My auntie has a saying ‘live simply so that other’s can simply live.’ I have watched her and her husband over many years live this out by sowing generously into many causes of God’s heart whilst choosing to be content with what she had, rather than give into the Western lure for buying more ‘stuff’. When I visit her, we sit on the same simple wooden table and chairs that they have had for the whole time I have known them.
We are bombarded with the messages that more stuff will give us a higher quality of life. And perhaps that is true to a point in the natural realm as some things will help us be more efficient for our busy lives. But what about the quality and value of our spiritual lives and what does God think?
There is a beauty from lives such as my auntie’s that fancy home décor can never bring. With our choices we get to glorify God and build His Kingdom of life, light and hope on the earth. With our money, time and resources we are called to be faithful stewards and release God’s heart on the earth, practically and spiritually.
Lately I have felt stirred to pray over our tithe money and donate most of it to the poor. Two main organisations, Iris Ministries (irisglobal.org) and Light a Candle Global (lightacandle.global) have been highlighted to me and my husband and we have rejoiced at how many amazing projects are available to sow into.
For example with Iris Ministries, if Africa is on your heart, you can sow into; digging a well to provide clean water, growing much needed food on farms, mercy ministries to those disabled, widowed or single mothers, crisis support, health centres, raising up pastors and supporting missionaries. If Indigenous Australians are on your heart, you can sow into the Iris Alice Springs team where people are serving, praying for, loving and living amongst the Indigenous there.
Light a candle global have stirred my heart also for their work in India and the Middle East. They have a mission to bring the light of Jesus and sustainable help to those in the hardest and darkest places especially where other organisations are not operating.
In short, there are so many amazing organisations out there, and I encourage you to pray into where God desires you to partner with. Many organisations are in need of volunteers or resources too. A great prayer is to ask God ‘how do you want me to be using my time each week?’ I have done this personally and been given a very specific timetable to follow, to steward my time well and obey the fullness of God’s call on my life.
One day in prayer, after asking God to grow His heart of Justice in me, I heard him speak;
‘I do not like it when my children flaunt their wealth, for are not my other children starving?’
This Rhema word pierced my heart. Since then, I have weighed up more carefully every decision I make. And I know that God will keep me accountable to how I spend my money that he provides. I would like to think that one day by His grace, my husband and I will help to fund big projects and ministries of God’s heart worldwide that build His kingdom and spread his practical and spiritual love.
It’s a journey
I am still learning all of this – I am probably at the beginning of my journey towards fully cultivating God’s heart of Justice and learning how to flow in this each day. I have several friends who have lived in Africa long term and served there, who continue to challenge me by their simple living and maturity to ‘stop for the one’ with daily love, even here in Australia. They make choices to live more simply, keep God’s perspective of thankfulness, sow regularly into the poor and also shop ethically and environmentally whenever possible. They have greatly influenced how I live and the choices I am now making.
Love looks like something
God cares also about those who are poor in spirit too, and as I continue to work as a nanny in families who have money but do not yet know God and his radical love, I can say that money certainly is not everything. The richness of knowing God is the best gift of all.
To maintain a balanced view is important, we are called to love and serve God and live in line with His heart of love, mercy and justice. ‘Love looks like something’ as Heidi Baker of Iris always says. And God’s love is for ALL people, rich and poor. Sometimes, love looks like going the extra mile at work. Sometimes, love looks like serving your family well. Sometimes it looks like comforting or discipling those God puts right in front of you.
But God, my prayer today and onwards is also this- please help us to not forget the poor and help us to flow in your heart for Mercy and Justice. Please help us to be thankful and content with what we have, to make decisions carefully, and share willingly to those in need.
Micah 6:8 ‘Love mercy and do justice and walk humbly with your God’
‘Godliness with contentment is great gain’- Timothy 6:6
Liana Monaghan with husband Justin Monaghan are senior Writers for Press Service International. Married for 11 years and a highly creative couple, together they live in community with other passionate Jesus lovers in South Australia. Liana is a songwriter, psalmist, singer and dancer when in God’s presence. She leads a women’s ministry and works as a nanny. Justin creates powerful prophetic artworks and is studying a digital 3D art degree.