“A feast is made for laughter, And wine makes merry; But money answers everything.” Ecclesiastes 10:19
Money is the driving force behind so many components of our lives. When you wake up everyday, you go to work so that you can make money. And while there are some people who truly do love their jobs and work, the vast majority of people just go to work so that they can support themselves and their families.
Because of the significant role that money plays in all of our lives, it is tremendously important to start thinking about money the way that God thinks about money. When your perspective is wrong and you don’t approach both life and money from God’s vantage point, it will likely be difficult for God to elevate you and trust you with more.
I encourage you to read on over the next few sections as I walk you through the way I believe God uses money in our lives.
God Uses Money to Demonstrate His Power
Over the course of my life, I have seen God supernaturally open up doors and make provisions in ways that blew my mind. Near the beginning of my marriage, my wife and I were $34,000 in debt. I started learning about financial freedom and applying the principles in my life, and God enabled us to get the debt down to $15,000. The only debt we had left to pay off was our van, but we had paid off everything else. Then one day, in came a check in the mail for $17,000.
I had never seen that much money at one time in my life. Now of course when you get that kind of money the devil starts talking to you about all of the stuff you could do with it other than what you really should do with it. But I had told God that if He put the money in my hands my first goal would be to get out of debt, and I did. After my wife and I paid our tithes and paid off our debt, we even had some money left over.
For some of you, God won’t put it in your hands because he knows He can’t get it through your hands.
God uses money to show us that He is a great and incredible God that has the capacity to meet our every need. And I believe that God wants to show you His power in this way too.
2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” God looks for people who love Him, trust Him, obey Him, and put their confidence in Him to show them how awesome and mighty He is. If you do it His way and walk in His ways, He will reveal His power to you.
I am the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, and our church is unlike most. We have $23,000,000 in the bank, and my goal is to get the same favor that has fallen on my life and on our church to spill over onto you. I want you to be able to say that after you learned and applied the principles of God in your life, that His favor poured upon you.
God is no respect of persons, what He has done for me He will do the same thing for you. And He wants to! It is important to understand this: God wants to show Himself strong in your life.
There are many verses throughout scripture where we see God using His supernatural abilities to meet needs, but one good example of God using money as a resource to show how awesome and mighty He is can be found in Matthew 17:24-27:
When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?”
He said, “Yes.”
And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?”
Peter said to Him, “From strangers.”
Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”
Here’s what I want you to see from that story: We serve a God who can meet your needs by helping you get money and find money in unexpected places. In 2 Kings 4: 1 – 7 we see another example of this with Elisha and the widow’s oil:
A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”
So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”
Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”
So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.”
And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”
A significant thing about this story is that Elisha told her to go and take the vessels, not just a few but as many as she could, and to take her jar and fill all of those vessels. The oil didn’t cease until she ran out of vessels. As long as she had vessels the oil flowed and God supernaturally allowed the oil to continue to flow. How many of you know that God wants the oil to keep flowing supernaturally in your life?
Now, this woman was able to pay off all of her debt with what she had in her house. If I had to take a guess, I would say that many of you could do the same with things that you have accumulated and purchased that you do not truly need.The thing that is killing most people financially in our country is the amount of debt that they have. I will dive deeper into debt in a later post, but I want to plant the seed to get you out of the mindset of overusing credit cards and getting in deep debt by accumulating stuff that you really don’t have to have. Many people have also bitten off more than they can chew, living well beyond their means. People often calculate debt based on whether or not they can afford the payments, but that is far from the right mindset that you should have.
I get it. I have been in debt, and I am now out of debt. I have been out of debt a lot longer than I’ve been in debt, and I like being out of debt. I like living a life where I am not stressed about bills and waiting anxiously for my next paycheck to arrive. But the first thing I learned is that we serve a God that has the power, might and ability to meet your needs and supernatural help you. He will open up doors that no one can close, He will put checks in your mailbox that you didn’t know were on their way, He will cause debt to disappear, He is a God that will work supernaturally on your behalf!
You have got to be a people of faith. You have to have the confidence to say if I take the truth and apply it in my life and do what the scriptures say to do, God will work on my behalf.
Malachi 3:10 reads: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”
Here is one place in scripture where God says put me to the test. Just give it a try. I don’t know about you, but I am serving a God that is opening up the windows of heaven for me and I don’t have room enough to receive it all. God has blessed me enough that I am able to be a blessing to other people. God wants to bless you so you aren’t just trying to make ends meet.
You won’t like everything I have to say about finances, but I challenge you to present yourself and your finances as a living sacrifice to God and watch how He moves.
God Uses Money to Reveal the Condition of Your Heart
People often ask me how our church has grown so significantly. We have been able to pay off buildings, pay mortgages early, and then some. But it really all boils down to 2 Chronicles 16:9, the verse that I referenced earlier. God is concerned about the condition of your heart, and He uses money to uncover its current state.
The Lord has favored me in my life, and I believe that it is because I have tried to keep my heart pure before God. Ever since my very first job, I have made it a priority to give tithes and offerings to church. That was when I was 15 years old working with the school department, and I am now 60 years old. In 45 years, I have never missed a paycheck, and have always given got at least 10% of my income. Far too many people only sow into the Kingdom of God when it is convenient for them. When money gets tight, they assure themselves that the “Good Lord” will understand if they skip out on giving for a few months.
We must never forget that our heart’s posture is important to God. What I love about 2 Chronicles 16:9 is that it says that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth. That means no matter where you are, where you came from, or who you are, He wants to show himself strong on your behalf when your heart is loyal, faithful, dedicated, and always consistent toward Him. When even in tough, difficult, and tight times, your heart is right toward God. So ask yourself, where is your heart?
Matthew 19:16 – 22 reads:
Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Here we have a young man who thought if he did all the right things, he would have all he ever wanted. But when Jesus told him to give away all of his possessions to follow Him, he became saddened. This was an issue with the condition of His heart. If you are stingy and greedy, your heart is not where God wants it.
I don’t have to follow you around to know where your heart is. The fact of the matter is that all I have to do is take a look into your bank account. Where you spend your money reveals where your heart is.
In the Bible there was a church in Macedonia that gave money freely to other churches and people, but they were poor themselves. How could they give to others when it looked like they were struggling themselves? They were able to do it because they gave themselves to God first. When you give yourself to God, there is no question about sowing money into the Kingdom of God.
Money controls some people’s lives. Relationships are even broken and damaged because of money. If money has that kind of control over you, your heart is not right. I will never all of money to be a breaking point between me and someone else. I can make more money, but I can never make another brother, sister, mother, father, etc.
As you move forward, remember that God is examining your relationship with money to determine the condition of your heart.
God Uses Money to Reveal Your Ability to be Trusted with More
How you handle your resources now, also shows God whether or not He can trust you with more. Luke 16:10-13 says:
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
God wants to give you more, but he sees how you handle what you have right now. Some of you do not pay the bills that you have right now on time, but waste money on unnecessary things. If you do not maintain what God has already given you diligently, why do you expect Him to bless you with more?
It is imperative that you learn how to manage what you do have. To help you learn how to do that, I will dive into budgeting, saving, and more in upcoming posts, so stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to receive updates.