(c) followthesheeptracks.ca 2020
In the year of 2020 the world experienced a huge assault on a financial level due to the influence of a virus pandemic. Some continue to insist it’s an unavoidable part of preventing the spread of disease. The need to gather in public places like shops or hospitals means certain measures can’t be avoided which deal a massive blow to economic sectors of the nations. Quarantines and crowd restrictions suddenly bring once-thriving businesses to a halt, but even more important to many people is the need to take all steps possible to prevent the spread.
Others believe this is a deliberate biological attack on the nations with the intention of deliberately crashing nation economies along with causing social instability through such practices as distancing people from each other, or preventing loved ones from seeing each other. Evidence is now coming forth that this is a strong possibility.
Either way, average citizens are hit on all sides with financial challenges that can become overwhelming. The ability to not only survive, but to thrive in the midst of it all, is directly linked to having a two-way relationship with the Living God of the Holy Bible. Read to the end of the Good Book (Revelation 13) and see how these current circumstances were all written about thousands of years ago. In what is commonly called ‘the end times’ the trials of a financial nature lead to a place where the buying and selling come to an end. A person is left with the choice of taking a certain mark in order to continue following the way of money, or aiming higher for that relationship with God. Choose the latter and suddenly a whole new world opens up full of answers and means to prosper regardless of what happens in this world.
The Bible is full of information that really works, for how to navigate through financial disaster into a place of abundance. A key aspect is finding wisdom from God. Learn to replace the word ‘money’ in our vocabulary with the word ‘wisdom’, and pray for wisdom to get things done whether there is money enough, or not. For example, pray for wisdom to pay the bills on time, wisdom to know how to get suitable transportation, wisdom to overcome lawless leaders who seek to plunder our nations, and wisdom to lead those nations out from under the attacks against their financial security.
Ecclesiastes 7:12 says “Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.” Read the first ten chapters of the book of Proverbs to see the many benefits of acquiring wisdom from God: good health, long life, riches and honour, and much more. It does not depend on being able to over-rule and outsmart the deviant ones among us who attempt to sell out our nations. It depends entirely on the will of the Creator of the universe to whom the nations appear as puny as a drop in a bucket (Isaiah 40).
According to the Bible the Creator wants to draw people into a relationship with Himself through Immanuel – who is God in the flesh – also known in English as Jesus Christ. His life was that of an intercessor and an atonement for the sin of humanity, so that through Him we can find redemption and deliverance from every kind of evil including on a financial level. We find this relationship by praying and asking to receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord of our lives, and to be born again in His Holy Spirit as described in John 3:1-8. Then we commit to study the scriptures and apply them to our lives as we feel led by the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.
Some scriptures are specifically about how to thrive in the midst of this world’s turmoil by doing things God’s way. For example, Matthew 6:33-34 says “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and everything else will be added. Give no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Imagine being able to do just that: refusing to worry about what’s coming tomorrow even if we don’t know yet how bills will be paid, or how we’ll manage through other types of challenges. But to take God at His Word is to witness Him do for us what we may not be able to do for ourselves. It can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a heart attack or stroke from worrying about overwhelming financial problems.
A practical way to do this, is to put pen to paper and make two lists. One could be called the ‘TODAY’ list, and the other called ‘NOT TODAY’. Write on the TODAY list every issue that must be resolved today while every other challenge gets written on the NOT TODAY list. Then take the TODAY list before God in prayer and THANK HIM that as we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, everything else we need will be added as well. Do this by faith and expect to see results. Make sure to record the answers and how God came through because we decided to take Him at His Word and refuse to worry about tomorrow. Do this every day, and soon we have a reason to have great faith in the Living God that He will continue to sustain us even in times of great peril.
We will find this is very much like the lifestyle of the Israelites when they came out of Egypt into a desert wilderness (Book of Exodus). They were delivered from slavery only to find themselves in a place that seemed unsustainable until God intervened. He gave them fresh manna every morning, six days a week, and led them in a way that they had to walk it out with Him one day at a time. Being delivered from the adverse influence of money happens very much the same way. It’s critically important to learn from the Israelites’ experiences and understand that the greatest benefit is gaining a two-way relationship with God as the Creator. With Him all things are possible. Sometimes He allows us to get to the end of what we can do for ourselves, to find that out. Then the best, not the worst, is yet to come.
God had a plan for the Israelites which was to take them into the Promised Land – the land He promised to their forefathers. But there was an in between time that was incredibly challenging as they left the slavery of Egypt, to prepare. Sadly, many just couldn’t get it. They pined away for the meager things of slavery instead. They grumbled and complained, so much that many didn’t make it to the Promised Land at all. They first had to learn some things. One was to live full-time in the Presence of the Lord and to take up residence in His Presence. Then live that way from one day to the next fully trusting that He meets all our needs as they arise, when we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. Another thing they learned was that He doesn’t need money to get things done. Hearing His voice for oneself, and receiving His wisdom was more than sufficient.
