“I am my beloved’s and His desire is for me.” Song of Solomon 7:10 (NASB)
Welcome to the journey. The journey of discovering how a God who loves you and cares for you so much has outlined in his word a series of principles and laws to help us to live the best life that we can possibly live.
Why? Because he loves you and loves you immensely. Before we start into the journey of the nitty gritty of how God has outlined for us to manage what he has entrusted to us, we need to first come to the understanding of how much God loves us and cares for us, no matter what we have done or not done. The mess we are in or how we have it all together. His love for us is immense.
We need to start from this position because when we are in debt, the turmoil and burden of it takes us to a different place, a place of feeling unworthy of being rejected by God, of not wanting to come into his presence because we feel shame and guilt from the actions that we have done.
So Can I encourage you to do as the Psalmist says and “Cease Striving and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (NASB). We need to come to a place of complete rest in him, that God as our Daddy God, our Abba Father, the one who takes care of our needs, the one who Matthew talks about when he says: 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6, NIV)
I can hear you know saying, well that’s ok for you to say? But I’m up to my eye balls in debt, I’ve got all these bills to pay, the creditors are ringing, we could loose everything and your talking about the love of God?
Absolutely, I know and understand where you are coming from, been there done that. Can I tell you though that unless we come to the point of recognising that God, who is as close as the air that we breathe, loves you and cares for you and provides for you, it’s really not worth you reading the rest of this book.
Let’s start with one of my favourite bible passages in this whole area, that demonstrates clearly that our God loves us and cares for us and can provide a way out for even the worst of financial situations.
The passage is from 2 Kings 4:1-7
1 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
2 Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a little oil.”
3 Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”
5 She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
Picture the situation, here is a woman in the most desperate of desperate needs.
Her husband has died, she has no means of support, no money in the bank and no earning potential – even the potential that she has through her sons is going to be taking away from her because of her creditors.
What fascinates me about her husband is that he revered the Lord, he would have know the laws and ways of God, yet left his wife in such a terrible financial situation when he died. Unfortunately this still happens today, generally it is not the wife who puts the family into financial difficulty it is the husband. If a wife has a bad day she buys a new hat, a new handbag, new pair of shoes, realatively minor expenses. Where as a husband has a bad day, he tends to buy a new car, a new boat, a new house which puts the family into a right royal mess. I had an interesting conversation with a family lawyer one day who said that he has observed that generally about 6 months prior to the divorce the husband has purchased some time of major expenditure item.
This man should have know better, yet he didn’t so left the family in this predictament. But do you know what, when the women want to the man of God, he didn’t berate her or put her down or tell her that she deserves what she is going through. No, in love and compassion, he said to her “how can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
I believe this is exactly what God is saying to you today, how can I help you, come to me, I want to help you, not only to I want to help you, but I can help to guide you and direct you as to the best way and solution to solve your problem.
You may think it was a strange question to ask “What do you have in your house?” but it is the right one.
Look at the womens’ response – she said “Your servant has nothing there at all”. This is not an unusal response. When we are so overwhelmed by debt and the burden of it on our lives, we can’t see the forest for the trees. We have so focused on the debt that we don’t know that we have such resources available to us to help us in solving the problem. That we cannot see the solution or be open to the solution.
In the woman’s case, the solution took a word from the prophet to bring to her mind, that she had a little oil left.
Then God gave her through the prophet the plan. She needed to go and collect as many jars as possible from all her neighbours, not just a few, but many. Then once she had them all. Close the door, involve her sons and start pouring the oil into the jars.
It may have sounded absurd, but it was a strategy from God. Let me encourage you, God has the right strategy for your situation, it may be different then others, it may be the same, but he has a strategy for you. Be open to receiving that plan and strategy. A key part of it is quieting yourself down and listening to the voice of God. More on that later.
What happened? Firstly she was obedient to the word. Obedience is such a key. She did exactly what had been told to her to do. And what happened? The miraculous. God can and still does perform the miraculous in our lives. Why? Because he loves us and cares for us and desires the best for us. As you are obedient to him, the miraculous will start to happen and over take you.
In the woman’s case, that little oil kept flowing and flowing and flowing and flowing until all the jars that she had collected had filled. Imagine that, imagine watching it happen. In her desperation a miracle occurred. Sometimes it takes us to be in a desperate situation for the miracle to happen.
Now what was she to do. She went back to the prophet to get further revelation. What was the revelation – go sell the oil, pay off your debts, you and your sons can live on what is left.
A key point here is that it is not what God told you but what He is telling you. We need to constantly go back to God and ask him for the next revelation. To build on what God has already said. A prime example of this is Abraham and Isaac. God told him to sacrfice Isaac and he was obedient to that, he took Isaac and the wood needed and took him to offer him as a sacrifice. However, God spoke to him again and provide the ram for him to sacrficie instead of Issac. Abraham was fully within his rights to say, hey God you told me to sacrifice my son. But God spoke to him again and gave him fresh revelation as to what to do. We need to be cultivating this relationship with God that we are listening to him and obeying, then going back and listening to the next step and stage along the journey.
The result was that the woman was able to pay all her debts and live on what was left. I don’t believe that this was just a little amount that was left, but enough for her to live on for the rest of her life.
My friends, I believe whole heartedly that this is what god wants to do for you. Not only for all your debts to be cleared but for you to enter into such a relationship with God that you will experience His on going provision for the rest of your life!
To close out this introduction I would like to share with you a passage from Song of Solomon
Come now, my love.
My lovely one, come.
For you, the winter has passed,
The snows are over and gone,
The flowers appear in the land,
The season of joyful songs has come.
The cooing of the Turtledove is heard in our land.
Come now, my love.
My lovely one, come.
Let me see your face. And Let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and your face is beautiful.
Come now, my love,
My lovely one, come.
Song of Solomon 2:10 – 14 (NASB)
The beauty of this passage, is that God is inviting you on a journey. A journey for you to experience his love, his compassion, his mercy and his grace. Come now, my love, My lovely one, come. Can you hear his voice calling to you, to lay aside everything that is not of him and join him on this journey of not only becoming financially debt free, but spiritually debt free as well.