Submitted by: Alex (Boston, MA)
I was wondering if there were any articles related to living by faith, especially in the matters of finance. Chapter 9 in bro. Nee’s biography by bro. Lee ” Watchman Nee: A Seer of the Divine Revelation” was very impressive, but I was wondering if there were examples or testimonies from among us in this matter. Specifically from the 19 out of 20 ”regular” saint (bro. Lee suggested that 1 out of 20 should be job dropping full timers, thus I’m talking about the other 19 out of 20) category with a testimony or experience in living our human lives in the current social/economic atmosphere, experiencing the Lord’s provision and supply.
10 thoughts on “Living by Faith”
The matter of finances is important. I have recently been getting into the HWMR on Material Offerings and the Lord’s Move. In it, the ministry points out that in the Word it says you cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). Mammon is an idol and God’s enemy. The enemy unifies everything in the world under mammon so that we would serve it as a slave rather than serve God. Thus, to bring it back to your question, in a real sense we either live by faith in God or by faith in mammon.
The ministry refers to 1 Timothy 6:17: “Charge those who are rich in the present age not to be high-minded, nor to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches but on God, who affords us all things richly for our enjoyment.” We need to be clear that God is the source of any blessings we may enjoy, not mammon.
My eyes were also opened to see 2 Corinthians 9:6 in a new light:
“But take note of this: He who sows sparingly shall also sparingly reap; and he who sows with blessings shall also with blessings reap.”
The ministry made it clear that the more tightly we hold onto our money, the more it dies. The more we sow (give to the Lord), the more we reap. A farmer would not expect to reap any harvest the next year if he did not sow any seeds this year. This is a natural law ordained by God. Thus if we are faithful to sow (money as seeds), then when the need comes we will reap a harvest, perhaps even a multiplied blessing. (This has been my experience.) However, we should not give in a superstitious way as a means to become rich.
In my personal experience, the Lord has always met my supply, but also dealt with me in the matter of holding onto my money and trying to become wealthy. I was unemployed for over 2 years, yet the Lord faithfully took care of my needs. On the other hand, I had been holding on to some investments for a while hoping that they would grow. The Lord bothered me to sell them but I delayed, until I had a health situation that required me to pay the same amount of money that I had invested. The HWMR I referenced above mentions that regardless of whether you give or not, the outcome is always the same, as the Lord wisely has a way of working it all out in the end.
I too would be very interested in reading any further ministry portions related to this matter. I hope more saints can post their portions.
I didn’t even get through the first paragraph before I screamed “HALLELUJAH” in my spirit. Nicolaitans worship money which is, like you stated, God’s enemy. Amen to your post, Brother. Oh Lord Jesus! Strengthen the choosing of the saints, that they’d choose to serve Christ pure-heartedly in every way. “Better a poor and wise youth
Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more” (Ecc.4:13) Oh Lord Jesus! May we give You preeminence in our finances and everything else. Amen!
A wonderful reality! we have to choose one of them: the ‘LORD’ or the ‘mammon’!I hope all saints choose the LORD apparently; but it needs further dealing and practice in daily life to internalize what meant to choose the LORD than the mammon. Therefore, I wish to see some experiential aspect of making mammon slave out of the saints’ testimony.
First of all, I am by no means qualified to testify concerning living by faith, especially when I still consider myself a young brother. However, I do have some feeling to share my little experiences. I hope others would do the same.
When I first read the testimonies concerning Watchman Nee in “A Seer of the Divine Relation in the Present Age” maybe back in college, I asked myself, where is this today? At the same time, it has put a noble desire in me to live in the same way, one day, because up until then, I was fully supported by scholarship and my parents. I had never been in want, financially.
Upon graduation from the training, I enrolled in a particular professional school, one that holds significant future earning potential. At the same time, however, I started receiving a meager stipend in order to finish my studies. This is when the Lord reminded me about living by faith. I realized that if I don’t learn this lesson now, when I only have a small income, it would be much more difficult when my income reaches 6-digits.
A few principles really helped shape me in the matter of giving:
1. Top 10 and 5: I started practicing the 10 and 5 from the very first paycheck. Being reminded that it’s the top 10 and 5 and not the bottom 10 and 5, I set up automatic payments to the church every 2 weeks coinciding with the paychecks so that I won’t even consider any of that mine.
2. Revise upwards: based on Brother Ron’s fellowship, I reviewed my financial situation at the end of the year and was able to increase my givings upwards.
