A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label God's Provision. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God's Provision. Show all posts

October 3, 2022

Now Is The Time To Pay Attention! God's Economic System Is Better Than The World's

With the financial health of the stock market declining at a consistent rate, we cannot ignore the implications for our economy and our future. I know the subject of money and wealth is a difficult one for the Christian community to discuss. But it shouldn't be. God has an economic system in His Kingdom, and we would do well to discern just how different [and better] it is than what the world offers.

In 2008, God shook my husband and I awake. We were just your normal, average American citizens. But when the housing market began crashing from the sub-prime mortgage debacle, our spirits got jolted and we started educating ourselves to the machinations of our nation's economic system, and began asking God for wisdom and counsel in order to avoid getting caught in the evil web that was being spun.

As inexperienced as we were, we were wise enough to listen to what God was instructing our spirits. Instinctively, we knew that the Kingdom of God on earth was to reflect His Heavenly Kingdom. So, if the world's economic system seemed to be failing, shouldn't we, as Christians, be seeking to find out how God instituted His economic system in Heaven and wants our financial system to operate? 

If you grew up with the distorted view of money that I did, then you probably have faced the same two fears that I have known: 1) that money is the root of all evil, and 2) the very real fear of lack of money. Those two fears are at odds with each other and can cause confusion and frustration. So, let me share some thoughts about how God wants us to consider money. First, and most importantly, can we agree that God owns the world and all that is in it? And, yes, that includes all the money [no matter how much the financial gurus try to convince you that it can belong to you]. True, the very wealthy are accused of accumulating more than their fair share; and the government tries to control how much you can keep. 

Now, let me share some wisdom from Byron Howell Ministries on his blog post titled, Economic Freedom and God's Financial System. He begins by quoting Haggai 2:8, "The silver and gold are mine, declares the Lord Almighty". Then he says this: "The first step in operating in God’s economic system is moving your thinking out of the world’s economic system, [which is based on individual ownership of money], and over to God’s economy, which is fundamentally based on God’s ownership of all the world’s money.... The world’s economic system, based on individual ownership, functions by math. God’s economic system, based on His ownership, functions by movement.  God does not spend money, God moves money" [my emphasis]. 

That was the first important principle of God's economy that Mark and I learned. I think we were both so unhappy working in the corporate economic system [where we saw so much mismanagement and dishonesty], that it wasn't hard to make the jump to be self-employed, which also led us to the importance of tithing. Once we had to place our trust in God's grace and authority in blessing us with His resources, we wanted to share those blessings as He led us. We understood that anything that came into our coffers, came from God. And in humble thanks for what He provided, we wanted to give back to Him in ways that honored Him. For us, that meant giving to others as we saw needs to be met; always making it clear that it wasn't our money, but God's, and He was using us to let them know He saw them and recognized their need. You see, God moved that money through us [meeting our needs] and then moved it to someone else who needed it.

And can you fathom that God has all the money that He will ever need to achieve His goals for the world? But He loves partnering with us, which leads to an intimate relationship of sowing and reaping. God gives us what we need, and if we stay in righteous relationship with Him, we can harvest seed from His blessings and sow it in [and through] others. That economic system perpetuates itself and moves God's money as He informs. And that calls our attention to the concept of stewardship, which is our responsibility to supervise, protect, and manage God's property. 

Another truth that we need to understand is that because money belongs to God, it is not evil. I mean, God blessed Abraham, Jacob, and King Solomon with great wealth. The Bible says Abram was "very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold" (Genesis 13:2). Jacob's wealth "increased greatly" in livestock, servants, camels and donkeys (Genesis 30:43). King Solomon "excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom" (1 Kings 10:23). It must also be understood that while God used these men in powerful ways, and their wealth was often expressed as a blessing from God, it did not necessarily indicate their standing with Him. We would be wise to see the real value of money in this world ... it is provision given to us to be wisely invested so that it yields a return for the One who owns it. It does not entitle us to run our own program with the money He has given us.

