Monday, January 1, 2018

Abundance with Exception

Genesis 2: 16-17 says, "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou  eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Notice that God focused on his abundant supply "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat." But Satan focused on the lack when he said to the woman, "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 

Being influenced by Satan, we usually look at what we don't have or what we believe we can't do, BUT God uses what is at hand. In His hand, what we have is abundantly enough, like 3 fish and 5 loaves of bread to feed a multitude, Abraham's staff, Peter's fishing skills to collect money to pay taxes due. Expand your focus to see the abundance in your peripheral vision. Expand your territory, by acknowledging the abundance in your full view.

God is abundance. There is no lack in him. And surely, as his dear children, He does not withhold any good thing from us. "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. (PS. 23:1) Anything he withholds is not good for us. He is the Creator and knows us better than we know ourselves. He understands the consequences of every action. Love his boundaries. 

Soul of mine, 
Wait only upon God, I tell you, soul of mine.
For God is my salvation, my defense.
For He alone's my refuge and my strength.
Soul of mine, 
Wait only upon God, I tell you, soul of mine.
For in Him is my glory and my hope. 
All that I am, to him I will devote.
And I shall not be moved.

But God showed us not just abundance, but abundance with an exception. After speaking of the abundance which we may freely eat, He said, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it." It is like we can't have abundance without the exception. 

We are awake for 3/4 of the day, but leave 1/4 for sleep and dreaming, a time God speaks to us, a time our bodies rejuvenate. We work 6 days, except we rest from labor on the seventh and spend this time in worship. This rest renews our strength in both body and spirit 

Steven Covey, in his time management course teaches that we should "sharpen the saw." If we take a saw and begin to saw down a tree, eventually the saw gets dull, and if we continue to saw with a dull saw, we expend time and effort that is not fruitful. But if we take time out (the exception) to stop and sharpen the saw, then we can quickly get the tree cut without as much effort.

Farmers are to plant crops for 6 years, but on the 7th, they are to let the land rest. (Ex 23:11) This gives the land time to replenish minerals, so our crop can be bountiful and healthy, so we can live more abundantly. Also, farmers take a portion of their seed to make bread, but leave aside an exception as seed to replant. If we consume all, we will soon run out and die. To maintain abundance, there must be an exception. 

Don't spend all of your money. Save some. Give some. We must understand the principle of Abundance WITH EXCEPTION. You may freely eat of every tree, EXCEPT this one. To live without exception, or to consume the exception that is set aside, is to invite death.

Feed the Hungry

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