Living Word Church
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Down-to-earth people looking upward to God
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Giving, Receiving, and the Heart of God
Copyright 2007 by Shea Oakley
All rights reserved
God wants to bless His children. This truth can be difficult to swallow for those of us who have known resentful, conditional giving from important people in our lives and who have, in turn, ended up embodying that kind of “giving” to others.
Giving for its own sake, giving that finds its fulfillment simply in blessing another, is rare among the sons of men. The fact of the matter is that most of the generosity human beings extend to one another has some condition to it. At the very least we expect to be thanked for our efforts. But even this “least” is indicative of giving to get something in return and there are those who expect far more than that. The problem with this motivation is that people rarely are as appreciative as we’d like and over time whatever true generosity that was in our hearts begins to wane. Finally we can end up not wanting to give and, if we continue to give at all, it is with reluctance.
As with so many traits common to man this reluctant giving can end up being wrongly projected onto God; this despite it being clear from the Bible that God does not give demanding something in return. If he did then it would stand to reason that he would never give a thing to the unrepentedly wicked, those whom He knows will never turn to Him. But as we read in both the Old and New Testaments God does exactly that. He causes the rains necessary for the harvest to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous alike. This is because it is inherent to His nature to give. God gives out of the overabundance of His infinitude and He gives to all freely.
If the Lord is willing to do this for men and women who ignore Him or worse, how much more is He willing to do so for His children, for those who have embraced His Son? Yet many who bear the name Christian walk through life with a sense that their God is withholding blessing because He is somehow miserly or grudging towards them.
Now it is true that God often withholds certain blessings until we are truly ready to receive them. It is also true that our persistence in certain sins prevents us from obtaining what He may long to give us, but the bottom line is that the longing is there. In fact it hurts the heart of God when we sabotage our own ability to receive the good He wants to grant us. This is because He is the quintessential Good Father and a good father wants his children to fully enjoy all the good things he is able to provide for them.
We only frustrate the heart of God and impoverish ourselves when we limit our ability to take what He, by nature, loves to give. We must come to a place in our walk in which we willingly trust that God is not like those who have given things to us only to gain something for them. This is a matter of learning the difference between ourselves and our Maker, a loving God whose perfect nature includes perfect motivations for giving. Thank God that He is willing to help us learn this lesson over time and with experience. Thank God that, along with being giving, He is also patient.
May it be that we all come to the place of receiving that which our good father desires to bestow upon us, and may His true generosity make us truly generous as well.