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August 16, 2019 1:00 am
Hello my friends Michael Yousif here. I just wanted to thank you for connecting with leading the way. Our entire team is wholly committed to passionately proclaiming uncompromising truth of God's word and it cannot be done without you learn more about what God has charged us to do around the world by clicking around LTW.org that's LTW.org. Thank you and may God richly bless you as you seek to serve. I want to start by sharing with you a testimony personal testimony and pray to God that you would not misunderstand it but you will receive it for the glory of God and that your edification, your challenge. It's a testimony like all of you.
We have some milestones in our lives from the stones of remembrance that we place in order to remember the faithfulness of God. So when we go through a dark, but God will remind us all dispirited.
Remember some of these are humongous, some of them are small but we remember them all and is what I call in the walk of faith as we walk in faith with Jesus I called Osa growth spurts just like young people when they're growing negative industrial growth spurts the growing all the time. But then there's a time when you really grow and that's what happens in the walk of faith as well.
If you have never experienced one of these operate together to start today you will never be the same. This was back in 1978 we have been living in the United States for about a year in California I was doing my graduate studies.
There were two small children at the time and I had a part-time job that basically covered two thirds of our needs. The other third was met by savings and come out of sale of our furniture in Australia and my wife catching her teacher retirement fund and so we were able to supplement our income. This resources after a year they coming to an end. The important part is this a year earlier. The Lord had convicted me that though I am ordained to the ministry. I'm unfaithful with my thighs and offering and that conviction began. So a year later, we are faithful with God without ties and offering yes I was unfaithful even though I was ordained up filtered God has locked out when he called me to the ministry in full-time ministry.
Why should I time the Holy Spirit kept saying yourself with the cash in will supported by no one. We have no church support we have no mission organization support. We had help from no one. We were on our own. So after 12 months of our personal resources ran out, but we stayed faithful with God without tithing met the promise and want to keep a promise without tithing and without offering and is always the case, the test will come in the test came what you do. We run out. I could rationalize it that I'm in full-time ministry people supposed to try to support those in ministry and it was a real temptation.
Make no mistake about it, and if you think your pastor does not face temptation you living in another planet. These with temptation to doubt the promises of God in the provision of God. There were real temptations temptation. But that says be realistic. Don't be doggedly legalistic. Be realistic. Don't keep on testing these promises of God temptation that says may not be now on and on and on and on. I will get into it.
Might tithing check was due and I looked in the bank account and my tithing amount was exactly what I had in the back exactly if I write a check and I put it in the offering plate will have nothing at the bank will call us and so I came up with this ingenious idea of not putting the check in the offering plate but write the check and send it in the mail bag then. Not like today when you get itself estimate back will take a couple weeks to clear and so Monday morning I wrote the check, and I walked to the post office of the school where I was at the time and I mailed the check in the box and turned around, literally around the corner and went to my box, my PO Box that I had in the school and I opened it as a matter of a minute or two, and as I opened the box. There was a thick envelope and as I opened the thick envelope I found 13 $100 bills.
I counted them again and again. Yes, there were 13 there was a note with it that sister most people who are superstitious. The number 13 is very negative, but to us it's really a good number. We love it and so we sending a $3100 bill to thank you for doing our wedding last months to really get me a gift. I assume that was it. I tell you truth that I just sat in the corner and worked at the faithfulness of God, the incredible faithfulness of God, and that amount liberally supplemented our income until we finish and went to work full-time. As I said this is one of these milestones in our lives that the Lord used to grow us in faith to trust him to trust his promises to keep outside of the condition of the promises and from that time we have gone way beyond the ties we have been going up every year. And God blesses in ways that I could never explain to from the human perspective how God blesses us now tithing should be the starting point that the endpoint is a starting point. Somebody said Rorschach died before the tax on after-tax you will be blessed before tax on after-tax but to see after that time.
Not only that I have experienced the unbelievable blessing of God in ways I cannot describe, but for the last 40 years. I got to meet some wonderful faithful people who are so faithful with God, who become role models for me. I also watched through the years and I saw how some people nickel and dime God know what I'm talking about the nickel and dime. As a consequence, they never experienced the abundance of God I know and you know that today the word faith gets bandied about, just like the word love gets bandied about without proper understanding with grieving definition my faith your faith in the one that gets to me. Faith-based was that mean that God and the end of it is as a faith-based and have faith in you have faith in there that faith in your mother-in-law have faith in the ages amazing know faith means anything you want me when it comes to the Christian faith. The word simply means that you are trusting in the promises of God. No matter what, in the dark times and in the good times yet you trusting in God that you trust God for your salvation. Why can't you trust him on a daily basis using the word faith starts but the time when we come to Jesus, we come to him by faith, not by works, but then most people stop and try to finish my work in the faith continues on a daily basis but faith and trust you go to trust in something that is promised if I say to you immediately. As such a such time, and as such a such place. You show up believing that I'm going to be there. Why because you take me at my word. You you know that I'm a trustworthy person and therefore unless I'm dead.
