It’s been an emotional couple of days for me- I find myself on the verge of tears often; Things seem to permeate me so easily- I feel exposed and overwhelmed but in such a beautiful way- it’s really hard to explain.
This morning I woke thinking of a message I’d heard in church fellowship over the weekend about resolving issues God’s way.
I revisited that teaching today and was reminded that it’s not just conflict I need to resolve God’s way but every aspect of my life- That’s what it means to be “Set-Apart”.
Which brings me to this post.
Last year I started reading Napolean Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.
The copy I started reading wasn’t mine- I was so captivated by Napolean’s writing I was determined to get my own copy and did so promptly.
I was excited about what I was reading- sparks were flying around in my head… As I devoured and lapped up page after page of Napolean’s book I envisioned a spectacular life- filled with LOADS of money!
But my reading was interrupted and I had to shelve the book for a while.
I picked it up again this week- mhm… it’s really amazing what an adverse reaction I’m having (now) to some of what Napolean writes.
Napolean writes that “Desire is the starting point of all achievement.”
I agree with that.
But within the chapter on Desire, Napolean writes: “Only those who become “money conscious” ever accumulate great riches. Money consciousness means that the mind has to become so thoroughly saturated with the desire for money that one can see oneself already in possession of it.”
Oh wow! Every part of me rebels against that. No! I don’t believe this statement at all.
What is so fascinating to me is, had I read this a few months ago, I do believe I would have completely agreed with Napolean.
What’s changed? You may ask.
My response would be: More of God’s love for me has been revealed in my life. I no longer want my mind saturated with a desire for money-
I’ve heard that one of the most misquoted verses in the Scriptures is the one about money… Some misquote and say: “Money is the root of all evil”… that’s not true. The Scriptures say it’s the Love of money that’s the problem (1 Timothy 6:10).
It’s quite interesting that this verse goes on to say: “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”
Need I say more? I think the verse explains itself.
To desire money so absolutely as Napolean advocates is not the beginning of riches it’s the beginning of trouble.
I named my daughter Chayil which is the Hebrew translation for the woman described in Proverbs 31.
One writer says: “The word Chayil in Hebrew means…… to be ‘strong and valiant’, like an army having many resources, full of strength, virtue and high moral standard.”
In the Scriptures we’re told that Chayil fears God: “…a woman that fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31: 30).
Chayil is also a savvy business woman. Much of Proverbs 31 describes the endeavours she’s involved in.
Because we’re told Chayil fears God, it’s no surprise then that she knows how to do so much. Her knowledge comes from God: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…” Proverbs 1:7.
The Scriptures tell us that “She opens her mouth with wisdom…”
Where does this wisdom come from?
Proverbs 9:10 tells us that: “The fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgement.” (New Living Translation).
Chayil submits to her husband and yet she can hold her own as a business woman in a man’s world: “She makes fine linen, and sells it; and delivers girdles to the merchant…” I believe in those days merchants (leaders in business) were mostly men. In our modern day they still are.
Chayil is a real estate investor too! The Scriptures tell us that “She considers a field, and buys it…”
…And yet while Chayil is running her home, being an awesome mom, taking care of the people in her household (including those that work for her), being a fantastic wife, and amazing business woman – The Scriptures tell us that what truly sets her apart is that she fears God: “a woman that fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31: 30).
From this I deduce that it is at the Feet of her Creator that Chayil can fulfil all these roles with fullness of joy and without burnout.
I didn’t name my daughter after this incredible woman just so she could be fantastic in business– I gave her this name so that she would remember always that every success in her life will begin at the Feet of her Creator.
To have the kind of “rich” most of us truly desire… (I call it the “Wealth, Health and Joy Package), we cannot start with the desire for money.
That kind of wealth cannot be had by being so “saturated with the desire for money that one can see oneself already in possession of it…”
Many of us lose our inheritance in God because we don’t believe in the riches of heaven.
We get so wrapped up in achieving high levels of wealth that we don’t realise how much we compromise along the way.
Over the weekend I visited with family friends of ours.
During my visit, the matriarch of the family, Aunt Margaret, told me of times when life for her and her children was so tough, she said to this day, years later, it still made her cry when she remembered what her children went through.
As she spoke I was so inspired to hear how faithful she’d been with her tithe in those years when putting food on the table was a daily battle.
There are many other things she did but since we’re talking money let’s zoom in on her faithfulness with her tithe.
Aunt Margaret told me how, after paying her rent and her tithe, she hardly had anything left over to feed her kids.
She told me how strong in faith her kids had been during those dark days.
She tearfully reminisced how her children encouraged her when she felt so down and out.
“My kids kept telling me: ‘Mom God will come through for us.'”
When I asked her daughter, Ruth, what’d kept them so faithful despite their hardships… She replied: “Even in those rough times we still saw the goodness of God. God always provided for us.”
It is my belief that tithe is not about giving God money. He doesn’t need our money- never has, never will.
I believe the act of being faithful in the tithe is a declaration of who we believe our source to be.
Aunt Margaret could’ve easily not given her tithe. No one in their right mind would have faulted her for it. She had kids to feed.
But it is my belief that with each tithe she offered to God she declared Him as her God, her Provider and she put her trust in Him instead of in her money.
Today I can see how her faithfulness to God has benefited her children.
Despite being a single mom she has raised three awesome children.
Each one of them loves God and serves in their local fellowship.
What God has done in her life and in the lives of her children no amount of money could’ve done.
Somehow we become so lured by the riches of this world that we allow our steps to be ordered by money and not by God.
The earth and its fullness belong to God.
In Haggai 2:8 God declares: “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine…”
I don’t know about you but I’d rather connect with the One to whom all things belong than the stuff He owns.
If you were a budding entrepreneur would you rather hang out with Bill Gates or with his computer?
You laugh… but that’s how we behave when it comes to God.
When I was growing up there were times we had it really tough.
One of the memories I dredge up every now and then was being kicked out of our home a number of times then walking around in the street because we didn’t have a place to stay.
When I started working, not having a place to stay, was something I never wanted repeated in my life.
It’s hard when you’ve had a hard upbringing to not have such a desire for money your every thought is on how to attain it.
Having money is wonderful. I totally condone making money and having it- lots of it. But I don’t believe money brings joy.
This past week there’ve been times I’ve wanted to start my prayers by telling God everything I feel is wrong in my life and I’d like for Him to fix… But every single time instead of getting into the (very long) list of things I need from Him I’ve ended up in sweet worship to God – because in His presence I feel full. In His presence nothing but more of Him seems to matter.
I still desire to make my business work – but now I’m more concerned with what God has in store for me regarding my business.
It’s utter nonsense, the notion, that children of God should be poor and struggling all the time… It’s contrary to God’s will for us.
The Scriptures tell us that God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His people: “Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant…” Psalm 35:27.
To live every day with meaning, To wake up joyful in a world that seems to be eating itself into destruction, To have peace knowing that what I do here on earth matters in Heaven also, To trust in Someone who will come through for me when all else fails, To have confidence that my children will turn out great in a world that is more evil every day… No amount of money could ever give me these things.
People pay Warren Buffet millions just to have a lunch with him.
I don’t pay a cent to converse with The Guy who owns EVERYTHING (including silver and gold) … I can speak with Him whenever I want to for as long as I want to- no charge. How AWESOME is that!
For those of us that have called upon the Name of Jesus and belong to Him we are richer than rich.
Don’t worry about your bank balance- set your eyes on Jesus. Not for His stuff but for Him. From what I’m experiencing I can confidently say you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find in Him.