Financial Trials

© 2020 Maxine David

Followthesheeptracks.ca

In these so-called end times one of the most divisive and frustrating challenges arises from financial issues. Whether dealing with a household budget or the economy of an entire nation, the solutions remain the same from a Judeo-Christian perspective. The reference manual for successfully overcoming all financial trials is the Holy Bible. By putting its principles into practice we find exactly what we’re looking for to resolve them: nothing short of divine intervention to handle such extremely complicated problems that we fail to stand undefeated by them in our own power and understanding.

We start with the truth that there is a very real, Living God.  He is who the Bible says He is, and He will do what the Bible says He will do if the people who call on His Name will humble themselves before Him, repent of sin as defined in the scriptures, and pray. We pray for Him to make Himself known to us, to enable us to understand His ways and His will for our nations, and to find our place in the grand scheme of things on an eternal scale.

And we ask Him to turn the tables on those who do the opposite; who wrongly believe that if they seize control of finances and material assets that makes them owners and rulers. It doesn’t. In the Kingdom of God it renders them as frauds, thieves and murderers to the extent they stop at nothing to get what they’re after. And their day of judgment is fast approaching when those who stood firm in the precepts of God against such evil are vindicated. 

Even though the fall-out from financial deception in the nations impacts entire populations, the solutions to overcome it manifest on an individual level in a two-way relationship with the Living God. As Jesus said “The Kingdom comes within you” (Luke 17:21).

It only takes a few believers whose hearts are fully committed to Him, to bring answers that work. They find them by first agreeing to endure all kinds of fiery trials in their spiritual journeys so that their faith – of greater worth than gold – can be proven as genuine (1 Peter 1:7). They learn to hear the voice of God for themselves, then heed whatever they hear that they know for certain is from Him. He leads them through circumstances that would appear to be impossible to overcome in this world, for the purpose of teaching them how to overcome anyway in His strength.

He had a lot of things to say about how to deal with the financial world. Sadly, these teachings often go unheeded in prosperous western nations where a whole new gospel has come forth in which some ministries are built like financial pyramid schemes with the leaders at the top. Then even what is called ‘the Church’ falls short of His precepts for overcoming the adverse influence of money. But there still remains a group of believers who have successfully withstood this influence to experience the fullness of who God is in His Kingdom.

 They know Him as the sovereign Lord, Creator of the whole universe, to whom the nations are like a drop in a bucket (Isaiah 40). He raises them up or brings them down based primarily on the intercession of those who know Him this well. He calls these believers His children – Kingdom sons and daughters – and like any loving Father He takes their heart-felt cries seriously.  He is well able to sustain the nations regardless of their economic circumstances. In fact, part of their redemption in His Kingdom involves learning to walk with Him in blind faith in the midst of these challenges, to learn by experience how He is sovereign over all.

This has the effect of rendering the nations as threshing floors for the Kingdom of God. Separating wheat from chaff is part of redeeming them in His Kingdom. Those who don’t know Him have no choice but follow the money as a source of sustenance. Those who do know Him are drawn closer by the way in which their trust in money alone, falls short. When we see the crooks and thieves at work, attempting to gain control by stealing it all, it puts us in a position of needing to walk on water financially speaking to move forward in our lives. When we do this in a two-way relationship with the Living God it works the way the Bible says it will. This section shares personal testimony, scriptural wisdom and revelation on how it’s done.

One key precept for overcoming is to learn to put first things first. Jesus said “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be added” (Matthew 6:33). And He quoted Moses when He said this is the first and greatest commandment: “Hear O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29; Matthew 22:37-38).

Further, 1 John 5:3 says “This is love for God: to obey His commands.” We begin to put first things first by studying scriptures – the written Word of God – and putting them into practice in our own lives. We continue by finding a two-way relationship with Him in which we are born again in His Holy Spirit so that we can actually hear His voice for ourselves. Then we learn to be Spirit-led by heeding what we hear that is genuinely from Him.

We’ll know it’s Him because He leads us to follow the way of love so that His love for all people increases in our hearts. This brings all kinds of benefits like good health, peace of mind, strong character and answers to problems that seem impossible to solve otherwise.

Issues related to financial challenges are unique because they continually bring us to a spiritual place where we must choose which takes higher priority in our lives: God or money. Jesus said “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6:24).

Some Bible versions use the word ‘mammon’ instead of ‘money’ which refers to the worldly things money can buy that lead us away from a relationship with God. Either way, by saying we cannot serve both God and money, He was saying we can’t serve both love and money because, as 1 John 2:16 says “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him.”  

From beginning to end the Bible speaks of the love of God as being the heart of the true gospel. He spoke through Moses about His covenant of love which regenerates to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands” (Deuteronomy 5:10). When we do this it creates in our hearts and minds a greater capacity to love others as He loves us. Then we are best equipped to uphold the second most important commandment: love your neighbour as yourself.

The so-called ‘love chapter’ in the New Testament teaches us that no matter what else we do in life, if we’re not motivated by the love of God then it’s all for nothing (1 Corinthians 13). We can be powerful heads of state, church leaders, blue collar workers, parents and more but our efforts prove to be futile if not done with a view to loving God first and foremost, then loving each other as we love ourselves. 

