Day 5 – Realizing True Financial Peace
Having a Kingdom mindset about our finances is foundational to understanding our identity as sons and daughters of God and living out the mission of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth. Dallas Willard has pointedly called out that, “The biggest hindrance to experiencing God’s Kingdom is my kingdom.” God wants us to be prosperous, but not to further our own kingdom, but His.
If you are reading this, you almost certainly qualify as prosperous. It may not feel that way, but if you have stable housing, a car, and enough food to survive, then you are among the wealthiest and most prosperous people alive today (not to mention throughout history). The median household income globally today hovers around $10,000 – how many multiples of that does your household generate? One reason we don’t always feel prosperous is that it’s much more comfortable to compare our situation to those higher up on the scale than those below.
Paul ends his first letter to Timothy with advice to the rich, which applies to us as equally today as it did in the first century. “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
What was the central theme in Paul’s exhortation? Trust! The minute we lose sight of God as the source of our provision, we have also lost any chance of realizing peace in our finances. Proverbs 11:28 tells us, “he who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”
Another reason we don’t always feel God’s provision in our lives is that we try to define how we think God should be blessing us. Jim Baker states it this way: “The source of our provision never, changes, but our resource for provision can change frequently” (How Heaven Invades, p.52) Translated, that could read – God is the ultimate provider for our needs, but where and how he provides may change form frequently. When we try to predetermine how God should bless us, we are assuming the role of the provider, not the provided.
If we are tuned into the ultimate source of our security, we need never worry about the physical needs of this life. Children are one of the best models for this – how much time does a child spend wondering where their next meal will come from? They don’t! (How Heaven Invades, p.57) When you pray to God, do you worry that one day you will use up all the blessings he has for you? Of course not! In the same way, we should always expect that God will provide more than enough resources for us to abundantly bless all those whose needs he places before us.
This isn’t a free pass to take it easy or to be careless with our money. God still expects us to work diligently and be faithful stewards – and blesses that! In Proverbs 10:4 we read, “idle hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Performing the duties of a steward wasn’t meant to be easy, but God’s promise to us is that while “Now all discipline seems to be more pain than pleasure at the time, yet later it will produce a transformation of character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who yield to it.” (Hebrews 12:11)
Financial peace is a journey, not a destination. Financial peace is not an income bracket, a net worth, a career milestone, or life achievement. It comes only from seeking daily after God and more closely aligning your life – including your finances – to the specific mission He is setting in front of you. We were not made to chart our path alone, but to follow the guidance and direction laid out by our Maker. We are not self-made, independent men & women, but stewards of an Almighty King who were purchased at a great price: “…You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price…” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
God invites us to experience freedom by turning our finances over to him. When Christians believe that their financial situation is all up to them, they often struggle financially. God never intended for us to carry the burden of finances. He wants to lift that burden from you! God not only desires to deliver us from financial bondage [debt], but to position us into financial authority to where we are empowered to fulfill every divine assignment and help others fill theirs. (How Heaven Invades, p.79, 117)
Thank you for exploring these topics with us over the past five days. Whatever your financial situation, we hope that this devotional series has impacted the way you view money, blessings, prosperity, and our responsibilities as stewards. The VCNW staff and our Financial Peace University leadership team would love to engage with you around any of these topics, and extends an invitation for you to explore them with us through the upcoming FPU class. With that, we leave you with one final encouragement: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).