Second verse, same as the first
How many times have you tuned out when offering time comes in a traditional church, and the leader says ‘Turn to Malachi 3′? Me too. The company line is that if you tithe to the storehouse (traditional church) God will pour blessing out on you that you cannot contain – right? They promise your bank account will overflow, your kids will get saved, you will be healed, promoted, your business deal will go through, you’ll sleep better at night, grow your hair back and even lose weight
Malachi 3:10 says God will “open the floodgates of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there will not be room enough to contain.”
I admit I didn’t understand what the Lord was saying in this passage until 1987. That’s when we moved to a farming community in Southeast Colorado to pastor a church, and local crops were watered by irrigation.
Floodgate is ‘head gate’ in Hebrew. When we lived in SE Colorado we rented a 14 acre farm, and the owner raised alfalfa on 10 of those acres. A canal flowing from the nearby Arkansas River was about a mile away, and from that canal ran ditches along the road side. Those ditches were called “borrow ditches”, because you ‘borrowed’ the water for your land.
When it was time for your farm to receive water, a man from the water company opened the head gates or flood gates about 1 mile away, and water flowed to your land. The water flowed down the fields in the furrows, and whatever did not soak into the ground flowed to the back of the field and into another ditch, where it flowed to the neighbor’s farm, and so on and so on until all the farms were watered.
Not room to contain
Our farm did not have room to contain the blessing that the floodgate/head gate opened for us. The water is the blessing God said He would send that would overflow – I will pour you out a blessing you won’t have room to contain. I saw Malachi 3 played out in real life.
Do NOT make the mistake of thinking the blessing is “If I tithe to the storehouse I’ll….see a raise at work, close that big deal, show God how seriously I need a financial breakthrough, get my car/life/child/parents fixed and or saved.”
All God promises is to pour out Water to water your crop, He never promised He would increase your crop (your job, your car, your rent, your _____ ). All He promises is to open the flood gate so the water flows.
What is the water then?
Remember everything is based on Christ living in you, and in the Old Testament it was looking forward to these days of Christ in us, so everything is geared towards having Him inside.
Think of the water God pours out. It waters a crop and then the crop grows. Your ‘crop’ is your bank account, your job, all you own. But what is God’s water that He promises to pour out?
What really waters your job, your bank account, your life? Step back and look at it this way; What does water often stand for in scripture? Answer: The Holy Spirit
We know the whole body of Christ operates by revelation from the Father via the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 16:16-19) So the water is revelation from the Holy Spirit that waters your ‘crop’ - that is what the Father promises to pour out so that you won’t have room to contain – revelation from God via the Spirit.
In the work place that means ideas, plans, wisdom for problem solving and finding answers. Can you count the number of times a problem presented itself, you prayed, and suddenly the solution flowed up from your spirit across your mind? That’s what I’m talking about – the ‘water’ is that revelation from the Spirit, which ‘waters’ your ‘crop’.
Chapter and verse please
Remember Jacob and how he peeled bark and placed the ‘spotted’ branches in front of the animals at the watering trough so that when they mated they’d produce spotted offspring? Know where he got the idea?
That event happened in Genesis 30: 37-43, but in 31:8-13 he says he got that idea in a dream when an angel appeared to him. That ‘water’, that revelation, caused him to set the branches, which by faith caused the animals to conceive spotted offspring.
Within a few calving and lambing seasons he became so wealthy from that 1 revelation Laban and his agreement to partner with him could not contain the blessing, and he returned to his family. The water was the revelation, the crop was his animals.
Joseph is another example of a man who received such revelation poured out that his life could not contain it. Genesis 41:39-41 says Pharaoh said to Joseph “Since God showed you all this, and there is none so discreet or wise, then you will be in charge of all of my house and Egypt…” The water was the revelation from the interpretation of the dreams, the crop was 7 years of overflowing harvest that fed a nation in famine.
