You determine when God stops pouring. You have the power to rob yourself of the things which God has already prepared for you. You are your own worst enemy when it comes to receiving from God. So, would you like to know how to receive more of what God has for you?
We have a saying when we are pouring serving food out to people. We invite them to tell us when we have served out enough for them. We do so by telling them to “Say When”. It’s a strange bit of English. It’s short for “Tell me when I’ve given enough”.
Implicit in the instruction to “Say When” is the fact that we are willing to give them more than they may want. We are indicating to them that we will keep on serving them until they tell us to stop. And that’s what God does for us. God is ready to give us more than we are often willing to receive.
How We Stop God
Although God has prepared many wonderful things for us we are the ones who stop Him. We do that by effectively saying “When”, when we have come to some limit or other. That instruction to God to “Stop” comes out of our inner thoughts and feelings. It is to do with our fears, notions of ourselves and our lack of confidence in God’s ability to deliver.
The Children of Israel Stopped God
When the Children of Israel passed through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land over 3,000 years ago, they were in the hands of Almighty God. God delivered them, protected them and provided for them. He blessed them and took them to the edge of their new homeland.
In that process, we are told, they blocked God from doing the good things He intended to do for them. God did not turn off the tap of His blessings; the people turned off the tap themselves. That’s a matter of Biblical record.
“Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” Psalm 78:41
That’s pretty astounding considering all the miracles they enjoyed. They hardly seemed to have limited God. They had supernatural food each morning and meat provided on several occasions. Their clothes didn’t wear out and they had a pillar of cloud by day that became a fiery cloud to warm them and give them street lighting at night. They also had water from a dry rock.
Yet that was less than God intended to give them. Consider what it would have been like to have more than water out of that rock.
“I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt: open your mouth wide and I will fill it. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. ….. He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied you. Psalm 81:10-16
God intended to give Israel more than water. But they missed it. God intended to give them victory in the Promised Land, but they missed it. That generation wandered in the wilderness until they had died off.
God intends to give us more than we expect. It is not He that limits the supply but us!
Israel Says “When”
What did Israel do to stop God giving them more than they received? They did several things which are listed for us in the New Testament writings. What Israel went through is quoted as a learning experience for us, so it is only right that we look at what they did and what happened.
“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day twenty three thousand. Neither tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:6-11
Sins that Turn off the Tap
The Israelites blocked God’s blessings by their lusts. They rejected what God wanted to give them because they had their own ideas about what they wanted and when they wanted it. Someone once defined lust as: “I want what I want and I want it now!”
They also blocked God by idolising the wrong things. They wanted something other than God to be their source. That’s what people do when they look to career, education, money or power to get them what they want, rather than humbly relying on God.
They indulged in sensuality. They gave themselves to immorality and sexual impurity. They rejected God’s standards of moral purity.
They also tempted Christ. They spoke evil of what God gave them and despised what came to them at God’s expense.
They murmured, grumbling and complaining about their conditions. They even said things were better back in slavery.
And that’s not all they did. In another place we are told that they could not enter into the Promised Land because of their evil heart of unbelief, which caused them to depart from the Living God.
“Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12
Don’t Blame God
Don’t accuse God of letting you down. God is ready to give you much more than you could ever expect. It is not He that limits the supply, but us. We limit God and turn off the tap of His blessings by our doubts, fears, selfishness, demands, lusts, grumbling, sensuality, unbelief, idols and the like.
If you are inclined to press on in faith be encouraged by the fact that God has much more for you than you have yet seen. Purpose to press in and claim it all, by not blocking God by your own weaknesses and failure.
Go get ‘em tiger!