Living in Surplus - The Storehouse Principle

Living in Surplus

- The Storehouse Principle

Over the Christmas holidays I re-read the book: “The Storehouse Principle”, by Al Jandl and Van Crouch upon the recommendation of one of our members.  It seriously challenged me.Al Jandl, a chronically permanently poor pastor of a tiny church in Texas, was reading the Bible in somewhat desperation when he found the following verse:

“The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”  Deuteronomy 28 verse 8  NKJV.

“How can God bless my storehouse if I don’t have one?” he asked himself.

And so, despite their increasing debt, he and his wife decided to begin a personal storehouse.  As he continued, Al found more and more Bible verses which supported their actions to start the storehouse.  Meanwhile his church was also struggling to pay its outgoings and the church board agreed to begin a storehouse for the church also.  They decided to use the meagre funds they made from buying and selling books from a table near the church entrance way to start their ‘storehouse’. It took them about two months to save the first hundred dollars - which they kept under the vegetable bin in their fridge!  When it reached $1,000 they deposited it (black with mildew!) into an interest-bearing ‘storehouse’ savings account to help it grow.

The story then tells how a stranger approached Al and advised him that a TV station licence was about to be allocated to the area, and offered to prepare the licensing application on behalf of the church at no cost.  Al felt to give it a go.  Later the church agreed to withdraw its application in return for $50,000 in cash from the other applicant plus a 4-year contract for a two-hour TV time to preach the gospel without charge!  Six months later they were paid $230,000 to cancel the contract so the station could be sold.  But God still had more plans - the next day the new buyers asked them to continue the Sunday morning gospel broadcast!

God’s blessings have continued to flow.  Today Living Stones Church has a 2,500 seat auditorium and 280 acres surrounding the church, and has developed a significant outreach in their city.  It has a Christian school, day-care facility and a youth camp with dormitories for up to 430 guests, and many other sports amenities, all dedicated to help youngsters learn about Christ and to reach people in their city.  And remarkably, the church has never borrowed!

 Deuteronomy 28 goes on to promise (in verse 12) ‘The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of His bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none’.

So God will use His storehouse to bless our storehouses!  So we can be a lenders and providers, and never need to borrow!

Upon re-reading the book last Christmas I was struck by the thought:

“What will people do once they have repaid their Liberty Trust mortgages?  Will they simply increase their own spending? Will they borrow again and get into further debt?  Will they store up wealth for themselves?  Or will they have the inclination and self-discipline to create a personal storehouse for Kingdom use?” 

The Storehouse is certainly one of the Bible’s key financial principles.  God uses storehouses and recommends storehouses dozens of times in the Scriptures.  He also warns against misuse of storehouses.  They are to be used to help others, not just ourselves.  Then He will bless them for His glory. 

In Genesis 41 & 42 Joseph saved the people by storing up grain during the years of plenty.  Proverbs 13:33 tells us ‘A good person stores up an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous’.  In Malachi 3:10 God says ‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house’. 

The Liberty Trust logo is based on the ark - a great example of a secure God-ordained storehouse to protect and provide for His people (Genesis 6:19-21).  Liberty Trust is a community storehouse established to equip and finance God’s people into their own homes and churches in order to free each to be able to fulfil God’s call on their lives.  God wants us to not only have community storehouses but to have personal storehouses as well.  As Proverbs 6:6-8 says ‘Consider the ant, consider it’s ways and be wise …

see how it stores its provisions in Summer”.  Proverbs 21:20 tell us ‘In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has’.

Like Abigail the wife of Nabal bringing provision to David and his men (1 Sam 25), like the Good Samaritan using his resources to generously assist the stranger (Luke 10), or the five wise virgins with extra oil (Matt 25), we need a stored surplus to enable us to generously respond to the needs around us. 

How can God responsibly bless anyone who consumes all they are given, week after week, month after month and year after year?  “For if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”  (Luke 16:11).  As well as giving our tithes and offerings it is good to put resources aside in a ‘storehouse’ for God to bless and use. 

Starting a personal storehouse brings assurance that even though one’s finances may be a struggle, even though one may be deeply in debt and seemingly without hope, all is not lost.  Everyone can create a positive in the midst of their hopelessness, as Al and his wife did.  And further, I’m certain God will enable it to happen, if only they will get started.

It is God’s desire that we are able to lend without borrowing and give without seeking anything in return.  God wants His people to have storehouses which are available for His use, in order that He may bless them. 

Undoubtedly ‘the storehouse principle’ is both communal and personal.  It is even greater than we comprehended.  It is God’s plan for His people.  Do you have a storehouse?

Trust Him and He will fulfil His promise in Deut. 28 v 8:

“The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand,

and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Best wishes from Kelvin