. .

When God stirred me for us to teach. . .seven keys to being a receiver. . .I thought it was for a Rich Thoughts for Breakfast call. . .BUT GOD always has a better idea.

Out of curiosity. . .I Googled “I’m a Receiver” and was surprised to find the lead post was a song by the same name performed by a group called Apologetix. . . whom I’d never heard off.

Imagine my surprise as I discovered the song was sung to the music of “I’m A Believer” by the Monkees.

The lyrics go like this. . .

“I thought God was only Jewish fairy tales

Meant for someone else with lots more faith

All my doubts depressed me…that’s the way it stayed

Till a voice said, ‘Honey, call my name’

Then I got His grace. . .now I’m a receiver

God replaced. . .the doubt in my mind. . .I’ve been loved”

And so the song goes. . .

The verse says that we must receive His grace.

John 1:12 in the Amplified Bible says:

“But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name.”

According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for receive is H2943 and it means:

“to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it; to take what is one's own, to take to one's self, to make one's own; to receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain, to get back”

Salvation is a gift. . .but we must receive it.

Healing is a gift. . .but we must receive it.

God’s promises are a gift. . .but we must receive them.

Holy Ghost power is a gift. . .but we must receive it.

There are times when people won’t receive a gift, a blessing or a compliment because of some false sense of humility.

Stop saying you don’t deserve compliments for a job well done.

Learn to receive praise and compliments with humility and graciousness.  Accepting someone’s compliments doesn’t mean that you’re automatically taking credit from God.

I frequently receive very complimentary words for the things I write whether in a book, blog, Facebook or Tweeter.  My response is to say “thank you.  I was so blessed by your kind and encouraging words. . .to God be the glory.”

Never say you don’t deserve it. . .because by speaking those words. . .you’re giving life to them.

Receiving a compliment is not being prideful just thankful.

Learning how to receive and what we do with the gifts of God or from anyone else is a reflection of our character or the lack thereof. . .due to a bondage adopted at some point along the way.

Our understanding of and obedience to the Word of God will determine our ability to receive.

What we perceive by the wisdom we receive . . .will determine our reality for years to come.

How do you learn to be a receiver?  Here are seven keys.

1.      You’re not the master of your own destiny. . .He is.

Don’t get me wrong. . .we make decisions every day that affect our future in life.  But there is a divine order. . .which we must know, understand, embrace and act on.

God created us as agents of free will. . .but we decide the direction of that will with the decisions we make and the actions we take.

For years, I saw myself as an average person. . .but when I got into the Word of God. . .He begin to bring out abilities and attitudes in me. . .which began to maximize my potential.

Gideon never saw his potential until an angel told him that he was a “mighty man of valor.”  (Judges 6:12)

God saw a potential in Gideon he didn’t even know existed in himself. . . because he had a poor self-image.

Judges 6:15 in the Message Bible says:

“Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”

As Gideon became faithful to God’s direction. . .he was able to tap into a potential he never knew was within him until God showed up.

After 40 years on the backside of the desert. . .when God told Moses he would be the deliverer of his people. . .he questioned his own potential for leadership because. . .he had become disheartened over the opportunities of his past. . .which seemed lost to him forever.

Exodus 4:10 in the New Living Translation says:

“But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

When it comes to your potential for success or leadership. . .don’t look at your abilities but rather what God can do through you. . .as you yield to what he wants to do through you.

Exodus 4:11 in the New Living Translation says:

“Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord?”

When you follow God’s direction. . .you’re able to tap into a potential you never knew you had like Gideon. . .or claim a potential for success you may have thought died in the desert of your dreams. . .like Moses.

God sees a greater potential in you than you’ve ever seen in yourself.  When we allow God to direct our paths. . .we position ourselves to receive His blessings and benefits.

2.      Accept the fact that He wants to bless you.

Here are seven scriptural reasons God wants to bless you.

First, God wants to give you a prosperous life.

It says so in John 10:10 in the New Living Translation:

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

The Amplified Bible translates the verse this way:

…I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

Second, God wants to bless your work.

Deuteronomy 28:12a says:

“The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand…”

Third, God wants you to be a lender and not a borrower.

Deuteronomy 28:12b in the Message Bible says:

“…You will lend to many nations but you yourself won't have to take out a loan.”

Fourth, God wants to give you every good thing

Psalm 84:11 in the Amplified Bible says:

“For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Fifth, God wants to pour out his blessings and give you increase.

Psalm 85:12 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.”

