God is a Loving Abundant Provider

Can you imagine standing there when Jesus turned the water into wine? The scripture says in the book of John that six stone water jars used for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons, were filled to the brim. Filled to the brim? By my calculation that would be between 120 and 160 gallons of wine. We don’t know how many guests were at the wedding, but that is a lot of wine.

Abundance is part of his nature. He fed the 5000 men (not to mention women and children) and guess what?—there were baskets of food left over. I believe we must be totally convinced that God is an abundant provider—not just sometimes when he is in a good mood but as a part of his nature he provides “more than enough.” It is how he does things.

Jesus and his party were accused of living in celebration and luxury. Maybe it was true. Why was he welcome at parties with the gluttons and drunkards? This would have been the wealthy people of the community in Jesus day. Maybe they invited him because they were hoping he would turn more water into wine? I don’t know.

What does it mean when the scripture says he delights in the well-being (sometimes translated prosperity) of his servant? “…The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant” (Psalm 35: 27).

It means it makes him happy to bless you financially and otherwise! God wants to give you the desires of your heart. Let me qualify that by saying that as you get closer to Him the desires of your heart are the same as the desires of His heart and your plans are the same as His plans. He wants to give them to you: May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed (Psalm 20:4).

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Holy Spirit, Teach Me to Prosper

As I was getting this revelation of El Shaddai as the God of blessing, I felt the Lord was prompting me to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to teach me to prosper. Knowing the scripture reveals that the Holy Spirit is our teacher, I decided to go for it. In prayer one day, I spoke these words, “Holy Spirit, teach me to prosper.” I did not know what I was getting into, but I knew my current thinking had to change.

Shortly after praying this prayer, I was in a Sunday morning church service and the speaker was teaching about some deep theological truth from the Bible. In the middle of his message, he stopped and asked this question, “How many people present know how many one hundred dollar bills there are in circulation for every one dollar bill?”

Most of the people were wondering what was going on and why he had departed from his topic. “Are there more one hundred dollar bills in circulation in U.S. currency or one dollar bills?” he repeated again. He paused for a few moments and then went on to give the answer. The answer was that there are 60 one hundred dollar bills in circulation for every one-dollar bill. The speaker suggested perhaps Christians think in the wrong terms. Maybe we are thinking in terms of one dollar bills when we should be thinking in terms of hundred dollar bills. He then returned to his subject and finished his teaching. My thinking was challenged.

Most of the people in the congregation that day were wondering why the speaker could not stay on his topic, but not me. I had a clear sense that the speaker’s digression from his sermon was specifically for me. Within two weeks, I was attending a leadership conference for pastors and listening to another speaker. This time the speaker was teaching on finances. Believe it or not, part of the way into his teaching he asked the question, “How many people here know how many one hundred dollar bills there are in circulation for every one dollar bill?”

This got my attention. I knew God was speaking to me, but the question for me was, “Where are they? Where are the one hundred dollar bills, because I surely do not have any?” It was really clear that God was speaking to me. My thinking was being challenged. He wanted me to step out in faith and change my way of thinking. I was pondering this currency revelation God had shown me and trying to figure out how I could think in terms of hundreds instead of ones.

My next post will describe how the Holy Spirit directed me to change my actions.  Remember; this is my real life story. It does not get any more practical than this.

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God’s Nature is Seed Time and Harvest

Miracles are usually just enough to get us through a crisis, but because God’s blessings contain more than enough, the surplus can many times become someone else’s miracle, meeting their needs. God’s blessings are usually the fruit of something we have planted somewhere along the way. Fruits generally have the seeds in them to plant for the next crop. However God’s miracles are usually once and done. There is no seed in them. God’s nature is seedtime and harvest; miracles are God’s mercy.

Does it take more faith to believe for daily miracles or for a life-style of blessing, healing and prosperity? I think it takes more faith to live a life-style of blessing. God has provided miracles even when there was no faith. Do you remember the water from a rock and manna in the morning? These were miracles God did just to get the children of Israel to stop complaining. There was no great faith there! Could it require greater faith to live a life-style of blessing? The answer from my life experience is “yes.”