The call to ‘follow the way of love’ teaches us to walk as Jesus did, and for the same reasons (1 Corinthians 14). Eventually we need to make personal sacrifices to love others well. Maybe we choose to be stay-at-home parents who forego paid employment to give our children the best quality upbringing. Maybe we’re the employed parents who sacrifice time with our spouses and children to get the income. We can also use some of the proceeds to help others who are falling on hard times, or send financial donations to people in need in poorer countries. However we do it, loving others eventually calls for sacrifices.

In the most trying times we may be faced with laying down our very lives in this world so someone else can find life to the full, in freedom and in peace. These words of Christ are often used to describe the extreme sacrifices of people who do this: war veterans, law enforcement officers and every day people in different situations. He said “Greater love has no one than this; that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  

Such love is foundational to Judeo-Christian civilization. It knows no divisions among people based on race or culture but is available to all who believe. It produces peace, prosperity and increasing freedom for those who understand how to carry it forward. In these end times it’s leading to the freedom for which all of creation awaits through the birthing of Kingdom sons – those who don’t shrink back from taking up the cross to follow Christ all the way into His Kingdom (Romans 8:19-21).

On the other hand, money’s influence often undermines all of that. When seen as the primary means of our sustenance it turns the sacrificial love of God into a desire for control and ownership of resources. It feeds on fear by prompting people to grab what they can while they can, as a certain few who are skilled at fraud and theft enjoy amassing as much as possible for themselves. They build pyramid business schemes, some disguised as churches, with themselves at the top. They imagine themselves to be invincible after they’ve acquired the wealth of this world, having zero clues about how they’ve really just set themselves up to take a stand against Almighty God, Creator of the universe.

He has a delightful way of allowing them to go so far before turning the tables completely. As the Bible says “this calls for patient endurance on behalf of the saints” (Revelation 14:12). They are led by God to ‘stand down’ as they watch the evil-doers rise up in His face. Their role is to remain pure in heart, speak the truth in love, uphold responsibilities that they know are theirs and learn to let go of others that aren’t. They are sorely tested as they refuse to deviate from the scriptural commands of God to not steal, lie, cheat, murder and so on, while all around them people do the opposite.

They learn to bless those who curse and pray for the redemption of those who want them condemned. In the end it pays off.  God always sides with those who humble themselves before Him this way because in doing so they are demonstrating with their lives they choose to put first things first. As the Bible says “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

The proud will find that God has allowed them to do what they were doing so that in the end, the traps they built for God’s people are really for themselves. Like evil Haman, they get hung on their own gallows (Esther 8). As Ecclesiastes 2:26 says: “To the one who pleases Him God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.”  Those who make sacrifices now to find the best possible relationship with God will be on the receiving end, all for His glory alone.

How it happens in our personal lives is as unique as He created each of us to be. He reveals it by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. This calls for us to be born again in the Holy Spirit as described in John 3. We do this going humble before God, perhaps by getting on our knees in prayer, and praying something like this:

Dear God, I humble myself before you and ask your forgiveness for my sins and flaws that have led me to an impossible place.  I thank you that I now recognize I cannot move ahead in my own power with divine intervention so that I can find success anyway, through you. I ask you to show me in a way I can understand, how you are indeed the Living God, Creator of the universe. I invite you to reveal the truth to me about having a relationship with you through Jesus Christ – the One who went first to demonstrate how to find life to the full in your love, in peace and prosperity, and invincible strength against those who do evil.”

“I ask you to use me to the fullest to defeat the powers of darkness so your love can prevail against all the odds, and the lives of countless others will be transformed by it. Grant me great faith to persevere through these trials and see me safely into your Kingdom on the other side. Use me to bring about the redemption of while nations who call on your Name so that those who currently steal, kill and destroy will be soundly defeated. Teach me your ways and let me be born again in your Holy Spirit so I can truly hear your voice, and heed whatever I hear that I know for certain is from you. I give you all the praise and glory in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

Then look forward to the victory over those who wrongly believe they get to be in charge because they commit fraud and theft. What they’ve really done is challenge God Himself over ownership of homes, churches and nations. The Bible teaches that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, and in rulers and authorities of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12). It speaks about spiritual armour that we put on to successfully withstand their evil assault against the Judeo-Christian world. Truth and peace are powerful weapons against this unseen enemy, as well as the holy scriptures put to work in our lives by the Spirit of God.

In the past many of our ancestors engaged in physical wars. They endured unspeakable hardships in the trenches of World War 1, then shed blood by the millions in World War 2. As technology advanced we now face the potential destruction of the planet should we try to fight another war in our own power. Instead, we can receive something from God that we could never achieve on our own: His heavenly Kingdom which is a whole new form of government ushering in eternal peace for those who learn how to belong. As Isaiah 9:7 says “Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end.”

This time it’s up to God Himself to fight against those who seek to destroy the nations. The role of the saints is to stand down from being baited by His enemies into engaging at their level, and allow them room to reap in their own lives what they’ve sown in ours. The financial realms may go through the greatest shake-up imaginable but the people of God need not be shaken at all. For them it’s a great opportunity in disguise. The best is yet to come and the victory is already here in the hands of Almighty God when we learn to put first things first.

Stay tuned for further articles on practical ways to bring it to pass. For Canadians, check out the book available on Amazon Kindle entitled ‘Through Fire and Water’ by Maxine David.