Our grandparents and my in laws lived in a different time and they were prepared for anything. The depression was an uncertain time just as we are going through now. With threats of Corona virus, martial law, and more how can one be prepared? God’s children know his voice. Deep calls to deep. Are we seeing the stores clear out because of panic? Maybe. Are we seeing them clear out because of fear? Maybe. Or is there a common sense everyone is feeling about the days ahead? Could it be that the Holy spirit is waking people up to the real threats that exist today? Could it be that some are even taking advantage? Absolutely! Theres a real difference between hearing and doing the word of the Lord and hoarding. We always move foreard in Faith, that God will stretch and make ends meet.
Years ago when my mother in law was still with us and my husband and I had just gotten married I noticed a fearful, frail old woman panicking in her old age about running out of bread. She would call my husband sometimes 3 days a week asking him to stop at the store. As a newly married woman I wanted him home with me, as much as I wanted to give proper care to his aging mother, but how to balance this I did not know. What the Lord gave me to combat this was genius. He first took me to look up the word storehouse in Hebrew and Greek. The greek word is barn. So when we are taking the tithes into the storehouse the greek meaning was barn. He began showing me the IRS was never his plan for his children, social security, welfare, food stamps, not his plan. He never needed our money. Tithing is not meant to build fancy buildings, and take care of huge overhead. It was created to draw from in emergencies, to help our neighbor, the widows, orphans and to experience the abundant life. It’s the one area he tells us we can test him in. He tells us He will open up a blessing so much we cannot contain it. As it should be. Too much to contain, or stockpile. It’s meant to flow, into other people’s lives.
Much like Ekklesia. God never needed fancy lights, big platforms, and huge shows. He wanted the people, the congregation, HIS congregation to have all they would ever need. Somehow we had drifted away. The Lord gave us living rooms, and kitchens, but we weren’t satisfied with that, we had to find the bigger thing we thought he was doing, so we all sought to find refuge in the church, a bigger building more spread out, distracted by the entertaining classes offered, and the thought of having a bigger family. Maybe it worked for a little while with our parents and grandparents, but over time people drifted from the family feel, it became harder and harder to avoid the greed and need to pay bigger prices for bigger places. Tithe became survival mode for many churches. It became an obligation rather than an offering to God. In some cases many were manipulated into paying it when their own expenses weren’t covered. It became an idol.
In my own life I had now become a caregiver to an aging, sweet woman with fears related to past reality. How was I to calm her fears and live in peace with her so I could respect and honor her but still have my husband? Going to the Lord to search the matter out was my best option. He began showing me how to shop, how to make provision for my family and how to calm and ease the fears and anxiety of an older woman who had lived her life making provision but was no longer able to be independent. He told me to start with a shelf in the corner, to shop for not 1 week but 2. I was to put 1 in our regular cupboard and 1 in my storehouse. Pretty soon the shelf was full, the Lord instructed me to go bigger. I moved to a little room off our garage and start shopping for 3 weeks instead of 1. 1 in the house and two on the shelf. He then instructed me to take all my tithe into my storehouse. I struggled with this at first as my theology was being wrecked. I didnt understand how this could be biblical but since I wasn’t in a church I decided to follow his lead. I began putting our tithe money aside very deliberately, I prayed over what he wanted me to do with it. Sometimes he instructed me to purchase laundry supplies, or cleaning products, other times he instructed me to purchase oil filters and oil, gas cans, propane, a water pump for the well. As much as I honored him, he honored me. He came through in ways I could not believe. All the while I’m still thinking he was helping me ease my mother in laws fears. It was a great remedy. I had a store on my property. I would take a picture of what I had in there each week and when my mother in law would tell me she needed something I would look at the picture and show her we had it. It was amazing. I wasn’t hoarding. I was prepared, for maybe a month of tough times.
After she passed, I slacked off for awhile, feeling like the need was no longer there. Until a friend in my neighborhood fell on hard times, very suddenly, and then another friend, and sadly another. I pulled out a basket, called each one of them and invited them to pick from my stash, anything to choose. From cleaning supplies to bacon, they could have their pick. Oh my gosh how I realized I was born for this. Born to love people enough to make room for them, born to love people enough to make provision for them.
Not only that but born to worship God with my life. All that I have and own is his. Any blessing I have can be shared with others. Im not empty handed, giving empty words to people in their time of need. I am the church, the hands and feet of God. I am his workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully made and I am rich. Rich in his abundance so that I may bless others. I am the head and not the tail. I have made provisions for dark times, and I am a proverbs 31 woman. It did not happen to me in my face. God created it, under my nose. Using my obedience to create an abundant life, a life of self sufficiency, a life of peace and tranquility in the midst of a storm. Which by the way has now arrived.
The living room is the Ekklesia, the congregation of God. Ruling and Reigning with Christ from the privacy of your own home. Rich in abundance, and freedom to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and your finances. Free from the kingdom of darkness and fully engulfed in the kingdom of light. Ekklesia is the missing link to what the world needs. It’s the power of God existing in the American Living room! Power restored to the people. Power to meet needs and win souls, to feed the hungry and care for the sick. It’s revival beyond Azusa street. Its beyond what we think we lost by leaving the big church system. Its worldwide deliverance from the beast and it all starts from the American Living Room! Maybe God’s enjoying this shut down, this break from the system. Maybe he is resetting us to think in terms of small beginnings, back to basics, back to the way some of us were raised. I know first hand now why there is so much peace in self sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is trusting God’s efficiency. May I encourage you to get there too!