The Priests Vs The Workers: Who Is The Money For?
And so the bible study continued. The Holy Spirit seemed unwilling to let go until what He had to say on this matter was done. I even wonder if I got to discharge the burden fully. Anyway, in this latter part of our discourse, the rest of the saga unfolds…
The Humble Place Of Giving
2 Kings 12:9-12
Then Jehoiada the priest took a chest, bored a hole in its lid, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into the house of the Lord; and the priests who kept the door put there all the money brought into the house of the Lord.
So it was, whenever they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king’s scribe and the high priest came up and put it in bags, and counted the money that was found in the house of the Lord.
Then they gave the money, which had been apportioned, into the hands of those who did the work, who had the oversight of the house of the Lord; and they paid it out to the carpenters and builders who worked on the house of the Lord,
and to masons and stonecutters, and for buying timber and hewn stone, to repair the damage of the house of the Lord, and for all that was paid out to repair the temple.
There is a box with a hole in it where you are supposed to put money. When you put money there, nobody sees what you are giving. It’s a humble place of giving where you drop your money and there is no fanfare. There is no priesthood standing there to say, “God bless you, may the Lord bless you.”
This is the giving that is unseen. It is giving that’s done to sustain. Now, I always advise that in the church you belong to, you should give something there. Even if you know you are in a place that is not building the body of Christ, but rather someone’s reputation and other things; still, give. But when you come across a ministry that is actually servicing carpenters; people who are doing the practical church-building work, make sure you give there the most.
If you are in a congregation and you know that there are 2000 members there who just pour in money, you could give ₦200 or ₦500 there so that it will be on record that you supported the pastor [actually, you shouldn’t be in that church, but let’s say you cannot find a better one where you are]. After that, take the ₦20,000 that you have to give and send it to those who are building the body of Christ. Let your money go to those who are really interested in helping people become living stones; those who are shaping stones and putting in the effort to shape stones.
I’m hoping that the body of Christ will get to a place where we can actively identify people who are artisans and do the real work. And these aren’t the ones who have ‘popular’ titles.
Those who do the real work of building God’s house ought to be on a steady payroll so they can focus on the work.
What Is The Work To Be Done?
Are you doing something that actively builds the body of Christ? Can you edit spiritual content and help it become a book? Can you type out a message? Can you help to print it? Can you go stand somewhere and share it? Can you organize a program and lead people to the Lord? Can you help to put out the truth on all platforms available? This, my friend, is some of the work to be done.
It’s not just about making people believers. It has to be real bodybuilding. The temple comprises existing individuals (1 Peter 2:5), so where are they broken down? Where is there damage, and how do you restore them?
People’s minds have been damaged in all sorts of ways. When people believe that if they don’t pray a certain way or at a particular time, God does not hear them. So, they have to wait till 12 midnight before they can pray – that’s damage.
People are told that every time they need to pray, they must give a ‘seed’, which is an amount of money. Pastors say this with all seriousness and the people believe it without question. They quote, “You may not appear before God empty-handed”, and confuse millions of people. These people are hungry, but they took the little money that came to them as an answer to prayer and gave it to the man of God. This isn’t right.
God wants us to give money to those who fix the damage in His house. The money ought to go into actual work, not into shiny things. God doesn’t want us to give to those who do vain trimmings but to those who do the work. This is the attitude to have. Always think of who is really building the kingdom. Support such a one and support them thoroughly. God’s power will accomplish this.
We are to fund the Kingdom steadily. When the temple is torn down, all that should be done is to rebuild it. There is no time to do otherwise. Money should go towards the temple, all the time. There are too many things to be funded, too many things needed for rebuilding the household of God. This is why whatever comes in should not be wasted.
I get very worked up when food or anything is wasted in my family. Why? There is kingdom rebuilding to be done. If you waste the equivalent of ₦10,000 in one month, that could have been the stipend or salary paid to someone who maintains a church’s website. The people who rebuilt the temple in 2 Kings 12 were not priests. They were not ‘Men of God’. Before they came, nothing happened till the 23rd year. Now can you imagine what happened to all the money that came in before the 23rd year? If the King had to open a new box, it means they had spent all the money coming in before then. Do you know how much bodyweight they may have added? Can you imagine how good their lives would have been?
This is exactly what is happening today. If you are going to focus on taking money for endless projects, you will never have money to do the work of the Kingdom. So, as a priest or servant of the Lord, the wise thing to do is to not engage yourself in many things. Don’t be greedy. Then actively and steadily point the money towards people.
