Faith Factor 8 – Super Abundance

Faith is the process of trusting in God. It is based on our confidence in God’s love for us. Faith believes that God is everything the Bible says He is and that God is keen to ‘reward’, or bless those who press in to Him.

We have seen that faith accesses the storehouse of Grace which is at God’s right hand. We have seen that faith places its order, measuring out from that Storehouse the things which God has prepared for us.

What I want to stir your heart with in this lesson is the sheer super abundance of what God has prepared for you.

An Abundant God

I was struck many years ago with the superfluous dimension of God’s creativity and provision. I realised that there are trees in the forests and lands that produce delicious fruit which no-one gets to eat. There are amazing sunsets which no-one gets to see. There are delicious pools and delightful beaches to swim in which no-one enjoys. Every day God creates and provides a super-abundance of opportunities, and most of them go to waste.

There are flowers which provide the most evocative scent, but which no-one smells. There are fields of food which no-one harvests. There are the sweetest refreshing breezes which no-one feels blowing through their hair.

Then there is the super abundance of design and variety. God could have created five different styles of flower and just as few shades of colour for us to see. Instead we can feast our eyes on incredible diversity of shape, size and colour. God could have limited our ability to taste flavours, or limited our field of view to things close at hand. Instead He gave us powerful senses and myriad delights to fill them with.

Our God is a super-abundant God. He has not skimped on the vastness and diversity of His provisions for us.

More Than Enough

An old chorus says, “He’s more than enough; More than enough. He is El Shaddai, the God of plenty. The All Sufficient One, God Almighty. He is more than enough!”

And not only is God more than enough, the grace which He gives is more than we need.

In Faith Factor 6, about God’s Storehouse, I pointed out that God has placed everything we all need to keep and bless us from now until the end of eternity (there is no end to eternity!) in His Storehouse of Grace. When Jesus died and rose again, that sacrifice created EVERYTHING everybody who will ever live will ever need for the whole of eternity!

Now, that’s how super abundant our God is. He has provided much, much more than enough to totally and completely, superfluously meet all of our needs, now, tomorrow and forever.

And if your need level was to be upgraded exponentially, it would not drain God’s super-abundant supply. If you were to suddenly have intense medical needs, staggering financial needs, tragic family needs, overwhelming personal struggles, full-on spiritual attack, incomprehensible sin issues and much more thrown at you right now, God would not be troubled. He will not need to start His machinery to create new answers for the new problems. All of those answers have already been created, for life’s most desperate needs, intense challenges, painful experiences, traumatic situations and so on.

Biblical Support

I expect you to demand that I back up my assertions with Biblical evidence. So, here are some verses which speak to the reality of God’s amazing provisions for us.

“But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.” 1Corinthians 2:9

Did you see that? You have not even imagined the things which God has already prepared for you! What God has put in His Storehouse of Grace is beyond you expectation.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6

God has provided enough to continue the “miracle” of salvation in your life “until the day of Jesus Christ”. The “good work” which God began in you was nothing short of a “miracle”! And God wants to continue the on-going miracle all through your life. God has provided enough to make that possible, yet you are living below that abundance.

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Abundant Grace

God’s Storehouse is filled with God’s grace. That grace is ours through Jesus Christ. It is “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ”. That Storehouse could also be called “the Kingdom of God”.

When Paul faced a deep personal need God told him that the grace that was there for Paul was sufficient. Grace will always be enough for our needs.

“And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me.” 2Corinthians 12:9

I tended to think of “sufficient” as meaning “just enough”. But sufficiency had already been mentioned by Paul in the same letter, linking grace with abundance.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” 2Corinthians 9:8

Eternal Display

God’s Storehouse of Grace is so incredibly full of things with your name on them that it will take Him eternity to show off the complete fullness of blessing which God purchased for you with the blood of Jesus.

