Adopt this principle and watch your deficits disappear!
by Jesse Duplantis
Just reading that word probably makes you cringe. Deficits aren’t fun. They mean lack and struggle, which usually lead to fear and worry. No one likes deficits, yet it seems like everyone has them.
But, everyone doesn’t have to.
In my 28 years of full-time ministry, I’ve never had a deficit. That’s almost unheard of today, but it’s the truth.
People have asked me for years, “Brother Jesse, how do you live deficit free?” To be honest, I wasn’t really sure. I figured I was deficit free because I lived by faith, but the Lord revealed to me there was more to it than that.
I was praying one afternoon and the Lord asked me, Jesse, do you know why you’ve never had a deficit?
I thought about it for a moment, and then I said, “Well, Lord, I live by faith and not by sight and I’ve obeyed You to the best of my ability. I guess it’s because of my faith.”
No. That’s not it.
Then the Lord said something to me that I’ll never forget. He said: It’s because you’ve adopted the David Principle.
“The David Principle? Lord, what is the David Principle?”
Then He showed me what I’m about to show you. And if you’ll also adopt the David Principle, your deficits will start to disappear.
The David Principle
The David Principle is simply this: Never offer God something that didn’t cost you something. We see an example of this principle in action in 2 Samuel 24 when Gad told David to build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
David did as the Lord had commanded through Gad and went to see Araunah. When King David arrived on the scene, Araunah bowed down and asked, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David told him he wanted to buy his threshing floor to build an altar to the Lord so that the plague on the people would end. But Araunah didn’t want to sell those things to David. He wanted to give King David the oxen, the threshing sledges and oxen yokes, but David wouldn’t take them for free. He said, “No, I insist on paying you. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
So, David paid 50 shekels of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen. Then he built an altar to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings, and the Lord answered his prayer—stopping the plague on Israel (2 Samuel 24:18-25).
That’s the David Principle the Lord was talking about. Whatever you do for the Lord, let it cost you something.
That’s why I pay my own expenses when I travel to various places to preach. That’s why I always add more money to the offerings we take up when guest ministers speak at our church. I want it to cost me something. And because I’ve adopted that principle in my life, I’ve never had to worry about expenses.
Just Say No to Cheapness
To walk in the David Principle, you may have to change some adverse attitudes that have taken root in your spirit.
For example, you should never ask how little you can do. Instead, ask, “How much can I do?”
Why? Because if a man’s feelings are of God, he will rebuke all thoughts of cheapness.
When was the last time you left a really good tip? I’m not talking about leaving one or two dollars on the table for that person who waited on you throughout your entire meal. I’m talking about leaving a 20 percent tip. As a born-again, spirit-filled believer, you ought to give a better tip than anyone else who walks into that restaurant because the glory of God is on you.
When you go out to dinner with friends, you ought to be fighting over who gets the opportunity to pay the bill—just because you want to be a blessing.
Not long ago, my wife, Cathy, and I took a minister and his wife out to eat at a really nice restaurant, and the pastor’s wife sheepishly asked me, “Can I order the lobster?” I said, “Sure, you can have the lobster.”
“Are you sure, Brother Jesse?” she asked nervously. “It’s so expensive.”
I said, “Absolutely. Order anything you want.”
I didn’t say, “Well, I don’t know, Sister. We’d better see if they are having any kind of lobster specials today.”
You see, I’d already paid for that lobster a long time ago when I blessed the Lord.
Don’t be cheap because you don’t want to reap cheap.
You Can’t Outgive God
Now, don’t misunderstand me. You shouldn’t bless people or give unto the Lord with the wrong motives. Your attitude should be, “I just want to be a blessing. I’m not giving to get.” The Word says God knows your heart, which means He knows your motivation for giving. You can’t fool God.
I don’t negotiate with God and say, “Now, Lord, I am going to give this man my favorite watch, but I expect You to give me the top-of-the-line Rolex in return.” Instead, I give to delight God and do you know what happens? He gives me the desires of my heart. When you delight in God, desire comes. You can never outgive God. He is the ultimate giver. God could have sent the angel Gabriel or Michael the archangel to die on the Cross for you and me, and I’m sure Gabriel or Michael would have happily volunteered. But God sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for us. You might say it this way: God gave something that cost Him something. He gave His very best.
We should do the same.
To give God the best is necessary for every believer. You should want to honor God with your best. That’s why our church and ministry headquarters in Louisiana look so good inside and outside, because as long as I have anything to say about it, God’s house will be a place of excellence. We don’t keep our buildings and grounds looking beautiful to show off, we do it to honor God and give Him our best.
Give It Up for God
What is your best?
The value of a gift greatly depends on the self denial for which it finds
expression. In other words, when you go without something you really love, to give something to God, it pleases Him.
When Cathy and I first started giving money to God, the devil would always make me feel bad about the small amount we gave. We didn’t have much money in those days, so we gave what would have been our McDonald’s money. It might have only been $8, but I loved those Big Macs. I had to go without Big Macs and french fries for a whole week. Now that’s self-denial, and it pleases God.
Keep an open mind when honoring God with your gifts. The gift you give might not come in the form of money; it might be something else that’s precious to you—like time.
Not long ago, my pilot and I went to a health club while we were on one of our travels. I was in town to minister all week and needed to find time to squeeze in some workouts. Just as I got on a treadmill and was beginning my workout, two women approached me. One said, “Hello, are you who we think you are?”
I smiled and said, “Yes, I am Tom Selleck.”
We all laughed, and then they hopped on the treadmills right next to me. Even though I really wanted to work out, I sensed that these women needed to talk. So, I ended up ministering to them as I walked.
That cost me something. It cost me precious time, but I was happy to give that time to them because it honored the Lord.
Your Gift Matters to God
Beware of thinking what you do for the Lord is insignificant.
I’ve met many wonderful people over the course of my ministry, but few have affected me as profoundly as this precious sister from Poland. She lived in a house that had cracks in the walls so big you could see outside. She was in her 80s and had been a faithful partner to my ministry for many years.
One day, she placed a $20 bill in my hand and whispered in her Polish accent, “I want to be a blessing to the Lord and to your ministry…it’s not much.”
But, it was much—it was all she had.
I didn’t want to take that $20 because I knew how much she needed it, but God said, Don’t rob her of her blessing.
I smiled at her with tears in my eyes and said, “It’s the greatest gift I’ve ever received in my ministry.”
Her gift made a difference in my life, and it greatly honored God.
What made her do it?
She had a devotedness of spirit and life, and that’s what you must have to walk in the David Principle and live a life free from deficits.
When you are devoted to God, He will honor you.
The Lord said to me recently, Jesse, you’re always thinking of what you can give Me.
That blessed me, because that’s how I want to live my life. I want to be a giver, and I want to give God gifts that cost me something. If you’ll do the same, God will honor your young days, your middle-aged days and your old days. Take hold of this today and watch your deficits begin to dwindle.
Jesse Duplantis is the president and founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries, with international headquarters in Louisiana and additional offices in the UK and Australia. He is a best-selling author and hosts a weekly television program. For ministry materials and information, write to Jesse Duplantis Ministries, P.O. Box 20149, New Orleans, LA 70141-0149, call 985-764-2000 or visit www.jdm.org.
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