This is a little bit of a difficult post for me to write. Not because I do not understand the Biblical principle of Sowing and Reaping, but because it involves a struggle I have had in our ministry from its inception.
The Lord has been good in maturing Mark and I in our ministry; enlarging the number of people who come to receive Jesus's healing at our kitchen table, as He is simultaneously expanding our territory and influence. I say this out of all humbleness, because it is all Jesus's doing. As we've been faithful to bring freedom to the captives and healing to the brokenhearted, He has given us opportunities to share the Gospel of the Kingdom -- beginning with the individuals we disciple after an Inner Healing session, to groups of people who are responding in their spirits and realizing that we are called to more than the traditional evangelizing message of Salvation.
If you had told us six years ago that we would feel comfortable [or even have a message] to speak to groups of 50-100 people, we would have laughed. But there is a hunger in our spirits to share the direction the Lord is leading us, and it is being met by a corresponding awareness in the hearts of Believers that they want to go farther in their journey.
How could any amount of money compare with sharing the Beloved's experience of hearing Jesus give them a new name such as "Beautiful" or "Forgiven" or "My Child"? We never wanted to give the Enemy cause to corrupt our ministry by introducing recompense into our work for the Lord. Then a very dear friend explained that she wanted to "sow into the Kingdom by sowing into our ministry". She justified her desire by saying that she believed we were expanding Kingdom territory in lives on the earth and she wanted to help contribute to that goal -- that in this season of her life, being a single mother with a new baby and a full-time job, she was not yet at liberty to "do the work that Jesus did", but she could align herself with our ministry and help us to accomplish more in reaching people with the books we buy to give during discipleship; to help buy food and supplies for the no-charge teaching/training sessions we do on Inner Healing; and help give us the opportunity to reach more people as we travel farther and farther to deliver the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Then I stumbled across a passage in Philippians 4:14-20 that changed my selfish viewpoint to align with the perspective and will of God. Paul is writing to the community of Believers in Philippi, and says this: Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
I began to discern that when a godly person recognizes the fruit that our ministry is producing in the lives of people, and wants to partner with us to see that fruit grow, then it not only benefits those who are receiving the ministry, but also those who sow into it! It is counted as righteousness and recorded as fruit in their account in the Book of Life. Their needs will be met because they are seeking the Kingdom of God through their contribution towards spiritual healing in the lives of others.
The sacrifice they make through their donations is acceptable and pleasing to God, and it glorifies His Kingdom on earth when territory is conquered in Satan's kingdom of darkness. We are not independently wealthy and cannot afford to fund all that is needed to grow harvesters for God's fields. Just as Paul expressed to the Corinthians, "He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages
according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers."
I recognize that Mark and I may plant, but sometimes we need others to walk beside us and help us to water, so that we both might see God grow His harvest. Neither of us can take credit for the growth, because it is only God who does the growing. But it can be credited to us both that we are workers for the Kingdom. The bottom line is this: we are all to be sowing into the Kingdom, whether it is with our time, talent, or treasure. That's good ol' Church terminology; used as a vague form of inspiration to urge Christians to serve each other in the Church.
But if we ever understand that it could be a viable slogan for going outside the building to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom through the works that Jesus did, and to advance God's agenda among the nations, then we might comprehend just how we can partner to sow what we've been give to steward. Who am I to deny someone who sees God at work through our ministry and just wants to sow into Him? It's not that I will ever solicit their tithe or donation, but rather [like Paul] I delight in seeing them receive their reward for honoring what the Lord has put on their heart.
Mark and I have learned to swallow our false pride and accept the occasional donation when it is offered out of a sincere desire to prosper the Kingdom. It is always a pleasure to be able to do more than we hoped, and see a greater outcome than we expected. The truth is, we can reach more people and expand the territory for God, when we partner with others. So, although we are always content in whatever situation we find ourselves, when He blesses our ministry through the generosity of another Believer, we know they are being blessed too. And the Enemy has just lost more ground!
2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this—a farmer who
plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants
generously will get a generous crop.