I'm going to be there right and I'm a man I'm only a mere human. But what if that person says you know, I know he said that but I don't know if he really meant it will.
I know you said this, but the I don't know if he keeps his word.
I know he said this about. I don't know if he's going to remember. I know I said this so, but I don't know if is going to make it. And so you don't show up and that is why trust can only be experienced in unexercised in a trustworthy person. Trust can be exercised in the person who's known to keep his word, no matter what.
But listen carefully. If a person is trustworthy and known to keep his word, but I still don't trust him.
Where does the problem lay here. Actually it's far bigger than you think. Listen carefully when you don't trust a trustworthy person you are insulting, that person you are. Been meaning that person you are offending, that person right but when you place your trust in God's promises when you act on that trust of God's promises when you step out in the trust of God's promises. You can be absolutely sure that he will not only keep his promise. But he is honored by your trusting him. I want to show you from the Scripture.
A biblical example that has challenged me for years of how this trust can bring about God's abundant blessing, so turn with me please to second Kings chapter 4 verses 1 to 7 a window of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha. Elisha was the chief prophet at the time he succeeded the prophet Elijah. So she cried out to Elisha, your servant my husband is dead and you know that he revered the Lord, that is, he was faithful to God, he honored God with all his life, but now his creditors are coming to take my two sons as his slaves.
Elisha replied and said to her. How can I help you what you have in your house first. She said well, your servant has nothing there at all. And then she thought for a minute. It is really nothing but there is or except a drop of oil just a drop Elisha said to her go and ask all your neighbors for empty jars do not ask for just a few is a use of translation.
Don't be chintzy then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons pour oil into the jars and as each is filled politicized. She left him and afterward she did what he said.
Then she shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept on pouring.
I'm taking liberty here and she kept on pouring when all the jars were full. She said to her son bring me another one but he replied that is not a jar left then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God Elisha and he said to her girl sell the oil and pay your debts then you and your sons can live on what is left Holy Spirit of God, you offered these words guiding the hands of your servants and you offered them so that here we are 3000 years or so later cannot only be challenged by the blast edified and transformed by your power Holy Spirit, will you please take your words apply them in our lives for.
We pray this in Jesus name, amen. I wanted to answer what I'm going to ask you to yourself.
I wondering what you were thinking as I'm reading the story, God doesn't work like this anymore God wants us to use our minds. God wants us to use our abilities.
This is unrealistic expectation. I love God provides.
But I don't have to meet the conditions of the promises of God. This was Old Testament as between you and God answer them truthfully this without hit rock bottom, and I mean bottle means there is no bottom beyond the bottom.
This widow had less then nothing this widow have not only been going to face bankruptcy but she was facing shame and degradation and desperation because slavery is what awaiting her and her two sons but then she remembered something back younger in the word of God. It says that God promised that he will never let the righteous be forsaken nor his children begging for bread. Listen, I know that is not one of the sound of my voice can be in the situation. No one in our culture in our day-to-day but whatever your doesn't matter wherever you are, you can begin to act on that trust in the promises of God. Today you can start to live in the land of the impossible. You can begin to move from trusting human logic to trusting in God's promises, you can begin to move from living by site to living by faith that MM belongs here this widow did three things. First of all, she met the conditions of the promises of God. Secondly, she manifested confidence in God's provision.
And thirdly, she maximized her capacity to receive from God. First she met the conditions of God's promises verse one. She said to Elisha, the prophet my dead husband was servant of God.
