How we deal with money is affected by our parents, culture, experiences and even by the company we keep. Many people are caught up in a ‘victim’ or ‘poverty’ mentality, blaming their upbringing, the government, or their luck for their financial condition.
Yet as a general rule, rich people tend to get richer (even those who go through bankruptcy at some stage) while the poor tend to get poorer. Why? Well, it’s all about how we see our finances. I will manage my finances according to how I see them. We need to adjust how we think about money to God’s way.
Let’s go back to the beginning to see God’s original intentions:
Genesis 1:27–28 (NLT) God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
Adam and Eve were blessed with total provision, blessing and abundance. There was no sense of poverty. But notice that there were conditions, requirements and responsibilities. God instructed them to be fruitful and productive. There was a need for government, management and stewardship of all they were given.
Here we see the origins of ownership, commerce, working for profit and vision. All these things are a part of our God given mandate. My ability to be in financial control, to invest, to engage in business and commerce and to multiply what I have are all a part of God’s original plan.
Ok, so now let’s fast-forward in history to where the Israelites, God’s ‘chosen people’, have been trapped in Egypt in harsh slavery for some four hundred years.
Exodus 5:6–9 (NLT) That same day Pharaoh sent this order to the Egyptian slave drivers and the Israelite foremen: 7 “Do not supply any more straw for making bricks. Make the people get it themselves! 8 But still require them to make the same number of bricks as before. Don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy. That’s why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to our God.’ 9 Load them down with more work. Make them sweat! That will teach them to listen to lies!”
This comes at an extremely low point in Israel’s history – slavery and bondage. After so many years in Egypt, they had adopted much of the local culture and tended to think more like Egyptians than like people of God. They still thought like slaves.
They had to respond to God’s call to escape from slavery and insufficiency into abundance and prosperity.
This meant being led through the wilderness by Moses – a time where they had ‘ just enough’. God provided them with ‘manna’ to eat every morning, but it couldn’t be stored up – it decayed by the next day.
Israel in the Old Testament is a picture of us, the church, in New Testament times.
- Egypt represents not having enough
- The Wilderness represents having just enough
3. The Promised Land represents having more than enough.
We need to gain victory in our finances, moving from the mindset of poverty and insufficiency (slavery) to one of abundant provision (freedom). Many of us go through seasons of financial challenge at times, but we can all believe God for and work towards achieving financial victory, security and abundance.