The Fantasy of Money
What are God’s purposes for money?
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
It seems for some people that money is everything. Their entire life is consumed with making money and buying all they can. Luke 12:16-21 is the Parable of the Rich Fool - a very sad story about a man who thought that he had everything, but still had to have more. The problem was that even though he had everything that his present life could offer, he was going to have absolutely nothing in his eternal state. Listen to how God responded to his spiritual blindness in Luke 12:20-21.
“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Everyone has to make a decision as to what part money is going to play in their life - will it be their god or will it be their servant? A crucial point is that whatever resources we have are always a gift from God, and because of that we become what the Bible calls a “steward”. In the New Testament, a “steward” was someone who had oversight of someone else’s resources. They were responsible for managing someone’s home, their business, and their finances. As Christians, we are also called “stewards” as it relates to the resources that God has given to us. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says, “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”
The issue with money is never how much or how little we have, but how faithful we are with what God has placed in our care. We can use money wisely or we can use money foolishly. The decision is always ours to make.
What is the spiritual purpose of money?
The first purpose of money is to provide for a person’s basic needs – food, clothing, shelter. Everyone has these needs. Even Jesus Himself prayed in Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread...”
Secondly, God often uses the supply of money or lack of money to validate spiritual direction for a believer’s life. The principle is simple - if something is God’s will, then He will provide the resources that are needed for that work. Generally, it does not come quickly, but requires that we wait and remain faithful to where He already has us. I have learned the hard way that when God withholds necessary resources from my life that very often it was to protect me from something harmful.
Thirdly, money allows us to help others who are less fortunate than we are. 2 Corinthians 8:14 says that our abundance should help supply for the needs of others.
Fourthly, when God supplies money that we need, it demonstrates His power to both ourselves and others so that He can be glorified and exalted. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
God’s supernatural provision allows the faithful steward to literally “abound” in doing good things. One of the encouraging truths of the Christian life is that the believer possesses what the Scriptures call “the true riches”. Luke 16:11 says, “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?”
The “true riches” are those spiritual values that allow the believer to become a channel of blessing to others. Anyone can accumulate an abundance of wealth, but never actually possess anything of any real or spiritual value. As a believer, God has not called us to live for our own personal desires and wants, but to find a greater purpose for living that touches the lives of other people with love, kindness, concern, and generosity.
So what is our conclusion?
How people view money is very often an effective barometer of their true spirituality. We all know the story of the rich young ruler who in his mind was deeply spiritual. However, what Jesus did was expose where his heart really was. He was very rich, but it was his riches that ultimately kept him out of the kingdom of God.
Pray this week:
“Father, will you please help me to be a good steward of all that you provide for my life? Will you help me not to be wasteful, but to always be mindful that every good and perfect gift is from above?”
Would you be willing to list all the areas of your life where you know that you may not have been a good steward and then ask God to help you develop the discipline necessary to be trusted with what He has given to you so that you can enjoy His “true riches”?