Today I begin my series on economics and spirituality. From time to time, as a Spiritual teacher, I delve into various topics as the Lord leads and as He sees fit. Although my expertise is in health and wellness, the Lord has seen it fit to give me instructions pertaining to spirituality and economics, as every believer needs to know some basic facts about economics as it relates to their spirituality. What I will be presenting here in this series of posts is the spiritual side to economics, and how the Biblical model of economics can be applied to our lives today, with GREAT results!
According to the leading economists of the day, the economic crisis is over, but yet, many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet. Many Christians as well as non Christians are struggling in this tough economy, and many are in despair, and are giving up hope for a brighter future. Some have even linked this economic downturn as a sign of an apocalyptic event, and many are terrified of what is to be. Mayan 2012 end-of-world hysteria is sweeping the nation, and the prospect of 'socialized medicine' is frightening to many. What I am going to present is the reality of the economic system from a spiritual stand-point, and show that God's people have NOTHING to worry about, regardless of what the economy does.
Few people realize it, but in the world, there are always two economies operating at the same time - the world's economy and God's economy. Both economics co-exist at the same time, but they run parallel to each other. The world's economy is based upon the economic models and systems of the world, and may employ one or more of the following economic systems such as capitalism, socialism, communism, and so on. The world's economic system is based upon money, and the assigned values placed upon material goods such as gold, silver, oil, precious stones, food, textile, and so on. The world's economy is heavily dependent upon the availabilty of material resources, and wealth is determined by who can amass the most of this world's resources and control it. It is a system based upon greed, and how much one can acquire.
As Christians, we partake of this world's economy. We have jobs, businesses, and buy goods and services, as all a part of living in this world. We cannot help but be a part of this world's economy, and there is no escaping it. When there is a drought, we are affected. If there is a famine or food shortages, we are also affected. When the economy is good, we benefit. When the economy is bad, we suffer the effects of that too. The mistake that many Christians make however, is to think that somehow they will be exempt from being affected when the economy is bad. They think that somehow God is going to exempt them from any suffering, just because they are Christians. How wrong they have been! Many Christians can attest to the fact that this economy has caused them to be in dire financial straits, with job losses, business losses, and investment losses. Consequently, they despair and think somehow that they have done something wrong, or that God is punishing them, or bringing them or the country under judgment.
My dear friends, in my opinion, I think the current economic crisis the world is facing is not a result of God's doing, but man's doing. God had very little to do with the economic crash on Wall Street, or the banks. These crashes were the result of the world's economic system gone awry. What people have failed to realize is that God has an economic system, which is based in the Bible, that contrasts with the present world economic system. It is an economic system that kept ancient Israel a prosperous country, without Israel having to attack or invade other countries for resources. If we took the time to learn about God's economic system, we would be surprised at how simple, yet effective it was for ancient Israel. A word of warning though - the ancient Biblical system can only be practiced by those of us of faith, who have faith in the power of God to cause an increase in prosperity. I will call this Biblical system faith-based economics, because it is an economic system that is dependent on faith in God to provide and prosper.
Faith-based economics is an economic system in which man becomes a co-worker with God, and where man puts in the effort, but God provides the increase in prosperity. It works like this: We work in faith, believing that God will prosper our work and efforts, and He rewards us by prospering our efforts. We believe that He will make us prosperous in all that we do, and that He will provide the resources we need to do our jobs and to live. It is a faith that believes not in the power of self to prosper, but in the power of God to make us prosper. In 1 Corinthians 3:6,7 we read, "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow" (NIV). In this faith-based economy, the power to obtain wealth comes from God and not just from our own efforts or ingenuity. We read in Deuteronomy 8:18, that it is God who "giveth thee power to get wealth." People who practice faith-based economics will totally rely upon God to open doors of opportunity for wealth creation. God will prosper them with creative and imaginative thoughts and ideas. He will bring into their lives the right people at the right time. God will give them the strength and wisdom they need to excel in every area of life that He has called them to excel in. Such people rely upon God for strength, and not self, and they approach life being confident in God's strength. Instead of looking to or depending upon their own natural-born strength and abilities, faith-based practitioners draw heavily upon the immeasurable grace and power of God to succeed in life. They constantly say to themselves, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phillipians 4:13).
One of the beauties of practicing faith-based economics is that regardless of what the economy does, whether it is good or bad, God can overrule economic situations in your personal favor. I can think of two persons in the Bible, whom God overruled the then current bad economic situation of the land, in their favor - the widow of 2 Kings 4:1-7 and the widow of 1 Kings 17:1-16. In both of these situations, there was a famine in the land of Israel, and God sent economic relief for both of these women. God overruled the tough economic situation in their favor, so that they obtained relief, in spite of the ongoing hardships all around them. God helped these two women, who had no means of support, and nothing but their faith in God. He helped them get through a tough economy, and He will do the same for us today. He will do the same for you. All you have to do is trust Him, and put your faith in Him that He will carry you through these tough times.
On a personal note, I have experienced the blessings of God in my life just from practicing faith-based economics. I remember several years ago I had to give up a very good-paying job, in order to be faithful to the commands of God. To my co-workers, what I had done was foolish, but I willingly took a demotion from my job, so that I would not have to compromise my faith. It has been several years now since that incident, but I can say, thank God I followed my faith! I am now in a much more financially secure job today, and in my job I can practice my faith without hindrance. Not only that, but one of my past fellow co-worker, who had clinged unto her old job, had recently expressed to me a desire to leave her job. I, who once looked so foolish for leaving, am now seen as someone wise. I tell you, when you follow your faith, and trust God to provide for you, He really will!