Today’s message is aimed at revealing the tactics of Satan.  People often tell me, “I only want to hear about Jesus, I’m not interested in what the devil is doing.”  Well, my friend, you’d better want to know what the devil is up to, else he will blindside you and defeat you.  There’s wisdom in knowing your enemy, because if you don’t know how he operates, you won’t know how to intercept him and block his attacks. 
   One powerful way he works is to get YOU to cut off your blessings.  He saves himself lots of work that way by handing you the gun and letting you shoot yourself in the foot with it.  Now, the devil hates God, but since he can’t touch God, he targets those God loves.  And in order to know who God loves, you only have to look in the mirror.  Yep, that’s one of them.  Take a good look and remember that face, for you need to the devil is out to kill, steal, and destroy that person.  So, now that you know his purpose, what can you do to stop him?  Glad you asked!
   We can take a lesson from the farmer.  We’ll say the farmer has a large family to feed, and he has a sack of seed out in the barn.  Now the farmer has a choice: either eat the bag of seed and feed his family until the seed is gone, or he can plant that seed for a harvest that will feed them for a long time.  To many, that’s a no-brainer, you plant the seed.  But the devil has a way of getting you look at it like it’s too much trouble to prepare the ground and plant the seed and have to wait for the harvest, when you already have the seed in hand and you can eat it now.  And by getting you to eat your seed, the devil knows the seed won’t last long, and then you have nothing left, thereby starving you out.  The same applies in the spiritual realm.
   Now here’s a verse you may think has nothing to do with this subject, but it will make sense in a minute, so bear with me.  Jesus said in Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Please notice that He said “freely ye have received, freely give”.  God is not a bit stingy with His resources, but rather He lavishly gives.  How about you?  Are you a giver?  And if you are, are you a lavish giver, or are you a bit on the stingy side, you know, giving just enough to be able to say you’re a “giver”?  I can’t answer that, only you can.  But Jesus tells us to freely give, and no, I’m not trying to get money out of you, so put the bristles down.
   The Lord Jesus operates out of an endless supply, so He’s not worried about running out.  How about you?  Oh, you say, That isn’t the way it is at my house? That our paycheck only goes thus and thus far?  May I offer you a suggestion?  Hook up with an endless supply, and you’ll never want for anything again.  Easier said than done?  It depends upon your point of view: if you think that by giving, you lose, then you won’t do it.  But if you see the truth that by giving, you WIN, then you WILL give.  The devil will try to convince you that if you give, you will run out.  But he isn’t telling you the rest of the story: when you give, it sets the system in motion that God himself set up: Freely ye have received, freely give.  The devil is earnestly hoping you won’t notice that part.

   When the Lord Jesus fed the five thousand, He had to have something in His hands to multiply.  He had five loaves and two fishes it said.  He blessed them and gave them to the disciples to distribute.  Notice, He “gave” them.  He could have held onto them and ate them himself, and I’m sure He was hungry, but He didn’t.  Instead, He put the law of God in motion and He gave them.  Simply put, whatsoever we give, we give God something to multiply.  If we don’t give, there’s nothing to multiply.  And as a farmer receives a harvest from that which he sows, we do, too.
The Lord Jesus said in Luke 6:38, Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Jesus didn’t say only money would be multiplied back to you running over, He merely said “give”.  Give what?  Well, what do you need?  Love?  Then give love. Time?  Give time. Help?  Give help.  Money? Give money.  As in any farming situation, what you sow, will grow in like kind.  You can’t sow turnips and grow corn, nor can wheat bring forth tractors. 
    I happen to like watches and fountain pens.  I’ve given many nice watches and pens away, and I’m not talking about cheap watches and throwaway pens, either.  Nice stuff!  Know what?  I’ve received many more, and nicer, than I have given, because God blessed my giving heart and gave back to me good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over.  Whenever I’ve needed anything, I have given to the best of my ability in like kind to what I need, and without fail, I’ve been blessed for it.  Over the years I’ve learned giving is like planting grass seed in my yard.  If I want a lot of nice lush grass to come up, I can’t use half a cup of grass seed to cover an acre, I have to sow several pounds.
   Your giving has to be driven by God’s heart: FREELY He gives to us.  Now, if we want to think of ourselves as God’s beloved children, and we are, then we as children should grow up thinking and acting like our heavenly Father.  He isn’t “El Cheapo”, He is “El-Shaddai”.  Is it God’s will to raise up little Scrooges?  Or does He want to duplicate His nature in us?  You tell me? 
   I didn’t set the system up, God did, so if you want to argue if or why it works, then go talk to Him about it.  I did, and He said it still works, so I work the system.  My needs are always met, no matter how pressing the need.  I don’t try to tell Him how to meet my needs, or when.  He knows how to do His end of the job, and when I need it, so my job is to just “give”, and let Him do the multiplication and addition.  Otherwise, by default, I will be subject to the devil’s system, and he only knows how to subtract and divide.  We all know how well the devil’s system works, for we have all suffered loss at his hand.  Remember, if you don’t CHOOSE to use God’s system, you WILL LOSE and be subject to the devil’s system.
 I like God’s system much better, and I’m sure you will too.  And if you don’t like God’s system better, you can always stop giving and go back to being broke and miserable.  But if you’re wise, you’ll take my advice and not let the devil starve you out.