by Pastor Tim Burt
Have you ever been in a tough place financially? I have written many times to you telling you of Renee and my early days of marriage. When we first got married, we were both individually making a good income. We had bought a house and still had decent discretionary income left over after our expenses. We had both always tithed and brought offerings to church, to God, in obedience to His Word and as thanksgiving, acknowledging His Lordship, love, blessings, and provision for us.
Financially we were at best, okay stewards of God’s money. Frankly we blew a lot of money eating out, on entertainment, and more. We didn’t save much and we avoided the topic of budgeting. We hated the thought of financial restraint. We had travel benefits from our jobs at the airline and so we spent extra money traveling whenever we could.
When we began to have children, that all changed. Renee wanted to quit her job which I agreed to. Our income was cut by more than half since Renee made more money than me at that time. We were soon financially strapped and on the edge of financial woes. As we prayed, God led me to starting a commercial painting company to bring in additional income. It added a lot of work to my life but I wasn’t afraid of hard work. I wanted to be a good provider and this greatly helped with our finances.
We were young and inexperienced at life. We had so much to learn in every area. We wanted to learn. We wanted to learn to become wiser in managing our finances and learning all that it meant to be a good steward for God. It seemed as though we were continually hearing from the pulpit about the importance of building our foundation for our Christian walk, not only on the gospel and living according to God's word, but also on having faith in the promises of provision God. People wiser than us warned us that financial stress ruined marriages. We had begun to see marriages around us blow up over a lack of finances. We did not want that to happen to us. We wanted to learn to lean on God in this area just like every other area we trusted Him for.
Renee and I began study the Word of God learning what God promised us concerning supernatural provision. What we learned was amazing. God had always promised His children that He would bless them greatly if they would walk in His ways. No one can do that perfectly but God isn’t looking for perfection. Our righteousness or right standing with God is based on what Jesus did for us, not in our perfection. God is looking for pure hearts and diligent effort.
God’s will is to bring us into a place where we are lacking nothing. As you read these verses you will see God’s heart of love and provision for His people. Deuteronomy 8:6-10 NLT "So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and fearing Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with springs that gush forth in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley, of grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, olives, and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.”
God hasn’t changed. He wants to bring each of us into His place of His provision where there is no lack in our lives. This won’t happen like magic, nor will it happen over-night. It is a process that happens over time as we live by faith. It's a time of God developing our character in trusting Him at every fiery trial. God told Moses and then Joshua He would be bringing them into a land inhabited by enemies. Through faith, they would have to face them and defeat them. By faith, God would drive out those that opposed them before their very eyes! Deuteronomy 7:1-2 NIV says, “When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations--the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you-- and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy (don’t compromise with sin.”)
The Apostle Paul taught us that we no longer fight flesh and blood in our day-to-day experience as they did then. Today we fight principalities and powers—demonic attacks of Satan. The lust of our own flesh, the greed and corruption that is in this world, and the devices of Satan to discourage us from our faith are the modern-day tactics of the enemy that we all face. These are the enemies we must face in faith. If we do, God will help us defeat them daily. As we live as good stewards—managing our money and bringing our tithes and offering to Him, we open ourselves to the blessing God wants for any of His children that put their faith in His promises.
Over time, as we live this out before God in faith, we will be blessed and experience His supernatural increase in our lives. You will notice it more in hindsight than at the moment! When we experience this blessing, God says that the greatest challenge we will face is our own pride—thinking that we had something to do with our blessing of increase instead of Him.
Deuteronomy 6:10-13 NIV “When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you--a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant--then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
And again in Deuteronomy 8:17-18 NIV “You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me. But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so establish His covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.”
Does this sound like God wants you poor and lacking? God wants to bless you and wants you to remember that its His doing when it does happen! I strongly encourage you to go through the scriptures in Deuteronomy chapter 6 and Chapter 8 for yourself and be convinced of what God wants for you—abundance without forgetting where it came from!
3 John 1:2 (NKJV) "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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