Is The Lord's Arm Too
many believers just don't trust God. Here is some exhortation to help.
We receive a constant stream of begging
letters from India, Africa, and people in poor countries, asking us for
money for physical reasons. There is much poverty around the world, but
there is an equally great spiritual poverty, and because of that, most
people donít have the right approach in dire circumstances. They look for a
physical solution. They ask for a handout.
It pains me every time I receive a monetary
request. I feel grief inside. Firstly, I feel sadness that their
circumstances are so impoverished, but a greater cause of my sorrow is due
to their lack of faith. They are like blind, dumb animals, not knowing which
way to turn.
If only they could know God and the promises
in His Word, and have a living faith in Him! Implicit trust in His Word
would solve their problems. I donít mean it would solve every little detail.
Nor do I mean that they would not have to endure some hardship. What I mean
is that they would have peace of mind, AND a solution to their dilemma. God would provide their needs, if only
they could have the faith to look to Him instead of to us, and work
industriously in their situation.
But, because their focus is on the physical,
not the spiritual Ė because they look to a human solution, not to a
spiritual and divine answer Ė they donít receive.
Jesus declared a principle that governs all
receipt from God:
According to your faith... (Matt 9:29).
No wonder the disciples implored Jesus:
Lord, increase our faith (Luke 17:5).
And He did. But the process of developing
that faith took time. They developed it through testing trials in which they
HAD to put their trust in God, and hold on tight, hoping against hope and
trusting against all natural odds.
Thereís no easy way to get faith. It doesnít
come by suction or osmosis! It comes as you die to self, and live to God.
The Power Of Faith
You donít have to have a mountain of faith.
You just need a little to begin the process (Matt 17:20). Simple obedience
sets it in motion, makes it alive. Living faith is what you need.
That is practical faith. So you have to be a doer. Donít just think
of doing it, DO it!
Jesusí words were unequivocal:
Assuredly I say to you, if you have faith and
do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but
also if you say to this mountain, ĎBe removed and be cast into the sea,í it
will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you
will receive (Matt 21:21,22).
Youíve got to believe God. Then He will help
When people ask us for money, they are not
believing God. They have taken their eyes off God, taken their trust away
from being in Him, and put it in us. They are committing idolatry, so itís
no wonder they donít receive what they need.
You have to be in the will of God to receive
from Him. John wrote:
Now this is the confidence that we have in
Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we
know that He hears us, what- ever we ask, we know that we have the petitions
that we have asked of Him (1 Jn 5:14,15).
Quite often you donít even have to ask!
We have had an angel fill the ink cartridge
in our printer when we ran out of ink. We didnít have to ask. God works
sovereignly to achieve His purposes. He knows what you need before you ask
Him (Matt 6:8).
We have had someone bring money to our door
after fulfilling Godís command to send out some tapes.
When my computer crashed and I had no money
to replace it, God spoke to a lady to give us £2,000 to buy a new one. He
told her how much! She was shaken that God would speak to her so directly!
When we were head over heels in debt, God
moved various people to donate huge sums of money to completely pay off our
debts Ė on three separate occasions.
We have experienced other miraculous
incidents of Godís provision. Why? Because we are in His will, doing His
Work, not wanting for ourselves, but for Him.
And God is no respecter of persons. He will
provide for you, too, if you learn to stay in His will and do whatever He
has in mind for you. It may be very menial. He may have simply called you to
tithe from a regular boring job, to care for your family, to love your wife
and children, and to share His truths with the few people whom you meet (and
whom God shows you to share with). That may be the extent of what He wants
you to do as a part of His Work on earth.
But if you do it; if you faithfully fulfil
His will, and do your best, He will provide for you, too. He will move
heaven and earth, if need be, to make sure you have what you need to obey
Faithfulness is the key.
The Problem With Most People
Too many Christians are still selfishly
preoccupied. They are not in Godís will because they are doing their own
thing. They do not consider that God is a holy God, who has holy standards
which He wants you to take note of, and aim towards (Matt 5:48).
They think they can carry on in their own
lives, taking His name on their lips while they seek their own ways, pursue
their own ambitions, and disregard what God wants them to do.
