“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
Does God know better than we do what is best for each of us? Sometimes I amaze myself when I hear myself praying, as if God needs my advice. I try so hard to explain to Him what I consider to be a very seasoned and informed perspective, and suddenly, it’s as if I hear my Father say, “Really?” and I think, “Oh actually, You probably understand the situation far better than I do, don’t you? Sorry, Dad. You do whatever you think is best and I know it will be best.”
That doesn’t mean we don’t pray. It means that our attitude in prayer is, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It is in the context of knowing that all of my resources come from the inexhaustible resources of my heavenly Father that I am freed to use what He entrusts to me in accordance with His direction.
As we spent time with our children waiting for their adoption to go through, I began trying to instill some foundational truths in them. In the process of this endeavor God began to build these truths into the fabric of my life. It is one thing to understand the concept, another to live it. While we were still in Ukraine, I focused on teaching the oldest of the three some lessons about money. I would give him what seemed an outrageously large sum of the Ukrainian currency, and he was astounded at the amount of money I entrusted to him. He felt very privileged and very responsible, and he did a superb job of keeping up with it. Then, I told him that he would be responsible to use the money as I directed.
The first thing I wanted him to do with it was to buy presents for the children at the orphanage. So, Stephen began thinking with great excitement about what he would get, and he bought presents for his friends. There was money left over. I told him through the translator, “You hold on to that, because I will have other things for you to do.”
It was so neat to walk through the city and watch his face as he would see young street children begging. He would pull on my hand and say, “Papa,” and point to the child. He wanted to know if it was okay to give to that child, because he knew what it was to be one of those children.
He would ask me, “How much should I give?” The joy that came for our children from discovering a new source of wealth, mom and dad, was that now they were in a position to share. We saw among the poor in that country an attitude that the greatest indication you’re doing okay is when you can give to others. The thing that really made our children feel good was not how much they could hold, but rather, it was how much they could give that made them feel rich.
You and I serve a God who owns everything. He spoke the world into being. The universe was birthed because He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. The God who created everything, who owns everything, now says to us, “I want you as part of my family. You’re my child. I have everything you need. I will give you everything you need. I will do for you what is best for you. I will work all things together for your good. There are some things that I want you to do for me.”
He sends us to serve the least. He says, “Do this in my name.” We have the privilege, the high and holy calling, of taking what God has given to us and giving it to others. As we do that, we begin to realize just how great our Father is.
One of the things Stephen discovered is that if I told him I needed him to make a purchase, he would spend ten of the Ukrainian currency I had given him, and a little while later, I would turn around and give him twenty more. As he did what I told him to do with what I had entrusted to him, he actually got more to spend than he had started with.
It’s a neat thing. It makes you want to do what God says, doesn’t it? Ten goes out, and here comes twenty. Wow. “He who is faithful with little will also be faithful with much.” If you do what I say with this, I’m going to give you more. That’s what our Father is trying to teach us, isn’t it? This is not a license to try to manipulate God by giving. Rather, we need to get in step with God’s purposes and recognize that all we have comes from Him, belongs to Him and is to be used as he directs. We don’t give in order to get. We give because it all belongs to God and He wants to use us to bless others.