Owning but not possessing

As having nothing, yet possessing everything
(2 Cor. 6:10).

Those words are challenging, from the one who wrote that though poor he was making many rich. Fast forward, and I guess many of us are nearer to ‘owning everything’ and so I suggest we need to do a little reversal of the above:

As owning everything, but possessing nothing.

Our relationship to what we own, now there is a challenge. ‘It’s mine and don’t touch’ just does not cut it for those who follow Paul as he followed Christ. ‘It’s mine and I am going to steward it’ is a major step forward, provided stewardship does not remain in the realm of control.

GIFT. That seems how God operates. He gives. Gift is not charity, though there are many times we need to be respond with ‘charity’, increasingly so as so many have lost jobs and accommodation, and at times with no questions asked. But gift is something beyond that. It is given freely to help a person toward their destiny. Given without guarantee of something coming back personally, even though given with prayer and consideration.

The Jericho principle. At the point of entry to the land that was abundant gift the people received an instruction that was not repeated later. TAKE NOTHING, DO NOT PROFIT at all from the conquest of Jericho. We know the issue that ensued through Achan’s disobedience.

At the point of entry a strong decision not to profit is I believe very key. This has shaped me over years when making an entry to a place. I try to find what I might have profited from and then not touch it. For example, and such a small issue, not to profit from any books sold in another nation, not to receive royalties, nor an author’s fee. (Not being in the John Grisham league there is no need to be impressed!)

So up to date. A couple of days ago while we were praying over our re-entry to Madrid as to when and how, we were given a very helpful prophetic word over a zoom call from someone who knew nothing about our prayers and deliberations. This put a pause button to our plans. Then a couple of days later we were put in touch with a Colombian-born woman who we had never met who was losing her accommodation at the end of September and needed a place for 3-4 months. Owning everything…

Paying attention to any check in our spirits (not paying attention to the ‘what if’ questions in the mind), we knew that we cannot own everything and possess it as well. Keys in post. A gift to her… a small contribution to her destiny.

Yesterday one of really good friends and neighbours had his birthday. We had the afternoon together. He freaked out (not good on your birthday) when he found what we had done. His wife explaining that he finds it very hard to trust people.

Our gift to him? We believe in people, their destiny. And we believe in him and his destiny.

It takes time when the paradigm is one of witnessing not evangelising (yes there is a chapter in Humanising the Divine on that, but you all know that cos you have all bought a copy – right?!!!!). But the time witnessing takes is so important. A relationship is built and it is not one-way.

We do our small part, and you do yours, and together we can own but not possess so that what we do not own we can possess.

Owning everything and…

Paul states that he as an apostle was:

poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything (2 Cor 6:10).

Quite an apostolic worldview. He is not Mr. Successful but certainly he cannot be accused of a poverty mind-set. There is an incredible re-valuation taking place. How can one be poor yet make many rich? How can one have nothing yet possess everything? There is not a book on finance that can give that answer, and however it outworked practically it must have begun as a way of seeing.

I have a good friend who is an extraordinary example. He does not have a poverty mindset and so many assume he is wealthy. He has a remarkable gift to see money transferred from one place to another without profiting personally and many times the money never comes via his bank account. The money shifts and there is often an assumption he has great resources (he does but not simply ‘natural’ resources, he knows how to connect with heaven’s resources). He is not rich but makes many rich.

I have been wrestling with these Scriptures over the past 10 years and am probably not much further on today than 10 years ago in understanding them. I am also interested in turning them on their head. I can be critical of the top 1%, but am almost certainly in the top 5% globally in terms of wealth. The top 1% are filthy rich and oppressors, the top 5% are OK!! If Paul owned nothing but possessed everything, what about those like me who owns ‘everything’ (OK not quite…)? I think the challenge for some of us who are ‘rich’ and own ‘everything’ is to do so in a way that we possesses nothing. That of course was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit.

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had (Acts 4:32).

How feeble sometimes our attempts to live in a different economy. But I am encouraged that small feeble attempts are where everything begins. We have taken some steps with our friends (neighbours) where they have opportunity to ‘possess’ what we ‘own’. Now whenever the husband sees something of ours he (in good humour) says – ‘this then is for me too?’ And the answer has to be ‘yes’.

A short post as I am pretty ignorant on the outworking of the Scriptures and the turned on their head versions.