Don’t underestimate God
MIDLAND – I’ve often been blessed by the ministry of the Blackaby family. Studies like Experiencing God have taught me to trust God because He is faithful. We too often underestimate God and His Word. Here are a few things I’ve learned from the Blackabys that I hope will challenge you to trust and obey God for more than you are.
Self-sufficiency can kill a church and a pastor. Look what happened to the church at Laodicea (Rev. 3:17). Do you think God would want you or your church in a position where you don’t need Him?
The important thing is not how much treasure you or your church have, but how much God has. You might see your situation one way while God sees it another (Rev. 2:9).
Don’t allow your poverty to determine your ministry. Most of our churches are small. We always need more people, money, equipment, volunteers, leaders, musicians, etc. We know what we don’t have – but so does God. When God initiates a work, He bases it on heaven’s bank account, not ours.
Your church's ability to minister is never limited by your resources; it is driven by God's provision. It is dangerous for a church or a pastor to be in a position where they think they don’t need God.
God does not need to provide any resources for what you are not doing. Some people think, "as soon as we get the money, we'll do it." God did not stop the waters of the Jordan River until the priests stepped into the water. Peter had never walked on water until he stepped out of the boat. God often waits until we step out in faith before He provides the required resources. God is faithful to provide for every need we have as we obey Him. God does not promise to supply our good intentions; He will provide as we obey.
God can take what you already have and use it powerfully. At times, churches can fixate on what they don't have and fail to recognize what God has already given them.
A church is in a precarious position when the phrase "we can't afford to" is uttered more than "God is leading us to...".
Jesus said, "if you are faithful in a little, God will give you more" (Matt. 25:21,23). God will not hold you accountable for what you don't have. But He will hold you accountable for what you did with what He gave you.
On Judgment Day, there will be no rewards for having merely preserved what we have. We should be those who so believe in and trust God that we take what the Master has given us and invest it so that we can earn the greatest possible return for our King.
You will never make disciples of all nations if you only attempt what you think you can afford. Let God set the agenda for your church and confidently obey His commands, trusting that God can well afford to accomplish whatever He leads you to do. Don't limit God by attempting what only you can afford; attempt what you think He can afford.
I encourage you to read Flickering Lamps by Richard and Henry Blackaby, as much of what I shared came from that book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. David Roberts is Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Midland and also serves as the Associational Mission Strategist for the Bay Area Baptist Association.