Never separate yourself into spirit, soul, and body in ways that perpetuate the myth that what happens physically is secular and what happens spiritually is sacred. Such a false dichotomy causes limitations at every level of your life.
Perhaps these limitations advertise a false dichotomy most obviously in the area of giving.
Understand that giving entails more than money but the giving of physical things measures the limitations of relational and spiritual release as well. That is, the “freely you have received, freely give” phrase Jesus used when sending His disciples initially speaks both to physical and spiritual release.
Jesus does address the physical aspect to bring clarity but does so within the context of how they are to release the authority He has imparted to them. The term “freely” speaks to limitation. Give as you have received. Give what you have received. Give without limitations upon what you have received. Take the risk that giving demands.
The term “giving” assumes risk taking surrender, the release of what you possess removes your control. Sacrifice represents the highest and deepest risk of return.
God will give you what He wants to release through you. God will put into you what He wants to release through you. You receive so you can release, so at any mount of your life, you have something that doesn’t belong to you. The risk of giving is the measure of your trust. Keeping things because you are afraid of risk measures the limits of your faith.
God owns everything, so He doesn’t need anything. Yet, the fundamentals of life require sacrifice because giving activates faith. You give because of what you believe, and faith is a risk-taking adventure.
Jesus says, “You are more blessed giving than receiving.” As a first principle of kingdom life, the contradiction of this paradox joins the paradox of prayer. “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” So, why ask? The paradox of prayer mirrors the paradox of giving. Father already has everything. He gives us what we have. Then, God asks to give.
The giving is strategic, purposeful, and essentially spiritual. We cannot separate our faith in giving physical things from our faith to release spiritual things.
When we limit physical giving, we place limits on spiritual release. The two cannot be separated because no dichotomy exists between spirit and physical. We are spiritual first but inseparably and intentionally physical. The level of faith that sacrifices physical things extends to the level of faith in releasing spiritual things.
Receive freely. Give freely. Without limitations. Begin with giving. Expand receiving so you can expand giving.
When you say, I want more, Lord; you are saying you want to begin releasing more. Start with giving more in order to move into receiving more.
People who say, “More, Lord,” but refuse to take risks with relationship release, limit receiving by limiting giving. The release of what God gives flows through relationships. Relationships require love, and love is always a risk-taking adventure that touches the deepest places. If you love, you will get hurt – no maybe about it – but if you protect yourself, you set limits on releasing what God has put in you.
God is relational by choice. He took the ultimate risk in Creation because creating meant the investment of Jesus, the sacrifice of His Son. God loved, so He gave. If God had limited His risk, He would never have loved. He would have limited His release.
The limits you place upon relationships measure your release; in turn, that limits your capacity to receive.
Note the words of Jesus: “Greater love has no man than this: to lay down His life for His friends.” While that should remind us of the Cross, Jesus isn’t speaking of the Cross as much as His lifestyle of relational love. The “laying down” isn’t a heroic moment but a continual lifestyle of relationship. Jesus released more than He received, only to receive more than He released.
The giving always comes before the receiving, and greater blessing abides in releasing because it activates expanded receiving. When you limit release, you limit receiving.
The Body functions through connections. “The joints that supply,” Paul says. Where we are joined, we release and receive. If we do not release without limits, we will certainly create a limitation on receiving. A backup will occur in circulation. A swelling will arise that hinders. A dysfunction will strike that portion of the Body and those to whom it is joined. Freely releasing is key to freely receiving.
We receive spiritual resources from God. We cannot buy them. We cannot sell them. Spiritual economies do not function like Wall Street. They aren’t free but they are properly received and released without limits. Certainly, Jesus clarifies that “freely you received, freely give” isn’t about merchandising authority and anointing, but Jesus didn’t go on to say, “You get nothing.” No, He went on to say, “You are worthy of your assignment.”
We receive spiritual resources from Heaven without paying for them. Then, they cost us everything. Releasing doesn’t diminish us, however, because releasing spiritual resources increases our capacity to receive. Having released, we can receive more than we released, and the flow of God’s resources increases when we release! There’s more where that came from!
Training people to use their spiritual capacities, to worship and pray, to lay hands upon people, to do the stuff Jesus did by the power of Holy Spirit, I have observed that people must breakthrough their reluctance to take the risk. “What if I pray and nothing happens?” they say. Or, “what if I lay hands upon someone and nothing happens?” they think. As well, “what if I speak to the demon to come out, and the demon does not come out?” The risk of releasing sets limits on their receiving. They have to trust the Word, the call, the preparation, the power, and that risk creates limits.
To see blind people healed, you have to pray for blind people.
Jesus makes it clear that we cannot use spiritual resources for barter. His economies of spirit do not include negotiation. Simply put: God is a God of abundance, and the giving of God has no limits. When we remove the limits, we receive without limit. Freely receiving comes from freely releasing! The more we release, the more we increase our capacities for receiving and God’s abundance flows in to fill the increased capacity.
The “more, Lord” comes by giving more. Physical giving. Relational giving. Spiritual giving.