Step 8: The Christian and Giving
Trusting God for Our Finances
Changing economic conditions exemplify the instability of finances throughout the world. Instead of placing their trust in the Lord who promised to meet all of their needs, most Christians trust in their investments, savings, and retirement plans to ensure security and happiness - only to find their hopes dashed when financial reverses deplete their assets. Many are wasting their lives trying to achieve financial security in a volatile world.
Our heavenly Father, on the other hand, wants us to enjoy a full, abundant life free from the cares and stresses brought about by confidence in money and other material possessions. Rather than trusting in a worldly system that cannot assure our welfare or relying on our own weak capabilities to provide for our needs, He calls us to depend entirely on Him.
Permit me to suggest a plan that will help you release your faith in God and develop your trust in Him for your finances.
Recognize That God Is Worthy of Our Trust
- Read Psalm 12:6. How much can we trust God?
- What will happen if you make God's promises the foundation of your financial security (Proverbs 3:5-6)?
- List the financial areas that are hardest for you to put into God's hands. Prayerfully dedicate them to Him.
Realize That God Wants You to Live a Full and Abundant Life
- Read John 10:10. How does this promise apply to financial freedom?
- Does abundant life mean having all the money or possessions you want? Why or why not?
- Do you feel you have abundant life right now? If not, what is keeping you from it?
Substitute Faith for Fear
- How does fear interfere with your trust in God?
- Read 2 Timothy 1:7. Contrast the two kinds of spirits mentioned.
- Write down the financial areas that make you fearful. Surrender these to the Lord.
Ask God to Supply Your Needs
- What is the difference between needs and wants? Be specific.
- Why do we lack good things? (James 4:2-3, John 15:7)
- Faith requires action. According to 1 John 5:14-15, as an act of your will, ask God to supply your needs and expect Him, as an expression of your faith, to provide for your needs.
Keep Your Heart and Motives Pure
- What wrong motives do we sometimes display in prayer (James 4:3)? What is the result?
- Write down the wrong motives that you have. Then, confess them to God and claim the power of the Holy Spirit to help you rely on Him to supply your needs.
Take a Step of Faith
- What is essential to your Christian walk (Hebrews 11:6)?
- One way to enlarge your faith is to make a "faith promise" -- one that is greater than you are capable of fulfilling according to your present income. It is not a pledge that must be paid. Rather, it is a voluntary "promise" based on your faith in God's ability to supply out of His resources what you cannot give out of your own. You give as God supplies.
- Describe a time in which God led you to give above your means. What was the result?
- If you have never made a faith promise, you may want to do so now after prayerfully considering various worthwhile investments you can make for God. Keep a careful record of your giving and how God supplied your needs in a special way.
- Read Luke 6:38. How does this verse apply to financial freedom?
- Suppose a new Christian confides in you that he is afraid to give God control over his checkbook. How would you advise him?
- Review the steps to trusting God for your finances. Which of these steps are weak areas in your life? Why do you find them difficult? What could you do to strengthen them?
- Prayerfully consider a faith promise God would have you make. Write out that promise.
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.