Is it really true that financial truth liberates, and financial truth brings freedom?
I recently spent some time reading Dave Ramsey’s book, ‘Complete Guide to Money’; after reading the testimonies of persons who from a lifestyle and situations of debt experienced freedom, I came to this conclusion:
“Financial freedom was directly connected to our willingness to master the principles that govern finances, along with the commitment to be disciplined in applying them.”
Absence of Truth – Absence of Freedom
The most excellent teacher who ever walked the earth had this to say, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” How about when you add to these thoughts the words of Prophet Hosea – “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
My life may be representative of many. We grew up poor, but my most profound poverty was not the absence of money or resources but the lack of understanding of the laws that govern its acquisition, multiplication, and use.
To begin life with such deficits was unfortunate, but to grow into adulthood without having those handicaps adjusted, only compounded a bad situation. Was it worse because of debt? Or the inability to meet obligations? My quick answer is, No! It was something even deadlier. It was the reproduction of my ignorance into the lives of my children. I had effectively steered their lives to the same experiences, maybe even worse than I had encountered.
There is More to it than Words
During the period when my sons were about to enter into their teen years, my awareness of the need for change heightened. I encouraged them to regard debt as bad, savings as useful. We lectured them about the trap of credit. I chastised them when they chose to spend their pocket money at Mcdonalds or when they quickly seized the opportunity to purchase candy at the supermarkets check-out point.
(You know that’s a trap for the indisciplined?)
The joy that filled me, when they chose to save their financial gifts and allowances, I was having an impact, but it would be short-lived. When December came around, and discounts and offers filled the air, the challenge on their souls when friends spoke of their pending acquisitions or gifts; the smell of the sweet holiday goodies at the malls was just too much for their resolve, in a short while they depleted their pool of funds.
Now consider this. We would have regular family meetings, and in them, we would have discussions about our finances, the young men could always give us the correct answers. It meant that their minds had information, but the power of delivery was low. Why?
Three things may have temporarily relegated my sons to personal defeat and an uncertain future.
- Telling not demonstrating by my life practices.
- Waiting too late to begin teaching them.
- Their dad’s lack of knowledge.
You may be reading this post, and you fall into one of these categories:
- You know and have mastered, or you are learning and applying the principles
- You are an adult who has never learned the principles
- A child or young adult who feels locked into the wrong financial mindset and who cries out for change.
Wake Up! It is also Our Thinking
Before we journey on to indicate some of the actions that we need to consider, let me take a brief segue. I promise we will get back on track shortly.
The truth will always bear fruit, and there are no exceptions. We must wake up; our thinking is stinking.
Bible-believing persons both within and without the pulpit have symptoms of these problems. Let us get it quite clear, the devil whom we blame may have a hand in inflicting issues related to financial ignorance, but his success is connected to primarily our need of internal mental change. The apostle Paul puts it this way:
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 NLT
The thing observed in Dave Ramsey’s book that challenged my thinking was this, no matter the size of the debt, from dollars to hundreds of thousands, within a two to seven-year span, they were all debt free and on their way to building wealth as a result of applying themselves to the biblical principles.
Sometimes we spend so much time in activities such as prayer, and in giving, addressing the devil, working hard, making deals with little if any returns. Is it time to face our reality and be bold enough to ask ourselves the question?
Have I learned and mastered the laws of the kingdom of God which govern resources and money?
Truth liberates, and it brings freedom but let us take it a bit further, it is the truth that you know and apply your heart to, which brings personal liberation.
Isn’t it time for you to write a different story?
How do I experience liberation and freedom?
We are to trust God to experience his liberation and freedom. I threw this one in deliberately because it is such a cliche tossed about as an all-encompassing answer. Yes, it is true we must trust him in all our ways, but it is presumptuous to tell the believer who has been trusting God for changes and has not seen several that they were not trusting him. The idea of trusting him in most cases has not been the issue, but rather the knowledge needed to trust him accurately has been absent.
Acquiring knowledge is a challenge for many. When your back is against the wall, and immediate solutions are needed, the acquisition of information takes time and does not usually produce quick returns. Just remember the benefits to come are worth the investment of time. The Bible promises in Matthew chapter 7 and verse 8 that everyone who seeks will find, so start, and you will find. Too many believers only listen to a small part of God’s truth in this area. Tithing and Firstfruits are just a part of the equation and not the whole. It may be true that there is an over-emphasis on some parts of the principle, but we should seek the complete knowledge of God’s will.
Those who are already on the growth path, keep going, don’t stop. God is looking for those who can champion the areas of their stewardship, proving themselves ready to handle the resources of cities and nations. Why would he trust us with more if we cannot master smaller quantities? (Refer to Matthew 25:21)
Sources of Knowledge
The Bible is the most significant resource and source of information, understanding, and wisdom. Spend time with it, and the truth will be revealed to produce substantial change.
The Truth Will Set You Free
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, ESV
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ESV
Books and Resources
Books and tapes of women and men who teach on the subject and have a track record of helping people. Material from persons such as Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and others such as Gary Keesee – ‘fixing the money thing’ may be a resource for you but you must do your research and make an informed choice.
Mentors and Personal Coaching
People who have demonstrated godly balanced lives and have demonstrated their knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of how they have applied the principles. I read the following, that if you took all the worlds resources and divided it equally between all humans; within three years the rich would be rich again and most of the poor would be back to where they were before. Those who had learned previously to acquire wealth had mastered principles that the poor did not. Therefore, find those who know how to master financial principles and learn from them. Let me state – a rich person is not necessarily a master of the monetary tenets, so ask God to bring into your life somebody or to show you someone in your sphere from whom you can learn. If you can’t find someone in your world, find a book or some other materials. Choose one or more of the other listed sources.
Seminars, Retreats, and Conferences
Workshops and Conferences are events held annually in which you can participate. Grow a hunger for knowledge, place a demand upon yourself for change. There is much to be gained from those who are more advanced in their development than you are at now.
The Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit will help us to find the truth
It is vital that we examine the person and function of the Holy Spirit in all of this. We are guilty of relegating the Holy Spirit to the recesses of our heart. Instead, we are to allow him to function in his character. Jesus stated clearly his function in John16:13-15:
- He will guide us into all truth – make a note, ALL truth, that includes the reality of kingdom resources.
- He will shew us things to come
- He will receive ideas from Jesus and make them known to us
Paul told The Corinthians in the first letter to them, chapter 2:9-14, that the Spirit’s assignment was to reveal the things prepared by God for those who love him. His revelations belong to you because you love him. God wants you to know.
1 Corinthians 2:12
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. ESV
Invest Time to Know Him
Just like any other relationship, it will take an investment of time in getting to know him and how he communicates, functions with you and in you.
The results are worth it. To become intimately connected to God’s Spirit, here are a few things you should arrange in your action plan:
- Compile a list of scriptures about him
- Invest time meditating and renewing your mind from the scriptures you have collected.
- Ask him to make himself so real to you, that when he speaks no matter what environment you are in, you will know his voice or his nudges.
- Ask him to teach you (1 John 2:27)
He isn’t going anywhere, he is here to be with us forever, but he is a gentle spirit. If we shut him out, he will keep quiet.
He is the best help and source given to us – not your intellect, nor education, no one else but him.
The Tools are Available
The tools are available for our change. To the older person, your financial future may appear bleak and impossible to change. You may be doubting your ability to make and apply changes, but do not fold in, do not quit, leap, chance it. To the younger adult, your inner dynamics and unproductive mindset and patterns should not define your future, go for it, invest in change. Dream of a different future crafted by God’s word. Change your family tree. Parents, young and old, newlyweds, say yes to a better prospect for your children; the tools you will gain will turn you into skillful practitioners, crafting a better future not only for your lives but your communities and nations.
And to all leaders, the Holy Spirit will undergird you with his wisdom as you pursue the goal of transforming the conditions and dynamics of those you lead both in church and industry.
The message is for you, let me say, this message is for us – We will master the principles of the kingdom which govern resources and economics as we commit our efforts, life and focus tenaciously to the truth with the help and power of the Holy Spirit.