Friday, March 14, 2014

A Fundraiser By Faith

"I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. May the God of peace be with you all. Amen." - Romans 15:30-33 ESV

Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, stayed 'in the mix' with the Apostles in Israel.

"Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me." - 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 ESV

Paul was a fundraiser. No doubt this took faith for him to do. He did it out of love. He braved dangers to do it. There was even a possibility in Paul's mind that the gift might not be 'well received'. Some must have still been wary of Paul. It would have been easy for Paul with the calling he had to slip away and not visit but Paul stayed in the mix. He didn't go where in was easy to be... He went where God had Him to be.

I was thinking over the last few days, 'Maybe he didn't like this part of His walk. Maybe he did it by faith like I sometimes do.'

Having coffee with P Thomas Sliva last night he brought up a fresh idea about Elisha and Naaman in 2 Kings chapter 5. Maybe Elisha invited this powerful man over to his house by faith and didn't come out of his house to greet him because he knew there was a possibility of being influenced by Naaman's big personality so he 'floated the instructions outside' by faith and God moved.

Jesus had this to say about the account...

"And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian." - Luke 4:27 KJV

Yes, Elisha had a track record with God but he interacted with people by faith. Elisha saw the chariots on the hillside.

There are chariots on your hillside. Do you see them? If you do then that knowledge will keep you interacting with people like Naaman and the people in Jerusalem.

There are unique seasons when God pulls us out into the wilderness like Jesus was drawn into the desert (Matthew 4:1f ; Mark 1:13) and Paul was brought out to be taught.

"To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days." - Galatians 1:16-18 KJV

Paul wasn't connected with Jerusalem because he had a natural attraction. It wasn't a sentimental or 'soulish' connection. He did it by faith and there was great benefit in that.

There is healing and sharpening that is only going to happen in the mix. No matter what our personality is like as spiritual people it is not good for us to go it alone. It was not good for Adam and it is not good for us. Jesus lived an anonymous life before he began His Earthly ministry and His spiritual life did not rely on people but it always involved people.

"Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." - Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV

Fundraising may not be 'your thing.' It isn't mine. But it will become my thing by faith if that is the vehicle God provides. Jesus rode a young donkey into town. I'll ride whatever horse God gives me.


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