Learning to Receive
"In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for he grants sleep to those he loves" (Ps 127:2).
One of the paradigm shifts every believer must learn once they make Jesus lord of their lives is how to move from receiving by sweating and toiling to receiving by trusting and obeying. In the scripture, Egypt represented sweat and toil and bondage. The Promised Land represents a land of milk and honey received by trust and obedience. We learn in Joshua 24:13 that our obedience will allow us to receive things we would never receive out of sweat and toil. "So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant."
I learned this principle when God began to transition me from owning and operating an advertising agency to a vocational marketplace ministry. Many times I could not see how provision to do my work would result because it was not based upon a contract-for-services model. I was once invited to speak to a small group of people on a Caribbean island. I knew it would require three days of my time and I'd receive very little compensation. The Lord instructed me to go anyway. Just as I thought, I did not receive a commensurate income for the time invested for the three days. (This is often the way we think in business).
However, I left some books behind and they began to be circulated to other islands. A few businessmen received the books and they invited me to speak at a conference for 22 Caribbean islands later that year. One man was touched by my teaching. On January 2, I received a check for $5000 from this man. I pondered the sequence of events that led to receiving this provision. It was because of my obedience to the small things that God was able to "give me a land on which I did not toil."
Be faithful to the small things and God will always honor your obedience.