When you are seated with God in heaven God’s Storehouse will still be full. It will contain wonderful things which God prepared for you to measure out for yourself here on earth, but which you did not have the faith and courage to ask for and then pursue until you possessed them.

So, through eternity, God will dip His hand into the storehouse of grace at His right hand and throw a handful of His abundance into the air, to show everyone the leftovers of what He had prepared for them all to have in life. I picture that display like a fireworks show bursting in the sky. As the sparkles fall from the air you will see the financial provision, healing, ministry, blessing, grace, help, breakthrough, unclaimed potential, anointing, impact, revelation, spiritual gifts, open doors, and much, much more, that you didn’t even know you had the right to ask for.

But once God has made one show of His amazing grace, He will dip His hand into the Storehouse and do it again. He will keep on making that display for the whole of eternity. That’s how much He has in there for you, which you will never claim in this life.

Now, you will want to see where I get that in the Bible and so let me take you to Ephesians 2.

“That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7

Measuring More

If you could catch a glimpse of how much God loves you and how much He, in His love for you, has already purchased and prepared for you, including how much He has prepared for you to have at the absolute, maximum extremity of total commitment to Him and total consumption of every blessing He has for you, then you will probably be ready to measure more from that Storehouse of Grace.

I share this whole series to stir your heart to recognise that when you reach out to claim more of what God has prepared for you He is delighted. Remember, only faith pleases God. When you step out in faith He is thrilled.

So start measuring more of what He has for you. Storm heaven for the blessings God wants you to have.

Faith Factor 6 – Reward in the Storehouse

People of faith expect a reward. Now, that probably sounds irreligious to you. There is a religious notion in Christianity which celebrates self-sacrifice and despises expectation of reward. In most people’s religious thinking it is noble to give things up and evil to ask for things.

Yet the Bible is rich with instructions and examples of asking. Jesus Christ taught us to “Ask and you will receive”. Jabez asked and was given what he asked for. Gideon asked for proof and God gave it. Jesus said that God will give us what we ask for, just like a loving father does to his children.

And the Bible goes even further, explaining that there is a positive result from some spiritual actions, including the receiving of a benefit or reward. What we sow produces the crop you should expect from the seed. That means we get a result directly commensurate with our actions. “Give and it will be given to you”, said Jesus.

If you have a problem with the idea that Christians get a benefit from obeying God’s commands, then “Get Over It!” Our faith produces positive results, including our forgiveness and salvation. If you don’t believe that then you don’t have faith at all!

Faith Produces Results

The great “faith” chapter of Hebrews 11 speaks about many who were ‘faithful’ to God in the face of challenges. But it also talks of those who produced results by their faith. That’s because faith does produce results. Those results could be called benefits or rewards, but they are results none-the-less.

The “elders obtained”, “Sara received strength to conceive seed” and others “through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.”

Now, these are all Old Testament examples quoted in the New Testament. So, what about some New Testament examples? There is the lady who pressed through the crowd to touch Jesus, to whom Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole” (Matthew 9:22). There was a blind man to whom Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole” (Mark 10:52). There was a leper to whom Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole” (Luke 17:19). And there were two blind men to whom Jesus said, “According to your faith be it unto you”, and then He healed them (Matthew 9:29).

Faith Expects Reward

Not only is it wrong theology to shun a positive result from our faith, it is also a total destruction of faith itself. Those who think you should not expect a result from your believing actually have no faith.

How can I assert such a religiously abhorrent thing? I do so because of what the Bible teaches about faith. Let me take you to the basic definitional verse about faith which I have used throughout this series of lessons, Hebrews 11:6.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

The very definition of faith includes the idea that God is a rewarder by His own character and nature, and the idea that God will reward those who press in to Him. Faith, by definition, includes the belief that God responds to man’s dependence on Him. It involves expectation of a divine reward in the human experience, when man puts his trust in God.

So faith expects a reward. If it does not expect a reward it is not faith!

Blab It and Grab It!

