Owning Things (Zacharias T. Fomum)

l say from hard-earned experience that ministers of the New Covenant should not own anything. They should possess nothing.

l say from hard-earned experience that ministers of the New Covenant should not own anything. They should possess nothing. They should make no material investments on earth for the future. They should not stock money in banks that will soon fail. They should live sacrificially and put everything that they earn in excess of current needs into the work of the Kingdom. In that way, they will have huge deposits in heaven. They must resolutely refuse to buy lands, build houses here and there, labour to amass wealth here as the sons of darkness do. The only guarantee that they should have should be the Lord. He must be trusted to meet current and future needs. If He cannot be trusted to meet financial needs, how can He be trusted to give eternal life?

All servants of the Lord must so walk as the Lord walked with no deposit to guarantee His financial future on earth. No disciple has a future on earth. All must give away what they cannot really keep (money, riches, things, etc.) in order to gain what they cannot lose - the Lord, eternal blessings, mansions in heaven.

Unless we are prepared to walk this way of confident trust on the Lord, we shall find it impossible to maintain a blameless ministry. C.T. Studd gave away all of his enormous fortunes in order to follow the Lord. Francis of Assisi gave away everything to follow the Lord. The apostles gave away everything to follow the Lord. John Wesley left no treasure, or money or property behind. Dr. John Sung and Watchman Nee left no property or money behind. They lived for Him. They owned nothing. They made many rich. Were they mad? If they were, may we be as mad as they. “Lord God, make me as mad as Jesus, Paul, C.T. Studd, John Sung, Watchman Nee, and all the rest who have abandoned everything to follow You. Lord, help me as Your slave to commend myself before You, before Your angels, before the saints, before sinners and before principalities in such a way that not only is the ministry not blamed but that it be commended. Lord, help me to separate myself from all unrighteousness and to remove from my heart anything that does not contribute 100% to Your glory. Lord, l will not allow things in Your temple that contribute only partially to the Kingdom. l will put all such things away. l will replace them with things that contribute 100% to Your glory and, thereby, labour in perfect holiness. Yes, Lord, l will use all those thoughts that glorify You 100% and leave all the others. l will use all those words that glorify You 100% and leave all the rest. l will do all those things that glorify You 100% and leave the rest. In this way l will fulfill my ministry and satisfy Your heart.” Amen.

The night after l wrote the above, the Lord spoke to me during prayer. He said to me, “Zach Fomum, do you mean business or are you just being a hypocrite?” l trembled. My thoughts ran throughout all of my life to see if l was practising hypocrisy somewhere. l saw nothing. l said to Him, “Lord, l mean business.” Then He said to me, “If you mean business, be My disciple.” Then l told Him, “Lord, l am.” He said, “You are like the rich young ruler. You are almost a disciple but you are not. You have not forsaken all that you have. l demand that all disciples forsake all that they have. Do that.”

l then turned to the Word of God and read, 

“So, therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).

So I faced my possessions:-

  1. There is the nearly completed house in Bamenda1. There was no problem there. l had recently given it away to the Lord completely.

  2. There is the plot at Etoug-Ebe2 that Dr. Emmanuel Gwan gave me. l asked the Lord about it. He said, “l want that to be Mine 100%. Give it to Me. Get the title deed for it and hand it to Me. It is My property.

  3. There is a savings account with about 100.000 C.F.A. francs in it. That, too, is to be given to the Lord. All of it. All saving accounts are to be closed.

  4. There is my salary that comes in every month. The Lord said, “That, too, is Mine. You are to sacrificially live on it but you are to use it as the property of another person - My property. Anything beyond current needs is to be put directly into the work of the gospel. Do not save for the future. l am your Future. Do not save for the children. l will take care of them. Do not save for the unseen. l am your Unseen. Do not save for accidents. I am your Lord. l am your old age and your retirement. Everything that l send to you, either from your own labours or from the labours of others, must be quickly converted into the currency of heaven. There is a time factor. You are to convert all that l send in into the currency of heaven by putting it into the gospel business at once. Do not stock it in bankrupt banks. All these things bring you to a crisis, a major crisis. Do you believe Me? Am l enough? Can you come along and trust Me for all your needs for all the future until l come? If you do, you will be My disciple. You will be faithful. You will make many disciples. You will bring many into the faith. You will have nothing, yet you will have everything.

l said, “Lord, l obey. l will own nothing. l forsake all.

The message was written in 1983. The Lord has since led my wife and me along different lines with regards to our finances. He has led us to give a certain percentage of our income to Him. We have moved from giving Him 20% of our income first to 30%, and then to 40%, 50%, 75%, 80% and today, the 21st of November 1992, we are giving Him 82% of our income from all resources. So, we have been labouring to give Him an ever-increasing sum of money and an ever-increasing percentage of our income. This has forced us to grow in faith and to live on the minimum. At times, we have been able to save. We pray and labour towards the goal of one day investing 90% of our income month by month into the work of the Gospel. Glory be to His holy name! Amen.

The Lord said,

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:32-34).

l, too, am the Lord’s sheep. l have obeyed. l will never have treasure here on earth but l know that l will have treasures in heaven and l am content with that.

The Lord Jesus said, 

“So, therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).

He did not say: “Whoever is not willing to renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” He did not ask the young ruler to be willing to sell all he had. He would have been willing. The same thing applies in all the other domains.

Does the Lord ask us to forsake sin or to be willing to forsake sin? He asks for action and not willingness.

Does the Lord ask us to be willing to win souls or does He ask us to win souls? He wants actions. He wants souls won, not in thought, but in action. Does the Lord ask us to be willing to love Him or to love Him? He wants the action. He wants lovers and He wants lovers today.

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