In this world, we are subliminally taught that money is the key to happiness. The wealthy are always shown as possessing things that bring them joy; and those things cost money. Hence, the message we get is that the desire for money is essential to be happy. The poor are rarely shown as satisfied; they covet or are miserable because of the lack of money. In essence, we have been trained to see money as an idol. When that happens our focus is taken off Jesus [and what He has given us] and transfers to our own selfish needs and desires. 

So, how do transfer into God's Kingdom economy when we find ourselves facing a serious downturn in the world's economic system? First, let me say it is my personal opinion that we are going to feel some pain in the short term [and only God knows how "short" that term will be]. But when you understand how God's system works, you will navigate this new reality with the proper perspective, which is ... be thankful for what you have been given, recognizing who it belongs to; even in the midst of hardship, sow into others and you will please God, reaping treasure in heaven; and, last but not least, you are not alone.

We serve a God that seeks to bring this world into alignment with His Heavenly Kingdom, and that can mean pain when we are so far out of position. He knows what we need and He desires to give us "our daily bread". So, no matter what our economic future or the future of the nation looks like, let us be content in what we have been given, always looking to share in the blessings we have received. And never forget that no matter what the world looks like, there is an eternal existence that awaits us, and it is our righteousness that will be measured, not our riches. 

Luke 6:38    Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.


July 25, 2020

It's Time To Get Firmly Settled In Your Land of Goshen

     Almost exactly six years ago to the day, I wrote a blog post titled, Are You In Your Land of Goshen? There were increasing signs that our nation was undergoing radical changes philosophically, politically, and culturally. We were struggling with the societal and religious issue of same-sex marriage; protests over a police shooting in Ferguson, MO were turning violent in the streets of major cities; the Federal Government and ranchers were at a dangerous standoff in Nevada; the CIA admitted it was spying on citizens; Slender Man (a demonic entity geared towards kids) made his presence known on the internet; an Ebola outbreak terrified the world; Isis posted beheadings of an American aid worker and journalist; and much more that signaled we were undergoing a "fundamental transformation".
     Those issues seem like a cake walk to where we find ourselves today. Not only has marriage been redefined, but so has gender, to the point that biology is being dismissed, and gender is being declared as "variable" and "inconstant". Switching genders is at the whim of a person's desire. Riots and protests show no sign of decreasing. Mayors and Governors ignore attempts by the President to bring law and order to the streets of our nation, and Civil War seems to be on the lips of anyone who is paying attention to the nightly news. Covid-19 makes Ebola seem like a case of the sniffles, and death is coming to innocent Americans by home-grown terrorists. And all that doesn't even touch on the precariousness of our economy and state of mind.
