Jun. 23, 2016

Last Day / First Day

Day 8 - Thursday

This was the final day of this particular Financial Fast. The number 8 indicates a New Beginning. So even though it was the last day, it was also like the first day of a new awareness in financial matters.

At the end of this day, I was unexpectedly blessed to be introduced to an innovative plan to teach financial principles. The plan is directed toward those who have a strong affiliation with a faith based ministry. This process will help families invest in the financial future of their children. More will be shared about this in a future post.

It was a surprise to me that on day 8 of the consecration, a financial strategy would be shared with me...but the Lord knew! He is teaching me to utilize funds according to the guidance of His Spirit. So often finances are used as a comfort in an attempt to make a person feel better when they have suffered a disappointment. A shopping trip usually lifts our spirits and gives us a bit of a high. This isn't a bad thing. It's pretty much the same as going to the spa to cheer us up, buying a tool or a hobby item or treating ourselves to a manicure or an ice cream cone. It is just important to know that our Father is our Source. We should always look to Him for what we need. He provides our necessities and desires in a variety of ways. But He is the Source.

There are many other ways that money is used. Sometimes it is used to buy a relationship or gain affection. We won't go into all of that here. Just keep in mind that it is vital to hear and obey the Spirit of the Lord because He knows ALL and we don't.

As a result of the Fast, I am more aware of unnecessary spending. For instance, I like to have a Pop Tart for breakfast. A packet of 2 is $1.25 in the vending machine. But a box of 16 is around $4.00 at the grocery store. From the vending machine each tart is about 62 cents. From the grocery store each tart is about 25 cents. The vending machine price is more than double the grocery store price. That is just one example. When looking for ways to curb spending there are many ways to be better stewards over what has been entrusted to us by the Lord.

Another adventure concerned clothing. I took a dress to Cincinnati with me to wear to church. I had never worn the dress. Not a good idea to take one outfit that I had never tried on. Discovered that I couldn't wear it and didn't have another alternative. I did have 2 skirts available but no top to go with either of them. I went to the nearest Goodwill. They were having a 50% off sale for anyone over 50 years old. Including tax, I spent $49.49 for 17 items. That means each item cost me a little less than $3.00. Some of them still had the retail store tags on them. If I had gone to one of the usual retail stores I may have only purchased 2 or 3 items for the same amount of money.

It is not my intent to bore you but these small changes in thinking and behavior make a large impact over time. The savings is a definite benefit but the most important result of Disciplined Money Management is that our Father sees that we have a heart and a mind to be good stewards over or good managers of what belongs to Him. He owns EVERYTHING.

Psalm 24:1

The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Most of us have been taught to manage finances by the world's system: go to school, get a job, secure a loan for a house and a car and spend multiple years (and significant interest) paying the loans. This is not Kingdom Wisdom. Several months ago I lamented to the Lord that I lack financial wisdom. At this age, I should not be struggling to buy a new set of tires when needed and I shouldn't have to add the purchase to a credit card. As I was mulling over these thoughts, the Lord brought this very familiar passage to mind:

James 1:5

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

This verse indicates that anyone who has a relationship with our Father may ask for wisdom and can expect to receive it. Not only will the wisdom be given, it will be given liberally and gladly! The Lord won't just give a skimpy portion but an abundant measure and He is Happy to do it! He wants to share His wisdom but few people are asking for it.

There is no restriction regarding the topic of wisdom. He knows all and wants us to benefit from His wisdom. All disciples of Jesus should be operating in the culture of the Kingdom. We can't live by Kingdom Principles if we don't know them.

Matthew 7:7

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Praise God for His Love and Benevolence toward us! Ask Him to share His Wisdom with you. My asking for wisdom has included an insightful Financial Fast. Whatever the topic, your seeking will yield great results!