My dead husband was faithful to God my dead husband trusted in the promises of God. My dead husband met all the conditions of the promises of God, and he was faithful with God him a ride please. This is important for when the Psalmist said I was young. Now I'm all of never seen the righteous forsaken nor his children begging for bread. That became her anchor that became her anchor the promise of God beloved faithfulness to God brings about untold blessings, not only in this life, but to the next generation faithfulness carries the benefits to the next generation. Now I know today, the lots of people who want God to bless them without meeting the condition of the promises of God. There are lots of people want God to answer their prayer without the willingness to surrender to the will of God and then the surprise when things don't happen. There are lots of people to whom they view faith as ordering God about to do exactly what they commanded them to do and I think this is faith, but this godly woman did not place her face in her good works now but in the faithfulness of God to keep his promises. There is a world of difference between the two. She did not even place have faith in the fact that her husband was faithful to the Lord that was given. In fact, is that you know that is given. That is a fact. You know all about it. Have faith wasn't God's unwavering commitment to keep his promise. Her trust wasn't in God's word that her confidence was in the one who is no man's data on the woman's that he is no ones that are he will not be beholding to you, he will not be indebted to you. That's really what it means, and she was saying. I know that God promise to be faithful to the righteous, but also to his offspring.
She met the condition of the promise. Secondly, she manifested confidence in God's provision. Look at versus 2345 Elisha the prophet asked her what you have in your house before she said nothing because really it is a minute of a drop of oil and relationships all her needs and nothing and she would be right, but then she wondered if God could use this, nothing which is a drop of oil please listen carefully, God's intention always, always to start with what you have, what she had was nothing she could have said what set in comparison to my needs are Muslim, not even mention it. It is nothing to mention it so minuscule he can even talk about drop of Oreo and I got all this debt. But that's not the issue. No matter how little it is God can multiply it no matter how little it is God wants to use it no matter how little it is God wants to enlarge it. No wonder God's word said that God loves the cheerful giver you noticing an essay only loves the big giver is wonderful is that my be residency loves a cheerful giver. Literally, it means that God has a soft spot to the joyful giver. God has a soft spot to those hilarious givers you know why you know why because giving is the character of God. God is a giver and that is why he has a soft spot for those who imitate him.
God loves all his children equally.
But he does have a soft spot the cheerful giver. So Elijah asked her what you have in your house. She said a drop of oil and what Elisha saw as an oil factory. You might think it's a drop of oil that I can visualize a oil factory.
I know this is the testimony of many of you here listening to me are watching. I know this is your testament. I know that but for those who do not have that testimony, please listen to me. I pray that God would change that today if you want to experience God's blessings. If you want to experience God's abundance. If you want to experience God's indescribable provision in every area not just in one area start trusting him with the ties that's 10%.
That's a starting point and then to go. Keep trusting him keep trusting and keep growing. I can tell you that you can expect two things.
If you do that to things. The first thing you should expect is the iron believable at the back of the enemy. He will bring doubt and fear and anxiety like you've never experienced before. He'll do it. Trust me I know many of you know this is absolute but is the second thing you should expect that few years from now, as you look back and I'm doing this deliberately few years from now, as you look back you going to say I have been blessed out of my socks. The reason I say few years is because several years ago somebody came to me and said you are been tithing now for two months nothing happened is a Gonzaga slot machine, maybe even better.
God is not looking for this kind of stuff that goes looking for a faithful heart that is going to be deluged in and day out weekend and we got months in the year in and year out, and measure the father would just on service. Even then two weeks later he going to get up to hear how I was as going doesn't work that way.
Malachi chapter 3 God's people come back from exile and there were anxious in their worried and there was hoarding everything keeping it and God was trying to challenge them not to do that is a look what I've done for you and in Malachi chapter 3 he says to them you ties to the storehouse and then he said watch out and see how Brent open the windows of heaven and none of us have ever seen.
The windows of heaven without physical eyes but Lord have mercy. I have experienced those windows of heaven and you some of you that are overwhelming when those windows of heaven opened what you have in your house or I'll never forget back in 2003 I was speaking in the city of Geelong just outside of Melbourne to a large rally ready rally of the time. We just have radio so I was over there and there's a large auditorium.
And make no bones about it. I have soft spot for kids.
I love kids.
I just do when I'm in these rallies and in other places and I see a kid in the line argument going to grab them and want to talk to them first. God bless the adults I just love kids and this particular kid 10 years old named David.
He literally had a Cheryl McPherson and I shook his hand and he can see shyly was pressing something into my hand and he can say he's kind of self-conscious about it and then I looked in was a AU$10 and he said to me said you know I heard on the radio that you coming.town and so I saved my whole month allowance. I wanted to preach Jesus so went on one knee so I can look him in an eye level and are held at $10 a said David God not only going to multiply this and uses it to bless many many lives, but you gonna grow up and be a great man of God, is 23 now I kept up with David the matter fact, five years later I was in Geelong and one of the things are mature called his family on there were out of town because the school vacations. I did get but we stayed in touch, beloved God is asking everyone of us today. What do you have in your house by then they kept everything in the house. We have your bank account. What you have in your brokerage account. Are you hiding God's tithing money there. Are you hiding God's money in your account. So are you hiding what belongs to God in your house.