They are not dying to self. They are not
humbly wanting to do what He wants rather than what they want.
They havenít yet laid down their lives to Him like they promised at baptism.
Because they are not communing with Him in
prayer morning, noon, and night; and not fervent in spirit, or faithful to
Him in other ways, they donít have the union with Him that they need in
order to receive. They donít have His faith. They donít truly know God, nor
love Him. Their love is compromised.
Whatís the point of me giving such people
money, when they are not in His will? I would be doing them a gross
disservice! I would be teaching them NOT to trust in Him, but to trust in
me, or to look to man instead of to God!
While I have to look to God to provide
miraculously what we need to do this Work for Him, is it right for them to
expect me to carry them and provide for them? No, itís not right! Itís very
wrong! They are actually hurting themselves spiritually by asking us.
They can ask us questions about how to build
faith, and we will provide the literature that shows them how to trust in
God. (Some useful publications in this regard are: Faith: Raising Our
Level of Expectation; Witnessing For Christ; Guidelines For
Evangelists and The Bible Speaks, Vols 1-5.) But to ask us to
take the place of God as Provider to you is entirely iniquitous.
Godís Arm Is Not Too Short
Western churches have poured in huge amounts
of money and aid into Africa and India (and I donít say that all that was
wrong), but what is the effect of that? Without further teaching, taking
people into the realm of God through faith, it has been to cause people to
look physically to the West. It has undermined faith in God, and it has
jeopardised the real Work of God which does not depend upon money or other
physical human factors.
Not many people Ė even those who spout
Ďfaithí! Ė believe that. The Work of God is not dependent upon money and
human support. God brings along money and human support, as it is needed,
but the Work is not dependent upon those factors for its survival:
This is the Word of the Lord...
[itís] not by might nor by power,
but by My Spirit (Zech 4:6).
Thatís what the Work of God depends on and
leans on. We donít look to money. We donít look to human ability or strength
(Ďpowerí). We donít look to physical might. We look to God, and rely upon
With that approach, the mountain that stands
in our way is removed, just as Jesus promised:
Who are you, O great mountain? Before
Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone
with shouts of ĎGrace, grace to it!í (Zech 4:7).
Zerubbabel was the one whom God had anointed
to oversee the work of rebuilding the Temple in about 536 BC. He is a type
of others today who are entrusted with the restoration of the latter House
on earth. Notice that restoration is only by Godís grace. God is gracious
and He promises to provide for those who reciprocate in the same way. If you
are singlemindedly serving God, NOT serving God AND mammon (Matt 6:24), you
can rest assured on His promises:
Do not worry about your life, what you will
eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on...
But seek first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matt 6:33).
Why doesnít it happen to most Christians?
Jesus gave the answer:
O you of little faith! (Matt 6:30.)
When God told Moses that He would feed the
whole nation of Israel (600,000 men, plus women and children Ė several
million people!), Mosesí natural response was equally unbelieving! (Num
11:21-22.) God was annoyed. He responded irately:
Has the Lordís arm been shortened? (11:23.)
God can do anything! And He WILL do anything
that is necessary to further His plan on earth. If you are part of His plan,
and if you fit into His plan through humble, faithful obedience, He will do
anything for you, too. But it depends on you Ė what your motivation is.
Behold, the Lordís hand is not shortened that
it cannot save; nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear. But your iniquities
have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from
you so that He will not hear (Is 59:1,2).
People donít realise how we turn Him off by
our sinful selfishness! He canít abide sin. Jesus said:
If you, then, being evil... (Matt 7:11).
And we donít think about it. We think we are
OK. No, we are only OK when we are humble before Him, dedicated to doing all
He says, and not seeking for ourselves. Only then are we covered by the
blood of Jesus, and recipients of His grace.
I hate to think of the devastation that will
come to all the poor believers in Africa and India when unprecedented
calamities bring Britain and America to their knees in about two yearsí
time. The money flow will cease. Churches will not get the cash they have
come to depend on. Unless people begin now to build faith in Jesus instead
of faith in Western ministries or church funds, Christiansí lives will be as
desolate as ancient Tyre, whose demolished columns lie submerged under the
waves of the ocean!
Malcolm B Heap,