I Am Provided For
'I am blessed, I am a princess, I am a child of the King, I am a generous and cheerful giver, I am free from fear, I am a citizen of Heaven, I am not alone, I am adopted into God’s family, I am dressed and fed by God, I am God’s special treasure'
For many years I lived with what many call a ‘poverty spirit’. Despite never once going hungry or without shelter and having a great education and plenty of skills that I could put to use, I lived with a constant sense of lack around money and all sorts of defeatist tapes going around my head. I don’t have enough. I am ‘poor’. Everyone else has more than me. I don’t know how I will ever earn decent money. I will always have less than other people. I can’t imagine ever in a million years owning a house. I don’t really want to work hard, in the way that I see so many people enslaved to their jobs. I don’t have enough to give generous presents. I don’t have enough to tithe or give to the poor.
Do you know that the only person who got poorer in this whole time was me- from the inside out. Generosity shrivelled as fear and small thinking took root. Life became smaller as I was always counting myself out of things, thinking ‘I can’t afford to do that’.
Since I got married I have been on a stretching and transformational journey around money and am still very much in the thick of it. I am seriously blessed to be married to a man who has waged war on his old poverty mindsets and come out victorious and generous on the other side. So daily I experienced an uncomfortable stretching as we did life together and made decisions together and suddenly my whole poverty mindset- which had been my secret friend for so many years- was very much exposed. I realised the lack mentality and tight fistedness that I had been living with. It was agony to have it confronted, but one of the best things that has happened to me in a long time. Slowly, I have been learning a new way and the attitudes of fear and lack are being rewired in line with God’s faithfulness and generosity. With Dom, I am learning to give more and have seen the Lord provide for us in the most extraordinary and abundant ways.
God is still rewiring my attitude to money, to come into alignment with kingdom perspective. It's a day by day, situation by situation learning curve. Recently, one helpful tool has been Andrew Womack’s book called ‘Financial Stewardship’.
The two main keys that Andrew outlines are that God is the SOURCE and we are STEWARDS. He says that when we really get this the pressure lifts, as we realise we are not carrying sole responsibility for our finances. Our job is not our source, God is. Even if we think its our job and our hard work that pays the bills. He gave us the limbs, health, ability to do the job in the first place. Similarly ‘our’ money is not our own. It is all fading away, we can’t take it to the grave. But we have been given money, to use wisely for His glory. When we realise its all a gift, its easier to let go of our grip and surrender it back to Him.
Now that’s a bit of a botch job summary, so below I am going to include some straight up passages from the book itself. Enjoy!
The very first thing we need to understand about finances is that we are stewards of what God has given us. Jesus taught on stewardship in the parable in which He told about the shrewd manager. In Luke 16: 1, Jesus told His disciples, “There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.” This is an important parable that I will teach on in depth later, but for now I just want to point out the function and attitude of being a steward. A steward is a person who manages someone else’s property, finances, or other affairs. As Christians, we are stewards, and we need to recognize that the money we have is not really ours; it’s a gift from God. Now, you may be thinking, I can guarantee you God didn’t give me the money I have! I’ve worked hard for it. I’ve earned it. Maybe you work two jobs, or you have scrimped for years to get a little savings, and so the money you have accumulated seems like the result of your own efforts. I understand that way of thinking, but, in reality, it isn’t true. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. (James 1: 17.) Ultimately, God is the source of everything you have. First of all, God gave you life. You didn’t cause yourself to exist—you were created. God made you and He is the source of every good thing in your life. (Genesis 1: 26; James 1: 17.) The apostle Paul wrote, “In him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17: 28). God not only gave you physical life, but He is the source of your wisdom and abilities. He gave you the talents you use to earn a living. God is also the reason you were born at this time in history—the most prosperous period ever. So even though you are working hard at your job, God is still the source of your financial success. Without the blessing of God upon your life, you wouldn’t even have the ability to prosper.
You may be out in the world actually doing the work you get paid for, but you need to develop the mindset that the money you receive doesn’t belong to you; it belongs to God. Remember, God gave you your talents and abilities, and every good thing you have is a blessing from Him. God has entrusted you with all of your finances, and it is important to develop the mindset of being a steward—over God’s money, not yours. Most people see making a living as resulting from the sweat of their brow, and they don’t see God as their source. They separate their lives into spiritual matters like heaven and hell, and private, personal matters like career and finances. When it comes to money, they think it’s all up to them. As a result, many Christians are struggling financially. God wants to be the source of everything in your life. The Lord never intended you to carry the burden of financial responsibility, and He wants to lift that burden from you. A lot of Christians say they know God is the source of everything, but their lives don’t reflect an understanding of that truth. I was in a meeting one time when the man receiving the offering told everyone to reach into the back pocket or the purse of the person in front of them and “give like you’ve always wanted to give.” Of course, no one actually did it. The point he was making is that we are much more likely to be generous with someone else’s money. You would probably take more money from your neighbor’s wallet to put in the offering than you would from your own. When you think that money comes by your own sweat and tears, then you keep a much tighter hold on it. You become attached to your money, and it actually becomes your master. But when you see yourself as a steward and recognize money as God’s blessing—even though you work for your paychecks—it totally changes the role money plays in your life. It ceases to control you and simply becomes a tool. This simple change in mindset from owner to steward will make a tremendous difference for you. (pages 14-15)
Andrew Wommack - Financial Stewardship
As I said at the beginning, I am still very much a work in progress in this whole area, but I know the freedom is worth fighting for!
I hope these nuggets bless you and remember you are not alone, He is walking every step of the way with you and has commanded His angles concerning you!