3. Whenever we receive, we first think of how we can give: this is also based on what I heard from Brother Ron. One time I received an award of a couple hundreds of dollars. At other times I may just give a percentage but this time I felt to give the whole amount away. This is also according to the next principle:
4. Don’t reason. There is a ministry portion where Brother Lee describes a conversation between a man and his wife about how much to give to the church. I think it went from 10,000 to 200 dollars (or something like that). The point is, don’t reason in your mind! So when I am considering about giving to a particular saint or situation, I just pray and go with the first number that pops into my head. I learned not to reason but just be “hilarious”. So maybe I’m wrong about that feeling or figure. Maybe it’s not from the Lord. But I figure that if in doubt, I’m going to err on the side of being hilarious and be “reckless” with my giving. Let the Lord decide.
As I am practicing these principles, my financial situation became somewhat unpredictable and therefore difficult due to a particular arrangement by the Lord. This caused me to not be comfortable but to literally look to Him a few months as a time not knowing if my accounts will balance. In fact, for about 3 years now, my monthly balance is most of the time in the negatives. But somehow I’ve received money from many different sources so that everything still balanced over the long run.
Of course my situation is no where as dire as Watchman Nee but the Lord tests us according to our measure of faith. Since I have little faith, He brings me situation where I would get desperate (even though it’s not THAT bad) and seek Him. Everyone of us has different situations and we should not compare. However, I believe that if we are serious before the Lord, we can learn to live by faith regardless of how much or little money we make. The Lord knows how to tailor for us the situations that will grant us the experiences that we need. Up until today, He has not failed to take care of me. In fact, just last month I was in a similar situation and then the phone calls came and the situation was ameliorated. I don’t know what the next 6 months will hold but the Lord has not let me starve. I still get to travel to some conferences and trainings, etc. I am not deprived. I live a simple life but all my basic needs are covered. At the same time, I surely don’t buy $3 drinks on a daily basis or buy things carelessly.
I do treasure these years before I start making “big” money should the Lord lead me that way. My prayer and aspiration is that my standard of living will remain the same as my income increases. I aspire to be one of those brothers who drive an average car, live in an average house, while they are making serious amounts of money. Where does all that money go? Only the Lord knows but I’m pretty sure it’s not somewhere that’s affected by the economy.
“don’t reason in your mind! So when I am considering about giving to a particular saint or situation, I just pray and go with the first number that pops into my head. I learned not to reason but just be “hilarious”. So maybe I’m wrong about that feeling or figure. Maybe it’s not from the Lord. But I figure that if in doubt, I’m going to err on the side of being hilarious and be “reckless” with my giving. Let the Lord decide.”
Amen!!! This is the Lord talking heart to heart with me. Amen! Amen! Amen! Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, He is so good!
I am a young brother still in university, so I do not have much experience, but I recently enjoyed Malachi 3:8-10
3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me. But you say, How have we robbed You? In tithes and offerings.
3:9 With the curse you are cursed, yet you, even the whole nation, rob Me.
3:10 Bring the whole tithe to the storehouse that there may be food in My house; and prove Me, if you will, by this, says Jehovah of hosts, whether I will open to you the windows of heaven and pour out blessing for you until there is no room for it.
Matthew 4:7 tells us we should not test our God. But (I think) here in Malachi is the only time God asks us to prove Him, in the matter of giving. We don’t give to the Lord because we are scared that we will not have enough left for ourselves; but here God asking us to prove His faithfulness, His blessing.
For a long time I have been seeking a part-time job, because I have always felt I am slightly short of the money, and several times I have reached a bank account of $0.
Recently, the Lord gave me a job, but with so much ministry about giving and being crazy lovers of Jesus, I knew I had to give my first pay entirely to the Lord. Since then, whenever I receive more pay, I give the same amount that I receive to the church.
I am a little excited, because surely this will prove God. My prayer is that the Lord really would pour out blessing until there is no room left. The blessing I want is not more money but the reality of the new way in my locality, the reality of the one by one shepherding and teaching, that each saint would have a personal touch with the Lord, and that we would have increase to fill our new meeting halls.
If the Lord will honor giving with this kind of blessing, then I am so happy to work and give to the Lord. May the Lord give us a heart to give beyond what is comfortable!
Dear Brother Alex,
Concerning living by faith in the matter of finance, maybe you can listen to “Church History” given by Brother Andrew Yu to the full-time trainers. (I am sorry I don’t know the year it was given but maybe other saints can help on this)
This is one message that changed my life especially on living by faith. I believe you will be impressed too. i.e. if you have not already listened to it.
Ms. Barber once told brother Née that this road are lonesome. Meaning only few one find walking on it. Living by faith is not easy path to tread upon but to those who are in it really experienced God’s supply. The Lord truly blesses His People mostly the babe’s and sucklings. Not witholding and the Giving back to what He blesses more than what was practiced by the Old Testament saints are the secret. Praise Him!
We want to avoid any extreme, either having an outward show or being an introverted lone wolf. Ms Barber was a consecrated person, living a balanced Christian life as can be seen in her hymn, 377.