I know that sometimes it may backfire but this shouldn’t deter us. This is why we must rely on the leading of the Spirit always.
How Do You Identify The Builders?
If you look at someone and think that they can contribute towards building the house of God, in whatever gifting, calling, or grace that they have, then give money to that person to reduce their stress and help them acquire the materials required for their work. And if they have the skill and ability, provide funding to support what they can do. You can help someone who makes songs that will build the body of Christ. And if people listen to the songs, they will get healed. You can help them by setting up a studio.
You must never forget this, wherever you are and however much money you have. You don’t even have to have much money to do this, you just have to have a heart that understands it. It doesn’t have to be the ministry around you or the one that asks you for support directly. Always find out if they are building the body of Christ and support this.
They must be doing so skillfully, shaping the stones, joining planks, etc. Look for ‘Project Temple Restoration’. If you have a hundred million Naira, and you want to give to two or three ministries, make sure you don’t do anything but sponsoring the ones that are active. Don’t go with sub-stories, don’t go with those that seem very busy but are only busy building a following and a reputation.
One day, you will stand in front of God and He will show you what you did with your money while you were on earth. Some people send their money to places and it ends in the toilet when they should have supported someone who needed tracts or money to fly into the forest to preach to the natives there. His wife was back at home going through a lot, and if you had sponsored him, things would have been a lot easier.
So you must ensure that the building and construction are fulfilling the calling, identifying purpose, accomplishing, and aligning with the intentions of God. God always wants us to align with His intentions and not yours, and His intention is to build His house.
Remember what the Scriptures say about the gifts of the Spirit? He said (paraphrase), “What is the use of speaking ten thousand words in tongues when no one can understand you? Five words that people understand are better” Why? It edifies (1 Corinthians 14:3, 19). Through prophecy, the people are strengthened and encouraged. And so the apostle Paul said, “Even so you since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.” (1 Corinthians 14:12)
Anything that builds up people should be supported and sponsored. That’s where your resources should go to. Always try to be an enabler who builds up the body of Christ. God particularly favors people who do that. Too many times, we are too driven to do what is easy, or what will make people applaud us. You have to be very careful to ensure that you’re not a people pleaser. It will cost you rewards.
Don’t do the task that seems easiest. For example, if you decide to give, don’t give to the ministry that asks you yet are not building the body of Christ. Let’s say you’re in camp during youth service or something of the sort. You notice that there is a group of five people. One of them goes out early to preach, and another buys tracts and goes around sharing them. The others use their spare time to preach, share and challenge people to get closer to God.
If you have some money, and you notice that one of them misses some meals because he goes around exhorting or teaching people early in the morning when he should be going to get food, you can commit yourself to buy his meals.
Don’t give, because a preacher says: “If you want to experience the blessing we experience, as we serve God, sow a seed that the same grace will be upon you…” or “Oh, I have an unction. When you give me money, people will also give you money…”
This teaching is so pathetically false. If a preacher says, “Help, the gospel has reached 32 countries and we are sending 10,000 bibles to different countries every month. Support us and help us send more bibles”, you can support such a ministry. But still, be careful that the leftovers don’t get into someone’s stomach.
Can you imagine how pleased the Lord was when they finished the work of rebuilding the temple?
Remember that the temple is anything that enables the presence of the Lord to stay. There are three compartments, like the Ark of Noah, the Tabernacle of Moses, and the Temple of Solomon. There are levels of commitment as well. You can commit yourself to every level; not just one of them.
Let us, therefore, pray that God will help us take this approach to proper giving.
Prayer: Father God, I ask for the grace, the willingness to completely support everything that You are doing; to be one of those who do not in any way waste the resources You give to us. Let us be people who encourage and partake in the work of rebuilding Your house. Let us help others who are skilled at rebuilding. Let us equip those who bring about Your presence. Help us support those who support the enabling of Your presence, oh God.
Help us be co-laborers. Let our goodness, our commitment, our resources, our love, and our giving extend to the frontiers of Your purposes in the heavens, and nothing else. Let us not be wasters, or careless, and let us not be moved by whoever is in front of us. Let us care nothing for the opinions of men. Deliver us from being people who are showmen. May we not be show people, those who like to do things to be seen by others. Help us be attentive to see and know where we are to give, how to give you, and when to give, oh Lord. Father, let us work hard and live our lives in a way that pleases You. Thank You, Lord God. Amen.