So my wife and I are moving to Columbus to plant ChristCore Brethren Church, a house church community targeted at the narrow demographic of the fans of the metal and hardcore music scene. It's been a long road to get here, but enjoyable all the way. One of the humps along the way happened when my car was stolen a couple months ago.
It all started when a person I knew was in need of a vehicle to get to and from work. I had heard stories of 'radical generosity' before, so I thought, what the heck, I'll let this person borrow my vehicle for in-town use only. Weeks turned into months, and we eventually began discussing what it would look like for him to purchase the vehicle from me. Plans were drafted, but never finalized... Why?
Within a week of attempting to have a payment plan in place, my prospective buyer was arrested for a drug-related charge, and my car was nowhere to be seen. Have you been there? Trying to be generous, but, in turn, being deceived.
Months later, my friend plead guilty to "unauthorized use of a motor vehicle" (as well as his drug-related offense), and my car's still gone.
Sometimes, I don't know what to do, but I always know where to turn. And that's no other place than the person of Jesus Christ. God comforted me in this time, but he didn't make my vehicle magically reappear. Sometimes giving hurts. And the pain can go both ways.
The person who took my car is in jail now; I'm left here without a vehicle. But for those of you, like me, who are down and out, there is a silver lining I want you to see. When we are faithful to do things that He has called us to, there is a reward awaiting in return.
But that reward is not a 'tit for tat,' "I gave you $5 and now God gives me $10." No. It's much different than that. Spiritual rewarding is a different breed to be seen.
See, when I'm faithful and obedient to God, there is a reward, but I don't know if I'll see it this side of heaven or not. And I don't know if it'll affect me directly, or maybe it'll impact others who are close to me. And maybe the reward is something that influences someone else, but I'll never see it... That doesn't mean it isn't still there.
Now, this isn't a prescription for how God will specifically reward your faithful behavior to Him in your life and ministry, but you ought to be wondering: "What happened to Paul?"
Well let me tell you. For months, nothing. Just chaos and stress. Broken feelings. The lot.
But two months down the line, the tides were turning. Turns out that my parents decided to gift us with a vehicle that was worth over $12,000, yet they only charged us a fraction of the price, like, an 85% discount. Wow! God's people are good! And that goodness stems from Him.
I'm not here to tell you that if you do something foolish, then God will make all the consequences go away. But I am here to say that my experience has told me, time and time again, that when you are faithful WITH THINGS THAT HE HAS SPECIFICALLY TOLD YOU TO DO, then He will be faithful to see you trough.
(This article originally appeared on MissioChurch.com)
Love this. There's a great deal of truth here. We're not called to bless others in order to receive a blessing ourselves; we just do as He leads knowing in the back of our minds that our heavenly Father is faithful and notices our acts of love towards others. We never know when and how the Lord may bless us, be it here or when we get home to heaven. I had a similar experience to the one mentioned in the story above......kinda. I gave a 2001 Kia Sportage to one of the young men I had been ministering to at the local skate park in our neighborhood. His girlfriend was pregnant, they were not married (thought they are married now with a second child) and he was working at a local restaurant a a cook to support his fledgling family. Long story short, I felt the Lord wanted me to bless them and just give the car to them outright. So I did. It needed some work, and it was not running, but he was able to get it fixed for free through some family members who were mechanics. In the end, the Lord blessed both parties. God is good.