Living in Gods Economy
Are you having a hard time living in the current world's economy? Many people are in your predicament. Without God or without the faith that God WILL provide for us as He promised, things might not be going well for you financially or spiritually.
GOD'S ECONOMYWhat does the word "economy" mean according to the Holy Bible? Economy is the anglicized form of the Greek word oikonomia, which occurs throughout the New Testament (1 Timothy 1:4; Ephesians 1:10; 3:2; 3:9; 1 Corinthians 9:17; Colossians 1:25). Oikonomia is a compound of two nouns: oikos, which means HOUSE, and nomos, which means LAW.
God is like an immensely wealthy householder who desires to dispense His unsearchable riches (Ephesians 3:8) to all of His people, the members of His household. However, to accomplish this enormous task He needs a plan, an arrangement, an economy.
In the world’s economy, “more” is the thing that men chase only to find that “more” is never enough. In the world’s economy, conditions like recessions and depressions in the marketplace loom large in the minds of men. Tales of woe and hardship frighten the masses and cause them to tighten their grasp on inanimate coins from which they are destined to be separated anyway.
In the world’s economy, people fear money. They incessantly think about it and worry over it day in and day out. They secretly wish money didn’t exist, yet their lives revolve around it, while investing the bulk of their time and energy toward its acquisition.
In the world’s economy men worship and are controlled by a non-existent god called mammon. This man-made god of deceit seduces individuals and entire countries with the promise of tinsel and glitter – mere objects that never provide meaning, contentment, or true pleasure whatsoever.
The world’s economy is defined in terms of scarcity. The concept of scarcity is focused on to the extent that it becomes a mindset and way of life. Since money and things are thought of as scarce, competition to get “my share” drives individuals and populations to compete for the “little” that is available. Soon, people become bound to the rules of scarcity and take up permanent residence in the town of “Scared City.”
In the world’s economy, human life is cheapened and even disregarded in favor of “our” comfort and convenience. Children by the millions are left alone without food or shelter, and that’s somehow OK as long as “our” stomachs are fed, and the sheets are warm and clean on “our” beds. “Ours” is so paramount that a baby can and does die of hunger every few seconds while we turn away in order to disattach ourselves from the horror to not feel guilty or nauseous.
The world’s economy is measured and reported on 24/7. Entire media networks focus on the world’s money and its condition. The world’s economy is watched like a hawk, while men focus their entire lives on understanding it, predicting what it will do, and conquering it. Those who seemingly have conquered it, gathering more for themselves than the masses, are venerated as pop icons, more famous than rock stars. We make lists of these people and value their rankings as if their lives were more valuable than ours.
When the world’s economy dips, the masses rise up and blame the President, the political party in power, and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve for their ineptness and stupidity. Likewise, when a household’s economy dips, blame and accusation flare against a spouse for his or her ineptness, stupidity, and lack of concern. The very subject of money becomes a source of contention, eliciting disgust and frustration.
Time out, please…Can we please stop this manic carousel of confusion and aggravation? It’s time we understand and enter into a different economy - God’s economy. His economy is completely removed from the world’s economy, and doesn’t carry with it the angst and hysteria.
A few simple words reveal a greater economy - a powerful revelation for each of us to comprehend. “The silver and the gold is mine”, declares the Lord Almighty.” Haggai 2:8
God created the money. He created the things that money buys. Everything is His, and in God’s economy all of our needs are fully provided. They ‘have been’ provided and they ‘will be’ provided. He has given us everything that we need, not only for our provision, but also for the provision of the homeless, the orphans, and the widows. He gives us the choice – a test, as to whether we will “hoard” what He has so generously given us; or whether we will we transfer it to the ones who can’t provide for themselves.
The money to feed every soul on this planet has already been given to believers. It is in our pockets at this very moment. The question is whether we’re willing to turn loose of what we’ve been given to feed and care for those who are depending on us.
God’s economy is not scarce, so you can renounce your citizenship of Scared City if you’ve been living there. No, His economy is one of infinite abundance, where there is more than enough for everybody. His economy is prosperous, growing, infinite, and never subject to failure. It is not selfish, but rather expansive and inclusive of all of His children. If you want to find “more”, you’ll find it in God’s economy, and you will be amazed to find that it is always more than enough.
God says, and I paraphrase from scripture after scripture, “you are placing your focus on a wrong economy – the world’s; and the wrong person - yourself. You do not understand Who is important and Who is to be feared. Mammon will never treat you with respect and will always leave you empty. You can never trust in mammon – it is a trap and it will always betray you. No, I am the only One to be feared and respected. “I Am” your very great reward. Come to Me. Have courage and do not be afraid. Do not worry, but respect and trust in Me - and I, and I alone will take care of all your needs and even give you the desires of your heart.”
In God’s economy, relationships are infinitely more important than money and things. Relationships are our reward, and they are much more fulfilling and longer lasting than money or things. Wealth is a mere tool. Jesus told His disciples, “…use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Luke 16:9 Jesus doesn’t say, “if” it will be gone, He says, “when it is gone”.
In God’s economy – our wealth is stable. Our wealth is infinite. God is our wealth. He is our faithful provider. Our relationships, soul to soul with others, constitute tremendous, gratifying wealth, as well. Our wealth is here consistently all the time because God is here all the time – with you and me, and in you and me. Indeed, “the kingdom of God is within you”! Luke 17:21b. How could we want more? There is no need to do so.
