The passion to give to the Lord in a manner desirable to Him comes from within us. There is no alternative to it. It should not be by the flesh, by the means of fleshly deeds or by the glory we seek. As believers we must understand that to give to the Lord is not of a mere command, but of a command that calls our deep affection for Him. The love we have for Him, our intimacy with Him and our gratitude toward Him are the only reasons we can unequivocally give to Him. There are ambiguous opinions and fears concerning giving to Him all of which are due to the provocations of the flesh. But giving to the Lord, if performed in its true sense, does not relate to anyone’s wisdom or thinking, but to the determination that has come forth from us. Such determination is brought forth only by that which the Lord has done for and placed in us. An excerpt to it is the following. “Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the LORD’S contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments” (Exod. 35:21).
It is true that no matter how much we give to the Lord, it does not measure up to Him. Yet, it satisfies and pleases Him to see His children practice His command; not only practice it, but exercise the quality He desires from them. The command should stir and move each one’s heart in order for them to willfully give. Unless one possesses a heart that embraces it or has been transformed to embrace it, he or she cannot truly practice giving. True giving does not have the shadows of sin. It is from perfection, one to which the Lord has brought us to. A person truly wishing to give turns his whole self to the purpose and desire of the Lord.
No man can stir or move another man’s heart to give to the Lord, except his passion for Him. Such passion can be quantified by the following. “Now Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said once more to Joab, ‘but whatever happens, please let me also run after the Cushite.’ And Joab said, ‘Why would you run, my son, since you will have no reward for going?” (2 Sam. 18:22). Our giving will always be free from ulterior motives when it is by great passion. We do not expect anything in return. Yet, there will be rewards. But before we can think of them, let us consider what makes the basis for a genuine giving.
- Removal of sin. “You forgave the iniquity of Your people; You covered all their sin. Selah” (Ps. 85:2). As long as a man’s sin remains in him, his giving to the Lord can never be true; it is purposeless. Moreover, giving in sin does not move the Lord to reward us; His blessings will not be added to it. Instead, there will be consequences of thoughtless giving. When our sin is removed, our heart which has been renewed gives us the insight that stirs our spirit within us – passion of the flesh has been replaced by passion for God. [Be free from sin and whatever your heart provokes you to give to the Lord, it will be blessed]Sin that makes men thoughtless for all the things of God will reap consequences. If the Word is not stirring us to serve the Lord, there are other things that are stirring us. The former people have witnessed its effect. “Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away into exile some of the poorest of the people, the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon and the rest of the artisans” (Jer. 52:15).
- Sin that makes men thoughtless for all the things of God brings consequences. If the Word is not stirring us to serve the Lord, there are other things that are stirring us. The former people have witnessed its effect. “Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away into exile some of the poorest of the people, the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon and the rest of the artisans” (Jer. 52:15).
- The Lord’s care. “Yet not a hair of your head will perish” (Luke 21:18). The Lord has been caring for us by a promise. His only desire toward us is for us to be passionate toward Him. The more we witnessed Him involving in our matters, the more we knew His nearness to us. The intimacy we acquired with Him acts as an instrument that stirs us to make a Lord’s contribution. The works He has done for us remind that we ought to obey the command that incites a deep desire to serve Him.
- Fragrance of Christ. Paul said the following. “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Cor. 2:15). To this end God desires all believers to come to. It is the spiritual transformation in us that brings forth an aroma from within us that pleases God. Then, we clearly see the reason to give Him. It stirs our hearts and moves our spirits to contribute for all things the Lord has appointed. He makes use of all we give in a rightful way so that we continue to be the fragrance of Christ.
- The promise of life. The apostle Paul was very passionate for the gospel. As much as he hated it at one time, his love for it became much more than his hatred for it afterwards. The reason is the promise of life in Jesus. And he said, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:1). The promise of life in Christ gave him the will of God by which he served the gospel. Similarly, he who received the promise of life has the will of God to serve Him. In his serving is present the determination to contribute to Him.
Therefore, as those with the right basis, we can always be with the hearts and spirits that are open for the Lord’s command to stir us.