Beyond Our Ability

obedience-to-godWhen I was 12 years old our church launched a campaign to raise pledges for missions for the coming year. The church leadership challenged us to spend time asking God what amount he would have us trust him for. Our leadership also led by example. God had given me a vision for reaching the lost around the world and I knew that he wanted to use me in a small way to see that vision accomplished. I prayed and sensed that he wanted me to trust him to give $4.00 per week through me.

As a 12-year-old I received a dollar per week for my allowance, so I couldn’t simply divert what was already coming in to my giving. I prayed that God would give me opportunities to earn enough to meet my pledge of $4.00 per week for the next year. I still remember how excited I was that morning in church when I turned in my pledge card. I knew I was embarking on an adventure with God and I could hardly wait to see how he would work in my life!

That afternoon I began going around to our neighbors asking them if I could mow their lawns and do other yard work or odd jobs. God went before me and I found several neighbors who were willing to employ me weekly around their homes. When fall came I raked leaves and in the winter I shoveled driveways and sidewalks.

Sometimes I would begin a week not knowing how God would provide that week, but he always did! In fact, God provided $4.00 per week faithfully all 52 weeks of that year. I cannot describe the joy I experienced to be able to give “beyond what I was able” by trusting God to give through me.

Watching God provide like this also catapulted my faith and trust in him. I began to see what a BIG God we have and that nothing is too hard for him. Growing in my faith and trust in him back then was like exercising a muscle. I saw my faith muscle begin to grow and looked for new ways to exercise it.

In 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 Paul describes how the followers of Christ in Macedonia “gave beyond what they were able” because they had trusted God to provide through them. They also gave in the context of extreme trouble and even poverty. The secret to their ability to give like this was their trust in God to provide through them (2 Corinthians 9:10). Giving like this produces in us extreme joy, glorifies God and generates thanksgiving by those who receive the benefits of our giving!

Paul urges us to “excel in this gracious act of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7 NLT). Let me invite you to step into a great adventure with God–especially during these times of financial uncertainty. Get to know how BIG our God is and trust him for things beyond our ability.

©2009 Rob Fischer