I have too much, and to whom much is given much is required. But where do I start? What do I release? As I walked around my house one day, under the intense conviction of the Holy Spirit, I could hear Him saying over and over that this world was not my home and that there was too much "stuff" in my life.
I didn't know where to start. But in my scripture readings for that week I came across a great passage in Deuteronomy 24 beginning at verse 19:
"When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this."
Don't try to squeeze the last drop out of everything that you have - give the excess to the poor and the hurting. It is already assumed that the Israelites give their firstfruits, and my wife and I have covenanted to do that. But then what? God tells them not to be intent on draining the last drop out of the remainder of what they have harvested.
It's the mentality that has to change. If we tithe (as we should), then what . . . . we're okay? As I stated, it's already assumed that the Israelites are giving their firstfruits, but God also requires that they don't have mindset of grinding out every last sheaf, olive or grape.
I've been challenged in 2011 to start stripping away the excess - not just literally, but to have my mindset changed so that I don't feel the need to squeeze every last cent or every last second for my own gain. To use these "excesses" for the alien, the widow and the orphan.
So if you're challenged on what you should do with the blessings in your life, a good first step is to simply bringing the excesses into the lives of the poor. I think if you do that, you'll also begin the process of emptying the entire storehouse.