Galatians 6:7-9 says,
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
There comes a time when we must realize what got us here, won’t get us there – meaning to the next level! Whether we have been saved for 40 years, 20 years, 5 years, 1 year, 2 months, 1 day, or got saved today, we must realize that it will take a greater measure of faith, perseverance, diligence, stamina, and growth to make it to the next level. No matter how successful in God we are, He has more for us. Regardless of your age, how long you’ve been saved, what your career field is, etc., God has more for you to do for the kingdom, your family, your career, your finances! The sacrifice level that got you to this level will need to be multiplied to get to the next level. The measure of faith that got us to this level is great; but we will be challenged to have greater faith to get to the next level.
For example, when I first started paying my tithes, God worked quickly! He opened up the windows of heaven and poured out a blessing that I couldn’t receive! Yes, I was excited. I had exercised great faith and just knew it was the goodness of the Lord. I got married and both my husband and I paid tithes. But after a while of walking with God and consistently paying tithes, our faith in His system was tested.
There was a national recession. We (along with many other people) lost many investments. We lost equity. We lost money. We almost lost it all! It was a very rough time. It was a humbling experience. Our lifestyle greatly shifted. We had young children at that time. At one time, we pulled them all out of daycare/preschool and had them at home until we could regain our ground. But I’m thankful that we kept giving in tithing and offering (on the little bit we had coming in) and trusting God.
But this time, we didn’t receive a quick blessing like we did the first time. It seemed like that recession dragged on and on despite our faithfulness to God’s Word. But we were blessed because our faith went to another level.
Our faith in His word and trust in Him increased – not to get something in return – but just to honor and be faithful to His Word because he is God! He gave us peace beyond all understanding. While the world was in crisis, the news was sharing gloom and doom, we were coming to church and being built up spiritually. We were stable in where we stood with God and His Word. We held to His Word, but knew that if He didn’t come through, He was able.
We persevered because we knew God was taking us somewhere. I’m grateful to say that He kept us. He increased us and has restored us – not just in finances, but in understanding of who He is at a deeper level. But this time things are different. We have a love for God. I believe we went through that trial because God was taking us somewhere that if things aren’t going our way, if we don’t have finances, if we do have finances, if things are going our way, we will humble ourselves and love Him for Him and trust Him for Him! We know He is taking us somewhere!
Don’t you know that God is taking you somewhere?! How are you going to get there? It’s going to require a greater level of sacrifice, a greater degree of pushing, a greater depth in your relationship with Christ! Perseverance is key!
Philippians 3:13-14 says:
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
BY TARA HOUSTON