Beliefnet
You Can Sit With Us

There are 3 questions each one of us needs to ask ourselves many, many times over.

 

Who is the author of life?

What is the story?

And what part do I play in this story called life?

We look around at the injustice and our eyes are filled with devastating headlines. We see people hungry, angry, even losing their minds. Suffering is at every turn, even in our own lives and we wonder what is the purpose of all of this pain? Will it ever go away? Where is the hope?

But what if?????

Each new day is a choice of only two. Will I play the good guy or the bad guy in the greatest story that has ever and will ever be told? It’s so simple, good or evil. You don’t go to the casting director and say, ” I know I played the good guy yesterday but today I feel bad, I think I want to play the bad guy.” If you do bad things, then you are the bad guy, period. Now we all have questions, opinions, and convictions on what we consider bad which brings me back to my first question. Who is the author? What does the author say about good and bad?

Here are two scenarios to ponder…

You find out someone you thought was your friend has been gossiping about you.

A breaking headline reveals a man in your city has been abducting children and severely abusing them

Which one is bad? Both, One, Neither

Each one of us is responsible for ourselves but often we don’t think enough about the story unless things are going according to the part we choose (freewill) to play? Is it possible  when the story takes an unexpected turn we didn’t intend it to take, that we manipulate the story line through our own cracked lens’ and how we think it should play out. “No, no, no there cannot be any children getting hurt in this story, so we mark that part out with a red pen. Makes perfect sense. Most of all would never even imagine hurting a child. Yet, how often do we hurt another life through our cracked lens’ of carelessness, unwise choices, selfishness, or revenge whether big or small?

Could it be possible that the story is not even about us? Though without our part the story wouldn’t be complete. Most of us love a happy ending. In the beginning of a book, a movie, or song there is a dilemma, a problem, a heart broken. It draws us in and we wait with anticipation for the light to pierce through the darkness. The solution to the dilemma. The answer to the problem. The healing to the broken. Maybe we are the solution, the answer, the healing. If my dilemma was solved, then I could help you solve yours. If your answer came then I can have hope mine will come too. If you went on to love again then so can I.

So today I ask you, are you going to play the bad guy or the good because you cannot be both. You do have a choice and when you choose good, you radically change the lives of others and even your own for the better. If you choose bad the same thing will happen but with a vastly different landscape and consequences. The greatest story that will ever be told stars you and me. And as the story goes, the good guy always prevails in the end.

“When we react, instead of respond, to an abuse, we often create a worse doctrine than the one we reacted to.”  Bill Johnson

Let’s journey back to the days of Abraham, whom scriptures call “the father of faith,” and see if we can embrace the truth about wealth from our founding father. Abraham did not have a Bible, because he lived four hundred years before Moses, who penned the first five books of the Torah (Bible). Abraham did not have a church or even a men’s group to go to; there were none to go to in those days. But Abraham did have a unique relationship with God, in which God called him His “forever friend.” One of the benefits or manifestations of Abraham’s relationship with God is the he was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold ( Genesis 13:2).

Abraham was extremely cautious about who got credit for his fortune. When he conquered those warring kings and rescued Sodom, along with Lot and his family, the king of Sodom was so grateful that he tried to give Abraham all the riches of the city. But Abraham said to him, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ” I have made Abraham rich.”

Not only was Abraham rich, but he also contributed his wealth to God alone. In other words, god made Abraham rich, period. Case closed. There is no other way to view his prosperity. In fact, Abraham was not just rich, he had a beautiful wife named Sarah. Sarah was so beautiful that even at ninety years old, when she and Abraham journeyed through various countries, the kings would hear about her beauty and try to abduct her so they could marry her. This too continued with Abraham’s children. They loved God. Many people were against them but God was for them.

The anointing for wealth that began with Abraham, and later passed to Isaac and Jacob, became a national anointing that actually rested on the entire nation of Israel. A few centuries later, in the days of  Moses, God spoke through Moses in the wilderness and said to the people, ” You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

WOW! There are two things that grab me from this passage. The first is that God gave His people power to make wealth. In other words, wealth is more than wise financial investments, it is actually a magnetic force, a tractor beam, so to speak- that sucks prosperity into its vortex. When God anoints a person, or in this case a nation, with the power to make wealth, it creates an invisible yet tangible culture in which people feel impassioned to give to those who are anointed, even though they often cannot explain why. This kinds of anointing transcends logic or reason. It’s influence often appeals more to the heart (spirit) than to the head.

Most of us feel compelled to give to a person in dire need- a homeless person, or a hungry child. Situations like this awaken compassion  in us to meet a pressing need. There are other times that someone shares a vision so compelling that we are inspired to contribute to see the vision fulfilled. Our contributions in these cases can be traced back to something logical, explainable, and natural. But the power to make wealth cannot be explained by circumstances alone, nor is it just people’s response to a highly motivational speaker or even a great vision. It is, instead, a spiritual power endowed by our Creator, which requires a divine response from creation itself to fulfill His heavenly decree.

The elements of nature are somehow required to respond to this supernatural attraction. The power to make wealth also supernaturally affects man made financial conditions and situations like the stock market, business deals and customer sales. Many of the people God has anointed to make wealth do have extraordinary financial minds, but the mere frequency of their success is uncanny and incomprehensible. They often prosper against ridiculous odds.

At least four factors mark God’s anointing- Supernatural wisdom, favor, excellence, and creativity. This was true for Solomon.

Pray for wisdom. Pray for direction. Pray for a partnership. Build a relationship with your Creator. He has so many things he wants to teach us. Learn to linger in His presence. He won’t disappoint. Why turn to others and other things, when you can turn to the one that knows all, who made all.

Excerpt- Kris Vallotton

God has been speaking to me A LOT about wealth. I’ve been listening to a series on financial stewardship and then He started to show me how he views money ( Kingdom) not the worlds idea or way. First of all God wants His children to thrive. We can’t move His Kingdom agenda forward if we don’t have resources. He even says, I have plans to prosper you. He says I have good plans for you. He says I came so you can have life and life more abundantly. He also says I will do beyond what you can imagine. So, let’s break this down.

What is your mindset about money?

Do you have a poverty mindset about money? I did but God is shattering that now.

What do you and would you use the money that has been given for?

We must look at money like a single brick. God gives you a brick. What are you going to do with that brick? Are you going to use it to take care of your family? Are you going to use it to build something that God considers will last and change lives? Are you going to use it for ill gotten gains? He is very clear that it’s all His. We are just stewards. For where your treasure is, so is your heart. Do you turn your back on others? Do you think the money is yours? It’s important that we begin to see things from God’s point of view and not our own. The only way we can do that is to spend time with God and let Him reveal the unknowns. He says I will teach you thing you do not know, great and unsearchable things. Wisdom only comes from God. God says the love of money is evil but not money itself. If you are tightfisted with your money, then you may have a heart issue that God wants to help you with. He doesn’t want you to be foolish but He also wants you to hold everything loosely.

After the financial stewardship series, God led me to this book- Poverty, Riches, and Wealth. Let me share an excerpt…

Chapter 3

The idea that all believers should be wealthy seems offensive, arrogant, and prideful at best, and ignorant, exaggerated and misleading at worst. Yet it is 100 percent true all of the time. Now, before you decide to jump off my ship and swim to the safety of Familiar Island, let me be clear that not every believer should be rich, because rich and wealthy are two completely different things. Let me contrast poverty, riches, and wealth for you and see if you agree. In Proverbs the wisest king who ever lived often used contrasting truths held in tension to reveal his ageless wisdom. ( Remember he asked God for wisdom). Here are a few examples from Solomon’s writings.

Ill- gotten gains do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death

The wise of heart will receive commands, but a babbling fool will be ruined

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.

He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, but he who sleeps in the harvest is a son who acts shamefully.

So your probably wondering what do these verses even mean. Keep with me.

Poverty lives for today, but wealth leaves a legacy. ( Disclaimer, God will sometimes allow you to go through very trying seasons to get your heart realigned. Job went through a challenging season. Joseph went through a challenging season) However, that is not where you are suppose to stay.

Poverty finds problem in every opportunity, while wealth finds an opportunity in every problem. Stop the self pity. You are an heir.

Poverty feels entitled, while wealth feels empowered. What has God called you to do? Do you even know? God will give you strategies for wealth that will align with His purposes for you.

Poverty fears the future, yet wealth makes history. Fear cannot harm you if you don’t let it. Read about who God says you are. I had to spend a lot of time with God to get out of that mindset. Fear robbed me. Now I can see where I am becoming stronger.

Poverty blames others for it’s condition but wealth takes responsibility even for things that were not its fault.

Poverty asks what are you going to do for me? Wealth asks, “Who is worthy of my investment?”

Poverty hangs around with other disgruntled sorts who validate, but wealth surrounds itself with other powerful influencers. God should be your number one influencer by the way. Watch the company you keep always.

Poverty votes for candidates who will increase its entitlements, while wealth elects officials who will sacrifice today’s comfort for tomorrow’s children.

Now let’s contrast the difference between rich mindsets, and wealth mindsets.

Rich people get their identity from the things they own. They are easily impressed when others have bigger shiny things. Wealthy people’s identity comes from who they are, not what they own.

Rich people either spend a lot of time trying not to lose “their” money, or spend time wasting it on themselves. Wealthy people’s money is just and expression of who they are, so they are confident in their well being.

Rich people work for money, while wealthy people’s money works for them.

Rich people think of their assets, but wealthy people dream of their legacy.

Rich people give to people. Wealthy people invest in people with the expectation of a return. A predetermined outcome. A changed neighborhood, a transformed life or business.

Rich people think their money protects them, they have a sense of being above the law. Solomon put it like this… A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his own imagination. But wealthy people are inherently humble, because they are thankful, knowing that the source of their provision is the Lord.

Rich people have a vision for the things they can buy. Wealthy people have a vision for the legacy they are leaving.

Rich people compete for money. Wealthy people are compelled by destiny.

Rich people step on others to move up. Wealthy people measure success by the people they help up.

The rich person’s goal is to make money, whereas a wealthy person’s profession yields profit as the fruit of serving others well.

Okay so let that all sink in. I was convicted as a read this book but one more thing before I go. GENEROSITY IS THE KEY TO PROSPERITY. It’s one of the best kept secrets because your generosity determines the capacity of your distribution system that reciprocates your investment in the Kingdom. Give and it will be given to you. Read the book of Luke and Proverbs. Think about it this way, if prosperity began with receive instead of give, then each of us would be powerless to produce wealth until someone decided to contribute to our welfare. You always have something to give. Where are you sowing?

 

Voting can seem useless when we see what’s going on in Washington. Let’s break this down together because your vote matters more than you know. The word voting means you have a choice between two candidates and you’re vote may just be the vote that swings the pendulum in the direction of your choice. So, let’s take a look at what midterms even mean and who the candidates are and what they “supposedly” stand for.

Midterms mean-

A midterm election refers to a type of election where the people can elect their representatives in the middle of the term of the executive or of another set of members. … Regarding elections to the United States Congress, the point of reference is the president’s term.

The 2018 United States elections will mostly be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. These midterm elections will take place in the middle of Republican President Donald Trump‘s first term. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested. This is very important for you and me in terms of the changes we want to see.

Candidates and what they stand for and against. You can go to a number of websites to get a list of your candidates for your state and see what each one represents (ballotpedia.org) (isidewith.com)

Seats are as follows by state

US Senate candidates and US House candidates ( do your research ) These men and women play a vital role on the change you want to see. GO TO ( Votesmart.org) (isidewith.com) and put in your state and you can also look up candidates and where they stand on positions and if they passed the courage test. Were they transparent in answering voter’s questions? Some won’t say where they stand on certain positions like abortion, immigration, gun control; some of the more heated subjects that is. That may be a red flag for you.  I know it was for me. I personally am not impressed with any of the candidates and you may not be either but don’t let it stop you from voting for someone versus no one.

Governor

State Senate

State House

Special state legislative

State Supreme Court

Intermediate appellate courts

Local Judges

School boards

Municipal government

Local ballots