“The L-RD said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me. And this is the contribution that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, goats’ hair, tanned rams’ skins, goatskins, acacia wood, oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones, and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece.”Exodus 25:1-7
We often hear the dynamic of financial giving to the church, and frequently, when those gifts are given to the church, she does not steward them well.
Often, when the giving of offerings is mentioned, it is most strongly connected with money. However, from the above passage, money is not the only thing to give, the only medium for exchange, nor the thing the L-rd likes the most.
And frequently, churches in the circles I have run in most recently function on an emergency week-to-week basis. There is no slush fund for widows, orphans, or fatherless. There is zero investment in college students’ tuition so as to assist them in avoiding the evils of debt, something Scripture explicitly commands us to avoid. And college students are missionaries, whether or not we like it, and we are responsible to see to it that their monthly support is met. And the church does not often preach or teach giving passages with a view toward garments, textiles, time, presence, or service. And those garments and leather mentioned in the double fractal of seven in Exodus 25 is treated as wealth.
In short, our view of giving is exceptionally narrow, and our view of what consititutes a legitimate need is even more narrow. Moreover, our views of justice are equally narrow. The church, not the government, was designed to be the primary safety net for the poor.
Another View of Romans 13: Past vv. 1 and 2
Romans 13. Let’s crack a piece of this one open in our next flyover, because it is likely to make us a touch uncomfortable.
And, let us bypass the usual griping about vv. 1 and 2.
The text reads:
For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is G-d’s servant for your GOOD. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. FOr he is the servant of G-d, an avenger who carries out G-d’s wrath on the wrongdoer.Romans 13:3-4 ESV
Each of you know that I do not hold Washington as the leadership, because the Constitution, being our foundational set of principles, set the citizenry as the leaders, and our representatives are those who serve us.
Of course, some have a very twisted view of how authority works, which is why we are in the predicament we are in. We bought into the twisted idea that a politician’s moral fiber was not important during the presidency of Bill Clinton, and now we are stuck with the immoral in Donald Trump. Our lack of consistency in dealing with elected officials is legendary.
That said, even were I to humor the idea that the politicians are the closest analogy to Paul’s use of “kings and those in authority” in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, I would say the following.
The king is supposed to be G-d’s servant for good. And if he is corrupted, or better yet, if they are corrupted, then we do not have a servant for good.
The king is supposed to be an avenger who carries G-d’s wrath on the wrong doer.
Earth’s mightiest heroes….
Yes, I went there….
If those in the government have chosen to expend their authority, then they will lose out on the authority given to them, and the L-rd will hand that authority over to those who will steward it, and to those who will be the avengers for good and for justice.
If elected officials continue to bastardize their offices, then at some point, the L-rd will hand the lion’s share of that authority to those who will move the wheels of justice and those who will seek for the river of righteousness to flow like a never-failing stream.
I speak from personal experience. A prophet threatened me and several of my closest friends at the time. She defiled her office, and the L-rd put a stop to that, stripped her of her authority, and gave it to others who would steward it rightly.
For the good of the Kingdom.
Authority can be seated in offices, it can be seated in our position in Messiah, it can be given for special tasks, and it can be earned.
And when stewarded well, the Kingdom is further extended.
And when the Kingdom of G-d is expanded and increased, it will benefit other people.
We were made to extend the authority of G-d in the context of His kingdom.
And kingdoms are not built by slaves who are grasping for ready-made, completed solutions born out of the simplicity of what we think is the gospel.
The Kingdom of G-d is not built on miracles.
It is built on principles.
It is built with a variety of resources, not merely financial, that are woven together.
It is built inclusive of the frame of suffering. You have to have skin in the game and awareness of the building blocks, mortar, and other materials that make up the structures in the kingdom.
And it is built by sons, sons who understand the εξουσια coupled with δυναμις.
By sons who look for the resources, not just some of the resources, but every single resource.
Poverty is not merely lack of financies and money. Poverty is a mindset that refuses to look for resources because it is convinced of the reality of lack.
Relationships are a resource.
Knowledge and knowhow are resources.
Marriage, family, relationships, friendships.
Keeping at it when you have parts that beg for suicide.
How well can you succeed at being who you are?
Who He designed you to be.
For as many days as remain to you.
Open your eyes. The eyes of your spirit.
Find all of the resources that belong to you.
You need not just money and gold and precious gemstones coupled with the presence and power of G-d. You need wood, fabric, friends, companions, tenderness, time, land, and authority. The principles that are woven together.
We do not help someone out of poverty by permanently giving them liquid resources.
We permanently help someone out of poverty by giving them the drive, tools, intangibles, and connection that reminds them of their purpose and drives them toward that purpose.
There may be a season where we provide finances for them, but that is not a permanent fix. In order to fix the root problem, we have to help them get at the spirit, the clown, the mindset of poverty that they are stuck in, and root that bastard out.
And we must be willing to play our best long game at helping them out and overcoming.
This is why I ask so many questions. Not so anyone can question my motives, but so we can have a framework to discuss artful solutions to emerge from the mindset that is poverty.
It takes not merely a one-time in-the-black monetary surge. It takes perseverence when you have nothing. It takes forward movement when all you have is a two-dollar yellow pad and a nub of a pencil.
