In this season of holiday shopping madness the world begins to wonder how it is going to pay its bills. Shoppers go wild spending money they don’t have, buying stuff they and their friends don’t always need (while 2/3 of the world goes without the basics of life) and maxing their credit cards with an “I’ll worry about it later” attitude. Most of the time they focus on shopping, giving gifts, having parties and decorating Christmas trees.
I have never figured out what 90% of “Christmas” has to do with “Christmas” i.e. the birth of Jesus Christ – which is in fact what it is!
Too often people spend money they don’t have without regard to the consequences that follow in the coming year. That “coming year” is just a flip of the calendar’s page away. The Happy New Year, often time, begins with bigger debt than the previous year, and so the vicious cycle begins again and we wonder and worry about how to get out of debt. Yet we hope for an increase in pay or perhaps a job promotion; surely that will solve the financial mess we created by over spending during the holidays. Right? Not likely.
The more money they have, the more they spend. Many times people with large incomes have a higher debt ratio than people with lower incomes.
Let me just run down a small list of the debt-oriented things to which we expose our children to each day. They live in houses with thirty-year mortgages. They wear clothes purchased with credit cards. Those same clothes are washed in washing machines purchased on monthly payment plans. They study from mortgaged computers. They watch mortgaged televisions and use mortgaged computers and smart phones. They sleep on mortgaged beds. They are born into a family up to its eyeballs in debt. They live eighteen to twenty-five years in this debt-ridden environment. When they are old enough to drive, we usually co-sign a bank loan for them to purchase their first automobile. By so doing, we launch them into their own ocean of debt, never to be debt free again.
Is this what God intends?
God desires for His children to prosper in every aspect of their life; spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, socially, and financially. I believe God gave Joshua the secret formula to prosperity:
- Be strong and courageous; never cowering or compromising the Word.
- Observe the Law – the law of God’s unconditional love for one another.
- “Love does no wrong to one’s neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law.” Romans 13:10.
- Meditate on the Word and don’t allow it to depart from your mouth. In other words bridle your tongue and speak life not death. In every situation you encounter speak spiritual truths from the Word.
“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9
Joshua’s true prosperity was the Promised Land and government. True prosperity is not exclusively financial wealth; it is health, joy, peace and all nine fruits of the spirit. Peace is a victory that overcomes the world (Galatians 5:22-23).