Now, I fully understand that the faith message has been abused. I have met people who teach and others who believe that we can use faith as a power tool to manipulate God and get for ourselves things that we covetously desire.

I know that all such thinking is an abuse of the truth. I know that whole churches have succumbed to such wrong thinking. I know that “faith churches” and “faith preaching” have been way out of line at times. I know all of that. But the errors do not destroy the truth.

The error of Jehovah’s Witness teaching does not negate the reality of God as Jehovah. Mary worship among some Catholics does not remove Mary from her place in history. Extreme holiness does not remove our obligation to live holy lives. And so too, abuses of the faith message do not negate what the Bible teaches about faith and how we are to live by it.

So, don’t turn off to the Bible just because it awakens your fears or offences about what some others have done. Grow up! Get past determining your spiritual journey as a reaction to other people’s mistakes. Walk with God. Cling to His Word. Live by His truth. Navigate by the Holy Spirit’s guidance. And if “faith” preaching has offended you, then let me suggest what I mentioned earlier: “Get over it!”

Faith Geography

Let me describe for you the geography of your blessing and rewards.

Everything we can expect from God comes to us by the sacrifice of Jesus. Everything He gave up for us is now put in a storehouse of grace, for us to receive. He became poor that we might become rich, 2Corinthians 8:9. He left heaven, and we get to go there. He became human so we could become divine. His body was beaten and damaged so our bodies could be healed, 1Peter 2:24.

Everything you need from now to the end of eternity has already been purchased for us in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Therefore it is stored up for us in a storehouse, which is geographically situated at God’s right hand.

“You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

Interestingly, Jesus is situated at God’s right hand too.

“For David himself said by the Holy Spirit, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit on my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.” Mark 12:36

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” Hebrews 10:12

The Storehouse of Grace

That place at God’s right hand where all our “pleasures” are, which will suffice us “for evermore”, is what I call the “Storehouse of Grace”. Everything that is in there is “grace”. It is undeserved by us and only comes to us through faith.

So, there is a Storehouse, called the Storehouse of Grace. And the key to the door of that storehouse is the key of “faith”.

“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8

Salvation is the supply of all the things we need until the end of eternity. It is “grace”. And it is accessed “through faith”. We gain grace, which is the stuff in God’s storehouse of grace, at God’s right hand, only by using “faith” as the key to open the door.

That storehouse contains all the salvation, miracles and healings needed for everyone in all of human history. But most people will not use faith to open the door and release to themselves the blessings which have already been paid for and put in the storehouse, through the sacrifice of Jesus.

The Sheer Abundance

God’s storehouse of grace is jam packed with far more blessings than you will ever comprehend. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on your behalf bought for you far more than you could ever access in one lifetime. God did not skimp on His provisions for you. He is a God of abundance and He provided absolutely abundantly for you, when He sent Jesus to die for you.

Have a look at a couple of scriptures which give a sense for this abundance.

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

“But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.” 1Corinthians 2:9

There is so much in God’s storehouse with your name on it, waiting for you to claim it, that it is going to take God the whole of eternity to show you what you missed out on claiming during your short stay on planet earth.

“That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7

Faith Gets the Reward

Faith opens the door to that awesome storehouse. Faith in God does it. Your confident trust in God allows you to be led by Him to do the exploits He has created you to do. In the process of stepping into the miraculous dimension He has planned for you there will be some awesome challenges. But God has already prepared the miracles for you and put your name on the package, waiting for you to claim it.

If you do not step out in faith, then you will never need the package and it will be there for you at the end of your life. During eternity God will make a grand display of all those amazing presents waiting to be claimed by His children, but which they failed to reach out for.

If you are crazy enough to believe God and to do the asking, seeking and knocking which Jesus spoke about, then you will get the rewards. If you can bring yourself to “live by faith”, rather than just camp on the memory of a past moment of faith, then you too will get some of those amazing rewards.