This woman could have ignored the jar of oil is a drop of oil in the house and said God doesn't need it. Of course he doesn't. God can do a miracle without it. Course he could or this is only a drop in the ocean. Yes, it was please hear me right the first step in trusting God's promises is visibly exercising confidence in the provision of God for she met the condition she manifested confidence. Thirdly, she maximize her capacity to receive from the hand of God, that some people and I heard it all through the years when I make big money start giving her when I make $1 million be a tither when on most times, actually when those type things happen to never do when my ships come to the harbor, how you expecting some ships to come to the harbor.
We never sent some ships out faith acts of the front-end. It doesn't take faith to act at the backend faith acts before the outcome faith acts ahead of site this window in obedience where the ad had borrowed all the empty jars that you could lie her hands on and I can imagine her neighbors like many other live so close to each other. Everybody knows what is going on in Reddy else's life and is not like what we have today in the privacies and all that but I'm sure the all nearby.
When the Hurtubise of all portals snookums.
She lost it. She lost her mind.
She really has therefore also we don't have her name; snookums and she is hallucinating, poor language.
She's seeing things are now, her mind really snapped under the pressure that she's been under beloved please listen to me what people say about you means nothing.
Don't give a flip about it. But what is says about you in heaven. It matters what God says about you matters when your name is mentioned in heaven.
What do they say that's what really counts.
So she expanded her capacity to receive from God. She maximize her capacity to receive from God that she expected great things from God because she knew she has a big God.
Other some people who miss out on this inexplicable blessings that are associated with meeting the condition of the promises of God. They really do impoverish themselves why because they limited their capacity to receive. They impoverish themselves because they put God in a box. They constrained their vision of God's faithfulness.
They really do.
They placed boundaries on God's desire to bless them. They are stuck with the two lists of assets and liabilities. Someone said when we get to heaven.
When you look in the storehouses of heaven, I will go see so many blessings with our names on it stayed there because they went unclaimed by God's children need to explain something before I conclude in the Bible. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit's a simple oil was not only used for cooking, but also use for the anointing of profits and the anointing of priests in the anointing of Kings oil is always symbolic of God's blessing. Oil was symbolic of God's power. Oil was symbolic of God's Holy Spirit resting upon them, and that is why James said when you pray for a sick person anointing with oil, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, with all his power here something that you should know God loves to bless his children he loves to see his children to be conduits, not reservoirs. He loves to see his children being channels, not bottles. And that is why he blesses those who are channels. Those who are conduits because God wants is work. Go forward and that is why Elisha said he was the use of translation again don't be changing and expanding your capacity to receive. Don't just stop a few jars. Don't settle. There are so many Christians will have settled long time ago just with few containers don't limit God's capacity to give you and for you to receive. Don't just have low vision of what God can do without the regions don't limit God is going to give you as much is your obedience offers him, and that is why the moment, there was no more empty jars. The oil stop flowing.
Beloved, please listen to me, God will only bless you today, the capacity of what you make it available to him, God will only fill the empty places that you offer him, God will bless with only a give him God will fill the size of your obedience. Let me ask you this has the Holy Spirit of God stopped important your life have you just settled in the overflow has dried up.
Have you stopped giving him empty jars so he may fill them a drop of oil and God said you don't have in our factory.
I know I know we live in such culture that we really cannot even think about what it means to live by faith from the world's perspective, this does not make sense. Listen to me from the economic perspective, this is ludicrous. I know that then you know that from Wall Street's point of view, it is silly and not logical from God's perspective, it makes all the sense in heaven. God's condition for blessing you is not based on how the Dow Jones industrial average is doing on the NASDAQ SMP and all the stuff but how your obedience is doing. How is your faithfulness to God. Are you meeting the condition some years ago when William brews the founder of the Salvation Army was in his 80s, when somebody set them aside.
What's the secret of your success.
What he Winston but then he said if there is such a thing as secret of success.
It would be because God had all there is of me. What is holding you back. What is your ultimate credit score and the websites of heaven today. You can say Lord meet the conditions I'm going to manifest confidence. I'm going to maximize my capacity