I started the second part of “Super NATURAL Prosperity” a week ago with three perfect points-- focus, declare, and act. And they are perfect points for another day, but this isn’t that day, because these are strange days and you need a little Heavenly Help to get you through these strange days.
The pastor of a large church that I speak at every year asked me, “Did anyone hear a word on this?” I said, “I did, but I didn’t recognize it at the time.” Five or six weeks ago I heard a clear word—“Recession proof your life.” I thought, “How odd.” The stock market was soaring, unemployment at record lows, the economy was booming, and the good times rolling. That was then. This is now. Strange days. But I’ve done this long enough to know a Word from a notion and I kept it in my heart waiting for the appropriate time to release it. The time is now. These are strange days.
Three perfect points. You’ll find them in what I’m sharing but this is more than three perfect points—it is a Word. If you receive it. Because a Word has to be received.
BTW—I’m capitalizing Word to differentiate the written word, which is eminently important and needful for living a blessed and balanced life, and the Word empowered by the Holy Spirit that creates faith in your heart and results in corresponding actions.
It is one of the most abused stories in the Bible. A widow woman, a prophet, a handful of meal, and a little oil. The widow is gathering two sticks to bake her last cake in a time of great famine, after which she is resigned to dying beside her young son. The prophet asked for water, adding as she went, “And make me a little cake.” She responded with her circumstances, including her expectation of dying, and the prophet said, “Go and do as thou hast said, but bake me a little cake first.” You can see the potential for abuse, but Jesus calls our attention to the widow so I suppose that you would agree that there are some things in the story that you need to know to recession proof your life. Let me share a few of them, some spiritual, some practical, all powerful.
SHE WAS WILLING TO HEAR
Elijah gave her a word, she recognized it as a Word, and she heard it. It makes a difference what you hear.
When I use the word “hear” I’m not talking about hearing with the fine auditory system you were born with, the world is full of people that hear but don’t “hear.” To “hear” is to perceive, to fully understand, know a thing in its depths. That’s the meaning of Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” A text—BTW— that kept in context, refers to a word spoken by a preacher. Are you willing to hear?
What you hear makes a difference. In fact, Jesus said, “Take heed to what you hear,” telling them that they would never go beyond their hearing. What are you hearing?
I’m hearing, “Recession Proof Your Life.” I know that you can because I’ve been there, done that, and have the technicolor T-Shirt—a new church— Lima, Ohio, quintessential rust belt city, featured twice on the cover of the Wall Street Journal, once because we were the quintessential rust belt city with double digit unemployment, idle factories, and decaying infrastructure, and once because Willie Nelson read the first article, felt sorry for us, and gave us a free concert. During those difficult days our people prospered, because I taught prosperity and they heard it. Let me share a testimony that came in this week from a woman who was on our recent livestream when I shared “Recession Proof Your Life”. She and her husband attended our church in Lima during that recession, and they have felt a connection with the ministry ever since. Here’s what she wrote about today’s recession based on her experiences--
“God can prosper your life during a recession. If you need to be encouraged to believe that, Doc’s message is for you. Ray and I are living proof of the message. We married from our parents comfortable homes right into poverty in 1980. We were poor as dirt “But God!” By our faith, giving, mindset, hard work, and financial responsibility, God took us from poverty to prosperity. We were under the ministry of Dr. Leon Stutzman at that time.” T. W-J
Ray and Tracie worked the Word, and the Word is working in their lives today. It makes a difference what you hear. The widow woman was willing to hear.
SHE ACKNOWLEDGED HER CIRCUMSTANCES.
She was under a death sentence, she acknowledged it— “That we may eat it and die.” There’s nothing wrong with recognizing your circumstances. In fact, you’ll never change your circumstances until you do.