In God’s economy there is no need for the blame game. People are not to be blamed. They are not to be disparaged. Quite the opposite – they are to be loved and uplifted. They are to be built up and supported in every way, not cursed, slandered, feared, or despised.
In God’s economy, there is no need to worry about circumstances. There is no need to worry about the future. Jesus admonishes Martha in Luke 10:41, “Martha, Martha..., you are worried about so many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Mary’s choice was to not be distracted with preparations, agendas, outcomes, etc., but to simply be with Jesus. She chose the best – the relationship with Jesus rather than a schedule or thing.
In God’s economy, we “return” to Him, and He will “return” to us. I’ve always thought of that word “return” as talking about giving our hearts to Him, while following His decrees, and that is certainly true. But God, through the prophet Malachi is very specifically talking about money and possessions when He uses the term “return”. I believe He is very clearly talking about the monetary meaning of “return” as much as He is our heart’s return. If we don’t purposely give or “return” our money (our “returns”) to Him, we are in essence robbing God. Notice in the following scripture who is to return first – we are.
“Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’”
“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me.”
“But you ask, ‘How do we rob You?’”
“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing Me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. ‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’” Malachi 3:7b-12
Let us be mindful of honoring and entering into God’s economy. Let us live under His rules and sovereignty, and not our man-made, up and down, worldly economy. Let us “return” to him in our hearts, and with our tithes and offerings. His economy is the right economy. His economy blesses - the world’s economy stresses. It curses. It frustrates and leads to nothingness. God’s economy is strong, faithful and not subject to the sneeze of the Chairman of some man-made board.
God’s economy was found long ago in the Garden of Eden, where man could find and have any and all he ever needed – abundant, delightful, free gifts from God. It will be found in the City of Zion, where the streets are paved with gold and where we sit at the feet of King Jesus surrounded by His dazzling white brilliance in the company of fellow believers. It is found today in our love for Him and in the hearts of one another - a prosperity afforded us beyond compare and measure.
In God’s economy, you can smirk at the recession and understand that opportunity always abounds regardless of circumstances, measurements, or the falling or rising valuations of the Euro or US dollar. True wealth lies in our hearts and in our relationships with our fellow man, our families, and with God Himself. In God’s economy, we are blessed beyond measure and that includes our needs and our finances.
Does all of this mean we shouldn’t go about the task of making money? Not at all. We should make money and we should be proficient at doing so. But it’s not all about the money like the world would have us believe. It simply means that we can get off the manic, agitating carousel of the world’s economy thinking our well-being revolves around the movement of markets, money and the creation of wealth. We can get our self-centered eyes off of the wrong person (our self) and focus on Jesus and our relationship with Him. We can loosen the death grip we have on our so-called ‘wealth’ and use our possessions to help those who are truly in need and rely on our awareness and compassion for their sustenance.
We must be ever mindful that the silver and gold are all His. His economy is extremely generous and in spite of what our checkbooks or savings account ledgers currently report, we have been blessed beyond measure.
Many talk of recession. Will you be fine? No, you will be more than fine. You will be, and already are unimaginably prosperous. Don’t be deceived by the world’s economy of confusion and chance when evaluating your worth and your measure of success. Enter into God’s economy and have total confidence in Him. Know that you live in abundance already and, in His economy, you have infinite value. You live in the very place where your future is perfectly assured – in God’s kingdom, God’s economy.
PERSONAL TESTIMONIESA Testimony by a friend from church: A sister in Christ from church gave a very powerful testimony at our church recently. Let me share her story with you.
This sister is an artist. She had prayed to God to bless her hands and let her earn a living doing what she loved so much which was painting. Afterwards, she took some of her paintings to a local gallery where the gallery owner told her to go home, that she had no talent. This devastated her. However, she kept on painting and before you know it, her paintings started to sell and she had her art hanging in galleries in several different states. When she had prayed to God to bless her hands, she told Him that she would use her talent for the glory of God and was always faithful in giving her tithes and offerings. God was faithful.
In 2008, when the world's economy started going downhill, so did her business. Paintings just were not selling. Her friends and gallery owners kept talking about how the economy was so bad and how they were all suffering financially and she chimed right in with them and told others about how bad the economy was and she just was not selling anything. One of the gallery owners told her to start painting very small paintings as maybe those would sell because they did not cost as much as larger paintings.
Then one day, she realized that she was not trusting in God to provide for her, and she went to the altar and prayed and confessed openly that she was going to trust in God to provide and she was going to live in God's Economy, not this world's economy. Within a week, she started selling paintings and she was not selling or painting any small paintings. She was selling and painting larger paintings than she normally did. She lost count of how many paintings she was selling.
What she did was leave it in the Lord's Hands to provide for her and make a way. Jesus promises us that if we only ask, we shall receive.
All along, even in the worst of times, she continued to give offerings, give to missions, and pay her tithes. God rewarded her faithfulness.
Friend, are you having a hard time in this world's economy? Trust in the Lord to provide for you. Give it all to Him and do it to glorify God, not yourself. Do it with a glad and giving heart.
Do you have a testimony you would like to share that pertains to living by God's Economy? If you would like for us to post your testimony here, please send us an email and share your story.