“Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you. 2 But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.” Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 NLT
There’s a word I continue to hear from heaven. At first, it began as a whisper, but over the past few weeks, I’ve heard it get louder and louder. It’s simply this: “Now is a time to diversify.”
As I’ve continued to tune in, I sense this is a word of Fatherly instruction/direction to His children in how we are stewarding all the things He has placed into our care. I don’t believe this has only to do with our money or investments. Though that is certainly part of it, and I’ll get to that in just a moment. But I believe loving attention is being drawn to the fact that too many of us are placing all our “eggs in one basket”. We are taking all the seeds of destiny and purpose we have been given and sowing them into only one field. And we are trusting in that one field to yield a harvest of various different types of “fruits”.
But much like in the natural, certain plants and vegetation require different types of soil, different types of nutrients, and varying amounts of sunlight. Not all the seeds we have been given will flourish in the exact same spot. We must learn how to diversify.
“…divide your investments among many places…” Ecclesiastes says. What can this look like for us, practically speaking?
As I’ve been tuning in to this over the past few weeks, there are three areas I felt highlighted in which we can begin to diversify:
Giving: Many reliable prophetic voices have said in the past 18 months or so that we are in a season where God is redistributing wealth. I believe it. I’ve seen it happen. In fact, many of the relocations and new assignments we’ve seen take place have been divinely orchestrated to facilitate this.
The tithe always goes to our local church, as should some of our offerings. The local church must always be equipped and prepared to meet the needs of our community and spread the message and ministry of the Gospel. But we must ask ourselves, are we sowing into only “one field”? We must think more broadly. Besides the work we are partnering with through our local church, what other ministries, causes, or kingdom-minded organizations has God given us a heart for? In other words, how else and where else can we “send our grain across the seas” and partner with what God is doing throughout the world? Even if we start small, it’s time to diversify and divide our investments among many places.
Growing: In Ephesians 4:11-13, we find that Jesus appointed five distinct, yet unique representations of leadership as a gift to The Church. He Himself modeled all five perfectly. And in today’s church age, we find there are leaders that carry either one or a mix of these five expressions. They are apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds (or pastors) and teachers. These five are given as a gift to The Church to equip the saints and build up (or edify) the body of Christ. If I may, one way of interpreting this is that each of these expressions plays a vital role in our maturity, our growth, and our understanding of how the kingdom operates.
Unfortunately, many of us have only positioned ourselves to be influenced and discipled by only one or two of these expressions. It’s time to diversify and ensure that we are being nourished in each of these five areas. (If it helps, we can think of this in much the same way that a mother and father are given to raise children together. Each is a leader, each has authority, but they each leave a unique, but necessary fingerprint on the lives of their children. As children, we are given two – as The Church we are given five.)
Income: I took some time to really tune in on this one, and I believe that the instruction is simply this: we need to stop relying on only one source for our income. Now is a time to “diversify” and act on those ideas we’ve tucked away that we’ve never done anything with – or – we need to begin seeking God for creative ways as to how we can multiply our streams of income. There are other resources God wants to “redistribute” to us. Resources that will fund many more kingdom purposes we’ve been called to. But we need to take a step of faith and start sowing some seeds into other fields that will yield different types of fruit and a different type of harvest back to us.
As together we, with joy, take these steps of faith in each of these areas, let us remember the promise: “Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.”
May you be richly blessed in abundance, to have more than what you need for every good work He created for you to do in advance. To Him be all the glory.
Linda G. Riddle