Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will
Read an Excerpt:
WHY WORK? GOD’S PERSPECTIVE
“So why do I have to work?” This is a question we may sometimes ask, especially when we don’t feel like working. According to an old saying, work is never complete. Yes, something always needs to be done, whether at home, in our business or place of employment, even when we’re on vacation. Work is a very necessary part of life because it is part of who God is. We are created in His image, and like Him we are workers.
Work Is for God and Honors God
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. —Ephesians 6:5–8
Whether we are employees, those who are self-employed, business owners, or investors, our work should honor God. The main focus of our work should be to please God, not men, and to work knowing God is present with us at all times. Why? Because the Lord rewards the work we do and how we do it.
We are sometimes unaware of things we do that displease God. We sometimes steal time—we’re tardy to work or fail to adhere to the contract we agreed to. Sometimes we fail to give our best and provide disappointing results, then we wonder why we didn’t get the promotion we wanted.
Whatever we do in life should be pleasing to God. Daily we should ask God to give us the ability to do our work well and let it honor Him. Joseph was a great example of one who honored God in his work. Even as a slave, his superiors saw that God was with him and blessed everything he did. Joseph had the spirit of excellence upon him, and others saw this at each stage of his life. Regardless of what they believe, people should be able to see that same spirit of excellence in us and be willing to trust and favor us.
Whether at work or in relaxation, our lives as Christians should honor God.
Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” No disconnect should exist between you, your work, and God. God is interested in all of you. The thought that your work is separate from your relationship with God dishonors Him. The attitude that your strength and wisdom, not God, are what provide for you also dishonors Him.
Any credit, any good in our lives, is from the Lord; we therefore need to guard against pride that rises up in our hearts when we achieve success and prosperity through our work. God, who cares for us, is the One who gives us the ability to create wealth.
Work Is God’s Assignment to Us
Work was part and parcel of ruling over the earth, and every assignment God gave Adam required work (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:19; Ps. 8:4-8). Likewise every assignment or task given to all who follow after Adam, including us, requires work.
Work is an essential part of who we are. Work is necessary to living out God’s will for our lives. Building the ark God used to keep Noah, his family and the animals safe took work. Noah worked to build it. Gifted in administration and endowed with a big dream, Joseph had to work. Moses’s assignment to deliver Israel required work. To lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land required effort on Joshua’s part to be an effective leader. Jesus came to do the work Father God had sent Him to do—to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to declare freedom to the captives, and to open the eyes of the blind. It all required work. Every assignment God gave them was the fulfillment of His purpose for their lives. Their willingness to do the work brought blessings to them and others.
Your assignment from God may not be as grand as those mentioned above, but it will still require work for successful completion. You may be a father or mother who provides for your household. You may be a teacher responsible for educating the future generation. Maybe you’re in the corporate world, providing products and services locally or to the world at large. Whatever your assignment is, it will require work. Spiritual, mental, and physical effort will be required to complete whatever assignment you have in life.
We often fail to see the blessing of work because the effort, sweat, or toil of it blinds us. Some think work is a punishment or curse from God, rather than a gift from God to be enjoyed (Eccl. 5:18–19). Once we are sure God wants us to work where we are, we should accept the gift, take it seriously, and do the work that pleases Him.
Work Leads to Wealth Distribution
Work is the means through which we create wealth, and wealth creation leads to wealth distribution. In biblical terms, God gives us the power to create wealth so we can be blessed and be a blessing to others. Therefore all the wealth we create is not for us alone, but for others. The promise God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has passed to us through Jesus Christ. We, the seed of Abraham, are blessed and are to bless.
God’s covenant is reciprocal (Gen. 12:1–2; Deut. 8:18) in that God has blessed us to be wealth creators, and through this God empowers us to be wealth distributors. But what does wealth distribution mean or involve? As wealth distributors, we take some of the wealth we have created and give or lend it to others, either through our education, gifts, skills, or money. God wants us to take every blessing He has given to us and use it to bless others. As wealth distributors, God empowers us to do the following:
Support church ministry. Paul instructed the Corinthians to set aside money weekly to give toward their sister church’s needs. He also applauded the church at Philippi for generous giving. You can support some area of your church’s ministry, such as an outreach program, youth ministry, food bank, or some other aspect of the work as God directs you.
Send out missionaries. Although giving toward missions may be seen as part of church ministry support, it is a very special aspect of it. While we can’t go to certain places, our money can support those who are willing to go into the remote parts of the world to preach the gospel. This can be one of our contributions to reaching the lost for Christ.
Give to other charitable or worthy causes. The world has many needs, and we are an extension of God’s hands and an expression of His love to this suffering world. When we distribute wealth to sponsor a child, giving them much-needed food, clothing, and shelter, we show God’s love. When disaster strikes, we can be the first on hand to help by providing clothing, medication, water, and whatever is called for. Also in our own country we can contribute to a children’s hospital and donate to cancer research.
Through this wealth distribution we affect the lives of others, whether they belong to the household of faith or not. Our work as wealth distributors will cause others to see the light and give praises to God (Matt. 5:16). Also when they see God’s blessing on our lives, they will want to come with us into our Father’s house (Is. 55:5; Zec. 8:23). Our wealth creation and distribution will be a witness of God’s goodness and greatness.
We can give out of what we have; from the financial reward we gain from our work, God expects us to give to support the needs of others. The church at Macedonia helped sister churches in need through giving from their substance (2 Cor. 8:1–4). In Ephesians 4:28, Paul clearly points out that the one who is able to work and create wealth is in a good position to give to those in need.
Not only does our creating wealth have a positive impact on society, but the actual work is also a means of wealth distribution. The daily work we perform touches people’s lives through products created or services rendered. For example, a doctor aids in healing the sick, a money manager helps people keep their finances in order, and a factory worker creates products bought by customers who need them. Our work and wealth are all part of the wealth creation and distribution process. We should use what we have to be a blessing to others.
About Pamela Carmichael