     Now, you may be thinking that I'm promoting a defeatist attitude. On the contrary! I'm here to help you declare and establish you and your family's Land of Goshen. Do you recall the story of Joseph in the Bible? He was sold into slavery in Egypt by his jealous brothers, only to overcome lies and deception and rise to the office of Vizier, the second most powerful man in Egypt, next to Pharaoh. Because Joseph found favor with God (and Pharaoh), he was able to store up food during seven years of abundance, which allowed the Egyptians to survive a seven-year famine. His Israelite brothers journeyed to Egypt to buy goods during the famine, and Joseph invited them to remain and live in Egyptian territory. Discovering that they were shepherds, Pharaoh told Joseph to "Settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land. Let them settle in the land of Goshen."
     It is important to know that not only was Goshen the best land in Egypt, suitable for both crops and livestock, but it was spared plagues brought by Moses. It has come to be exemplified by the prospects of "comfort and plenty". Additionally, in Hebrew, Goshen means "drawing near".  If you will read Genesis 45:7-11, you will find that God had a plan: for Joseph to bring his family out of the famine in Canaan to a place where they would find shelter and security.  We see that Joseph desires to have his family near him; to protect them from the famine that will threaten others; and to provide for their needs. That's what God wants to do for us in whatever is going to happen in this nation.
     Mark and I have declared and proclaimed our property and home as the Land of Goshen.  I have said this before: that I know without a doubt that God maneuvered and positioned us in this exact spot, both physically and spiritually, in 2008.  For the past 12 years, He has protected us from the deteriorating economy and provided for our needs -- even when everything in this world pointed to the unlikelihood of our survival.  Just as in the Bible, when God sent the ten plagues against Egypt --- they hit every part of the country, but the land of Goshen.
     I believe that we have avoided the disastrous consequences of the physical and spiritual poverty of our country because we have drawn nearer to God, here in this spot that He placed us, than at any other time in our lives. When we draw near to Him, He draws nearer to us.  He keeps revealing more; He introduced us to His precepts of spiritual warfare and then His Kingdom realm. And I know in my soul and spirit that He will be present with us as the growing persecution comes against us. And while I recognize the threats of Satan and his anti-Christ in this world -- transhumanism, 21st century plagues, the New World Order, the annihilation of Israel, and the collapse of our own country -- are ever-constant, I have faith that I am in the exact place God wants me to be in order to receive His protection and provision. 
      If you have not been called to move or change locations, then accept that you are in your personal land of Goshen.  There's no need to flee in fear or doubt.  Stay where you are; knowing that you are firmly rooted in your faith and the knowledge that God is drawing you near. The storms will rage all around you, but your experiences will be different than the world's. Put on your spiritual armor and enter into the Kingdom of God and the realm that is Jesus. We are engaged in a spiritual battle, and when the forces of darkness see that you have drawn nearer to God, they will flee for greener pastures.    
     I believe in the power and authority of our God to proclaim as many Land of Goshens as He desires.  So take a look around ... maybe what you have taken for granted these last few years is really a safe haven from the wiles of the devil. Say a blessing over your home and your small plot of land.  Dedicate them and your family to drawing nearer to God so that you might escape the devestations coming our way. Be thankful for your refuge and your shelter, and rest in your Goshen.

Psalm 73:28    But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God; I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him, that I may tell of all Your works.   


February 25, 2020

God's Prospicience In His Provision

     Hmmm... never heard that word prospicience before? I hadn't either until my meditation on the healing properties of frankincense oil took me on a Scriptural and spiritual journey. It went something like this: suffering from sinus drainage caused by allergies, I turned to my essential oil of frankincense which possesses antiseptic and astringent properities [among other healing and therapeutic attributes], and I began to think about how long this aromatic resin of the Boswellia tree has been beneficial and valuable. Of course, my thoughts then turned to Christianity's most familiar idea of frankincense, as part of the trio of precious gifts brought to the Christ child by the three Wise Men. But, before I explain the prospicience of these gifts, let's learn a little more about the significance of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It goes without saying that gold was -- and remains -- a valuable commodity. But what about the other two?

     According to a website called Herb & Root, Frankincense and Myrrh are both tree resins, or gummy sap that oozes from the bark of two different trees native to the Arabian Peninsula and Northeast Africa. Incisions are made in the bark of the tree during important times of year, and the sap pours out and is collected.
     The sacred trees that produce Frankincense and Myrrh are almost impossible to grow outside of the Arabian Peninsula, which meant they were constantly in short supply and high demand in the ancient world. According to a famous Roman historian, the sap made the Arabians the richest people on earth by Jesus’s time, and more valuable than gold. Frankincense alone is responsible for creating the trade routes linking southern Arabia to India, the Mediterranean, and the Silk Road in China.
     It's not hard to understand that these gifts were brought to honor the baby Jesus. In fact, the three "Wise Men" were actually three "Magi" or spiritual advisors [also known as dream interpreters]. They held the same position as the magicians/astrologers/dream interpreters who Daniel competed with in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar. And I don't think it is too far off base to speculate that during the 70 years Daniel remained in captivity in Babylon, he taught the prophecy of a coming King of the Jews to his fellow maji and the expectation was handed down through the generations.
     Anyway, in Matthew 2, these maji came looking for the "child who is born King of the Jewish people", and they came bearing valuable gifts representing one kingdom (the Roman empire, having been sent by King Herod) to another (the Kingdom of God). They believed in the prophecy of a coming King and they came to bow before Him in worship.
     But I've always struggled with reconciling this image of gold, frankincense and myrrh being brought to the manger in which the baby Jesus was born. There has to be more to the story than they believed in an ancient prophecy and that this child was the fulfillment of it. I understand that, culturally, this would have been the appropriate gift to bring before any new recognized king, It just seems strange that a young, poor couple from the backwaters of the Roman empire would receive such treasure, and what happened to those valuable gifts?  Ahhh, that's where prospicience comes in.
     The word means "seeing ahead; knowing in advance; foreseeing". And I believe it is another characteristic of God; similar to His omniscience, which means "knowing everything". You see, God does know everything; He knows the beginning from the end. He says, in Isaiah 46:10, I declare from the beginning how it will end and foretell from the start what has not yet happened. I decree that my purpose will stand, and I will fulfill my every plan.
     God sees time and history differently than we do. We see it as a linear span; progressing from one point to the next. Time is multi-dimensional to God, and He sees it from a different perspective, having created it, and He can move in and out of it according to His will. He can see into the future, while still in the present, and can act in advance and deal with a coming situation to provide our every need when we need it. That's exactly what prospicience is and what He did for Joseph and his new, little family.
     You see, God foresaw that the government of Rome would not yield to His heavenly government's appearance on earth in the person of the infant, Jesus. He foresaw that Herod would try to kill the child and that it would be necessary for Joseph to escape with his family into Egypt, where Herod's power did not extend. Furthermore, they would be there for awhile as essentially refugees; [NOTE: Historical opinions as to how long the family remained in Egypt vary substantially; everything from one year in the History of Joseph, to eight years, according to Baronius, an Italian cardinal and
ecclesiastical historian of the Roman Catholic Church]. But regardless of how long they were there, Joseph would need to provide for his family while they traveled to Egypt [and back] and to pay expenses for as long as the family remained away from their homeland. The valuable gifts from the three maji would certainly have provided those necessary means of survival in a strange land. 
      Now, I know that there is no Chapter or verse that substantiates this theory, and I do not claim that it represents the truth of Scripture. But I believe that it has as much credibility as the unprovable traditions mainstream Christianity purports today, namely: as referred to in the Christmas carol, "We Three Kings" the gifts symbolize three aspects of Christ's future life. The gold represents kingship; frankincense represents worship, and myrrh stands for death and mourning. Or try this one: Mary and Joseph used the gold to pay for the stable; the frankincense to perfume it; and the myrrh as an ointment for the newborn baby. 
     I know the Bible is full of symbolism and allegory, but in this case, I believe that once we see the bigger picture of why the maji from the East understood the prophecy of the King of the Jews being born, and why it was expedient for Joseph to flee to Egypt to escape the long arm of Roman rule, it is not out of the realm of possibility that God predetermined to have valuable gifts brought to the Christ child that would provide Joseph with the resources to support his family until he could return to Nazareth and resume his work as a carpenter. 
     Whether my theory has any significance is not the purpose of this blog. Rather, it is to come to a higher understanding that God sees and knows and works in the dimensions of time, and while we may not perceive what He is doing, we can trust, just like Joseph did, that He is moving several steps ahead of us. He can foresee our future and He can act in advance to give us favor and provision at just the right moment. I invite you to look back over your life and see all the instances when His prospicience overtook you and confirmed His presence in your life.... and then thank and praise Him!

Matthew 2:11     And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary, His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.