Favorably Disposed

“The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for” (Exodus 12:35-36).

Asking and giving is a divine-human collaboration. God’s plan to provide for the Children of Israel involved asking, but it wasn’t just asking. Israel was instructed to ask but God worked in the Egyptians’ hearts to make them favorably disposed to give. This divine-human partnership is at work today in our fundraising efforts. We must present the need and ask, but the Spirit must prepare the hearts of your donors and prompt them to respond. This passage teaches four fundraising principles.

Some Christians see fundraising as worldly manipulation instead of spiritual ministry. They believe you shouldn’t ask anyone for support because God will provide if you pray harder and have more faith. Others counsel you to share information about what your ministry is accomplishing but make no solicitation. Yes, you should pray more fervently and trust God to meet your needs, but God’s method for Moses and the children of Israel was to ask. Asking is ministry because it prompts both you and your donor to trust God.

After 400 years of slavery, Israel had nothing to show for it. God instructed Moses, “when you leave you will not go empty-handed” (Exod. 3:21). Moses had a complicated relationship with his major donor. He asked Pharoah ten times to let Israel go worship the Lord. Ten times the Lord convinced Pharoah to say yes. Ten times Pharoah hardened his heart and changed his mind. This time was different. God knows what you need, when you need it, and whom he has selected to meet your needs. Don’t take no for an answer. Learn the lesson of persistence and keep asking.

Every Israelite
Asking was everyone’s responsibility. “Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters” (Exod. 3:21-22). The women were motivated to provide clothing for their children. You should be motivated to provide for those you serve. Think of how successful your ministry would be if you developed a culture of philanthropy in your organization where everyone—your board, administrators, staff, and even donors—networked within their circles of influence and asked.

The Egyptians
It’s our job to ask. It’s God’s job to make your donors “favorably disposed.” He can soften the hardest hearts. The Egyptians were eager to give because God had prepared their hearts. The Children of Israel could have just taken what they wanted out of a sense of entitlement of being owed back salary for generations of work, but they weren’t rude or demanding. They simply asked. Do not equate the courage to ask boldly with rudeness or presumption. An amazing thing happened when Israel asked. “They gave them what they asked for.”

Think About This: God knows your need and he can move your donors to meet your need. Ask by faith with confidence and leave the results with him.

Response: Lord, give me boldness to ask in faith believing you will provide.

Ron Haas has served the Lord as a pastor, the vice president of advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, a board member and a fundraising consultant. He’s authored three books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising, Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving, and Keep on Asking – Bold, Spirit-Led Fundraising. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for  Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.

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