God’s Promises & Man’s Responsibility
- “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
- Let’s consider God’s promises in this matter. “If my people, who are called by my name, humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chron.7:14
- We have seen that when Revival starts God takes over, and man retires from the scene. But what about the very first signs of movement within those whom God has chosen as His instruments? How did it start?
“Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Eph.3:20
It is clear that God’s great promises are connected with Man’s Responsibility. The Chronicles reference speaks of four things Humility, Prayer, Intercession, and Repentance. God is looking for His children to take His word seriously and act on it. In the history of revivals one reads of the ones and twos who fulfil those conditions, and as a result divine power begins to build up.
In the Malachi reference mention is made of tithes. It is easy to understand the Old Testament setting, but what does it mean spiritually for us today? I believe the pioneers of revival not only gave a tithe of their time to the Lord, but also an abundant freewill offering of time as they spent hours on their knees in intercession.
In the Hosea reference we are asked to break up our fallow ground. What does this mean? Fallow ground is not desert, but fields which have in the past been ploughed and cultivated, but due to sloth have been left fallow. No farmer would sow seed on fallow ground. So much for the literal meaning. Spiritually it speaks about ceasing to excuse our sins, calling them shortcomings, or natural weaknesses, or by attributing them to temperament or environment, about ceasing to justify our love of material things. From the positive angle it means having a hard look at that verse in Psalm 24, which speaks about having “clean hands and a pure heart”.
The Ephesians reference speaks about laying hold of the mighty power of God, and believing it is ready and waiting for those who comply with the conditions. It means acting like Jacob who would not cease from wrestling with the Angel until God gave him a blessing. “And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he [Jacob] said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” Genesis 32:26