This spiritual journey is also very much like that of an addict attending regular meetings of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous which was originally a Christian ministry). The first few steps of the 12-step program are about coming to an understanding that life has become unmanageable due to the influence of alcohol. Replace the word ‘alcohol’ with ‘money’ and there’s the basis for a recovery program from another form of addiction: to money and materialism. Keep going with the next two steps and surrender our lives to God to begin something new. (The AA phrase “To God as we understood Him” originally referred to the Living God of the Holy Bible as we understood Him, and not just anyone or anything a person might called God.)
The way in which AA meetings are set up closely resemble the way the early churches first functioned as people met in private homes or out in public places. No one was above the other and each person had a chance to contribute something to the gathering if they chose to do so. People shared their hearts about their pain, their rejections, their problems that they faced and also their good news. They supported one another as a group focused on the same goal – to find recovery in a relationship with the Living God and by encouraging each other. The phrase ‘one day at a time’ became ‘one hour at a time if necessary’ – to cope with overwhelming problems.
It’s the same principle that works for deliverance from all kinds of issues arising from financial hardships. It has nothing to do with whether or not we can outsmart people determined to commit fraud and theft in our nations, whether they are in positions of authority over us or not. It’s about appealing to a higher court in a heavenly place where a very real God comes through with answers, by seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness.
A lot of scriptures bear promises of good things to come for those who are righteous. The concept of righteousness before God arises from the example set by Abraham (who was called Abram in the beginning of his life). God spoke to Abram and told him He was going to use him in a huge way, and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky (Genesis 15). Abram simply believed God and this was credited to him as righteousness, before he could lift a finger to deserve it. Later, at an appropriate time, he demonstrated his righteousness before God by obeying His voice even when it became unbearably challenging. The results were the fullness of His Kingdom manifesting in the nations who call on His Name today.
To seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is to desire to hear the voice of God for oneself. Hearing God speak to us on a personal basis has an immediate impact that brings inner strength and conviction about what is the right thing to do in any given situation. Do it, and God backs us up to bring results that we wouldn’t get any other way. It takes time to learn to hear His voice but that’s far better than trying to manage impossible circumstances without Him. We pray for Him to give us this ability, then pray for wisdom and revelation about the situations we currently experience, and direction to know what to do that will bring success. Then wait and listen with our hearts, hoping for answers that ‘click’ – we just just know they’re right by how everything works out.
A righteous relationship with God is the key to overcoming all kinds of financial challenges – on a personal basis and collectively as a Church or nation. He raises up leaders with great courage who’ll make the hard choices related to defending the Judeo-Christian way of life; then He fills in the gaps where everyone falls short to make sure they succeed. This is not to anyone’s glory but for His own, so that the world can see He is who the Bible says He is, and He will do what the Bible says He will do.
Whether the problem is finding enough resources to put food on the table, or defending a whole nation from having its national economy decimated by the powers of this dark world, the solution is always about finding a righteous relationship with God, asking Him to give us wisdom and revelation to deal with things one day at a time, and walking with Him through a temporary time in the wilderness on our way to the Promised Land. Then we will find that what He has actually done, is allowed the destroyer to come against us on a temporary basis in order to drive us to Himself where the best life imaginable, awaits. Afterwards the destroyer is himself, destroyed (Isaiah 54 9-17).
A thorough Bible study on the concept of righteousness shows how God intervenes on behalf of the righteous. Psalm 37 says “Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”
It’s amazing how much can be accomplished for good when we start each day by taking this seriously to seek FIRST His Kingdom and His righteousness. The practice of regular prayer and Bible study, along with being born again in the Holy Spirit, opens up realms of existence and understanding that we never even knew existed which greatly impact the nations in a positive way. As James 5:16 says “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
Proverbs 14:34 says “Righteousness exalts a nation.” Romans 1:17 says “The righteous will live by faith.” It takes great faith to stand in a place of financial ruin and insist on living life one day at a time only, by faith in the Living God but that’s exactly what’s needed to get through it. Otherwise the challenges that await may seem impossible to overcome. The temptation to give up is strong and so are the many doubts that come crowding into our minds. But take a step of faith, committing to walk it out God’s way, and watch what He’ll do that we can’t. He knows how to catch crafty people in their own traps and turn the results upside down in favour of the righteous. He did it before and He will do it again for His glory and honour alone.
Ironically the solution to money challenges is not always more money. Sometimes more money makes things worse when it includes bribes, fraud, theft and so on. Where the influence of money falls short there’s something else to take over: wisdom from God and revelation of what He’s doing to sustain the nations even while they’re under the greatest threats of all due to the attempted plundering of national economies now underway.
Those who perpetrate such things count on being able to control people through their own fear. The ways of God lead us to walk away from fear and be motivated by His perfect love that drives out all fear. Fear tells us we’d better not help another person in need because we might run short ourselves tomorrow. But faith expressed through love prompts us to ‘give no thought for tomorrow’ and take God at His Word. This means we can use all available resources we have today to help ourselves and others, by faith, and leave room for God to demonstrate the truth of His Word – everything else will be added. In this way, love in action drives out the fear so we are positioned to rise above this world’s darkness and reign with Christ in His Kingdom.
Once in that position we know He hears our prayers. The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective. We can pray for Him to turn the tables on those who try to undermine HIS interests in our nations, and put US in positions of authority so we can be used of God to bring forth His Kingdom on earth as He is in heaven. One day at a time.