There is a Psalm that I like to think of as my war Psalm. David laments, “How are they increased that trouble me, many are they that rise up against me, Many are they that say of my soul, there is no help for him in God” But he didn’t stop with acknowledging his circumstances, he looked beyond them into the realm of the Eternal and declared, “But Thou O Lord are a shield for me, the glory and the lifter of my head.” His words released his Word and changed his world. Acknowledge your circumstances but don’t get caught up in your circumstances… Heavenly Help is on the way.
When Covid-19 became a thing we began social distancing because we acknowledged the circumstances. Then we went to livestream and Facebook only. Then we added a live FM/AM radio feed. We wash our hands. A lot. Exercise. I have a fresh cord of wood split by hand. We are practicing positivity. (BTW—my little videos this week are about keeping a positive mental attitude in adverse times. You can catch them on this platform.) And we are acknowledging that God Is Bigger Than Our Circumstances. Recession proof your life.
SHE TOOK INVENTORY
She had a handful of meal, a little oil, and two sticks. Not much but she had taken inventory.
I read a Wall Street Journal article many years ago that stated that successful entrepreneurs always know exactly how much cash they have. When I read that I reached into my pocket to count my cash—I had the same amount that I had when I counted it that morning. Prosper people take inventory.
If you want to recession proof your life take inventory of what you have in the spiritual realm and the natural. I have some powerful thoughts on what you have in the spiritual realm—if you’d like them go into the media vault at Aspirechurch.tv/ and pull up “Recession Proof Your Life.” Having said that, take a natural inventory of what you have, because you probably have more than you think.
First, take inventory of your income(s). I added the “s” to income because if you’ve followed my teachings you know that successful people create more than one stream of income so that if one dries up the others can carry them on. How much cash on hand? Not much? What do you have that has some value? Jewelry, collectibles, guns, that old mower in the garage, they all have value to someone, somewhere. Pensions and Social Security checks remain stable, and there are government programs if you’ve been laid off. Add to all of this what you know, who you know, and where you are in life. Take inventory! An old proverb says “Be thou diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to thy herds.”
SHE ROSE ABOVE FEAR
“Fear not” were the words of the prophet, along with an unsympathetic, “Go and do as thou hast said, “ after she said that they were going to eat the last of their supplies and die. Elijah knew—"Fear Is The Killer”— to quote a line from one of my favorite Sci-Fi movies. Fear not!
Fear initiates fight or flight, releases adrenalin, and creates a hormonal cascade that can weaken your immune system. Fear freezes faith and opens the door to all manner of negative oppressions. Fear not!
The next time you read the Gospels note the number of times that Jesus had to say “fear not” before He worked a notable work. I submit that if fear kept Jesus from working miracles, fear will keep you from recession proofing your life. Face your fears, rise above them, and recession proof your life.
SHE THOUGHT OUTSIDE THE BOX
Meals barrels fail, Oil runs out. It took Big Thinking to wrap her mind around prophetic prosperity in a time of financial adversity. But she did. What was her thought process? Why did, (according to Jesus), Elijah pass by widows in Israel to bring prophetic prosperity to a widow in Zarepath of Zidon?
First.. she was in a prosperous place. Zarepath of Zidon, which means a place of prosperous refinement. Ideally one should refine their thinking on prosperity before adversity comes. If you haven’t not to worry, I will help you along. But do catch up!
Secondly, she didn’t allow herself to be limited by her limitations. She heard a Word, she knew it to be a Word, and she knew that her Word was bigger than her circumstances. So is yours! Don’t be limited by your limitations. Think outside of the box.
When you learn to think outside of the box three of my favorite words will begin to work for you—synchronicity, synergy, and serendipity. Synchronicity, thing happen at the right time in the right way. Synergy, you and God are bigger than either alone. Serendipity, things manifest in unusual, and often amusing, ways. It pays to think outside of the box.
SHE WAS WILLING TO ACT
It was risky business. It was her last bit of meal and her last drops of oil. Bake a cake for the obviously well-fed prophet first? Craziness. But faith is often risky business but the risk must be taken—“Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Thirty-three times in Hebrews 11 someone did something in faith, by faith, or through faith. Faith requires action. She gave in response to the Word.