That’s why the life of faith is so amazing and so exhilarating. It opens up to us the miracle dimension in which Jesus lived and which the Apostle Paul followed him in. So, let’s be followers of Christ and Paul and step into the faith dimension where the power of God has already been prepared for us to enjoy.

God and Abundance

Here’s some more proof that God is a God of Abundance. God is not stingy and He doesn’t run the world on a limited budget. And this world is not built on limited resources, where the more you get the less everyone else gets. God has created a win-win universe, filled with superfluous abundance.

In Jesus’ earthly ministry He personally displayed God’s love for abundance. So I’m pressing this truth onto you once more, to push you toward a larger faith horizon than might come naturally to you.

Are you ready?

Jesus and Abundance

On one occasion Jesus had His disciples perform an amazing miracle, feeding 5,000 people with a boy’s lunch. There were just a few fish and a few small bread rolls. When Jesus passed these pieces to His disciples they broke off pieces to feed the huge crowd, and the food multiplied in their hands.

Now that’s already a testimony of abundance. An entire crowd was fed to the full. No-one was asked to take less than they wanted, and no-one was sent home hungry. There was plenty. No rationing was needed. Yet surely those people would all have made it home with only half a meal.

Then, to top it off, they collected a super-abundant supply of left-overs and end up with twelve baskets of food! What a crazy abundance problem! If we could see one small lunch become 12 baskets full we’d be pretty impressed. But this was after 5,000 men and their families were fed.

Why didn’t Jesus measure the miracle to be just enough? Why this superlative supply? Isn’t that a bit wasteful? Would you organise a miracle that created such a huge pile of left-overs?

An Abundant God

It’s all about “abundance”! God is a God of abundance. God is not trying to stretch meagre resources. God already created an abundance of variety and an abundance of productivity in just about everything He made. We don’t need the diversity of colour, design, sound, shape and variety which God has given us. We appreciate it, but we’d all survive with less of it all. But God is a God of Abundance.

Jesus, as God’s Son, doing what He was directed to do by God, created abundance. That’s because abundance is in God’s nature.

Another Example from Jesus

On one occasion Jesus directed Peter and the others who were fishing with him to drop their nets down for a catch. The catch was immense. It was far more than they needed. They almost sank the boats trying to handle the sheer volume of the haul.

God doesn’t have to be sparing in His blessings to you. He generously gives us magnificent sunsets, a sky that stretches beyond our sight and superlative supply of all we could ever want. It’s in His DNA (in a manner of speaking). God has “abundance” built into His very nature.

An Old Testament Example

A widow once called on Elisha for help. She needed money. All she had was a small bottle of oil. The prophet told her to gather all the containers she could get her hands on and then fill them from the tiny bottle. The oil just kept pouring out of that small bottle until everything was full and they couldn’t find another container to put oil into.

If that widow had been able to get twice as many containers, she could have had twice as much oil. God was ready to give her as much as she could contain. The oil was then sold to pay the debt and to fund the rest of her life.

What About that Wine?

Remember the time Jesus turned water into wine. It was Jesus’ first miracle. He turned huge pots of water into pots of wine. And when the wine was tested it was found to be the very best wine!

Surely an average type of wine would have done the job. Surely a smaller quantity would have been sufficient. Surely they could have survived even if they ran out of wine. This isn’t a life or death issue.

Yet here we see Jesus providing an abundance of the best. No scrimping. No economising. Instead we have simple and wonderful abundance.

What About You?

What are your needs? What are you asking God for? Can you believe God for an abundance of good things for you?

I encourage you to stir your faith to believe God for more. Ask Him for more than you’ve asked Him for before. Don’t set your sights on survival. It is the father’s good pleasure to give you more than you could ask for.

Consider These Verses

Look at the notion of abundance and free gifts in these Bible verses.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” Ephesians 3:20

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

“Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, will men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure out it will be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

“But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1Corinthians 15:57

“That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7

I pray that your faith be stirred to reach out for the Abundance that God has already prepared for you.