The New Living Translation of Psalm 85:12 says:

“Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings.  Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.”

Sixth, God wants to give good gifts to His children who ask.

Matthew 7:11 in the Amplified Bible says:

“If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!”

Seventh, God wants to bless us with everything we need to enjoy life.

1Timothy 6:17-19 in the Message Bible says:

“Tell those rich in this world's wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.”

3.      Understand that seedtime and harvest will always be around.

God sets seedtime and harvest. . .sowing and reaping apart from going to church. . .praying. . .even living a righteous life.

Genesis 8:22 says:

“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

As long as the earth exists there will be temperature changes. . .cold and heat thus establishing the seasons of the year.

God is clearly saying that day and night. . .a separation of time will exist as long as the earth remainsA time for working and a time for resting.

It is interesting to note that the very first thing listed in Genesis 8:22 is giving.

God establishes giving and receiving as a powerful dynamic in the earth.  A force that is immoveable. . .just like days, seasons and temperature changes.

I have heard that the biggest fool is the one who fools himself. God warns us not to make fools of ourselves in sowing and reaping.

Galatians 6:7 says:

“Be not deceived [fooled]; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Everyone knows apple seeds bring forth an apple harvest and peach seeds bring forth a harvest of peaches. Seeds produce a harvest after their own kind.

Cats don’t reproduce dogs.  Elephants don’t reproduce monkeys.

Everything reproduces after its own kind or as it says in the New Living Translation of Genesis 1:11:

“. . . these seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.”

As a further example consider Job 4:8 which says:

“Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.”

Everything reproduces after its own kind. . .including evil.

It has always been this way, and it will never change.

The seed you plant always determines the kind of harvest you receive.

4.      You must sow before you will ever receive.

Giving always precedes receiving!

First things come first. If you want to receive from God, you must first begin to give.

The Bible clearly teaches this principle over and over again, throughout the entire book. Luke 6:38 says to give first, then it will be given to you. Malachi 3;10 says to tithe and give offerings first, then God will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing on you.

Even unsaved farmers know this primary principle: You must sow before you can reap.

You will never hear a farmer say, “I’m not going to do any planting just yet. God must first give me a harvest of wheat, then I’ll plant my seed in the field.”

Every farmer knows that such a thing simply will not happen. He knows that he must first plant seeds, no matter how few he has, and then he will get back a harvest on the seed he sowed.

Does the Lord give you salvation first, and then ask you give your heart to Him? Of course, not. First you give your heart to Him, and then He gives you eternal life.

God’s principle of first planting, then reaping, is firmly entrenched in every aspect of life.  He began in Genesis and carries it to Revelation, from farming to the propagation of every species.

Giving always goes before receiving.  Here is an absolute. . .

Giving always precedes receiving!

You have to plant seed before you can ever expect to see a harvest … of anything other than what the wind blows in and that’s generally weeds.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 in the Amplified Bible says:

“He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.”

The Living Bible Translation of this verse says:

 “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.”

If you don’t tithe and give offerings. . .the windows of heaven will never open over you.

If you don’t sow. . .you will never reap.

If you sow excuses, regardless of how valid they may seem. . .you will never reap a harvest of financial blessings.

If you say you have nothing to sow. . .you never will.

If you say you’re on a fixed income. . .you are.

If you say. . .you’ve sown and sown but have never received a harvest. . . you won’t.

The Bible is a book of principles which are absolutes.  The promises and principles of God are not conditional. . .based on your circumstances and situations. They are conditional based on your faithfulness to believe what God says when He tells you … “if you do this … you will get that.”

Much is based on principle and promise of seedtime and harvest found in Genesis 8:22

If you sow. . .you will reap.

Conversely, if you don’t sow. . .you won’t reap.

And what you sow. . .that is what you reap.

5.      Receiving is not an obligation. . .it’s a reward.

At various times in your life. . .you may have been rewarded. . .by a parent for good behavior. . .by a teacher for making good grades. . .a coach for a great game. . .by an employer for doing a job well.  But you can’t even begin to imagine . . . the kind of rewards coming for your obedience to His direction. God owes NO ONE… you will receive your reward.

Hebrews 11:6 says:

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for rewarder is misthapodotēs (G3406) and it means:

“one who pays wages, a rewarder”

He is one who pays wages to them that diligently seek him.

Are you getting this?

Jeremiah 17:10 in the New Living Translation says:

“But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

What are your due rewards for diligently seeking him?  You’re going to get paid for it.  Your devotion to God here on planet earth is never wasted.