The Proverbs 31 woman, who I’ll share more about next week, is seen in verses 10-31, and it says she owns a weaving business. She has employees, she works hard and the demand is so great they have to work into the night to keep up with demand. But then it says “She considers a field….” (v16)
That ‘considers a field’ is the process of revelation going on in her mind and spirit. That verse goes on to say of the field…’and buys it, and plants a vineyard’. So she has taken the profits of her weaving company, seeks wisdom and revelation about what to do with it, and settles on venturing into the winery business. The water was the ‘considers a field’, the crop was the new business (and the grace over her existing business).
When Solomon was made king he wanted the nation to receiving God’s blessing, so in I Kings 3:2-6 when the Lord appeared to him, he asked for and received wisdom. That’s the ‘water’ that allowed him to prosper, to make right decisions like the famous ‘who’s baby is it’ incident, to the extent he made “…silver as common as stones in the path…” (II Chron 9:27) The water was wisdom in all areas, the crop was a prosperous nation in all areas.
New Testament please
When you realize the water of Malachi 3 represents the revelation of the Holy Spirit being poured out on us, and that in turn waters our ‘crops’, our jobs, then you’ll recognize Jesus operating in this.
Examples include when He told Peter, James and John to cast the nets in deep water in Luke 5: 4-6 and they caught so many fish the boats were overloaded to the point of sinking – they didn’t have room to contain them. That wisdom, that revelation, was so overflowing it caused the ‘crop’ of fish to overflow.
The same of water into wine in John 2, the multitudes fed by a boy’s lunch multiplied in John 6, and so on.
We know Jesus was a huge giver, for in John 13:29 when Judas, the treasurer for the group, left at what must have been about 9pm, they all assumed he was leaving to give money to the poor. How many times has someone left you unexpectedly at 9pm and you naturally assumed they were going out to give money to the poor? Exactly. That’s how big a giver Jesus was.
In the early church this same ‘water’, that revelation and wisdom from above, led many in Jerusalem to sell excess lands or properties and give the proceeds, and it was so much they could not contain it – all the needs of all the believers in the city were met and more kept being added! (Acts 4:34-35) The ‘water’ was the wisdom on what to do with their assets, the ‘crop’ was all the needs met in the body of Christ in the city.
While God relates to us on the basis of the blood of Jesus, and revelation flows from that, there is a whole other realm of revelation and grace in the lives of those who live to give. The Luke 6:38 statement by Jesus of givers, that it will be given back to givers full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, is merely a re-statement of Malachi 3′s overflowing blessing that comes to givers.
Often there is so much revelation it all cannot be acted upon as it would overwhelm us. These things have to be thought through, sorted as to what would work and what would not – run through processes to the point that ‘water’ can grow a crop, thus blessing the lives of ourselves and others.
Many have gotten an idea, rushed to grow it without doing their homework, thinking just because God gave the idea it will sell – wrong. He gives the ‘water’, but we have to follow through with diligence.
Joseph did it. He strategically placed storage bins for the overflow and all that entailed . Jacob did it by organizing his animals. The Proverbs 31 woman did it. Jesus operated in it. The church in Acts 2-6 operated in it. Are you a giver? Do you have revelation pouring in your spirit and mind to the point you can’t contain all the ideas? Is He pouring that blessing out to the degree you can’t contain it sometimes? Then you are just starting to operate in true New Testament giving and receiving as taught in the Word.
I have so many business ideas, inventions, real estate ideas, and have had over the years I could be very rich, but I’m like an OT Levite unable to do that because I’m called in full time ministry. But that doesn’t stop ‘water’ flowing to me – I have more revelation than I can handle.
I’m sure that you too have all sorts of ideas and inventions and wisdom for areas you aren’t called to, and some you may be called to. Having revelation isn’t a sign you are to do something with it, it’s just that our ever creative Father and Lord are so full of life and light, that in every situation that light reveals new things that can be done, new inventions, new ideas…wow, can you imagine how creative the ages to come will be?
BUT…when I start to get low, I pray Paul’s prayer of Ephesians 1:17-19, and Colossians 1:9 – fill me with the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, let the eyes of my understanding be opened, let me be filled with spiritual wisdom and understanding – and I make sure I continue to live a life of giving, for once started on this path, one feeds the other in a never ending flow of revelation and then provision and more revelation…
Next week, part two…another foundational truth.
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