Embrace Your True Financial Partner
Here’s a headline you won’t see on any financial planning brochure: There is No Such Thing As Financial Security. Working as a financial advisor and author, I could never shake this scripture I learned in church growing up, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19–20).
However, while there may not be financial security on this earth, there is a different kind of protection. It will never depend on the numbers—or lack thereof—on your bank statement. Absolute security, the type that brings deep peace and joy, only comes from God. Your plan for freedom and purpose won’t work until and unless you commit your work to Him. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1).
I wasted many years asking God to get on board with my plans, instead of working in the flow of His will. I had to learn the following Old Testament lesson the hard way: “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 13:4). This is an age-old lesson that still stands today and is the beginning of your true security. Plus he hasn’t left you alone to work out your best financial equation; He has promised to be your true financial advisor. But here’s the problem: unless we’re spending time with Him, how can we hear His voice? A Psalm of David reads, “Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:1–3).
One day when I was having a time of prayer and reading, I began daydreaming and eventually fell asleep. So much for showing respect to the person I was meeting with. As I awakened with a start, I realized I would never behave this way if I were meeting with a client, but that’s how I was treating my time with my Lord and top advisor. Yes, God is merciful and understanding even when we fall asleep. Remember Peter and the disciples who couldn’t keep watch with Jesus for an hour? But if we’re seeking direction and guidance from the true chief executive officer, perhaps we should approach him as such.
Many people like to call this a “devotional time” or a “quiet time.” I call this my meeting with my CEO. Knowing that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) gives me strength for the day. On the other hand, I know that I can do nothing without him, or at least nothing very well. Many times in my life, God has astonishingly used this meeting with Him as a precise guide to get me through the challenges of the day. Without this time with God, I invariably flounder. If I take just a few moments to quiet my mind and my heart, my entire day goes by more smoothly, and I feel more capable of managing challenges.
In Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord promises His people that He has a plan for us to give us a future and a hope:
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you…” (Jeremiah 29:12)
God will be found by you if you seek Him and search for Him with all your heart.
Have you ever been discouraged when it seems God isn’t listening or maybe He’s forgotten about you? I have. And though He hasn’t forgotten us or stopped listening, we have to persevere. Keep searching and keep meeting with your chief executive officer, and His plans will become clear. Knowing God’s vision in this way makes all the difference in whether we succeed in getting a handle on our financial life. And that, my friend, takes time—plus patient, believing prayer:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5–6)
We’ve all been confused. I know what it’s like to feel full of doubt and tossed by the wind. As a young woman, I certainly understood and lived that way. But as I’ve grown older, and hopefully a bit wiser in my second half of life, I know without any doubt that God answers us when we call to Him. It may not be instantaneous, and it may not be the answer you’re looking for, but He gives us the right solution that’s best for us and our situations. Here are a couple of questions to get you thinking:
- How has God provided for your needs during your most challenging time?
- How can you commit your work to the Lord today? What do you strongly feel are His plans for your life?
When we ask for wisdom, God always delivers. That’s a promise. And after you’ve asked for help, expect answers. Expect action on the Lord’s part and learn to wait for Him. Don’t ever forget the Lord and His grace to you. And as you faithfully remember, you will know His blessing more than ever.
Check out Carolyn's latest Bible study for women called Divine Treasure: The Proverbs 31 Financial Plan to Give You Hope for Your Future