6.      Learn to receive your harvest.

Unfortunately, the reason some believers never receive harvest is because of what they stop doing while they’re waiting.  The absolute worst thing you could do is to stop sowing and just wait around for the harvest.

Why?  Because stopping breaks His blessing flow.  Tithing keeps the windows of heaven open … while sowing seed offerings gives God the measurement by which He can measure abundance back to you

Let me make it clearer:

You either tithe or you don’t.  Tithing is not a sometimes thing.

Tithing is not something you do when you feel like it or when you’re not under financial pressure.

If you stop tithing you have effectively closed the windows of heaven over your life.  You block the blessing flow.  Tithing is the principle God gives us to guarantee we have a continual flow of blessings but we must choose to keep the windows open to receive.   Malachi chapter 3 explains the benefits of an open heaven in more detail.

A failure to tithe will create an inability to thrive financially.

I have found over the years that when a person is consistent in their offerings there is an accompanying expectation of a continual harvest.

The scripture is also clear about how offerings are determined

Luke 6:38 in the New International Version says:

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

The amount you receive is determined by what you give.   The last part of Luke 6:38 in New Living Translation says:

“The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

One of the enemy’s greatest weapons is to create doubt in your mind about the inevitability of your harvestHe wants you to think that’s it’s never going to happen.   Our inconsistency in giving just feeds the doubts the enemy is creating

As my fine wife Bev says. . .seed left in the barn will never produce a harvest in the field.

Here’s what you do. . . sow for a continual harvest.  That way you never have to experience a dry spell.

Proverbs 23:17-19 in the New Living Translation says:

“Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the Lord.  You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed.  My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course.”

The scripture doesn’t say “you might be,” or “you could be” or “you should be.”  it says you WILL BE REWARDED. 

But you have a part to play: BE EXPECTANT!  BE FOCUSED ON YOUR HARVEST.

One final thought on this teaching and it’s found in Romans 8:25 in the New Living Translation:

“But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.”

It’s not if your harvest is coming. . .it’s only a question of when.

7.      Receiving is a flow.

Have you ever wondered if there was one verse that would explain what you need to do. . .in order to receive the blessing flow of God?

Would you like to know the seven keys to receiving God’s blessing flow?

The answers to these questions and so much more is found in 1 Peter 3:8 in the New Living Translation which says:

“Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that's your job, to bless. You'll be a blessing and also get a blessing.

1 Peter 3:9-12 MSG

9 “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.

10 For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.

11 Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers.”

Let’s look at the beginning of verse 8 again.

“Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble.

Immediately the Word reveals five things that you and I are to “be” if we want to experience His blessings.

After the scripture tells us what to be. . .it reveals the seven keys to experiencing His blessing flow.

First, say nothing evil or hurtful.

Ephesians 4:29 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.”

Second, snub evil.

Psalm 4:4 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Be angry [or stand in awe] and sin not; commune with your own hearts upon your beds and be silent (sorry for the things you say in your hearts). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”

Third, cultivate good.

In Psalm 34:14 in the New International Version we’re not only told to turn from evil we’re instructed to do good.

“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

Fourth, pursue peace for all you’re worth.

You may never have run track and field in your entire life. . .you might not be able to run across the room without getting out of breath. . .but there are some things we definitely need to run to or run from.

2 Timothy 2:22 in the New Living Translation says:

“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

Fifth, know that God will approve.

You must serve God with the right kind of attitude in order to be approved by Him.

Romans 14:18 in the New Living Translation says:

“If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.”

Sixth, listen to what He Asks.

The scripture is filled with great reasons why you should always listen to and do what God asks. . .one of these is found in Deuteronomy 28:12-13 in the Message Bible:

“God will throw open the doors of his sky vaults and pour rain on your land on schedule and bless the work you take in hand. You will lend to many nations but you yourself won't have to take out a loan. God will make you the head, not the tail; you'll always be the top dog, never the bottom dog, as you obediently listen to and diligently keep the commands of God, your God, that I am commanding you today.”

Seventh, get the job done and do it well.

Galatians 6:4 in the New Living Translation says:

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”

One more time let’s look at part of 1 Peter 3:8 in the New Living Translation:

“Summing up: . . .bless—that's your job, to bless. You'll be a blessing and also get a blessing. . .”

When you make a concentrated effort on being what He wants you to be and doing what He instructs you to do. . .then you have positioned yourself to receive His blessings.