Please keep in mind as I contrast El Shaddai and Jehovah Jireh, I am not talking about two separate gods. I am talking about two separate revelations of God’s nature given to humanity with finite minds, to somehow gain an understanding of an infinite being. I am not creating new theology. I am introducing us to a divine aspect of our heavenly Father that some of us have not yet experienced.

Of all the things I teach as a Bible teacher, this area of Biblical prosperity seems to help people the most in reaching their God-given dreams. Listen to the story of Merle and Cheree Shenk, as they recall their missionary experience in Cape Town, South Africa.

Life on the mission field was a journey of faith for us.  After reading Brian’s first book Prosperity With A Purpose, we really took a mental shift to believe that God could be the God of More Than Enough for us & our ministry.  Many times we saw God do amazing provisions.  One story that stands out to me is the day our car broke down for the fourth time in one week, each time it was something different.  Our family was sitting beside the road, crying out to God, feeling ready to give up and leave South Africa.  It was the week we were to launch our Bible School curriculum and it seemed as if the devil was pulling out all the stops.  Two days later we were driving home a brand new, completely paid for new vehicle.  This was a mighty revelation that changed our approach to daily living!

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God’s Blessing vs. God’s Miracles

Without minimizing God’s miracles, I now believe the more we live in God’s blessings, the less we will have to live by God’s miracles. For example, the more we live in God’s promise of divine health, the less we will need God’s miracles of healing. Many churches teach that God will heal your body when you get sick. But how many teach divine health, believing that God will give you a divinely healthy life, free from sickness and disease? The more we walk in divine health, the less we will need physical healing.

We have already applied this same thought to the financial realm. The more we live in God’s promise of divine prosperity, the less we will need God to do financial miracles in our lives. God’s miracles rescue us in times of crisis; however, we can say that living in God’s blessings keep crisis from coming.

When God intervenes and solves a crisis by a miracle, it is as if He is working for us. When God brings blessing into our lives in response to us obeying His Word or sowing seed, it is like He is working with us. Miracles are God overcoming the natural laws of the earth. Blessings are God working with the natural laws of the earth, like sowing and reaping, to bring His blessings into our lives. Both blessings and miracles are supernatural and come from God.

Living by God’s miracles could leave you with a car that requires prayer for a miracle every time you need it to start. I can hear the groaning—too many of us have been there! The amazing thing is that God in His mercy will in some miraculous way help you get your car started. But unfortunately, you will still need another miracle to get it started the next day. Living in God’s blessings can bring you a new car that will start every time you need it to start.

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More Than Enough Bibles !

Around the same time I was discovering the revelation of El Shaddai as the God of more than enough, I had just ordered a new Bible. I received the Bible, but it was not the correct size I had ordered. When I contacted the publisher, they instructed me to just keep it and they would send me another Bible. As it turned out, the publisher sent two additional new Bibles by mistake. Now I had three study Bibles. All of a sudden I had more than enough Bibles!

It seemed like the Holy Spirit was underlining this fresh revelation of God as the provider of more than enough. By the way, I did send the one Bible back but I gave the other to my wife. God blessed me and I was able to be a blessing to my wife. Here is another testimony from Dorothy, who is just one of the many who discovered that God wants to be El Shaddai.

“I already knew how to budget and some Biblical principles about money. Still I constantly needed help (for food or car repairs) from my church. After hearing the teaching of Prosperity with a Purpose by Brian Sauder, I stopped looking at the checkbook balance. I began instead to look to El Shaddai, “the God of more than enough’ as my supply. Since then I have testified so many times about the many breakthroughs in my finances that my friends got jealous. Now at their request, I am teaching others what the Bible says about money and our God-El Shaddai. And yes, lots of times, as God leads, I too give all that I have in my purse and the amount in there is increasing.

                                                     Dorothy –  Reading, PA, USA

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Is it God’s Will for Us to Live in the Promised Land?

