“LOOK at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26 NKJV
I felt this message drop in my heart today for someone…no, some people (plural) who are facing unexpected financial….tensions. I almost wrote using the word “crisis“. But in that, I felt the Lord say, “No. That’s exactly it. The enemy is presenting what’s been thrown at them as a crisis. But it’s not.“And as I continued praying through this, I was led to an unusual scripture. Unusual because we don’t often refer to in…April:
“there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed…And Joseph also went up from Galilee…to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.” (Luke 2)
We often forget to realize that Jesus was born right into a time and place of financial…tension. A census, this “taxation”, picture it with me, if you will, had a way of placing microscopes on people. Examining what they had while demanding something from them that was unexpected. In much the same way, many of you have had unexpected financial curveballs thrown at you, and fear has tried to get a major foothold into your heart.
What are you going to do?
Where is it going to come from?
How are you going to deal with this?
I say to you, FEAR NOT. Don’t respond in the natural (Romans 12:2). Respond with faith. Don’t coward back in fear, shout with praise. The Lord knows what you have need of before you even need it (Matthew 6:8). Don’t be so movable (1 Corinthians 15:58), be immovable – steadfast. Don’t be so shaken; don’t lose your peace.
God’s hand was in this census in order to bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. That’s where Jesus was to be born. Whatever it is that is coming at you, it’s directly connected to what you’re supposed to give birth to.
The next thing I felt led to share is this: ask God to show you where the provision or the answers you need, will come from. Keep your eyes open and follow with obedience, faith and joy whatever He prompts you to do. Do you have faith to believe, friend?
“Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.” Matthew 17:27 NKJV
I exhort you, brother, sister in Christ. Read the full passage in Matthew 17:24-27. Listen prayerfully to what the Lord wants to show you. Much like the boy who was born blind, this issue that has come up against you is not because of sin or because of failure. You did not take a wrong turn, you are not being judged. No – this is not one of those times where you can say, “Here it is again…it’s happening again. I’m taking two steps forward and seven backwards.” No. This is not that. This is so that the glory of the Lord may be revealed to you!
“Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.'” John 9:3 NKJV
Did you hear that?
I’ll say it again according to the Passion Translation: It happened to him so that you could watch him experience God’s miracle.
Now is not the time to be releasing words of fear, unbelief, or anxiety into your atmosphere. Silence yourself! I’ve been feeling this word since last night. Prohibit yourself from speaking demoralizing, fearful, unbelieving words. Just because they pop into our minds doesn’t mean we have to give them the energy and power of our breath! Your breath carries life. It is far too valuable to be casting it to something deadly.
When the Lord gave instructions to Joshua about how they were going to conquer Jericho (Read Joshua 6) he, Joshua, gave the people specific instructions:
“Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, ‘You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘SHOUT!’ Then you shall shout.'” Joshua 6:10 NKJV
Joshua had seen what had happened when the people loosely murmered, complained, and voiced their unbelief (when the spies returned with a bad report). He was there. He knew the power of words. And so now, as crazy as it may have seemed what God was asking them to do, (circling Jericho seven times) he knew unbelief had to be silenced. I say the same thing to you today:
Don’t speak until you can speak words of faith.
And don’t wait until you “feel like it” either. Stir yourself up in the Spirit. Pray. Get on your knees and get before the Lord. Don’t go talking to your friends first. Don’t go calling up your relatives first. Don’t waste any time. Take whatever it is that has been thrown at you and do as King Hezekiah did:
And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 1 Kings
Read the entire account, he took the bad report and placed it before the Lord in His temple. In His sanctuary. Before the altar. Do this literally if you feel you need to! But get before God, and spread it out before Him. “Here, Lord, this is what the report says.”
I’m not asking you to lie to yourself about what it is you’re facing. But I am saying now is the time to respond with faith and refuse to lose your joy. Stand firm and keep your eyes open so that you can see the salvation of the Lord that is coming to you.
I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help.
But then I realize that our true help and protection
come only from the Lord,
our Creator who made the heavens and the earth.
3 He will guard and guide me, never letting me stumble or fall.
God is my keeper; he will never forget nor ignore me.
4 He will never slumber nor sleep;
he is the Guardian-God for his people…
Psalm 121:1-4a TPT
I close with asking you, friend. When you have overcome (not if). When the Lord has shown Himself strong on your behalf (not if), encourage your brothers and sisters by letting them know what the Lord has done for you. God is giving us great opportunities right now glorify Him. Don’t hide your light under a basket. Let it shine.
Linda G. Riddle