Robert Morris - Beyond Blessed
So let me tell you how this worked out in my own life and in Debbie's life. I got saved nine months after Debbie and I were married. A few months later, I heard my first message on tithing and immediately we tithed and God began to bless us. I went to Bible college and then I was a traveling evangelist. So I did not work I didn't receive any salary from a church. At that time I only received offerings or honorariums I'm doing that for a living and the Lord spoke to me one day in my quiet time and he said, "I want you to get your finances in order so I can bless them".
I want you to think about that: that's a very important impression that I received from the Lord. "I want you to get your finances in order so I can bless them". God cannot bless things out of order. We have a stewardship department that can help you get your finances in order. So I said, "Lord, what do you want me to do"? Back then I didn't know what to do. I'm going to tell you the three things he told me. He said, "Number one: get out of debt". To different people. Different people have different convictions. For us, we could still have a mortgage but we were not to borrow for depreciating items, only appreciating items like a mortgage on a home.
So we have a mortgage to this day and we have had a mortgage but we put it on a 15-year note and we do our best to pay it off. So I just want you to know because when I say that, I want you to let the Lord apply it to you how he applies it to you. Number one he said, "Get out of debt". So for us, the first thing we needed to do, we had this car that was too big for us, the payment was too big and so we sold that car and we bought a car for cash, $750. That's all we could afford. So we bought a car for $750. But you've got to hear me. We actually loved that car. I mean we loved it because we were getting our finances in order. We loved that car. We prayed over it. We anointed it with oil, about a quart a week. And we drove that car.
The Lord said to me was: "Don't manipulate". But a whole bunch of people manipulate for money. God never blesses manipulation. Manipulation comes from a root word that means witchcraft. So you cannot manipulate. You can't drop hints and expect God to provide for you. So for me, I said, "Well, Lord, how does that work out"? He said, "Well, when someone asks you to come speak, they say, 'what are your financial requirement for coming?' and you say, 'pay our expenses and give us an offering.'" some of my friends would actually say, "Pay our expenses, give us an offering and the offering has to be a minimum of.".. I never even said that. I just said whatever, just pay us our expenses and give us an offering.
Here's what the Lord said to me. "From now on you say, 'I have no financial requirements for coming'". This was about 30 years ago and I still do that to this day, "I have no financial requirements coming". And the Lord said to me, I want to teach you who your provider is: that is not how you arrange things, it's me. Now again, other people, you can do things differently. Don't put this on you, let the Lord speak to you what he wants you to do. So this guy calls me, I will never forget. The first guy calls and says, "Robert, can you come and speak"? I said, "Yes". We worked out a date. He said, "What are your financial requirements for coming"? I said, "I have no financial requirements for coming". And I remember he said, "Well, that's good because I don't even think we can pay your gas".
Now he didn't say "Pay your expenses," he said, "Pay your gas". Let me tell you why that's important. We get in that $750-car, we start driving, it was to Oklahoma, we start driving to Oklahoma. I stop to fill the car up with gas. I went in to pay for it and the lady said to me, "It's taken care of". I said, "What do you mean it's taken care of"? She said, "Because when you pulled in, God told me I was to fill your car up with gas". I went out and I got in the car and I said, "Lord, I sure like doing it better your way than my way".
And here's the third thing the Lord said to me, "Give". So he said, "Get out of debt, don't manipulate, and give". What happened. I said to the Lord, now please don't get offended by this. This is just the impression I got in my spirit when I said that. I tithe". I felt like the Lord went ha ha ha ha. I mean that really... I kind of felt like it was kind of like, ha ha ha ha, idiot! That's how I felt. What do you mean, Lord? I do. I give 10%. He said, "You don't give 10% you return 10%". He said, "The 10% is mine". And when you read the language in the Bible, if you don't return it then you've stolen it. That's the language. I can show it to you in Joshua and in Malachi, "Robbed" and "Stolen," those are the two words God uses. He used that.
So I said, "Lord, what do you mean give"? He said, "I mean give over and above the tithe. That's when you give". I asked him three very important questions. I said, "Well, Lord, how will I know when to give? How will I know where to give? And how will I know how much to give"? Aren't those important questions? Listen to his very simple answer. Here's what he said: "I'll tell you. I'll tell you. My people hear my voice. My sheep hear my voice". And so I said, "Okay, Lord". So not long after that I go to speak at a church. Now you have to remember the only salary that Debbie and I received was when I would go and speak in a church and if they could give us an offering. I said, "You don't have to give us anything".
So I go to speak for this church, it is the only speaking engagement I have for the whole month. I only have one engagement for that whole month, and it is at a church with about 60 people in attendance. I go and I speak at that church and I said, "I have no requirements for coming". The pastor gets up afterwards. He tells the whole church that. He said, "He has no financial requirements for coming. I want us to give an offering and I want us to give a good offering". So they count it and then they bring a check to the pastor. We're standing right here at the front and the pastor brings me this check and says, "Look at this! Look at this! We've never given this much". He was so excited to be able to do that.