There are scads of unlocked resources in between your ears, in between your lungs, and in your gut.
And your thoughts and emotions, coupled together, can work massively.
We are often taught in the church, by too many people, in two broad and broadly opposing segments among Christ-followers that thoughts are primary or emotions are primary.
The first six redemptive gifts do lead with and work out their problems through the mind, while the Mercy leads with and work through their emotions.
And G-d is trying to couple these two with the kidneys and adrenals and create a trifecta of solutions.
And, indeed, a Mercy can work through their mind effectively.
And a Teacher can work through their heart.
As both should. We lack no resources, and neither does our great King and Father who fathers us through that bevy of resources.
And G-d connects with all seven redemptive gifts on the level of the spirit NOT the level of the soul.
Our trouble is that we have such a hard time unpacking the light G-d put into us, and we desperately need to.
So, here is a blessing to that end.
A Blessing With Respect To Resources and Authority
Richly blessed, tenderly-endowed, bridally-endowed, corporately-destined beloved friend,
I invite the fullness of your spirit to come front in all of it’s 6-and-1 glory.
White, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple…..
Or your chosen color set.
Massively given to parallel the variously named spirits of G-d, led by the confluence of the six called the Spirit of the L-rd, paralleling the Prophet portion.
And I bless you to shine all the confluence of that prismed light toward the path across the stars Father has you on, richly-treasured and endowed with the resources of the King of Glory, for whom the gates open up.
I bless the broken-apart system in your soul and spirit, for those who have parts and those who are the victims of ritual abuse.
I bless you with the love of infinity. I bless you to be safely moored in your desired haven, aboard the ship the King gives you to conduct business and Kingdom affairs.
I bless you like Solomon, who trafficked in a bevy of resources, ivory, gold, silver, bronze, cedar, apes, peacocks, science, proverbs, wisdom, writing, medicine.
I bless you, even in the hardest and worst of seasons, to find something that is of use, and to celebrate that something of use. I bless you to fly with the wings Father gives you. I bless you to synch with the weather Father gives you.
I bless the storehouses of snow, and that Father puts every flake precisely where He wants it.
I bless you with knowledge of the galaxy that Father put into you, and the marshalling together of every resource you have, including the wilderness that is given for your quietness.
I bless the seasons of barley, and the seasons of wheat, and the seasons of both burlap and cashmere.
I bless you to recognize the reality that like the Scarecrow and Tinman in the Mercy continent of Oz, Father has, completed aspect as seen from the present, given you a New Heart and a New Mind.
I bless you to know that you are His son.
I bless you to fight and, with the resource of supernatural strategies, to know how best to allocate your warring resources.
I bless you to know on the battlefield when you are to conserve resources.
I bless you not to react to the clowns and donkeys.
I bless you to RESPOND to your KING’s agenda.
We were not made to react to anything the devil does. Rather, we were made to flow in step with the King’s agenda.
I bless your resources that have been made subject to the negative heads of Leviathan to untwist, and I bless you with the resources that are untwisted and undefiled by the negative heads of Leviathan.
I bless you to fight in accordance with the L-rd’s mandates.
I bless you to find the untapped treasure.
I bless you with the moxie to recognize when it is a season for material and fianancial resources, and when it is a season for immaterial resources.
The Wright Brothers started with a bicycle shop. That bike shop, their day job, financed their mad scientist lair and shed behind the shop, where they ran their experiments. And the city of Dayton MOCKED them at first.
Spirit, at first, people ain’t gonna take to kindly to your thoughts and words.
Do not heed their idiotic kvetching.
Be aligned with the glorious King’s adoration of your initial cries. Even if they sound like infant screams or cries.
I bless you spirit, to grow, as the garden of the L-rd, like the cities of the lush Jordan plain. I bless you to grow like the land of Egypt, which was described as lush and fertile in Genesis 13:10.
I bless you to be comforted with His comfort when others say you are not worthy.
I bless you to ignore the stupidity of others’ soulish counsel.
I bless you to find and execute for the good of others, and as you earn greater authority, even if you are not in elected office, as Deborah, others will come to have you decide their cases.
When other politicians are squadering their official authority, the authority of their offices, I bless you to earn authority and to not squander your authority, so you can steward greater authority, an authority that flows out of love and compassion.
And as you pick up and ask the king to cleanse the authority that others have wasted, I bless you to flourish in the deep places. And I bless you to not just have the authority that gtives you warm fuzzies.
But, rather, I bless you to have measureable, verifiable, sustained change in the areas to which you speak.
Spirit, you are the one in authority that Romans 13 speaks about. May you govern for good, and not evil, or selfishness, or vain ambition.
May all of y’all govern as builders, spirits, collectively, where every politician, including the President, Vice President, and others, have wasted whole swaths of their birthrights.
May you know deep and transofrmational change, and not mere warm fuzzies.
May you experience ROOTED CHANGE in the spirit that is permanent, and in accordance with the finest the kingdom has to offer.
I bless you each with the concordant authority that is each of y’all’s collectively and corporately, and ruggedly individual as well.
May you do the dance between the individual and secret on the one hand, and the corporate and public on the other hand.
I bless you each, spirits, with those blessings, and revelation, in the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach.