Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, April 19, 2016
“The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow” (Deuteronomy 28:12).
How have God’s people become common consumers? Why are so many of us encumbered by debt? Some of us borrow to buy everything in sight! It seems like we have forgotten principles of stewardship and scriptures like the following altogether: “The rich ruleth over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). It seems that some of us would rather be slaves. Except this slavery is to accumulating things that will all burn up one day. Don’t get me wrong. I am not rich. I have borrowed more money over the years than I would like to admit. However, I, like many of you, did not understand biblical stewardship either. While there may be certain circumstances that necessitate short-term borrowing, it was never God’s plan for us.
When I moved out of the city/suburbs into a rural area in the U.S., I encountered people who fully embraced simple living. They would work hard, buy small, fix-up, buy larger, fix-up, and settle until they could walk themselves up to the item they wanted years prior; and all of this without debt. I have seen friends and families come together, share resources, live in simple houses with two and three generations of people, learn complimentary trades so they would seldom need to hire out for fixing or building things. They had all they needed and were happy though times were rough.
Can we, as the people of God, surrender our wills to Him and expect even more wisdom and resources to do all we need without becoming slaves to money and debt?
When I moved out of the U.S. altogether to a so-called third-world country, I noticed that there were a lot of cars on the road and many of the drivers were working menial jobs with extremely low pay. Many of the cars were in good working order. The secret was that they were high mileage, older vehicles that they learn to repair themselves, or have close community members and friends who could do so at low cost. They also chose not to waste anything. Any part from almost any year of vehicle could be salvaged from the hundreds of car part salvage lots around the country. That is just one example, which is not to mention living in one small section of a home for years until they continue to build up the rest over time.
I am just illustrating the point that if worldly people can unwittingly employ principles of simplicity, conservation, and good stewardship, can not the people of God surrender our wills to Him and expect even more wisdom and resources to do all we need without becoming slaves to money and debt? Notice what the Bible says: “And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:” (Deuteronomy 28:13).
With such a short time left in earth’s history, it is high time God’s people learn to trust God for all we need and have, live simply, become more giving, detest waste, and become the great managers of His resources He always intended. Had I not seen these principles in action, I would have difficulty believing it was possible.
Ask the Lord today how to become the head and not the tail. Ask Him how to become the lender and not the borrower. Submit your will to Him and be willing to do whatever He commands. You may be surprised at the results.
I would like to recommend a powerful book that was published back in 1993 by pastor, attorney G. Edward Reid titled, “It’s Your Money Isn’t It?” And in the spirit of this devotional thought I found the used hardcover online for as little as just one penny. Be sure to get the workbook too. Click the here for details. You will not regret it. As stewardship expert the late Larry Burkett used to often say, “God’s people have what God’s people need.”