In part 1 called ★ Thought for the Day – Stay the Course ★ we discussed the importance of maintaining our integrity and persevering in our walk with God regardless of the physical temptations that we face daily. Today we are goign to delve into what it means to Stay the Course with our Finances. If you look at the top of the webpage there is link called $ Building Your Money Muscle $ which is all about handling our finances God’s way.
This is a passion of mine that has been fueled by two sources: Robert Morris, senior pastor of Gateway Church and from Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University (FPU) Class. Between them I have grown in leaps and bounds in my understanding of what the bible has to say about money, possessions and the hold it can have on our hearts. Robert Morris wrote an incredible book called “The Blessed Life” which really opened my eyes to a whole new viewpoint on finances! It is a really easy read (and for me that is saying a lot…) that unlocked the secrets of living a blessed life both financially and spiritually. Dave Ramsey’s FPU class is a practical, step-by-step class which teaches you and your family how to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and build wealth in a God honoring way. This class revolutionized our lives and we still apply what we learned 7 years later! If you are interested in taking the class, click the FPU Class Finder to locate one near you.
Okay, enough background on me, onto our Thought for the Day…In Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT) Jesus started off His teaching about Money and Possessions with this polarizing statement:
Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
“Store your treasure in heaven!” This is a critical point to catch because if your singular focus is on gaining and maintaining wealth instead of what God is interested then your heart will always be divided.
I love what Robert Morris said in “The Blessed Life” book:
“When you get to heaven, will you look back on this earth and regret how much treasure you laid up here instead of sending it on ahead to heaven?”
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Handling your finances God’s way is more about getting your priorities straight then being able to balance a checkbook. It is deciding in your heart that “no matter what God, I will serve you first and foremost!”
So how do we get to that place? We need to go to the instruction manual…The Bible…and reading about what God’s Word has to say. It is also about making changes in how you spend your money and not continuing to make poor financial decisions. We need to learn from the past and make new choices that will benefit the future. Dave Ramsey once said:
“My goal is for you to learn from my past stupidity not your future stupidity!”
Or another way of saying it is to…let my hindsight be your foresight. Learn from others, whether from a mentor or pastor, a class like FPU or family and/or friends who have a biblical worldview on handling their finances. Let other’s hindsight on their mistakes lead/guide you in a new direction, one which looks UP rather than INWARD. Rick Warren made this great parallel:
“God’s BLESSING on you is always in proportion to your DEPENDENCE on Him. Great anointing is the fruit of great trusting.”
How much do you trust God to provide for your needs? Now notice I did not say “wants,” I said “needs.” That is a hard one for sure, one which I have to keep reminding myself on. The Bible is full of truths about God’s faithfulness in this area…see Malachi 3:10-12 for just instance. I could go on for hours on how I have seen this play out in my life! Times when I tried to do it on my own strength and failed miserably…But then when I stopped, prayed and depended on Him, how God then opened the doors to opportunity and freedom!
The key is to stay the course. “Stay the course” is a phrase used in the context of a war or battle meaning to pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism. You may remember it used by Presidents George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan. Don’t let the enemy or anyone knock you off this path to handling you finances God’s way. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 16:9 that he was going to stay in Ephesus to do God’s will “because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.” Opposition will always come when we try to do the Lord’s work or to do things that honors God because it eliminates the enemy’s hold on you. But I encourage you to press on through and stay the course because if you trust in God, He is faithful to work in and through whatever situation your poor decisions/choices have led you into! But with that said you will need to make sacrifices. One of the fundamental quotes from Dave Ramsey is:
This is not rocket science, which is good because I’m not that smart. It is simply saying no to the “wants,” and start going in a new direction…A direction with a new heart and new way of thinking. There are so many promises from God that He will take care of our needs. But we have to do our part as well. It really boils down to behavior modification and not giving up! I love this quote from Thomas Edison, he said:
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Could you imagine what the world would be like if Thomas Edison gave up! Be strong and persevere. The journey to getting out of debt and attaining Financial Peace will have setbacks and difficulties but I promise with God on your side and with a resolute “will” that you are not going to give up, you will reach the prize that we all want…true Financial Peace with God’s blessings!
On “A Minute with Maxwell,” the Word that John Maxwell spoke about was “Will.” He said that:
“Will comes out of a passionate desire to accomplish something. We often hear the expression ‘where there is a will there is a way’…that’s true. Basically the WILL makes the WAY.”
Get that in your spirit, “The WILL makes the WAY.” That could not be any more evident than in the life of Jim Ryun who ran the mile in 3:51.1 (that’s minutes not hours!) Now that is an indomitable spirit, Jim Ryun once said:
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
So are you going to form new habits and change your legacy and family tree, or are you going to keep running your finances into the red? I will close this from Zig Ziglar.
Everyday you need to immerse yourself in God’s Word to get a fresh outlook on life, a clean slate and renewed mind for your walk with Him and the direction for your finances!
★★★ Stay the Course! ★★★
If you would like to delve into more, you can check out a previous post called ★ Thought for the Day – Keeping Up With The Joneses? ★