WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 26, 2022
TOPIC: WALKING IN FINANCIAL LIBERTY
BY T. O. BANSO
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7 New King James Version).
Walking in financial liberty does not mean you will become a millionaire or billionaire. Financial bondage or crisis is serious. If you’re not financially free, you’re not truly free. No matter how anointed you are, if you’re in a quagmire of debt, you’re a slave of your creditor.
In 2 Kings 4, one of the sons of the prophet died a debtor. He couldn’t pay his death till he died. And his creditor didn’t forgive the debt just because he was a prophet. The creditor came after his death to take his two sons away as slaves. What a humiliation and reproach!
But before the creditor would take away the sons, the widow of the sons of the prophet ran to the prophet Elisha to help her. And from what she told the prophet Elisha, her husband was not a bad man. He was a God-fearing man, yet he died a debtor.
Crying out to Elisha, this widow said, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves” (2 Kings 4:1b New King James Version). This tells us that one has to do more than fear God to be free from debt. One must make wise financial decisions. Thank God that Elisha intervened in the financial crisis in this family and they were free from debt.
In Matthew 18:25-27, a debtor who owed the king millions of dollars was forgiven the debt after pleading with him. Unfortunately, the debtor who was owed a few thousand dollars by a fellow servant would not forgive the debt. Verse 30 says this creditor wouldn’t wait but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. The king was told about his callousness, and, in anger, sent the man to prison until he had paid every penny (verses 31-34). The story underscores the danger that financial bondage poses.
Being born again is not an automatic solution to financial problems. Giving one’s life to Jesus is no guarantee that one will walk in financial liberty. Speaking in tongues or being prayerful is not enough. As we have seen in 2 Kings 4:1, one of the sons of the prophet died a debtor although he feared the Lord.
But there are truths in God’s Word that can set you free from financial bondage or help you not to enter into financial bondage. Not all of them will make sense to non-believers because their attitude to money is different from that of believers. And the believers must not copy the methods that non-believers practise to be free financially. Their methods don’t always agree with the Word of God. Therefore, a child of God should follow the commands, principles, and examples in the Bible.
Keys to financial liberty
1. Have a correct biblical understanding of money and avoid the love of money (1 Timothy 6:9-10, 17). The world’s understanding of money is different from Bible’s teachings on money. You cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24). Let the kingdom of God be more important to you than money (Mark 10:17-25; Luke 12:16-21). “Help me to prefer obedience to making money!” (Psalm 119:36 The Living Bible).
2. Partner with God in your finances. This includes making God number one, trusting Him for your finances, and honouring Him with your substance or possessions. The controversy surrounding tithing today should not have arisen if we understand that it is to worship the Lord and acknowledge Him number as one in our fiances. If you want to tithe, do it in faith and to worship God. “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4 New King James Version). But if you doubt or see tithing as a burden and grumble, don’t tithe. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). Many children of God have gone beyond tithing in their walk with God.
Consciously and regularly sow seeds by faith (2 Corinthians 9:5-8; Ecclesiastes 11:1-2; Galatians 6:6; 2 Kings 4:8-37; Philippians 4:14-19). Partnering with God in your finances also includes paying your vows (Psalms 66:13-15, 22:25; 50:14-15; 76:11; 116:14; Ecclesiastes 5:4-6; Jonah 2:9).
Talking about the generosity of the churches of Macedonia, Paul said, “they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God” (2 Corinthians 8:5 New King James Version). Give yourself first to God and then to His causes on earth. Don’t lay up treasure for yourself on earth, be rich toward God (Luke 12:21).
3. Be creative and diligent; avoid covetousness and get-rich-quick schemes (Proverbs 6:6-11; 12:11; 10:4-5; 12:24, 24:30-34; 28:19-20; Luke 12:15; 1 Timothy 6:7). Money comes to problem solvers; it flees from lazy people. Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished but he who gathers by labour will increase (Proverbs 13:11).
4. Plan your finances by prioritizing your needs. Distinguish between your needs and your wants. Human wants are insatiable. Proverbs 21:5 says the plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but the plans of everyone who is hasty lead surely to poverty. It is foolishness to live above your means. Live below your true level financially.
5. Avoid impulsive and compulsive purchases. Don’t become acquisitive (greedy) – buying things for the sake of buying. Buy only the things you need and can afford.
6. Cultivate the culture of saving and investing wisely. Don’t be wasteful (Proverbs 21:20; John 6:12). Joseph’s food storage programme in Egypt is a great lesson on saving for the rainy day (Genesis 41:46-49). Also, learn from the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).
7. Avoid debt especially for consumption or borrowing to pay another debt. Whoever does that is just postponing the evil day; he has not really solved a problem. Make practical plans on how to pay your debt. Psalm 37:21a says the wicked borrows and does not repay. Don’t be wicked.
8. Don’t stand surety or guarantor for somebody you don’t know intimately and have not proved (Proverbs 17:18; 22:26-27; 11:15; 6:1-5). Some people have put themselves in financial bondage because of this. They are paying for what they didn’t buy! Or they’ve lost their sleep while the borrower has fled, enjoying himself somewhere.
9. Be kind and generous to the poor and the needy both in the church and outside the church (2 Corinthians 8:1-4; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; Proverbs 21:13; Psalms 112:5, 37:21). He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord and He will pay back what he has given (Proverbs 19:17). And the harvest is always more than the seed.
10. Bless others, too, as God blesses you. This is in addition to giving to the poor and the needy. This is not limited to money. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10 New King James Version). Proverbs 11:25 says the generous soul will be made rich and he who waters will also be watered.
Those who are controlled by their money are in financial bondage although they are rich. Let your money not become your god or master. Free yourself from the love of money. Give, save, and invest. In Jesus’ name, you will not have any emergency that will put you in financial bondage.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to acquire a correct biblical understanding of money and avoid the love of money. I shall serve God, not money. Help me, Lord, to make wise financial decisions, not decisions that will put me in financial bondage or crisis. I shall walk in financial liberty, not be in financial bondage. Father, deliver all those who are in financial crisis, as they seek Your help.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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