Resourcefulness is increasing assets by seeing value in what others overlook or discard.
A resource is something that is available for anticipated needs. The Biblical concept of resourcefulness is “to gather.” “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase” (Proverbs 13:11). In this verse, the Hebrew word for gathereth is qabats; it literally means “to grasp.” Another Hebrew word for gathereth is ‘agar, meaning “to harvest.” “He that gathereth [‘agar] in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame” (Proverbs 10:5).
God uses physical needs to motivate us to maintain a daily dependence upon Him. Therefore, He instructs us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Many people ask God for things and are given them, but they neglect to take the next two steps of seeking and finding. Thus, they conclude that God did not hear or answer their prayer. (See Matthew 7:7-8.)
The goal of increasing our resources must not be to heap up treasures for ourselves but to increase the ability to give to others. “… That ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (II Corinthians 9:8).
How Resourcefulness Preserved Life
During the Flood
After God determined to judge the world with a flood, He instructed Noah to build an ark in order to preserve his family and all the creatures that could not swim. In addition to preparing the space needed to house the animals, Noah and his family had to demonstrate resourcefulness by gathering the food that was needed to survive.
“Of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. … And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them” (Genesis 6:19, 21).
During a famine
A second excellent example of resourcefulness was the preparation made for a famine during the days of Joseph.
Through a dream, God warned Pharaoh that there would be seven years of abundant harvest followed by seven years of famine. Joseph resourcefully designed a plan to prepare for the famine.
“Let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine” (Genesis 41:35–36).
Believers are instructed to establish personal habits of resourcefulness in order to distribute to the necessity of saints. (See Romans 12:13.) “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (I Corinthians 16:1–2).
The Power Behind Resourcefulness
As resources are increased through wise and creative gathering, it is easy to convince ourselves that we are the ones responsible for the added wealth. Therefore, we must continually remind ourselves that it is God “that giveth thee power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18).
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
- Do you keep accurate records of the resources God has given you?
- Would God be pleased with the way you are using the resources He has given to you?
- Do you watch for valuable resources that others are discarding?
- As you increase your riches, is your motive to have more to give away or to heap up possessions for your own pleasure?
- Have you asked God for things and expected Him to give them to you without taking the steps to seek and find them?