Most people in the Western World ignore God when it comes to money matters. Really? God? Which God? There’s only one Creator. He is sovereign. He understands everything divine and human—including all money matters. The Lord Jesus Christ, who physically rose from the dead (a historic fact), is God Almighty, being co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Here is the first of seven, spiritual secrets to successful money management.
Ask God for help. It’s amazing how reluctant we are to pray for assistance. God opposes the proud, but gives grace (help/favour) to the humble. The first statement that Jesus made in his longest message, the Sermon on the Mount, is “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The word for poor is better translated as beggar. All that a beggar can do is beg—not trade, bargain, or sell—beg. Thus the first secret is to recognize our own limitations and be humble enough to ask God for help, both spiritual and material help. This may seem obvious, but it’s not. Sometimes people think it’s selfish to pray and ask God for stuff. Others feel God is not interested in details and that they are being presumptuous in asking God Almighty for ordinary things. Nonsense! Jesus told us to ask God our Father in Heaven for “daily bread.” This means praying daily. Be brutally practical. The Bible also says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” Don’t under-ask! Our Father in heaven has infinite resources and can stop time itself to achieve His purposes. Ridiculous? Skip it (but suffer). Interested? Read on.
The fact remains that God enjoys hearing the requests from His children. I am not saying that God likes all prayers. No. He is aware of all prayers, but He does not “enjoy” all prayers. Some prayers He ignores, while others God actually delights in (15:8). Praying is simple, but praying with power is not easy; it takes more than words. It also takes humility, persistence, and lifestyle. Let me explain. Would you give money to anyone who asks for it? Would you give $20 to a five-year-old to buy candy at a convenience store? How about giving money to someone with a track record of financial irresponsibility and no sign that this time will be different? Would you help someone who has no plan on how to put your gift to work? All these questions are designed to get us thinking about praying smart (30:7-9). One of the biggest tips I’d like to share is to pray for what you need specifically, not for an amount of money. For example, if you need a newer car ask for a newer car, not for money to buy a car. Be specific and recognize that money is not the answer to everything, contrary to Ecclesiastes 10:19.
When we moved to our new home we made a list of all the specific items that we wanted. We needed a house that would hold at least eight children comfortably and be close to work so that I could minimize time commuting—six bedrooms, twenty minutes to work, and more land. God answered us with the first house we looked at. It was amazing. We looked at many more houses, but the first one was indeed the best. Lesson: Be specific with God and God will be specific with you. But what is more important than being specific is being humble. Remember: God is not obligated to answer any prayer. He is God; we are not. Furthermore, the gods of our own making are just idols—totally lifeless and useless.
Unfortunately, one of the most common financial prayers is probably this one: “Oh God, please let this lottery ticket be the winner!” Did you know that many who win massive lotteries end up worse off after winning than before? Edward Ugel, author of Money for Nothing: One Man’s Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions discloses uncomfortable truths. Check out: “What if you win big... really big?” to learn more about this.