Faithful Father of Finances
Ramsey Solutions says that dealing with personal finances is 80% behaviour and 20% head knowledge. The more I am proactive with budgeting, the more I realize this to be true. Though Michael and I have been debt free for five months now, I can still see where my old way of thinking creeps in. However, now that I’ve become aware of it and have worked on it for years, it is easier for the Lord to show me these moments and change my perspective.
I was spending time with Jesus this past Saturday and read Deuteronomy 8. The Lord was preparing the Israelites to enter their promised land by reminding them of who He had been for them and how He provided.
“He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then he gave you manna to eat, which you and your ancestors had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out, and your feet did not swell these forty years.” Deuteronomy 8:3-4
The Israelites never ran out of food or clothing the entire 40 years they wandered around in the desert. They always had a sufficient amount of what they needed. The Lord reminded them of this as they prepared to take over a very abundant land. It was the Lord that provided, not themselves. He needed them to be aware of this.
“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams, springs, and deep water sources, flowing in both valleys and hills; a land of wheat, barley, vines, figs, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat food without shortage, where you will lack nothing; a land whose rocks are iron and from whose hills you will mine copper. When you eat and are full, you will bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
“Be careful that you don’t forget the Lord your God by failing to keep his commands, ordinances, and statutes that I am giving you today. When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.” Deuteronomy 8:7-14
The Lord warned the Israelites that it would be very easy to forget the Lord and His commands. It would be easy to fall into pride and boast about all that they had, claiming their own hard work over it. But it was the Lord that gave them victory in their battles and provision in the land. He gave it to them and could take it away again.
He told the Israelites to remember that He had brought them up out of slavery. They went from having nothing to having an abundance because of the Lord’s faithfulness and provision. It had nothing to do with them and everything to do with Him.
This was something the apostle Paul understood in the New Testament as well.
“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly because once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I know how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:10-13
The Philippian church had been under persecution so they didn’t have much in way of finances to support Paul on his missionary journey. They were a generous people so it grieved them to not be able to give more because they knew the worth of his ministry.
But Paul understood something that we should all strive to understand. The Lord taught him to be content with whatever he had no matter if it was a lot or a little. Paul learned that the Lord would provide for his needs to be able to do that which the Lord called him to.
This goes hand-in-hand with letting things of the world go. We can definitely enjoy nice things like the Israelites did. They went from living in tents to beautiful homes. They went from eating bread supplied by heaven for 40 years to having a great variety of foods to choose from. But what the Lord was trying to teach them is to not put their hope in their own abilities or the possessions they owned. It was to put their trust and dependence on the Lord in all things; to have their minds focused on the Lord and His kingdom’s cause. He would provide the rest.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:33
This is an important reminder for me today. I will never go empty. Sometimes I may even enter a season of abundance. Regardless, I will always have just the right amount of whatever I need to do the Lord’s work. In both times, I need to give thanks and remember the Lord and His provisions for me. It was Him that provided and I must keep a humble heart.
You’ll have whatever the Lord thinks you need for the season you’re in, nothing more and nothing less. So give thanks for what you have today and trust the Lord for your tomorrow.