“Buying this building makes no sense – there is much renovation work to do and we have no financial resources to even begin to meet the £200,000 asking price.”
These wise words from our mission directors echoed in my mind as I prayed. I was willing to listen to their advice…but the Lord’s prophetic word to go for the building was still before us. Struggling in prayer to find the faith to go forward I lost my health and spent some time in bed shut up with the Lord. One morning I was listening to a cassette by the Icthus churches’ founder Roger Forster. In the middle of the cassette he broke off and began to talk about the First World War and how this had unleashed such a devastating destruction on the Welsh revival and the evangelisation of Europe. As he spoke I felt the Holy Spirit gripping my spirit and I seemed to overhear the words “Redeem the Dreams”. He continued with a verse from the prophet Haggai chapter 2 verses 9:
“…In this place I will bring peace.”
“OK Lord, if this chateau is for us I am going down into the prayer meeting where I want someone to give me that same verse.”
I went downstairs where folk were praying.
“Does anyone have something from God?” I asked.
There was an embarrassed silence, and a few scuffling feet, before someone spoke up.
“As I was praying around the chateau on my way back down here, the Lord clearly said:
“In this place I will bring peace (shalom).”
In that moment the step was made. God was asking us to set up a “redemptive prayer house” at the gateway to Europe; a place where the dreams of so many young men who died in the war might be taken up afresh by a new generation of young men and women. It all seemed a bit way out, and a bit mysterious, but the Lord’s grip was there. It was a long drawn out battle raising the finance, and God stretched us right to the limit with the loan coming on the day we needed to sign and the other half of the money coming in with 36 francs (about 5 pounds) to spare!”
I’m sure that many in world Horizons have similar stories of praying in finance for their ministries and lives. I include the above as it illustrated two fundamental principles:
1) Provision is “for the Vision” – Your provision will be determined by the size and strength of your vision. Don’t be afraid to let the Lord nurture and grow a vision within you over a number of years. Don’t resist being discipled into a vision by serving and learning from older mentors. The financial provision will only be the visible tip of the iceberg of the many hidden years which have patiently woven the substance of vision within.
2) Corporate prayer action – weighing up words, taking advice together and fighting a battle in prolonged faith filled prayer.
Let me add another few principles that have helped me personally in my financial journey of faith over the years.
3) Learn obedience, generosity and honesty – Walking radically in these three areas will inevitably release financial provision over your life.
4) Ask for a supernatural visitation of faith! – When I could no longer go on in faith for paying impossible bills, the Holy Spirit graciously met me. A significant breakthrough came as I experienced the “new wine” of the Spirit which has been known as “The Toronto Blessing”. Hours of intercessory “holy laughter” seemed to heal my dead, unbelieving “spiritual womb” and put in a new vitality to enable an “Isaac”– he laughs, to be born.
5) Know your personal value – You are worth more than dumb bird! In Luke 12:24, God commits himself to feed the birds – “And how much more valuable you are than birds!”
6) Learn the “Redemption Refrain” of Romains 8:32 – “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” If your loving auntie had already given you her most precious, priceless diamond, would it be an issue for her to give you a meal? God has already given us His “most precious” in Christ – will he not also give “all things”, with him, by grace!
7) Learn to be content – “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” 1 Timothy 6:6-10
And finally, be willing to be very practical. If you have personal possessions don’t be afraid to sell them to raise money for ministry. It is always hypocritical to ask others to make a financial sacrifice you are not willing to make yourself. “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24
Communicate your vision in the best way possible. Create a network of relationships. Be open to creativity. The apostle Paul, adopting the Levite principle of the Old Testament, was at the same time using one hand to receive gifts but also the other hand to work…with a heart of faith in the middle! Some seasons and ministries require a total devotion to the “gift” principle, while others are being led to concentrate their efforts on entrepreneurial activities, which, apart from providing for basic needs, are designed to bring blessing and transformation to nations.
“Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.” John Locke
I wish you good shoes for your long financial journey!