In our pressurized society. . .too many believers are seeking an easy-way-out lifestyle by buying into the world system.
In short, they’re doing what everybody else is doing. . .or at least. . . almost everybody else. . .because now an ever-increasing number of believers are tapping into the wisdom of the ages found in God’s Word.
Unfortunately, so many believers follow the “wisdom” of the world when it comes to their personal finances as opposed to following the instructions found in the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
People. . .even born-again, Holy Spirit filled, church-going believers. . .tend to value the advice of their banker and financial planner more than they do their man or woman of God.
The Bible is not a book of exceptions, exemptions and excused behavior. It is a book of absolutes.
The Bible says what it means and it means for you to obey without hesitation.
The Bible is not a book of convenience . . . obeying its instructions when you feel like it.
Here are seven reasons to avoid the influence of the world system.
1. Your Interests Are Costing You His Interest
When we spend His money (everything belongs to Him) to pay interest on things we want. . .then we’re losing His interest in blessing us because we’re following the desires of our flesh.
James 4:3 says:
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
Do you find it interesting that James 4:3 uses the word “consume?”
The world economic system is continually encouraging you and me to become informed consumers.
I find it interesting that Dictionary.Com defines consume as: “to destroy or expend by use; use up; to spend (money, time, etc.) wastefully.”
The American Heritage Dictionary defines consume: “to waste, to squander.”
Millions upon untold millions of dollars are spent to lure people into the lifestyle of debt as they pursue what Madison Avenue advertisers and Hollywood personalities define as the good life.
They want you to believe that as long as you’re getting what you want;. . .then debt is okay.
NO, it’s not. . .it’s a lie of the enemy to keep you in financial bondage and lack.
When you’re paying interest. . .that’s money which should be used to further the gospel and yes, even ensure a better quality of life for you and your family.
Proverbs 22:7 in the Contemporary English Version says:
“The poor are ruled by the rich, and those who borrow are slaves of moneylenders.”
When you pay interest to buy things that intrigue you, then you’ve exempted yourself from the Word economy and bought into the world economy of debt and interest.
In other words, you’re making someone else rich and most probably not a believer.
2. Ignore advice of those as lost as a goose in a blizzard.
1 Corinthians 15:33 in the Amplified Bible says:
"Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character."
Proverbs 13:20 in The Living Bible says:
“Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.”
Make no mistake about it.
Your attitude is largely determined by your closest friends. These same friends, more often than not, will encourage you to take the easy way out.
Do not hang out with or allow into your inner circle people who are content with their debt, troubled or a just-get-by way of life.
If you want to get out of debt. . .then you need to associate with people who have already gotten out of debt or come alongside those who are taking the steps necessary to gain financial freedom.
The friend who thinks it’s funny that his third car is about to be repossessed will not be encouraging you to pay off your car early or excited when you do.
The friend who’s afraid to make a decision . . . will not be a good example in making wise investment choices.
The friend who gets career advice from the person who was fired because he wasn’t doing his job will never rise to the top of the business ladder.
The woman who says she’ll never get out of debt because her family has always been in debt will not understand the out-of-debt plan you’ve developed for your life.
Relax. I’m not telling you to abandon your friends or family. . .but I’m telling you some facts.
Like produces like. Your attitude, speech and behavior are all directly affected by the people you spend a lot of time with.
If you’re committed to elevating your life. . .then add some new friends. Hang around folks who have it together. . .personally and financially.
Make no mistake about it. . .you are blessed or cursed by your associations.
3. Seek advice from people who are not moved by the herd mentality.
Proverbs 19:20 says:
“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.”
The scripture teaches that if you’re smart. . .you will seek the advice of others.
Proverbs 1:5 says:
“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.”
If you need to make an important decision. . .if you need financial insight. . .or spiritual wisdom, I encourage you to follow the scriptural insight found in Proverbs 15:22 in the Amplified Bible:
“Where there is no counsel, purposes are frustrated, but with many counselors they are accomplished.”
The New Living Translation of Proverbs 15:22 says:
“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”
If you want to succeed in life. . .it’s best to seek out advisers or counselors who can guide you in the area of investments, debt elimination, real estate, networking, business plans, estate planning and much more.
I believe in getting all the advice I can prior to making a decision. Such an approach is not only wise. . .it’s scriptural.
We find many scriptures that warn us about the disadvantages and pitfalls of not having good counselors and advisers.
Proverbs 11:14 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
Proverbs 24:6 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For by wise counsel you can wage your war, and in an abundance of counselors there is victory and safety.”
Proverbs 24:6 in the New Living Translation says:
“So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers.”
Your victory in your war on debt and lack. . .your success is in part dependent on your ability to have good counselors and advisors speaking into your life.
The Message Bible translation of 15:22 says:
“Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed.”
4. Commiserating with others.
If you’ve been laid off from your job . . . don’t hang out with other folks who’ve been laid off as well. It’s too easy to begin commiserating about how unfairly you were treated.
It’s too easy to rehearse your hurts. . .relive your frustration or anger. . .talking yourself into thinking things are worse than they are.
At one of my meetings I remember hearing two people sharing stories about how they each evaded the men seeking to repossess their cars.
If you spend your time talking with negative folks about negative events…no surprise. . .it’s only reasonable that you’re going to find yourself becoming more and more negative.
The dominant thoughts in your life will draw similar thoughts to them like a strong magnet.
