Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Five Essentials for a Rich LIfe

Five Essentials for a Rich Life
Three business failures would be enough to stop most people from wanting to have their own business but not Vern. For Vern had a dream and a passion burning within him to start his own business. He had been willing to risk everything on becoming a successful business owner. Having failed three times, Vern was selling cars when I met him and recognized his potential. I knew he lacked some essential knowledge to be successful in business, so I recruited him to study economics and watched his journey through life. People can improve their financial situation by understanding the essentials for possessing the true riches.

Whether you start with little or much, you can be armed today with the information needed for a better financial future. It is best to keep money in the proper context for life is more than money. If you seek wisdom, you will find what you need to prosper. Wisdom says, “I’m ready to meet those who love me, bestow true riches upon them, and fill up their lives until their treasuries overflow” (Proverbs 8:21 VOICE). This study shows how to manage your affairs for a rich life. It will give you some tools to deal with your money. If money is important to you, then you will want to manage it wisely. Understanding the true riches and the essentials for a rich life will help you manage your money wisely.

Introducing True Riches

True riches are the supernatural abilities, power and strength that believers have through Jesus Christ. These riches originate with the heavenly Father, his Son and his Spirit as they enter a believer’s heart. True riches include salvation, grace, mercy and fruit of the Spirit to name just a few. They are eternal and cannot be corrupted, making them different from the material things which perish. The patriarchs of old had the true riches and lived in abundance. Abraham walked in the true riches, because God was his friend, and Abraham obeyed his commands. Likewise, believers today can walk in the true riches and abundance.

An abundance of true riches is deposited in the hearts of believers as they accept Jesus as Savior. Everything that is needed to sustain life is within every believer, so there is no lack to those who operate in the supernatural realm. The true riches are activated by faith rather than by natural efforts. By receiving the true riches, believers can change their own financial situation and walk in abundance.

Focus

Your life is a story to be told. It centers on such things as family, career, status, friends, relationships and influence. The things at the center of your life are the main things which you think about, which define you and which determine your worth. Also, these are the things that cause conflict and problems in your life.

The lives of most people are complicated. Their lives are not centered on just one of these areas but on several areas. For example, a person may try to balance life between career and family. Having more areas at the center of your life creates more conflicts and problems. Those people whose lives are centered on natural things acquire their finances by their own strength and intellect. In other words, they are the primary source of their riches and their problems. Being self-centered blocks the true riches of God and keeps a person in spiritual poverty. The life of my friend Vern was centered on his need to become a successful business owner. He always got in the way of his own success.

God is an economist and he wants to empower you with his economy. “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” (Deuteronomy 8:18). This power is revealed in the New Testament as the Holy Spirit’s anointing. God anointed Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38). Thus, it’s the anointing which empowers believers to generate wealth.

Essential Element #1 Source of a rich life: Receive God's power to get wealth by faith.

Power makes you a witness. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). Be a witness to the abundant life which Jesus came to give you. The story of life for believers is what God’s power is doing through them.

Goals

Most people desire to have enough money to live comfortably, but some want to acquire great wealth. Others may be satisfied with just enough income to do the things which are most important to them or the things they enjoy doing. Yet some people are consumed with acquiring earthly goods and personal riches. It makes no sense to become very rich by destroying yourself. “It is worthless to have the whole world if they lose their souls” (Matthew 16:26 EXB).

There are many goals which a person could pursue. Several of these may appear to be good goals, but God’s perfect will for an individual is related to only one goal, and that goal fulfills his purpose. Purpose has been in the heart of God from the beginning. He has a specific purpose for every person. His purposes are hidden but can be discovered by those who seek to know them through the Spirit. The purposes of God can only be understood with the Spirit’s help (1 Corinthians 2:14). Vern was not successful in business until he understood his true purpose. His dream was not as big as God’s purpose for him.

There is a price to be paid for those who will be rich. Those who truly follow Jesus live a sacrificial life to please him. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24). Each sacrifice ends in death, but in Jesus believers live a new life. They do not continue to live as before by being fully immersed in the world’s system. Instead, they live by faith, continually renewing their minds to the word of God by the Spirit.

Essential Element #2 Goals for a rich life: Discover and fulfill God’s purpose.

A person can be obedient to God’s purpose only by discovering and then fulfilling that purpose. Discover God’s purpose for you by following your passion. At the age of 16, our daughter, Amy, went with us to Honduras, Central America. While there she prayed for a sick baby which was expected to die, and God healed it. He put within her a passion to help the sick. When she went to college, advisers started her in a program for teachers. I knew she did not have a passion for teaching, so I asked her to find out what she had a passion to do. She sought the Lord and decided to go into nursing. She has been successful in the medical field. Fulfill the purpose God has for you.

Plans

People need tools to keep track of their cash flow and equity or net worth. Financial statements are some of the most important things used in financial planning. However, financial statements by themselves do not address everything that is important in financial planning. There are spiritual issues which also need to be addressed.

Financial Statements

Making more money than you spend is the only financial plan that makes sense. An increase in net cash flow will increase your equity and give you more opportunities in life. Two financial statements provide an indication of your financial condition. Use a balance sheet to find your starting point. A balance sheet shows assets, debts and equity at one point in time. A cash flow statement measures your income and expenses over a period of time.

These two financial statements can be used together as tools to monitor your spending and increase your equity. A positive net cash flow, which is shown in the cash flow statement, can increase your equity as shown in the balance sheet. If you have a positive net cash flow in a given period, you can apply that money to acquire assets or pay off debts. Either of these activities would increase your equity.

Spiritual Forces

Behind each financial statement is a spiritual force. Every person has a spiritual heritage affecting his/her financial situation. Your parents, grandparents and great grandparents have had an influence on you (Exodus 20:5). Even if you did not know all of them, their lives still affect your life in both positive and negative ways. There are character traits and spiritual influences that span the generations. For example, lust and bitterness can be passed down to future generations. A godly heritage offers a strong foundation for financial success. Deceptions were rampant in the lives of the Old Testament patriarchs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 20:1, 26:7 and 27:19). In the New Testament, Timothy received a legacy of faith from his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5).

Stop the reaping of iniquities set in place by your ancestors and by you. Those who plant iniquity will reap the fruit of iniquity (Hosea 10:13 and Job 4:8). Adding the prefix in to equity gives iniquity or no equity. Those who plant iniquity will reap iniquity or no equity. What may appear on the surface as only a spiritual issue such as sin or iniquity affects natural things such as finances by reducing equity. Bruce, a friend of mine, was reaping iniquity by thinking everyone would reject him. His negative thinking hindered his financial success. When he overcame the reaping of iniquities with repentance and the blood of Jesus, his thinking changed. God gave him creative inventions for the oil and gas industry which have made him very rich.

Essential Element #3 Plans for a rich life: Address the spiritual forces
behind your financial situation.

Many people plan for the future which they think they deserve, rather than the future God wants to give them. The mind of man plans what he will do and how he will do it, but God may overrule and dispose of a matter as he pleases (Proverbs 16:9). God has his own plans for your life. He plans to prosper you and to give you hope and a good future (Jeremiah 29:11). Everyone contends against spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12). Take a broad perspective for financial success by using financial statements and spiritual elements such as prayer. Only believers have the authority and power to deal with spiritual matters.

Actions

As a good steward, take steps which are consistent with the plans. God calls his people to the high standard of being a good steward of his true riches: “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). This concept addresses true riches, but the traditional approach to stewardship in religion relates to how well a person handles finances and supports religious institutions, which are both natural. A person does not need a lot of money in order to be a good steward from God’s perspective. Do not be wasteful or slothful, but be a good steward of the riches which God has given you. He wants his children to be good stewards over his riches.


God’s actions are supernatural. His unselfish and supernatural love motivates everything he does. He multiplied the oil in a small pot so a widow and her sons could pay off their debts and live (2 Kings 4:1-7). He made a handful of meal and a little oil last to feed Elijah and a woman and her son until the drought passed (1 Kings 17:8-16). He multiplied five loaves and two fish in a little lad’s lunch, so that it was enough to feed about 5000 men, besides women and children (Matthew 14:13-21). He can do supernatural things in your finances.

Let supernatural actions which are motivated by love be an integral part of your life. “Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law” (Romans 13:10 NLT).Supernatural acts receive supernatural rewards (Matthew 5:44-47). Whatever you have can be turned into something supernatural by following the Spirit. God’s power is involved in supernatural actions. Initiating actions in the supernatural realm comes from being led by the Spirit. Doing what the Spirit directs you to do is a supernatural action. God gives believers his power to get wealth and prosper in this realm. Wherever the Spirit tells you to give is supernatural.

One of the greatest investments a person can make on this earth is to invest in the lives of others. Build strong personal relationships, and invest your time and effort in those to whom the Spirit leads you.

Vern was always leading his family into financial difficulties. When his wife was offered a great job in another state, he had to make a difficult decision to humble himself by following her or to keep leading his family towards his dream. For the first time, he decided to put his family first and follow her. He got an entry-level job with a major financial corporation. When he was on the job only a short time, he recognized the corporation was facing serious problems for which the leaders were not trained properly. He was able to hire several good economists to help solve the problems the corporation faced. Vern led these economists in developing a culture of working and playing hard together. They restructured the process the corporation used to manage its finances. Several of those economists became chief financial officers for that corporation and other corporations, as well. Vern fulfilled his God-given purpose by restructuring the global financial industry.

Essential Element #4 Actions for a rich life: Align natural and supernatural actions with your goals.

If you are a vessel which God can use to be a blessing to others he will pour out his riches on you. Keep focused on the goal which is your purpose and help others discover and fulfill their purpose. Your household will be blessed, and you will be a blessing to others.

Refinement in Goals and Plans

Many people rely on formulas, experiences of others and recommendations from advisers in making decisions about investments and other financial matters. For example, a popular rule of thumb is to save 10% of a person’s income and tithe 10% of the income. Such an approach is comparable to flying a plane on automatic pilot. With all the information that is known in the natural realm, this approach may seem appropriate. However, no one can successfully cruise through the invisible supernatural realm on automatic pilot.

If you follow any financial plan for long, it will become irrelevant. Changes in the plan have to be made over time. Good financial decisions are made as a person follows the Spirit. Believers cannot base decisions on the failures or successes of other people. Otherwise, David would have repeated his winning battle strategy when he was attacked a second time. But the Lord told David to attack in a different way during the second battle (2 Samuel 5:23).

Your dream may have crashed and burned like Vern’s dream of owning a business. But God wants to raise your dream out of the ashes. With the increased knowledge, experience and finances Vern gained by working with the corporation, he was able to start a business selling motorcycles with his son. Life for Vern was no longer just about himself, because he made a place to be with his son and leave a legacy to him.

Essential Element #5 Refinements in goals and plans for a rich life: Continually seek the Lord
and move forward in the light of his truth.

Operating effectively in the supernatural realm cannot be based on natural things. It’s by the Spirit. The people of Issachar were successful, because they knew the changing times and seasons (1 Chronicles 12:32). Those with the Issachar anointing to prosper will know the changing times and seasons. Believers need to continually seek the Spirit for guidance on how to live the rich life.

Personal Story about True Riches

The Lord told me to teach his people how to be rich. He gave me a big vision and the strategy to fulfill it. Teaching and demonstrating God’s true riches are important parts of my vision. By teaching others about the true riches in the kingdom, I am releasing true riches into their lives. I travel to many countries teaching God’s plan for riches and releasing finances into the lives of those to whom I minister. I demonstrate the true riches by releasing finances into the lives of believers all over the world. Instead of making a big name for myself or building big facilities, I want to release one billion dollars into the body of Christ during my lifetime. My vision is bigger than I can fulfill without the help and guidance of the Spirit for it requires divine intervention. My vision is bigger than the things that I can accomplish without the help of others. I help equip ministers to proclaim and demonstrate the kingdom of God for that is where the true riches abound. These ministers enrich the lives of people throughout the world.

Conclusions

Both natural and supernatural approaches to managing finances were considered in this study. Believers have access to riches in both the natural and supernatural realms. Those who walk in the abundant life which Jesus gave them are able to draw on God’s true riches in the supernatural realm and wisely manage finances in the natural realm. Religion offers a deceptive view of stewardship which focuses primarily on finances in the natural realm and ignores the true riches of the supernatural realm. However, the true riches are more important than finances in the natural realm. God’s approach to stewardship addresses riches in both the natural and supernatural realms. You can prosper financially when you understand God’s true riches and apply the essentials for possessing them. If you only operate financially in the natural realm, you will get natural results; however, if you operate in the supernatural realm with your finances, you will bring the supernatural into the natural.

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