I remember that when I first left my secular job in order to enter ministry fulltime, I put a certain amount of money into the bank from my retirement plan. I figured that if the whole ministry thing did not work out, at least I had a slush fund to fall back on. One day, a friend who was also in ministry came into my office and said, “Pastor, I don’t know what I’m going to do. The engine in my car just blew up, and I don’t have any money. I don’t even know how I’m going to get to church.”

I knew that his need was legitimate, and I also knew that I had enough money in the bank to buy him a car. Yet, suddenly I got very, very spiritual and said, “Well, let’s pray. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, so He is well able to provide. David said, ‘I have been young and now I’m old, and I have never seen the righteous forsaken or His seed begging bread’” (see Psalm 37:25).

As he sat there across the desk, I bowed my head and we began to pray—yet, it was as if my mouth was full of peanut butter. I could hardly pray, for all the while this little voice behind me was saying, “You hypocrite! If a man sees his brother in need and he shuts his bowels of compassion, how can he say the love of God dwells in him?” (see 1 John 3:17). I kept trying to push it out of my mind as I was praying until finally I ran out of gas and said, “I have money in the bank if you need it.”

I ended up buying him a new car. Shortly after that the engine in my car blew up and at that point I said, “Well, Lord, I have obeyed You. That’s all I can say.”

Sometime later, we were renovating a church that we had purchased in the country. I was up on a scaffold, helping to paint the ceiling, when suddenly somebody came in and said, “You have an emergency call!” When I got on the phone, the man on the line introduced himself as a salesman at a local car dealership. Then he said, “A gentleman came in this morning and bought you a brand-new car. All you have to do is come in and sign for it!” I asked him the identity of the gentleman, but he told me that he had chosen to remain anonymous.

Now please understand that that I am not telling you that if you buy a car for a friend, you are going to get a new one in return. My point is simply that as we do things God’s way, refusing to hold back when we see a genuine need before us, God will be our supply and meet our needs.

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world.