These lessons are written from a first world, heavily privileged experience. The details may need translation to a context where someone is living hand to mouth, but the principles should carry though.

  1. It’s not about the money. It’s not about the thing(s) we want and need. He’s looking for relationship, for trust. He’s not looking for perfect understanding of His voice and perfect obedience, but a heart that seeks Him and is looking for the opportunity to get to know him over having their financial desires met.
  2. Everything is seasonal. Taking one principle that God has taught you and living all of life from it might “work” in keeping you out of debt and in relative safety but if we don’t listen to Him all the time, we will miss out on the journeys of faith. Almost every biblical figure took big risks in the safe place that is God’s will.
  3. Control is as big an idol as riches. However much I overcome in this area it is still one I need to keep an eye on. Control and trust are linked. Many people say they “trust God but not people therefore… <insert excuse here>”. Trusting God means trusting Him whilst we put ourselves in the hands of capricious humans. If he is able to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28) and He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) then surely we can trust Him to deal with the vagaries of humanity in the minutes of our lives. I dare you to give something costly to someone who may not be wise in its use.
  4. Before we can be trusted to build wealth to use for the Kingdom we usually need to go through the formation of living by faith. We often want the end but not the journey. That’s not say that God will preclude us from getting wealthy until we have the necessary character. He allows us the consequences of our actions.
  5. All we have is a loan. If we have anything we are incapable of giving or sharing then it may an idol. We will be more free and have life to the most full when we are free to give it away if He asks.
  6. The answer is often in what you already have. Money is a tool, a seed. When we use what we have correctly, as God guides, both prudently and/or radically generous and free then this will lead to the Kingdom answer. In the kingdom things grow and multiply. The income you have is both Bread for today and seed for tomorrow. Don’t eat what he’s given you to invest, but don’t invest it if he’s telling you to give it.
  7. Don’t give till it hurts. Give till it’s funny. (Thanks for line P-Mac.) Give till it’s ridiculous how the money is flowing in and out. This life with Jesus gets to be characterised with joy. If you’ve lost the joy and the worries are settling in, you might be out of step with the Spirit. The joy of the lord is a fruit of the Spirit, available when we ask for it (we are not meant to try and work it up) and it is our strength, if we will have it.
  8. Don’t do it alone… you were made by a community of love for a community of love. In our provision and finance we are taught to hide, to be alone, to keep our cards close to our chests. This is a bad idea, make sure someone you are not related or married to knows, has your back, and gets to speak into, your finances.
  9. This is really about decision making. Making financial decisions from a place of “seeking first the kingdom” and trusting that you have a good father who will “give you more than you ask or imagine” whatever that looks like (it may not look like earthly riches). This is not about money, this is about relationship.
  10. 10.It’s not about the money (money, money.) It’s not about the thing(s) we want and need. He’s looking for relationship, for trust. He’s not looking for perfect understanding of His voice and perfect obedience, but a heart that seeks Him and is looking for the opportunity to get to know him over having their financial desires met.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matt. 6:25-34 NIVUK