Learning to Believe for the Blessing

August 1, 2005

“Learning to Believe for the Blessing”

This is the sermon I give on Fundraising.

Psalm 5
12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

I want to talk to you today about fundraising.  Too many times we look at
the amount we have to raise and say “ohh I can’t raise that much, or Ohhh
I’ll cover half of it if I can just get the church or my friends to cover
the other half” – but really what you’re doing is giving ground to the
enemy.  The bible says ‘ask and you shall receive’ – and I’d challenge you
today to ask God for an amount above and beyond the amount of your trip.

The first battle is not fought with pen and paper, but takes place in the
mind.  It’s there that victory or defeat will be determined. That’s why the
enemy will do everything he can to send negative, discouraging thoughts
your way.  But you’ve got to reject those thoughts and speak God’s
promises.

Too many people today say they wish they could raise the support then
just put the trips on their credit card,  or they wait too long to try to raise
support, or just didn’t have much faith in fundraising.  And really, when you
don’t have that faith, you’re robbing God of a chance to show up and people
of a chance to be a part of what God is doing in another part of the world.
God wants to work in those people’s lives and yours as well. But you’re
going to need to put some work into this.  God isn’t just going to open the
windows of heaven for you.

The Bible talks about David. He didn’t just wake up one day and slay
Goliath.  He shepherded what God gave to him, he slew the lion and the
bear.  Then one day he got the stones from the creek and went to face
Goliath.  He didn’t just stand there and say ‘God, slay the giant’, no he
used his slingshot and aimed at Goliath, fired away. Then God showed up.
Really what I believe this is saying is that we need to do what we need to
do, then God will show up.  Too many times we’ve got it backwards, we say
“Well, God, you show up and then I’ll do it”.

What I’m saying here today is that you will need to mail letters, make
phone calls, reply to emails, and visit people.  God isn’t going to do this
by himself, but he does want to partner with you to do this.  He wants to
bless you and other people. Sometimes it may seem like there’s an easier
way out, but know this: God wants to make you better, he wants to promote
you, and promotion is always preceded by a test.

I remember I got my tax refund this year and had enough money to pay for
Zambia, but I thought to myself “No, I know God wants to bless me, I know
he wants to show me something, so I’m going to raise this money”.

You might think to yourself, “Ohh I don’t know many people, or ohhh I don’t
know if people will give” – you’ve got to get those thoughts out of your
mind and replace them with God’s word.  The bible says his favor will
surround you like a shield.  You’ve got to believe people will want to help
you, and talk to them with a positive attitude, with joy and excitement.


Whenever the thoughts of the  enemy try to discourage you, just know that greater
is he that is within you than he that is of the world. Know that All things
are possible, that you and God are a majority – if he be for you, who dare
be against you.

I remember there was this one lady I thought sure wouldn’t donate, and in
fact would get me into trouble at work for asking folks, but as she saw the
enthusiasm in which I spoke about the vision and the trip, she not only
wrote a check but got her daughter’s girls scout troop to donate 7 bags of
items that we needed for the trip. Surely she wouldn’t have done that all
on her own.  It was the joy and positivity combined with the favor of God.
After that, I didn’t just ask the people I felt I had favor with in my work
division, I asked my entire work division.  And really, it was my own
limited thinking that prevented me from asking them before.  I had to
realize that it wasn’t me, it was God.


People don’t want to hear a sermon or even read a letter. What they will
respond to is your excitement, your life, your passions.  And that’s the
key.  The letters are just to open the door.  What you have to do now is
bring them to life.  Each letter should be followed up by a phone call.
And really, this is your chance to bring the mission to life for them.
It’s not about them writing you a check, it’s about them sowing a seed into
another part of the world and being a part of your ministry. And it’s
important to communicate that.

I spoke at a Chinese Church about the mission, but unfortunately they are
not as spiritually financially mature as they could be.  All they saw was
someone asking them for money.  And really we all can make this mistake
when we are presented with an opportunity to give.  That church chose not
to support the mission.  And really, they weren’t rejecting me, they
weren’t rejecting the mission, they just didn’t understand the concept of
sowing and reaping. You’ve got to put that behind you and move on.

People want to do these things.  They want to do anything that
makes themselves feel better and helps others.  It’s human nature to want
to feel good by helping others.  And by knowing that, you can help them to
help others by casting the vision of what you’re doing and where you’re
going.

And understand this, they may not have all that much time, but really,
they’ve decided in the first 7 seconds of hearing from you whether they
will want to support this mission. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to keep
a positive attitude and hold on to your joy.  The enemy tries too many
times to steal our joy, he may do something right before your phone calls,
like cause you to break a favorite glass, or say to you “why are you doing
this, you’ve got enough in your bank account” – you’ve got to reject those
thoughts and move on.

It’s like when a rattlesnake enters your house.  You wouldn’t say “ohh I’ll
get to it after the ball game is over” or “ohh I’ll do it after dinner” –
no, you’d grab anything you could and get rid or kill that snake.
Likewise, when a negative thought enters you mind,  it’s like that
rattlesnake. You’ve got to get rid of it immediately.  You’ve got to reject
that thought and replace it with God’s word. You are more than a conqueror,
you wear the field of faith and the breastplate of righteousness.

Well you might say “I mailed my 100 letters, that’s my plan” – know that
many times you’ve got “Your Plan”, then you follow up on your plan (Plan B)
with phone calls, but ultimately if God has called you there, he’s got plan
C, and you’ll be surprised.  Because really, with all the effort in the
world, it’s still almighty God who will get you on your way to the mission.

Isaiah 58 says when you feed the hungry, clothe the naked, encourage the
oppressed, your healing is going to come. Another wards, when you reach out
to others in need, that’s when God is going to make sure your need is met.
God will help you during this time.  I remember when I was preparing to go
to Nashville over memorial day, God spoke to me very clearly and said ‘meet
with Pastor Bob Perry and Dr. Miller, go support their ministries on a
monthly basis’ and in the natural it didn’t make much sense. I don’t have
that much to live off of, I really am stretched already with three other
MSI Ministries I support. I’m trying to replace my whole VHS tv collection
with DVD’s, God I really want to be able to afford my hobby!’ But I said
‘okay God, I know you’ll make a way even when there is no way’.  So I met
with them and voiced my financial support of their ministries. And really
what God was trying to demonstrate there is the best way to meet your own
needs is to sow a seed in someone else’s needs.  God will bless you as you
bless others.

After I got back from Nashville,  I raised enough money for my trip and
vaccines, and about $100 extra.  I looked at my insurance claim online for
some of my vaccines and seen it had been paid.  Now I had been told that it
wouldn’t be covered, but after talking to my insurance company and the
doctor’s office, I learned it had been covered.  So the money I was saving
for vaccines can now be donated to the Zambia Orphanage.  That wasn’t a
lucky break, that was the favor of almighty God covering me like a shield.
Now there’s an extra $400 for the orphanage above and beyond what I had to
raise for myself. And really, I believe that favor came about because I
took the time to sow into Pastor Bob’s and Dr. Miller’s ministries.  I went
to fulfill someone else’s needs and God fulfilled my need.


So I’d challenge you today to cast out any thoughts of the enemy and have a
can-do attitude towards your fundraising.  If you just take the time to let
God guide you through this process, he’ll take you places you never dreamed
possible, and you’ll have the full experience overseas he has in store for
you.