying to look through that lens. It isn’t a foreign concept but it is a shift in thinking and needs to become a change in language to reflect the shift. Because of the agrarian culture of Biblical times sowing is used instead of investing in parables and epistles. It was an obvious lesson to a farmer. If you don’t keep some of your harvest and invest it into the ground there won’t be a harvest next year.
There is also a direct correlation to how you sow and the harvest you reap. Jesus talked about good and bad soil and Paul talked about sowing sparingly and reaping sparingly. For a long time, I only looked at Paul’s words quantitatively, but I’m seeing that it is just as applicable qualitatively. What you sow, you reap. If you sow reluctance, you reap reluctance. If you sow joy and generosity, you reap joy and generosity. This attitude of the heart is important. How many times have I heard “you can’t outgive God,” and then tried to manipulate Him by giving? The harvest I received isn’t what I was looking for, but was exactly what I sowed, a manipulative, poverty-thinking spirit. That is why I am trying to sow only from my relationship to Him, not from formula or obligation.
We are so thankful for those who invest in our lives, making it possible for us to live and volunteer here. We bless each and every one of you and we believe that the Kingdom we are seeking here will manifest in your lives, as well, because you have sowed your seed in our field. We believe and pray that you will reap intimacy with God, a greater sense of community, an awareness of journey, a seeking of inheritance, a forerunning spirit and Christlikeness in spirit, soul and body.
It is important to us that those who invest in us do so because they feel Holy Spirit has highlighted us as a place to sow. That aspect of relationship and responsiveness is definitely the kingdom we are seeking. Consequently, if you feel you are coming from a spirit of obligation, compulsion or religious duty, bring that to Father and ask Him how He would have you move forward.
A harvest that we are really interested in reaping is for unity with those who don’t agree with us about everything we are doing. If you question some of what I have been writing about but still trust Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth and believe He is asking you to invest anyway, we would love to begin reaping a harvest of unity in spite of a difference of theology. We want to see the sons and daughters of God beginning to unite because we are family, not because we agree about the box we try to put God in.
May we all find our abundance in Him and the freedom of walking with Him.