Living with Purpose by Matt Dobson
A woman once hated money so bad for what it did to people like herself who didn’t have enough. She had been laid off from her job. She also hated money for what she claimed it did to people who had too much. She said that America had become a dollar-worshipping society, and she blamed money for that. She even misquoted the Bible. “Money is the root of all evil!” she said. Actually, the Bible says, “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tim. 6:10), which is quite a different thing. My mentor told her to stop seeing herself as the helpless victim of an imaginary villain called money. She needed to calm down and be objective. If you hate something so much you tend to repel it and reject it unconsciously and sometimes consciously. Anger is just one emotion that money problems can generate.
A couple a weeks ago I addressed the subject of debt in the Living With Purpose (LWP) column here on www.northsantarosa.com. I received several emails after that one, so I decided to address the subject of debt a little more. First, understand this about money—every bit of it belongs to God. That’s right! Your money is really not yours. Sure, you may have worked to get it or been given an inheritance. But in reality it’s not yours. The Bible says, “The earth is the Lords and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1). We tend to claim it in our checking and savings accounts. God allows some people to gain more wealth than others. Some people He has given the gift of making money. You might add—“I wish I had that gift!” Understand this also: “Where much has been given, much is required” (Luke 12:48). Are you being responsible with what God has given you? Are you helping others with what you have? Are you keeping it all for yourself? Money will not go to heaven with you and it sure won’t go to hell with you. It won’t even be taken to eternity with your children or grandchildren when they die. But money, the treasure of it and the lack of it is a very personal matter.
It is not God’s will for you to lack the things you “need” in life. God created a world of abundance; enough for all and some to spare. Certain laws He made, if followed, can lead to sufficiency in all things. Where are these laws found…in the Bible of course. One of them, which could be called His “Law of Prosperity”, is the story of Elisha and the Widow. A wife of one of the prophets came to Elisha. “My husband is dead“, she said. “Now a bill collector wants to take my sons away to be slaves.” Elisha, being a man of God, wanted to help her. He asked what she had in her house of any value. She said, “Nothing, except a little oil.” Elisha told her to borrow as many jars as she could and to fill each one with oil.” She did as he said. When all the jars were full the oil stopped flowing. She went back to Elisha who told her, “Sell the oil and pay what you owe. Then you and your sons can live on the money left over.” God is trying to give us His law of prosperity through this story. It is the law that you should start with what you have and God will do the rest (2 Kings 4:1-7). By facing and confessing your debt you will accomplish a wonderful thing. You will start being free from the demon debt. Be faithful with what you have right now at this moment and honor God with it. When you do this, God will bless it and miraculous things can happen. It can’t be emphasized enough that you should go to God and pray sincerely to Him about it.
There are certain “Keys” in learning how to be debt-free. If you can come to understand them, you can have divine assistance in gaining some relief. 1) Have the right attitude in regard to your debt. Know there is a way out; steps to be taken, 2) Have the right priority for money in your life—use it wisely. Be a good steward; save some/share some, 3) Have the knowledge that it all belongs to God anyway. Sincerity in paying debts is the most essential element. Ask God to give you knowledge in how to address it. Put the letter “R” into the word “PAY” and you have the word “PRAY”. The “R” can stand for Righteousness. Isaiah 54:14 states, “In righteousness, you will be established…you will have nothing to fear…”
In paying your debts, let God be your partner. Take Him into account on every transaction you make. You will never have to worry if you’ll place your debts, wallet, or purse in God’s Hands and walk in His way. Let us believe and let us receive, for in “all things whatsoever you ask in prayer, believe, you shall receive” (Mark 11:24). Remember the story of Elisha and the Widow. Obedience led to abundance. She must have been thankful to the Lord! God had provided. You too can be thankful for the things He has done for you. “God is able to do, much more than we ask or think through His power working in us…to His glory” (Eph. 3:20-21). Find a church and worship Him with other believers, attend faithfully, and follow God in all your ways.
This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: email@example.com. He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at www.living-with-purpose.org