Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Giving your way to victory

Well, many of you all that have been following me know about what I do with the grants and how I have pretty much been SOLELY walking by faith. Looks like I have some more praise reports to give. So, at the beginning of the year, I usually participate with the church and some of my closest friends in the Daniel's fast, where I give up meat, sweet drinks, junk food, etc. (look through older post for the full explanation). But in addition to that, I usually give my First Fruit offering.

This is where believers give an offering in addition to their tithes. For instance, if you make $1,000 in your first check of the year, you would give the whole thing or commit to doing so. You can break it up in installments or find a way to equal that amount, and pay your tithes of $100.

Here is a little background about it without giving you a FULL sermon.. lol. I got some notes from the lovely Pastor Paula White:

"Whatever you do with first fruit governs the rest and sets the pattern or
promise to come for the rest of whatever you establish. Whenever something is a
first, God lays claim to it because God sees the first thing as representing
what comes after . The principle is = God sees according to how the first things
are treated. When you honor God in obedience by presenting to Him all first
things, His presence covers and blesses the rest, sanctifies it… The law of
first things is the “giving over” (or devotion) as required, of first born,
first fruit… all things. They are an act of worship (or offering) in faith and
they prove the position in which the giver holds God and is held by God… All
privileges are released through receiving and believing His word. The law of
first things first has a fundamental impact on your life. First fruits is a
promise to come"

Following are all the scriptural references to "First Fruit".
  • That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put [it] in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there. (Deuteronomy 26:2)

  • For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. (Mark 4:28)

  • Thou shalt not delay [to offer] the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. (Exodus 22:29)

  • For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. (Romans 11:16)

So having knowledge of what "First Fruit" is and of what doors it may open, I knew that I had to give my way into the next dimension. My dream board and list of "wants" are so extensive, that I need God to move quickly on my behalf. With that being the case, I knew that I must sow a seed into the kingdom in order to be blessed. When I did, the floodgates of heaven's prosperity have truly opened.

Being that my father plays dual roles as my spiritual father and my biological father, I often have to make the distinction between the two. On this particular day, I heard it clear, "Sow unto the man of God". I'm like, "God, give the money to Dad?". He said, "No, give it to Apostle Mitchell". So I did. When I came to my father with my seed, he immediately began to praise God. He placed it in a bowl and said as the seed was placed into the earthly realm, God was going to recognize it as going in to the spiritual ground. He prayed a prayer of release, favor, and uncommon turn around . I literally felt a release in the atmosphere. He made me touch and agree with my mother that we would never live in lack again and that God was about to move in a mighty way on our behalf. Let me tell you, he did. Immediately.

As we were done praying, my mom was going through her monthly routine of paying bills and budgeting for the month. She went to pay the taxes for the house and they had already been paid and there was a zero balance. Come to find out, the taxes (that was well in the thousands) had been taken care of and she did not have to worry about them. Now, this was a DIRECT effect of the first fruit offering. My mom had been waiting to see if they had been paid and kept saying, "Lord I am going to trust you." Even when things got low and didn't look like they were going to come together, she held on to that belief.

For me, I saw God move in a mighty way. I had been trying to look for luggage for months because I kept hearing God saying I was going to be traveling soon. So one random day in a Target that I rarely go into, I found Swiss Gear luggage for 24.99 and 39.99. Marked done from 109.99 and 159.99. Did you hear me? Luggage that would have totaled almost $300 for under $100? It gets better. I went out with one of my guy friends to dinner and he was down most of the night about his finances, so God told me to treat him (which is CLEARLY a sacrifice because I too am on a budget). So I was obedient. The whole night, the restaurant service was super slow. So, I didn't act a fool and complain, I simply summoned the manager. Before I could complain, she said, you know what, I am going to take care of your bill, just pay for the fries and have a good evening. I almost fell out of my chair. My boy just began to shake his head in disbelief. God moved in even that small way. Then, this morning, I got a call from one of my cousins from church that I hadn't spoken to in a while. She said God told her to send me some money and she was calling for my address. I started not to even answer the phone. But honey, I did, and God moved.

I am just at a lost for words with God's favor. Not even because I gave money, but because He has entrusted me with such gifts and saw my true heart. Because my heart was pure in giving and never wavering, God blessed me accordingly. I am just so encouraged. As soon as I start to fret over something, I feel an immediate calm come over me, I cant do a thing but praise. He has been so, so good.

Today, I challenge you to sow your first fruits. Whether it be into a church and/or a man(or woman) of God. One thing I've learned is that you can't beat God in giving. At all. He makes it His priority to make sure we are taken care of. All our wants, needs, and desires are fulfilled in His will and way. We need only be obedient when we hear His voice and read His words.

I can't tell you enough how good God is. I only shared a few testimonies, but we would be here all day if I went down the entire list. I am still in awe. The luggage, the dinner, the phone call, I know it is just the beginning. I know many of you all are like me, constantly sowing, believing God, doing what you think/know is right, and feel like he has forgotten, He hasn't.

If you truly want to get His attention, do something to capture Him. Like me, my finances is an area where I can truly use some overflow, so to sow my first set of money from 2010, was heavy. But let me tell you, when I start doing God's math, my calculator went haywire. I can never be as good to Him as He is to me. Same with you. Sow your seed in your place of need today and watch God bless your roots, branches, and fruits.

Sowing today for my tomorrow,


1 comment:

c_ronna26 said...

Mathew 7:7 Ask, Seek, Knock....ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the doors will be opened to you.