While not for all, one of the greatest challenge most face in life centers around a need for financial security. God talks about money in the Bible more than any other topic for good reason. While there are varying opinions of money, I personally ascribe to 1 Timothy 6:10 NIV, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Meaning, money isn’t evil; it’s the love of money that’s evil.
Now, for many Christians, you would likely agree with this scripture and say you don’t have a “love of money”. My challenge to you today is to reconsider your thinking. In no way can I even scratch the surface today in discussing all the elements of financial stewardship and I know my audience has a variety of circumstances represented. The ones I’m primarily speaking to today are the ones like me who have a deep seated stronghold around financial security that isn’t readily apparent. Yes, like me, you’re placing far to much security in your bank account rather than on your Lord and Savior.
Let me ask you, what if you lost control of your bank account today? What would you do? What if you woke up tomorrow morning to find that you were completely broke? Or, how did you react a few years back when your 401K became a 201K? Would you have joy and contentment in all circumstances? Would the pain and suffering of “not knowing” bring you to your knees in worship of our Father or would it make your angry.
Now, let’s assume you’re in the financial desert attempting to discern God’s will for your life. Do you wake up thinking about how you’re going to provide for your family? Or, do you wake up with joy and contentment in your present circumstances? Or maybe, you wake up with joy and contentment; however, it doesn’t take long for the “world” to take a position in your heart.
Well, while I can’t speak on many topics with authority, I can write the book on this one. I have clearly identified the stronghold of financial “insecurity” in my life and have turned it over multiple times to Jesus. Yet, I’m sharing today as I have another story of how I got convinced once again this week.
You all remember those retreats you’ve been on where you have a “burning moment” or opportunity to “turn something over to God”. For many, it may have been years ago in a high school retreat and for others you may not know what I am referring. If so, hang with me as you’ll get the point.
This week, I had an opportunity to throw my “burning moment” into the fire. For me, this was likely the 4th or 5th time in a few years that I’ve had an opportunity to symbolically turn something over to God. As members walked up the fire one-by-one, I kept waiting for God to reveal something different than what was on my paper. Why? Because what I had written on my paper was the exact same thing I had written every time prior I’d been through a similar exercise. While the words have differed a bit, they all center around a “lack of trust in God to financially provide for my family.” While I grown greatly through the years, I still have a tendency to grab back ahold of this one in life.
The next morning following the evening fire, God reveal 2 Ch 20:15 NIV to me in a devotional shared with the group. It says, “For this battle is not yours, but Gods.” Once again, in His loving way, he reassured me that “I got this” and you need to “let go!” As you can imagine and likely relate, this one’s extremely difficult to “let go” of knowing you have responsibilities to your family.
Well, it wasn’t over yet and sometimes I believe God has a sense of humor. While I’d never say that what I am getting ready to share was cause by God, I will say He’ll use circumstances to grow us in life. Later that day, I was sitting at my computer sharing a bit of the day with Lisa. Then, all of a sudden, I started getting notifications on my bank account. No, these weren’t the typical fraud alerts associated with a particular credit card account. These were notifications that funds were being moved out of multiple accounts. I quickly scrambled to contact my bank of which it took 15 minutes to get to the right person to deal with the situation. Imagine my anxiety knowing that someone was attempting to steal considerable funds from my accounts.
Well, the rest of the story is that someone had compromised my accounts by gaining online access and all accounts had to be closed. If you haven’t, I recommend changing your passwords frequently and insuring your spyware protection is up to date. I am grateful to the bank representatives who walked us through the process and all funds were able to be recovered.
God use this circumstance to reemphasize how my security will never be found in my bank account. In somewhat of a symbolic way, I had to close down all of my accounts letting go of the funds and “trusting that He would provide!”
Are you placing far to high of value in your bank account? Are you wresting with God as you don’t see how you’re going to pay your bills?
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV