.....who help others! Yep....you read that right. Usually, G-d just lets those who help themselves do it all as He stands by and waits to see when they've struggled enough and will get with His program.
Did you know that G-d has a program for getting through life? It isn't the "Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" program. It isn't "I did it my way" program. It's not "Take care of #1" program either. No, G-d's program follows the JOY anagram: Jesus-Others-You.
The body of Christ consists of many members with different functions, right? Not one of us is the body wrapped up in one individual. G-d doesn't believe in self-sufficiency. II Corinthians 3:5 tells us, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of G-d." His economy is based on the body acting like a body---each member functioning in a healthy way, fulfilling their role so that there isn't a lack in any part of the body.
Still not convinced? How about II Corinthians 8:14, 15--"But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: As it is written, he that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack."
For most of us, it's "feast or famine". We never can achieve an even keel on life. We tend to live in valleys and mountain tops---in lush plenty or scrappy wilderness.
I'd venture to say that these days there's a lot of wilderness living going on. I don't know about where you live, but in our neck of the woods, unemployment is high! It's downright tough to land a job....even a fast food job. Let's face it, we all are having to take a step back and re-evaluate our finances, priorities, budgets, etc. Some of us are really having to live a whole lot more Spartan lifestyle. Beans and rice sound familiar? Been there, done that.
During lean times, it's so easy to focus on our own needs and lack. In doing so, we run the risk of being egocentric and not considering that others are going through tough times, too.
G-d's program for wilderness living is really simple: Be generous with others. Instead of thinking of ourselves, we need to see how we can be a blessing to someone else in need. Why should G-d bless us with extra just so we can use it selfishly?
James 4: 3 says, "Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
See, I truly believe that if the L-rd knows that we will share what He blesses us with, He will trust us with more. G-d provides us with blessings so we can bless Him by blessing others. That is G-d's economy. I know this is true.....my husband and I have tried to live by this and we are proof of this truth. I challenge you to search the Scriptures and find anything different.
But, (you say)---I have to be careful and keep as much money, stuff, food, (you fill in the blank) as I can in case we need it!! I can't afford to help someone else.....I have too many needs of my own! I have to put my family first before others. If I don't take care of myself, no one else will.
So, how well are you doing, living by your program? Less stressful? Have enough and then some?
Here's a wonderful promise for those who practice G-d's program:
"Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the L-RD will deliver him in time of trouble.
The L-RD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies."~Psalm 41:1,2
I don't know about you, but I'm hanging onto that!! A little unselfishness goes a long way in G-d's economy! If we help others, G-d will help us....and look how much help He provides:
1. G-d will deliver us in time of trouble.
2. G-d will preserve us and keep us alive.
3. G-d will bless us here on earth.
4. G-d will not let our enemies have their way with us.
Now who would we rather have take care of our needs---ourselves or G-d??
Isn't the L-rd such a wonderful, big, almighty, generous G-d?!!! What an awesome G-d we serve! We can be a blessing to G-d and love others by helping them with what we have (little or not), and G-d sends in the big tanks to help and bless us in a huge way!
Let's be more like the Philippian believers who helped meet Paul's needs time and again as he states in Philippians 4. Paul left them with this promise (vs. 19) because of their sacrificial giving in helping him, one of G-d's servants: "But my G-d shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
With the L-rd's help, I challenge us all to try living by G-d's program!