I was surprised when a minister friend of mine said that people with many testimonies about God’s financial miracles are not the ones after which we should pattern our financial lives. Why did he say this? Because with all the miracles they have seen, they seem to still be in need of another miracle today to make it financially. As I thought about this I realized it was true. In other words, although these people have faith for financial miracles, they have not found faith to receive from God for long term abundant provision.

When the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness, they received a daily miracle for their food called manna. It was fresh and new every day. It was miraculous provision. However, it could not be kept for the next day because any surplus would spoil. There was a complete dependency on God for provision every day.

Manna was not God’s long-term plan for provision. When God took them into the Promised Land, the daily manna stopped. It was no longer an option. In the Promised Land, the children of Israel were expected to live by the principle of sowing and reaping and seedtime and harvest. Let’s look at the scripture where the transition happened. It is found in Joshua:

The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan. (Joshua 5:11-12)

This was a different revelation of God’s provision for the children of Israel. It included faith, but now they were also expected to farm the land, to sow and reap. They were expected to have an abundance because provisions were made to help the non-Israelites in their midst as well as bring the first fruits into the storehouse and make other offerings. There was also a whole group of people, the Levites, who were to be supported out of the abundance of the general population. In the desert, their sandals didn’t wear out for 40 years, but in the Promised Land their sandals wore out and they had the resources for new sandals. This seems to be similar to living by the revelation of El Shaddai that was first introduced to Abraham.

The Promised Land was a concept indicating Israel’s possession of a place with God in the earth where there was security from all external threats and internal calamity. It was a place of rest for the people of God to grow and prosper. If this was true for the children of Israel, then can we boldly ask ourselves what is God’s will for Christians in the area of financial provision today? Is it God’s will for Christians to live in the desert or is it God’s will for Christians to live in the Promised Land? I think the promised land.

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Lost wedding ring?…Never Fear El Shaddai is Here

A couple of years ago I lost my wedding band. Our local church has a sports team on which I participated. As I was changing one day in the parking lot for a game I took off my wedding band and must have inadvertently dropped the ring as I was putting my clothes into an athletic bag. I soon discovered the wedding band was missing. This was disappointing to both my wife and me. It was not a very expensive ring, but it was more the idea that it represented the most important covenant in my life.

After a few months of hoping it would turn up somewhere my wife and I went to a jewelry store to replace it. We found the prices of rings had increased almost tenfold since we had initially purchased the ring 23 years earlier. We were preparing to buy an inexpensive ring, when the jeweler remembered getting a return of an expensive ring. He found it and was able to size it to fit my finger. This attractive ring was worth three times what we would have spent for the least expensive ring there, but the jeweler gave it to us for the price of the least expensive ring.

What a blessing for God to prove his lavishness to us again and affirm our marriage covenant with a special blessing. God is good. I enjoy teaching this revelation of El Shaddai so much because it seems to help people to fulfill their destiny. Of all the things I teach as a Bible teacher, this area of Biblical prosperity seems to help people the most in reaching their God-given dreams.

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More Than Enough for Our Family

My wife and I have always had a dream to have a large family.  However, many times when we shared our desire with friends, the response was always the same, even from some of our family. How will you be able to afford so many children? We did not really have a good answer at the time, usually we halfheartedly responded about God supplying somehow.

Other people told us and we just assumed it would take all that we have financially to raise our family. It even sounded rather spiritual, saying that we would put all that we had into our children. Sometimes, we continued by saying that we wouldn’t have natural riches, but that our children would be our riches.

As God was teaching us this new revelation of Himself as El Shaddai, one day my wife came to me and said we needed to stop believing and saying that it would take all we had financially to raise our family. She was right. We began to realize this was believing and expecting God to meet only our needs, but not believing that He would meet above and beyond our needs. Our faith and our words had to change if we wanted to see financial abundance. We specifically started to believe and say we would have all of our family’s financial needs met and that there would be finances left over for our family to support missionaries, give to others in need or to minister to those in our community.

God showed us we needed to change what we believed, what we said and what we expected. We have five children with the youngest in her last year of high school and are currently experiencing more than enough time and money for our family. We praise God because He is El Shaddai… the God of more than enough.

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