Put God First (2 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 7 of 10
Mammon is a spirit that moves in greed, you just can't have enough - so a problem came. Notice this: before he took it, it's devoted; after he took it, it's cursed.

This is how it seems to me to work: I can either have 100 per cent of everything I have - and it's all under a cursing, and under the power of the spirit of Mammon; or I can have 90 per cent of what I have - and it's blessed.

I have found from years of experience, that 90 per cent with blessing, is better than the 100 per cent with trouble. I know at times it has been very difficult to uphold that commitment, but it was always about an issue of the heart. Will I put God first, and trust Him?

Now I want to just pick up four very simple heart issues that lie behind giving the first portion to the Lord. Remember Jesus said: “the battle is one for your heart”, there's a spirit that is seeking to conquer your heart, so here they are.

#1, the first one is the principle of Honour. The word honour means ‘to value’, or ‘to place a weight’ on something.

So will I honour God; and place value on His willingness and ability to bless me? What value will I put on that? Will I honour, God and put Him first in my finances? What value do I place on God, in the issue of managing money?

That's what it boils down to; and very similar in Proverbs 3:9 – “Honour the Lord with all your substance, and with the first fruits of all your increase”.

Now the way we have done it is: whatever we have done, we've always considered God's best, and how we would best advance His kingdom. So when we come to buy a house, it was never about what would look good, or be nice, or in the right area. It was always: what would help advance the kingdom of God? What kind of house do we need to have that would enable us to have people in and out, and show hospitality?

It was always going to be a factor. It was never just about: whether we could have a family. It was always about: what God had for us. We've always tried to put Him first around all these different kinds of areas, and God's kept us from all kinds of difficulties; and brought us into all kinds of blessing around this, that we could never have imagined. I don't even understand how it happens; that we have what we have now.

It can only be understood by Blessing. There's no tangible or visible sign, that we've been able to progress as we have. It is the blessing of God that's done it, and so you know, so we're blessed. We're blessed! I can't say I'm that smart on all this issue.

There's a second area, the area of Faith: will I trust God, that He is a generous provider? Will I trust Him, He will generously provide for my life? Think about that. It's an issue of Faith. Will I trust Him, by giving my first portion to Him?

How old was Abraham, when Abraham had his first son? About 100 wasn't he? His wife was probably in her 90s? Now remember, he got impatient waiting for that first son, and then finally he got the son - he got a mess with Ishmael, and then he still has to wait for the promise.

So finally the promise comes, he's got the first son. Now you've got to understand, if you're 100, and your wife is nearly 100, getting any son is a miracle. It is. Now - and this is the son of promise, this is the son he loved.

In Genesis 22, God says: “Take this son that you love, and offer him up to Me.” No! How could this be? She's so old! What if she doesn't have any more children?

Can you understand, that the same thing we talked about with the sheep, and with Joshua - it's exactly the same deal. Is she able to have any more?

It's not like: hey God, look, I'll tell you what. Can we put this deal off, wait until I've got a few more in the family, and then we'll bring #10, and give #10 to you?

No, it was an issue of: do you trust Me - that the promise stands, regardless of whether Isaac is here or not? He had the promise before he had Isaac; and when he offered up Isaac, he knew he still had the promise. God cannot lie.