The Theft of Blessings
Deuteronomy 8:17-19, "And thou say in
thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me
this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it
is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish
his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and
walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I
testify against you this day
that ye shall surely perish."
God provides for us through the God given ability to attain wealth. God chose this way to prove his covenant with his people. This plan of provision intended that out of the abundance that wealth brings there would be enough available for his people to give to the less fortunate. That through their joyful free will giving a process of multiplication of blessings would return to them and prove to them that ".. It is more blessed to give than to receive."Acts 20:35.
Through this God's covenant provided for the meeting of all of the needs of all his people.
This especially applies to those who are under a better covenant through Christ.
Philippians 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, "Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart."
Ecclesiastes 6:1-3, "There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease. If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he."
This "evil" by definition is the work of demonic forces who's purpose is to separate man from the blessings of God. As in the Garden this work of evil has been the main focus of God's enemy. The devil hates that God's grace is extended towards Man and knows that he can separate Man from God's grace by manipulating man's choices and actions. The word "power" in verse 2 is to "exercise dominion". What Satan stole from Adam was his dominion. A system that continually steals man's right to enjoy the fruit of his labor is an evil system. In this study we will look at the three major methods that the Devil uses to accomplish the theft of the blessing.
At the time of Christ's ministry on Earth some of the people who were involved in this "System" were known as "publicans" defined in Strong's Concordance as: a tax gatherer, collector of taxes or tolls, one employed by a publican or farmer general in the collection of taxes. The tax collectors were as a class, detested not only by the Jews, but by other nations also, both on account of their employment and of the harshness, greed, and deception, with which they did their job. The modern day equivalent of the publican is the IRS and are known for their harshness, greed, and deception, with which they do their job.
Effectively, wealth is transferred out of the Kingdom of God and is dispersed in a "system" of entitlements to those who bow down to a different god, a liberal government. As long as people perceive anything else as the "supplier of their needs" this "evil" continues to do its evil work.
Isaiah 32:5-7, "The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right."
Freewill Giving is God's system to support ministry which in turn supports the poor and the needy.
2 Corinthians 9:7-10, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness)
If or when a person is compelled to give (of necessity), their attitude toward giving becomes "grudgingly" then effectively God is cut out of the loop and does not or can not release grace to provide the blessing. The cycle is interrupted because the power that binds it is love. (Galatians 5:6, " but faith which worketh by love.")
2 Corinthians 9:11-12, "Being enriched in
every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us
thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not
only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by
many thanksgivings unto God;"
An offering to the needy is an offering to God.
Matthew 25:40, "... Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
When people are compelled to give through a system that claims it will take over the role of "giving to the poor" and "providing for the needs", and that system extracts a large portion of the peoples income to do this; if there still remained a giving heart, there is no money left. Usually there is neither remaining, a giving heart or the money. If this isn't bad enough the percentage left after the "publicans" finish exacting their price is very little and the system "steals" the lion's share of the resources and the needy is left needy. The resources that were intended to be used as God's provision have been relegated and dispensed through a godless system of provision, stealing the glory from God. The glory has been diverted and instead of the people trusting in God they look instead to the System to supply their needs.
Another area or part of this deception is the systematic and periodic pressure of the "holiday spirit". It doesn't matter where you start this cycle, it is obvious that every month or two there is a pagan holiday that has crept in to our world that demands of us to waste our resources on it. If you don't buy at least a dozen roses and a box of chocolate for your sweetheart on St. Valentines Day youre a cad. Don't forget the new dress and Easter basket and God forbid you would rob your children of the joy of the Easter Egg Hunt. How about buying your costumes, and candy, and yard decorations to set just the right mood on "fright night" when all the little goblins come knocking "trick-or-treat". Ask yourself why would all the retail stores gear up a month in advance for these holidays with big displays and whole isles dedicated to the theme if were not for the fact that lots and lots of money is spent for these events.
Of course lets not forget about the "BIG ONE" Christmas. This is the time when the "cares of this world" come crashing down around the heads of the greatest numbers of people in this country. People are compelled to buy things for others either out of guilt or tradition or appearances. Even when the motive seems right would they really have spent the money now if it were not a part of the ritual of yet another pagan holiday where lavish giving is the rule of the day. See, we haven't really separated ourselves from the Saturnalia and the honoring of Isis and Baccus and Samhain.
In some cultures as well as here in this country, people save up all year long so that their float will win the parade and their house would win the prize for the best decorations. They go into debt for the rest of the year so that their family will have the best Christmas morning possible. And when all is said and done, their "seed" has been devoured by the devourer. And the Kingdom of God has not increased, and the blessing of God has been stolen.
I guess the third leg of this "theft of blessings" is the pressure on people to spend their resources "just because they deserve it". The advertisements say "go ahead you deserve it". Take that trip or buy that car because in doing that you will have value, you will prove to everyone that "you are someone"! Go ahead buy things you don't need with money you don't have to impress people you don't like. It sounds foolish doesn't it, nevertheless people fall for it every day.
The liar hasn't changed neither has the lie. In the garden the serpent said to Eve go ahead take the trust God gave you and spend it on this beautiful fruit you don't need, and you will be better and smarter and more important than you are now. Go ahead you deserve it. And she said, well after all it does look good. The Devil will do or establish anything that will separate the children of God, from the blessing of God.
Giving out of obligation not out of need stops the blessing.
Giving out of guilt and not out of compassion stops the blessing.
Giving out of vanity and not out of abundance stops the blessing.
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give"
By Richard Suarez