How My Relationship With God Affects My Support Raising

By on April 1, 2008   /   Leave a comment

Early in my Christian life, I wanted to be A+ in every area of my life: An A+ disciple, A+ prayer warrior, A+ Bible scholar, A+ husband and father, A+ evangelist and disciple-maker, and the list went on. I set very specific and challenging goals in each area to make sure I was on track and recording my impressive achievements. I don’t know whether I’ve just mellowed out, or my definition of “success” has changed, but I’ve gradually shifted from striving for an A+ in every category to simply…pass-fail!

Lest you think I’m the only one who has backslidden into mediocrity and compromise, let me tell you about my friend, author and conference speaker, Steve Farrar. He, too, used to go into overkill each time he plotted out his annual goals. But now, in his latter years, he allots only two seconds to write his objectives for the next 12 months. Each year it consists of the same three words: DON’T SCREW UP! I like that…because how a person finishes their life says so much more about them than how they began it. And you don’t have to get too far down the road to realize our earthly journey is more like a marathon than a 100 yard dash.

At the core, though, to every single area of my life is my relationship with God. And the only place I find any sustaining purpose, zeal, or motivation to accomplish anything is from Him. In John 15, Jesus said it plainly, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” Zippo. Zero. The big goose egg! I’m a fool for even entertaining the thought of relying on my own supposed intelligence, gifts, or skills. My nose is flat because every time I’ve chosen self-reliance over abiding in Christ, I’ve fallen right on my face! What does this abbreviated diary of mid-life confessions have do with personal support raising? Consider this progression of thought:

1. Support raising is spiritual
It’s not about technique, personality, or experience. God is the only one who can turn a heart and cause them to want to give. Yes, God does it—but He chooses to work through us to accomplish this. If I’m not following the Lord and filled with His Spirit…the very last thing I can do (or will do!) is pick up the phone to make an appointment. And if I’m spiritually empty, there’s no way I can sit across from someone and pretend I am an ambassador of Jesus Christ.

2. Support raising is spiritual warfare
Why has God designed it that we should raise support to do the ministry? It’s one of the greatest challenges of my life and sometimes feels like a daily—even hourly—battle. And if I’ve had a long day of support appointments, I don’t reward myself with some chocolate cake and some late night television. Proverbs 4:23 commands us to “guard over our heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Unless I keep my mind and heart fixed on the love and power of Christ, I will be a victim rather than victor.

3. Support raising is spiritual warfare with Satan
I believe Satan intensifies his attacks during this critical and vulnerable period of our life. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us: “Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (NLT). His goal is not just to distract you, but to devour you! What if the devil could get a wedge into your life and keep you from reaching or maintaining your 100% level of support? Think of the myriad of lives you would not be able to touch for Christ because the enemy was able to “sideline” you.

Bottom Line: The strength of my public support raising is directly tied to the strength of my private relationship with God.


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