I looked down at the amount and the amount was the exact amount of our monthly budget — exactly — and it had dollars and cents on it. And you have to remember, at that time, we also had an office and we had an employee, a person that helped me to set up meetings because some of the meetings I did were large meetings and we're gathering churches together and things like that. So I looked down and I remember thinking, this is my only meeting for the whole month, you told me not to ask for anything and God you are so faithful. And while I'm looking at that check and thinking how faithful God is I kind of glance up and I look over the shoulder of this pastor that is talking to me and I see at the back of the church a missionary that had just spoken right before I spoke, shared a report and this voice said to me, "Give him the offering".
I remember exactly what I thought. I rebuke you, satan. That's not God! That's not God! Get behind me, satan! Get behind me, satan! That is not God! I remember, it's funny I know, but I remember even saying, "That's not you! That's not you. I know you. You would not do that, God". And the Lord said, "Give him the offering. The whole offering, give him the offering". I remember saying to the Lord, again you just have to know that I talk to the Lord funny and he talks to me funny. I remember saying to the Lord, "Lord, you're not thinking clearly"! "This is the exact amount of our budget. We have no other meetings this month. I preached a good message and you got all pumped up and you want to give to a missionary now, Lord, but you provided this for us". The Lord said, "Give him the offering. Give him the offering".
Then I remember the Lord saying to me, "I told you that I would tell you when to give and where to give and how much to give. I'm telling you to give right now to that missionary the whole amount". And so the sanctuary was clearing out by now and I endorsed the check when no one was looking, folded it in half and I went to the missionary. And I said, "I'm going to give you something but don't look at it until after you leave," because it was a very large amount. Tell anyone I did this". Because I didn't want to manipulate in any way. I have, I believe now these testimonies to help other people but back then I didn't share any of these things that I was doing.
So I gave him this offering and he said, "Thank you". And then Debbie and I walked outside and there were some couples standing in the parking lot. And one of the couples said, "Hey, we're going to go get some pizza. Do y'all want to go"? We said, "Yeah"! Because we were broke. "Yeah, sure! We love going to get pizza". So we go eat pizza with them and there are six couples total. So Debbie and I and five other couples. The sixth guy sat, if you see this in your mind, sat at one end of the table, the sixth girl sat at the other end of the table. Debbie is all the way at the end on that end, I'm at this end.
These four guys started talking about something, they got in some conversation about football or something. And then this guy across from me that I had met one time before, just once, I met him just one time, he leans across the table like this, kind of leaned across. I don't know what he is going to say. He said to me, "How much was the love offering"? Just like that. Again, because I'm a numbers person, I knew exactly what it was. So I told him the number. And remember, it was an offering, not an honorarium. An honorarium is with zeroes, it is a round amount like $250 or $500 or something like that. This was an offering that had dollars and cents on it. So I told him how much it was.
And then this guy says to me, "Where's the check"? Like that. I know you're supposed to tell the truth but I got kind of flustered and I didn't know what to say and I didn't know why this guy was questioning me so I just heard myself say, "Debbie has it". So he says to me, "Go get it, I want to see it". So I said, "Okay". So I get up and I walk down where Debbie is and I leaned down to her and I said, "How's your pizza? Is it good? Okay! Good"! There is nothing else to say. There's no check.
So I go back and again, I know you're supposed to tell the truth but I don't know why this guy is asking me this and why is he questioning me? And I didn't want to say, in my heart I didn't want to brag. I didn't want to say, "We gave it to a missionary. It is the only meeting we have this month". I didn't want to say that. So I just heard myself again, I said, "It's in the car". He said, "It's not in the car". So I said, "Where is it"? You know so much, pal! I just started getting frustrated. Why is this guy grilling me like this? What's going on here?
And this guy said to me, who by the way, is now a member of our church and has verified this, this testimony. This guy said to me, "You gave it away, didn't you"? I said, "Yes". I said, "How do you know that"? I'd only met him one time before. I said, "How do you know that"? He said, "Because God told me". He reached in his pocket and he pulled out a check he had written before he came to the service that night, and I found out later, which I didn't even know, he didn't even attend that church. He just heard I was speaking and God told him to go give me this check. So he writes a check out before he comes. He holds this check out that's made out to our ministry and he holds it up like this.
Now listen to me, before God in heaven and this man has verified this, it was exactly ten times the amount of the check down to the penny. Exactly! He said, "Here". And he's holding the top of it and I reached out but he wouldn't let it go. I realized he wants to tell me something. He wants to say something. I now know he wanted to impart something. You do know there is a gift of giving in the body of Christ. There is a gift of giving: that is a spiritual gift. So I'm holding the bottom, he's holding the top, he looked right across the top of the check right into my eyes and he said, "God is about to teach you about giving so you can teach the body of Christ". And he let the check go.
Here's what came into my mind when he let that check go. Here's what I thought, this is God's money. This is not my money, this is God's money. All of it from now on is God's money. By God's grace I have had that thought with every check I've received since then and we've been very blessed financially because for some reason people buy the books that I write and so we've been very, very blessed. I still don't know why. But we've been very blessed. We've been able to give a whole lot.