Beware: God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply

China Inland Mission founder Hudson Taylor famously said, “God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.”

This is one of the most commonly cited quotes among Christian organizations when it comes to their fundraising, and it is one of my favorite quotes as well…though for a different reason.

Taylor’s quote is typically understood to mean, “If we just stay faithful to doing the ministry God has given us, we’ll have enough money to pay the bills.”

But notice that’s not quite what Taylor said.

It’s the final phrase that’s the kicker:

God’s supply.

Whoever said that God supplies in clean, crisp, unmarked hundred dollar bills?

A quick check of the Old and the New Testaments reveals surprisingly few occasions where God, like a gracious grandparent commemorating a birthday, sends cash.

One could certainly protest that this is because in Bible times cash was a rarity. But really now…

There’s a common thread that runs through all God’s giving, namely:

When God gives a gift, the recipient must be transformed in order to be able to receive it.

In fact, you’d almost think that what God was seeking to accomplish through His giving was not only provision but transformation…

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Mt 7:9-11)

I suspect one of the grave ways we impoverish ourselves as missionaries and nonprofit ministry organizations is that our engines run only on cash; every other kind of gift (and here I’m not talking only about gifts-in-kind but people, especially the various and sundry kind, offering themselves as if they were treasure–the audacity!) just seems to choke the motor.

Taylor’s promise was not that God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack for our supply. Rather, his contention was that God would supply as a good Father giving good gifts to His children. Kids always want cash, but sometimes parents know that other gifts are far more needed by their children.

Think through the scriptures at the gifts God gave, and how each one required an “engine conversion” for the recipient to be able to run on it.

Think through the gifts God has given your ministry–and is continuing to give your ministry–and ask yourself, “What kind of ‘engine conversion'”–i.e., personal and corporate transformation–“is God calling me/us to in order to be able to ‘run’ on this…without growing weary?”

That kind of approach might lead us to suspect that in the midst of recession there’s really no downturn in giving at all…

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is the former International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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6 Responses to Beware: God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply

  1. I needed this today…Bless your faithfulness…..

  2. In my quiet moments during the past night I heard this quote in my spirit and thought how timely it was as I’m in the midst of Supporter-Raising. Just how faithful God is to His own.. ”I needed to hear this just about now!”

  3. rebecca says:

    Could lack of supply (whatever form it takes) be a “check” about whether or not God’s work is being accomplished in HIS WAY?

    • Pastor Foley says:

      That’s a very common and understandable question, Rebecca. The answer is both yes and no. Lack of supply COULD be a check that God’s work is not being done his way. But it may equally be God simply teaching us to be content with a little, which the Apostle Paul indicates is an important lesson.

  4. Pingback: How can we teach the next generation to see a need and fill it? | God's story through my life from 2005 to eternity…

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