God Loves Abundance

“The heavens declare the glory of God” Psalm 19:1

One of the striking testimonies of who God is and how He does business with us has been on display since creation, yet it is often overlooked by heathen and Christian alike. The heavens declare the glory of God and who whole of creation is an exhibition of God’s character and qualities. That display is so ubiquitous and compelling that mankind has no excuse for denying the existence and character of God.

“That which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has shown it to them. For the invisible things of him are clearly seen from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” Romans 1:19,20

God’s Attributes on Display

The vastness of space and the intricacies of miniature design combine with the whole of creation to testify to God’s attributes. God is supreme in His power. God is awesome in His design capabilities. God is profound in His scope and dimension. God is vast in His sovereignty. God is compassionate, as seen in His devotion of so much diversity just for human enjoyment. God is perfect, as seen by the incomprehensible complexity which works with such perpetual effectiveness.

With such profound evidence on display for everyone to encounter, throughout time and across the globe, no person has any excuse for refusing to believe in God, or rejecting the revelation of God given in the Bible.

The Attribute of Abundance

Years ago I was struck by the evidence of God’s delight in ‘abundance’. I had not been taught to think of God as a God of Abundance, so it surprised me to realise this quality. It came to my attention that I had been to remote locations where entire hillsides were radiant in blossom, yet hardly anyone was there to enjoy the sight. Magnificent sunsets are on display to empty oceans or remote mountain locations. Enchanting bird songs fill the air in places where no-one hears them sing. Fruit flourishes on trees where no-one picks the fruit.

I recalled many such observations from my youth. I once walked a track in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and came across a passionfruit vine. Some hiker had dropped seed, possibly years before. Now passionfruit tendrils trailed across the ferns and foliage with huge blossoms waiting to form the delicious and tangy fruit. I stopped and scanned the scene, tracing the vines as they ran in various directions, across dense undergrowth. I pointed out the vine to another hiker who couldn’t have cared less. Most walkers on this track were focussed on getting to their objective, not noticing the fruit that was possibly only a few paces away. We did not have time to stop and gather fruit, so I passed on, remembering an abundance that was going to waste.

God Creates Abundance

God revels in abundance and creates it with abandon. How many different shapes of flower would have been sufficient to cater for man’s existence? Probably very few. Yet God made an abundance of shapes, sizes, colours, fragrances and delights in the floral world. God created that abundance for our pleasure. There is no real reason for it otherwise.

How many seeds or grains come from wheat, or an apple tree? There is super-abundance. If the objective was simply to ensure survival of the species, then just one or two grains or seeds would be sufficient. But there is a superfluity. Abundance comes in such measure that we can take an abundance for ourselves and there is still sufficient for the plants and species to survive.

Abundance Prompts Faith

Recognition of God’s commitment to abundance reveals His character. God is a “giving” God. He gives to us nothing less than ‘abundance’. God gives to us superlatively. He not only meets our needs, but throws in many extra hand-fulls – not our hands, but His huge hands, full of superfluous supply.

Just how much sky do you need? Just how many colours do we really need to see? Just how many different flavours would be enough to keep us alive? What if everything felt exactly the same and there were no sensations of texture?

God revels in abundance. That’s His character. The creation reveals, from day one, that God is a God of abundance. And that abundance is for man’s delight. So God is ready to give us ‘abundance’. God has proven His willingness to give us more than we need. He has proven that He is not looking for our survival but to delight and thrill us with His provision.

That’s a real kicker for faith. That should stir you to increased boldness before the throne of Grace. You should have increased excitement about how God will supply all your needs. He doesn’t do it according to the minimum required to have you survive until tomorrow. He meets your needs according to His riches in glory.

“But my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Allow me to introduce you to your God, the God of all eternity. Allow me to introduce you to your creator and reveal to you that He is a God of Abundance. I encourage you to come to your God, and to press in to Him for the abundance that He wants to give you.