I have a great friend, a brilliant man and dynamic Christian leader, that often sows a fifty- dollar seed into this aspect of my ministry. I share this story in his honor.
It was the first church where I was officially “The Pastor.” First, Second, and Only Assembly of God Church in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, a church run by the church secretary, Sister Grimm. Our “salary” was half the tithe, thirty dollars on a good week, two dollars one week, with Sister Grimm asking “Do you want your half?” (And that really was her name!) Taking a few days break, we returned home to Dallas, where the in-laws wanted us to attend a revival meeting at the convention center.
As they were receiving the offering I heard “You need to give fifty dollars.” I said, “Devil, you’re a liar!” because I only had fifty-seven dollars in the bank and needed fifteen of that to buy gas to get back to Tonkawa. So, I started to write out a five-dollar check when something got hold of my hand and I wrote fifty. I showed it to The Beautiful Lady and she just shook her head yes because by then she was used to me giving all of our money away. I’d like to tell you that I sowed the seed with joy, but I would be lying if I did. I was mad at God and couldn’t wait to get out of the convention center to give Him a piece of my mind. Which I did, saying, “If I don’t get that back You’re never getting anything out of me again!” (God and I have a wonderful relationship and I can say things like that.)
The next morning, I had breakfast with a businessman and as we were leaving the restaurant he reached into his shirt pocket and handed me a check. I had the good grace to wait until I got in the car to look at it—but I already knew that it was for fifty dollars. I looked up through the headliner of the car and said, “That’s pressed down, You’re not off the hook yet!” When we arrived at the parsonage, I found a letter in the mail from an Army Private who had attended our church twice while on leave, the note inside read, “I thought you might need this” and attached was a fifty-dollar bill. I said, “That’s shaken together, but You’re still not off the hook!” About that time Sister Grimm called to say that a family that had been out of church has stopped by her house with their back tithe and that she had a check for me in the amount of fifty-four dollars and some odd cents. With that I looked through the living room ceiling of the parsonage and said, “That’s pressed down, shaken together, and running over, You’re off the hook!”
When you act on a Word it works! The widow acted in faith, and she, her son, and the prophet were well fed while the famine remained.
SHE EMBRACED THE PROPHETIC
The prophetic is not the anemic thing that some have made it with their court prophets that speak great and swelling words that never seem to come to pass. The prophetic is “calling those things which are not as though they already were,” with corresponding manifestation. The prophetic bridges the gap between the temporal and Eternal, natural and spiritual. The prophetic brings a different perspective and reveals new paradigms. The prophetic will change your world. It did for the widow woman, it will for you. Embrace the prophetic.
When we went to Lima the Lord spoke to me saying, “For the first year put 2 Chronicles 20:20 in every message.” The verse reads, “Believe in the Lord thy God, so shall ye be established, Believe My prophets and so shall ye prosper.” Whatever the message, salvation, healing, Holy Spirit, prosperity, whatever I found a way to incorporate 2 Chronicles 20:20. I didn’t know that I was preparing our people to prosper during that recession. When the recession came, they were ready, and they prospered. Embrace the prophetic, recession proof your life. I have already heard my first testimony of “Recession Proofing Your Life” from one of our current church members. I expect our people to prosper during this recession because, although I don’t put the verse in every message, I have preached a little 2 Chronicles 20:20 here as well, and we embrace the prophetic. Recession proof your life. Embrace the prophetic.
You’ve heard the Word. My prayer is that is resonates in your heart and that you practice the practical points, embrace the prophetic and recession proof your life. Normally I encourage my readers to sow a seed into the ministry at this point but I shall not abuse the story by telling you that need to sow your last meal and oil. I didn’t hear that in my spirit and I try to never go beyond the Word of the Lord. (One pastor told me that is what made me different from most of the prophetic people he had in—I know when to stop!) Neither will I stop you from sowing into the Word if you feel so led. Embrace the prophetic. Recession proof your life.