If you dwell on past hurts, failures, broken relationships and financial mistakes, then you’re doomed to repeat them.
Isaiah 43:18 in the Message Bible says:
“Forget about what’s happened: don’t keep going over old history.”
Here’s a fact. . .God can’t do a new thing in your life as long as your living in the past.
Don’t commiserate on what happened. . .instead plan for what’s going to happen.
5. Reading, listening and speaking right things.
The problem with thinking negative thoughts is that you will ultimately express them verbally. When and if that happens. . .you’ve positioned yourself for failure simply by ignoring the Word.
Matthew 12:34 says:
“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
The New Living Translation of Matthew 12:34 says:
“You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.”
Did you catch that?
“Whatever is in your heart determines what you say.”
Philippians 4:8 tells us what to concentrate on:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Matthew 12:35 says:
“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
Let me break it down and give you the anatomical flow. Heart. . .Head. . .Mouth.
What you think. . .you remember. . .what you remember you speak. It’s just that simple.
Matthew 12:36-37 says:
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
6. Develop new friendships and right relationships.
God is clearly directing me to emphasize some earlier points. . .because He’s wanting to make sure we understand what’s required for us move out of our comfort zone.
There’s a ten-step formula to developing new friendships. . .using the word “friendship” as an anagram and a scripture that goes with each letter.
F- RIENDLY at all times; always wear a smile, even when you don’t feel like it.
Romans 12:16 in the Contemporary English Version says:
“Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people.”
R- EGULARLY schedule plans and activities with family and friends.
Hebrews 10:24 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And let us consider and give [a]attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities.”
I- MPROVE your conversation and become a better listener.
James 1:19 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.”
E- XTEND your circle of friends by meeting at least one new person each week.
Acts 11:24 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For he was a good man [good in himself and also at once for the good and the advantage of other people], full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit and full of faith (of his belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation). And a large company was added to the Lord.”
N- EVER spend quality time with negative people.
3 John 2 in the Message Bible says:
“We're the best of friends, and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!”
D- EVELOP self-control and discard wrong attitudes of temper, impatience, and other self-defeating characteristics.
Philippians 2:5 in the New Living Translation says:
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
S- PEND more time discussing ideas than people and things.
Jeremiah 23:18 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“Who is in the Lord’s inner circle and sees and hears his word? Who pays attention and listens to his word?”
H- APPY thoughts purposed in every situation you face. Remember, the greater the challenge, the sweeter the victory.
1 Peter 5:7 in The Living Bible says:
“Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.”
I- NVEST more of your time doing things for others.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 in the Message Bible provides additional insight:
“Tell those rich in this world's wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.”
P- LAN your involvement in church, civic, and social activities.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 in The Living Bible says:
“If you wait for perfect conditions you’ll never get anything done.”
This is the time for you to step out.
Make a determined effort to get around those who can exhort, encourage, edify, build you up and lift you up.
Again, I’m not telling you to abandon your friends . . . but I’m telling you some facts. “Like” produces “like.” Your attitude, speech and behavior are directly affected by your friends.
7. Right view on giving.
Luke 6:38 says:
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
The above promise is not restricted to any particular group of saints. Every saint has the right to claim it if he or she puts into action God’s principle of giving.
What a joy and a God-given right it is for you to be a giver!
Suppose your local bank promised you that every time you wrote a check, it would credit your account with more than enough funds to cover the amount.
Surely you would consider yourself a very fortunate person.
At first, you would probably be a bit cautious, and write checks for moderate amounts. But, as the bank proved itself faithful and honored your checks again and again, putting more and more money into your account, you would soon realize that this wonderful new relationship was opening up a whole new life to you and your loved ones.
Not only would it be a blessing to you, but any neighbor or friend who found out about your bank would want to have the same sort of account. It would be wrong for your bank to offer this program to you alone.
Of course, we know that banks don’t operate that way, but God clearly declares in His Word that He does!
He promises to give us back more than we give, and He guarantees this return to all His depositors who give into Kingdom work.
When I say all, I mean all!
God declares in His Word that He is no respecter of persons. More than once He promises that we will receive in return more than we give, every single time!
Are you grasping this truth?
Since the resources of the entire universe are at His creative disposal, our Heavenly Father will never run out of funds. He will always be able to meet His promise of giving back to us more than we give to Him.
Do you see what this message is doing to your thinking about giving to God? Giving to Him is not an obligation. It is an opportunity to put God’s biblical principles into action!
It is a chance to begin operating your heavenly checking account according to a principle that contradicts the world: the more you give away to God’s work, the more He will return to you so that you can give to His work again!
2 Corinthians 9:11 in The Living Bible says:
“Yes, God will give you much so that you can give away much.”
If the entire Body of Christ began to operate in accordance with this biblical principle, we would witness the abundance Moses experienced in the Book of Exodus. His people were so willing to give to build the sanctuary that Moses finally asked them to stop the giving.
Exodus 36:6,7 says:
“Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.”
Begin to grasp your God-given right of giving. Act upon God’s promise to return to you more than you give. If you will do so, there will come a day when the abundance of God will literally overtake you. You will have enough money to fulfill every desire to give to God, with plenty left over to meet your every need.
Psalm 37:5 in the New Living Translation says:
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.”
Psalm 25:12,13 in The Living Bible says:
"Where is the man who fears the Lord? God will teach him how to choose the best. He shall live within God's circle of blessing."BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS