There’s Hope, So Let’s Get to Work!

Somehow, some way, you’ve managed to get yourself buried underneath mounds and mounds of debt, and it may seem like there is no end in sight…I’m here to tell you that there is hope! There is hope; however, it will require some work on your part. First, you must understand that remaining in debt is a choice, your choice. Without that acknowledgement you deny yourself the power to change. Like any other sin, you have to admit to your wrongdoing, ask for forgiveness, repent, and start again. Getting out of debt is no different. Sure, you’re the on that made the bad decisions to put items on credit cards, take out loans, put spending as a priority over saving, etc. But guess what? That same person, you, can also make the decision to turn away from your consumer ways and walk in the things of God.

God doesn’t want you to suffer in debt any more than he wants you to suffer in your sin. That is why he gave us the gifts of forgiveness and grace. Is he disappointed that we aren’t better stewards of the resources that he’s given us? Sure, he is. However, the moment that we decide to turn back to Him, he is there, waiting with open arms to help redeem us. Your debt isn’t going to disappear just because you ignore it. In fact, the bible says that the wicked borrow and do not repay (Psalm 37:21). You chose to borrow the money, so now you must repay it. The sooner that you do, the sooner you can move on. It’s definitely going to take some time and sacrifice to get it done, but it will be worth it in the end.

Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Let God help you through this process. He loves you and wants you to be debt free so that he can use you. On the other hand, you have to put in the necessary work to get it done. Show him that you’re serious about changing your ways by doing a budget, giving on a regular basis, controlling urges to spend unnecessarily, etc. God will get you through it, but you have to put in the work. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. First you have to see it, then you have to move towards it. You are in control of your financial destiny. The question is, will you go after it? Redemption awaits!

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

Advertisements

What’s in it for me?

Sometimes we can be selfish, feeling that we’re the ones toiling day in and day out for our paychecks, and can’t understand why we have to just give money away. After all, we work hard to maintain the lifestyles that we’ve created! But I believe that God has designed giving in such a way that we both win. He’s not some holy tax collector that’s trying to take our money. Instead, he’s a loving father that just wants to bless his children.

The Bible says, in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” So basically, the more I give away, the more I’ll get back in return, but if I’m OK with what I have as a result of giving sparingly, then why should I give more? If I have a home, food to eat, a job, a car, clothes…God has obviously provided the basic needs, so I’m good, right? WRONG!

I believe there are three reasons why God wants us to give:

1. Protection:¬†Giving protects us. In Malachi 3:11, God promises to protect the fruits of our labor as a result of tithing. In other words, tithing is similar to paying an insurance premium. That’s one insurance policy that I’m willing to put my trust in over all of the man-made options that we have. I also believe that giving protects our hearts. Matthew 6:24 tells us that we cannot serve both God and money. By giving, our hearts remain attached to God (the source), instead of becoming attached to money (the product).

2. Purpose: Giving is a part of fulfilling our purpose. Flat out, it takes money to do ministry. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others. He designed us to function as pipelines for Kingdom wealth. As soon as we stop giving, our pipelines become clogged, and the work of the Kingdom is drastically diminished. Giving is instrumental in seeking and saving the lost. You never know, even the smallest act of kindness could be the one very thing that will lead someone to Christ.

3. Promise: Giving grants us access to the promise of provision. Proverbs 11:24 says, “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” If we sow sparingly we’ll reap sparingly, and if we sow generously we’ll reap generously. The key to increase doesn’t lie in continuously begging God for more, it lies in the stewardship of what we’ve already been given. Under God’s system, we’re able to give our way into abundance.

So if you currently aren’t giving because you’re wrestling with the whole “what’s in it for me” question, I hope that after reading this, you will see that there is so much in store for you! Maybe you want to give, but don’t feel as if you’re in the financial position to do so. Go to God in prayer, be specific about who it is that you want to bless, and ask him to provide (2 Corinthians 9:10-11). If you’re already a giver, perhaps you’ll been inspired to kick it up a notch. Wherever you fall along the giving spectrum, know that you’ll have more to gain in comparison to what you think you’ll have to lose.

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

Re-Order My Steps

God wants you to have the desires of your heart. However, if we are in debt, I believe we have gotten our steps out of order. Buy now, pay later is out of divine order. Why? The bible says to owe no man anything except the debt of love. Look at the trouble debt has caused in not only our own¬†lives, but in the life of the church. We toil day in and day night to produce a paycheck only to have it taken away by our lenders, aka financial slave masters, every payday. To go through that process every month over a lifetime of employment is not God’s will for our lives because it limits the work that He is able to do through us. Not only does the Kingdom suffer, but so do we. I must admit, I am tired of that cycle. So what do we do? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expect a different result. If we want different results, we must change our current behavior.

The world focuses so much on consuming, that saving and giving are mere afterthoughts. The two least thought about actions, but they are also the two most important. In order to induce change, we have to flip the script. Give, save, then spend. That is divine order. God first, then ourselves, then the world. When we put God first in our financial order, everything else falls in line. But when we put the world first, our saving and giving suffers.

Giving has to be our number one priority. When we take care of God, He takes care of us. Second, we must ensure our own financial stability by saving. There will always be a time of feast and a time of famine, as we are witnessing in today’s financial crisis. The last thing on our list should be spending. At first glance, the child in us would think “but what about me?” Spending is last, but it usually satisfies some kind of temporary gratification. Once we mature, we realize that God’s order will satisfy our wants and needs for a lifetime.

I have been on both sides of this fence, and I have to tell you that God’s order hasn’t failed me yet. If you are currently operating outside of God’s financial order, I challenge you to re-order your steps and start experiencing the life that God desires for you!

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

Money, Power, Glory!

As I thought about the topic for this blog, the song, “Money, Power, Respect” came into my head. First you get the money, then you get the power, after you get the power, then you get the respect. This theory is a direct reflection of the worldly mindset towards money. The media teaches us that money gives us the power to do whatever we want, in hopes of becoming idols for those that are less fortunate, and gaining respect from those that have already made it. While Lil’ Kim may have been on to something, I find her theory flawed.They key ingredient that’s missing is God. Let’s take a closer look…

We can agree that we all need money in order to fulfill the basic necessities of life, such as water food, clothing, and shelter. The first course of action is to find a way to get money and to keep it flowing. Once we get the money, then we have the power to purchase basic necessities. Now, here’s where we find the fork in the road. While I agree that money gives us power, it’s what we do with that power that will determine whether or not God will be glorified or that person will be idolized. God is glorified when we use that power to serve him and others through our giving and debt free living. On the other hand, the person seeking respect/status for themselves becomes defined and idolized by the things that they have on display. One will serve God, and the other will chase things, as will their followers.

While the world may be about money, power, and respect, God’s children ought to seek money, power, and glory. We know that God provides for his children, and that money should never be an issue because He is rich beyond measure. However, we have a choice when it comes to using the power that God has given us. The path to respect leads to debt and mindless spending, while the road to glory provides limitless abundance and freedom. Which road will you take? If you’re on the wrong one, it’s not too late to get off. If God is truly our source, He will provide us with the money and power. It’s up to us to provide Him with the glory that He deserves.

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

In God We Trust?

It’s interesting the the phrase “In God We Trust” is printed on our money, but yet God is often the last to receive any of it, if at all. The never-ending debate in church about whether or not we should or shouldn’t tithe…Why is it so difficult to trust God with our money?

In Malachi 3:10, God tells us to test Him regarding tithing. I have to admit that I didn’t know or hear much about tithing growing up in an Episcopal church. But the first time that I heard word on it, which was about 6 years ago, I started from that moment and haven’t looked back. I’ve seen nothing but increase year after year. It hasn’t always been easy either, but as long as I’ve stayed faithful, so has God. Do we really think that the world has our best interest at heart when it comes to our finances when the entire nation is in a state of debt? While they’re after our dollars, God is after our hearts. He does have our best interest in mind, and promises to rewards us beyond measure! That’s much more than any credit card company could ever offer.

Take the test, and challenge God. Fully trust Him with your finances and you will always end up with more than enough. God rewards good stewards by giving us more and more of his resources to manage. If you’re faithful over what you have, God will allow you to rule over so much more. But you will never know until you try. The world’s method of “buy now, pay later” has failed us all. Now will you trust God?

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

A Debt Freedom Prayer

Lord, today I choose to live debt free. I will no longer manage money the world’s way. Free me from the hands of my lenders. Although I have borrowed in the past, I will borrow no more. Lord, I believe that you are my source; not credit cards or loans. From this day forward, I will be a pipeline for Kingdom wealth. I will give, save, and invest like never before. Today, I receive the prosperous, debt free life that you have prepared for me. Renew my heart and my mind so that I may live the life of the rich and glorious. It’s in Jesus’ name that I pray, Amen.

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

The Debt Devil

Simply put, debt keeps us from God and limits His work through us. Would any of you like to be in a position to give more or to really impact someone else’s life? I think most of us would, but we can’t because our money has already been directed away from us and God before our paychecks hit the bank. We have the same list of people waiting to be paid each month, and God is lucky if He’s one of them. That ought not be. If God has richly blessed us, we should be able to take care of Him first, and have enough left over to settle our desires debt free. But instead, our debt has become a priority over God. We have to get back to putting God’s needs first, and separate ourselves from the world.

We know that the borrower is slave to the lender, and that man cannot serve two masters. If we’re all enslaved to the world’s creditors, who’s serving God? And I don’t mean just nickel and diming each Sunday because that’s all that we can spare. I’m referring to the people that are financially free to answer God’s call. Do we want to be one of those people? Do we care if we’re not one of them? If so, what are we going to do about it?

Debt not only takes our money, but it can take away our joy and happiness by the stress that it causes. That isn’t God’s will for our lives. He wants us to live free. He wants us to live in abundance. But we have to put ourselves in position to receive what God as for our lives. The same way that we protect our souls from evil, we must also guard our financial blessings from the debt devil. There should be a visible difference in the way that Christians handle money. Let’s regain our financial souls. We can do it with God’s help. He’s able, and so are we.

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne