By Stephen Phinney

The average man wants three things in life - money, power and respect.  In most cases, he will do just about anything to gain one or more of these.  Money usually gives a man the feeling that nothing can stop him from accomplishing his own will.  Once this occurs, he takes on a false feeling of power and once he has this phony power trip going for himself, he somehow thinks the world will bow down and respect him.

God also tells us that we can evaluate the condition of a man’s heart by looking in his checkbook? It’s true – the Word tells us that a man’s heart is where his money is. Therefore, when you tug on a man’s wallet, you tug on his heart. This is a principle that God makes use of every single day. Most men (and women) believe they are the owners of their own wealth and if they are broke, they are the first to blame another for their poverty.

FOUR - TO DEMONSTRATE GOD'S POWER:  God made us for Himself, empowered us to live life, and gave us the resources to sustain His Kingdom work here on this earth. When any of us attempt to take ownership of His allotted resources, it is classified as stealing or robbing from His storehouse (Malachi 2) and provokes Him to being a jealous God. It is IN Him that we live, move, and have our very being, which should certainly include our earthly treasures.

God is the owner and the presider over all the wealth and material possessions in this world – even the collectables that the Antichrist presently has stored up for himself. When you compare apples with apples, that piece of paper in your pocket, called a dollar, has little or no value. The only reason it is “burning a hole in your pocket” is because man has placed some kind of sumptuous value upon it. Did you know that one community of the Seven Churches is responsible for placing value upon a coin/paper? The township of Thyatira was the first to “invent” money. This community was also known for being the first to enslave women to work outside the home, in order for the men to advance in wealth. In fact, the definition of Thyatira means worthless feminine thing. This community became one of the primary targets for Satan to establish his Beast (global economy). The aftermath of the work that Satan accomplished in this community is still at work in our wallets today.

Let’s face it; God is a miraculous God and His economy is everlasting. He wants to show His people His reality and power, to both the saved and the unsaved world. One means by which He has chosen to do this is through His miraculous provision of money, possessions, and generosity.

First of all, we need to define miracle. It is a supernatural power, being birthed through a natural event, with precise timing to bring glory to God. It is a normal, natural, and neutral work of God. Miracles are not big, oversized events or happenings to God. They are His normal day to day works. For example: when a child of God prays about a special financial need, and an unexpected and unsolicited gift is handed to him or her by one who did not know about the need, the supernatural power of God is revealed from glory to glory.

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows” (Malachi 3:10, NASB).

God rarely grants permission to “prove” or “test” Him in anything, except in His plan of economy. There are FIVE wisdom principles in the Word to explain this Truth. Let’s take a look at them.

ONE - To Build Trust: Many times “Christians” try to worship God and Satan at the same time. Since “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1Tim 6:10), the walk from money to Satan is short and oftentimes destructive. When we don’t trust God with His money in our possession, we activate God’s judgment; so He proposes a test on us. The test involves us facing the two altars we claim to serve. God wants us to choose the god we believe serves and cares for us the best – God or Baal (Satan). Whichever god answers by supernatural power ought to be the one in whom we should worship and place our trust. Therefore, when God says, “Test Me in this,” He really wants us to see with our own eyes which god really backs Truth.

As seen in the story of Elijah (1 Kings 18:21-40), the prophets of Baal cried out to their god all day long and nothing happened. Then Elijah prayed a prayer of trusting faith and God sent fire from Heaven. This heavenly fire consumed the offering, the altar, and the water around it. God is serious about proving His trust, in His own ways.

TWO – To Put to Shame Other Gods: I doubt any true indwelt Christian would disagree that money is the “god” of our present day. This “greenback monster” has become an idol in the lives of some of the finest prophets of our day. I remember counseling the limo driver of the most televised evangelist the world over. The confessions that rolled out of this man’s mouth blew me away: limos, Bentleys, gold plated furniture, renting complete hotel floors, etc. That is the short list. Even though I was appalled, I knew the love of money would bring evil upon that ministry – and it did.

As the world of the Antichrist is expected to seek after money, God desires for HIS children to seek after Him first. Then He will provide all they need afterwards. Seeking after God involves building our lives, motives, heart, and activities around Him, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

THREE – To Purify Our Motives: A requirement of God, in order for us to experience His supernatural power in finances, is actively seeking Him with a pure heart through selfless motives. Review this verse:

“If I regard wickedness (vanity) in my heart, The Lord will not hear” (Psalms 66:18, NASB, parentheses Hebrew).

Vanity is the result of spending money on making oneself look “better off” than he really is. That, my reader, covers a lot of ground. God warns us about vanity. I believe, He will not answer the prayers of those who refuse to listen to this appeal. The requirement for God’s miraculous control in our financial affairs is superpowered by our willingness to let Him examine our hidden motives.

FOUR – Lead Unsaved to Christ: Money, or should I say, the management of money can be a powerful tool to lead an unbeliever to Christ. When believers are “right” with the Lord, and each other, and when each of them are truly experiencing God’s miraculous works of provision, nonbelievers are drawn to Jesus and the local churches they attend. How a nonbeliever can look at a minister who spends his donor dollars on mansions, limos, and gold plated furniture, and not question the leader’s authenticity of God - is beyond me.

A couple of years ago, I was given the budget details of a church in Phoenix, AZ. Then I was shown the annual budget of one of the countries in Africa and how the annual budget of this local church could care for the entire budget of this poverty-stricken country for four years. The gentleman said, “Wait, there’s more.” He went on to show me the statistics connected to the local churches regarding debt (i.e. building loans, corporate credit cards, etc.). The results confirmed that just the churches in America show more debt than 2/3 of all the countries in the entire world combined. That boggles the mind a bit. Needless to say, that should sound off an alert in the minds of true Christians. It is no wonder why the TRUE Gospel is being silenced in America and why the Emergent Church is showing its ugly head.

FIVE – To Glorify the Name of the Father: God is NOT going to share His glory with Satan; it’s that simple. Since the love of money is the root of all evil, those that love money (Christian or not) are covertly glorifying Satan instead of God. I know this sounds a bit blunt, but it is authentically real and true. God the Father does great things for His children, so they can pass the real gospel of His Son on to the next generation. God wants future generations to glorify Him not only in times of need, but when times are abundant in resources. If His children will glorify Him in times of trouble, they certainly will give Him all the credit and honor for the “good times” as well.

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