As a Christian I hear people often make statements about how God feels about our personal finances. Words and phrases like “perfect will” and “permissive will” are often thrown around helter skelter, with much being left open to people’s interpretation given their personalities and life experiences.
There are those in the world who are bullish; brutes who will stop at nothing to achieve what they want. They are not necessarily opportunists, but simply dedicated to that which they have set out to do. The word no does not exist in their functional lexicon. Then there are those who rely heavily on what they experience. If they come across an obstacle that seems insurmountable, then all of the sudden its God telling them no. If they come across a door that is open its automatically a yes. Their interpretation of will is as malleable as matter itself.
I’m no bible scholar. However, the bible calls for people like me to become much more forceful in their approach to life. For centuries the Euro-Centric, feminine Christ that was depicted, have caused most people to have visions of meek and mild approaches. However, Hebrews 4:16 instructs us to “come boldly before the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Notice the usage of boldly and with confidence, not meek and shy. When you think of taking something by force or with unshakable will, you can turn your spirit’s eye to a few individuals in the Bible. The Old Testament is rife with people that were seemingly unwavering in their quest to fulfill personal and spiritual goals.
The Book Of Joshua talks about the Children of Israel as they first began to conquer the promised land or Canaan. Their forefathers were the Jews that wandered the desert for 40 years due to their inability to get with Jehovah’s program. Joshua & Caleb were a part of the younger generation that were faithful and trusting of God in totality. Joshua was one of the 12 spies sent into Canaan and reported that there were in fact giants — Nephilim— for my learned readers existing within the lands. Now, let’s be real folks. You and your parents wandered in the desert (Sin Desert) for years, got to a land supposedly promised to your culture’s forefather, Abraham, and now there are giants, heroes, “men of renown”? You’d start concocting logic as well. Perhaps you’d “wait” until God told you another way in, because surely a benevolent deity wouldn’t submit you to such gruesome circumstances.
But Joshua & Caleb stayed firm in what they believed — no — what they knew was the destiny bestowed upon the chosen people. They did not see a closed door as a no from God, but instead as a temporary obstacle. While the other 10 spies were struck with a plague, Joshua and Caleb were able to enter the land as promised.
Once again though, let’s be quite frank. We’re reading a book thousands of years old about an obscure group of people, therefore the hindsight that we all tend to don is beyond 20/20. Stories like this in the bible are so easy to extrapolate and scour, because we weren’t there. We simply are taking what was recorded. If we were there, many of us would’ve been A) a part of the mumbling, grumbling Children wandering for 40 years B) one of the 10 spies saying f this, let’s bail, God isn’t here or C) confused as hell wondering why God was so damn cryptic and distant. The bible, just like most literature makes things so cut and dry, so black and white, that its easy to glean understanding. But this was real life for these people…
So what then? Faith.
What is faith…? Man, this is something that scholars, theologians, and other pompous and pedantic peons of piety have been going on about for millenia. Faith is courage. I don’t care which scripture you choose to define it further, but it all comes back to courage. Well okay… Courage in what?
THE THINGS GOD HAS PUT IN YOU.
My favorite scriptures to use in tandem are Proverbs 16:3 “Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established” and Matthew 7:7 “ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you”. If you are doing things for God (committing your works), then your thoughts will be established. If your thoughts are established, then you know what God has for you (Jeremiah 29:11). If you know what God has for you then what you ask for will be in direct alignment with His divine will for your life.
Another duo I love: Proverbs 16:9 “a man’s heart deviseth a way, but the LORD directeth his steps”. And my favorite scripture Phillipians 4:19 “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Christ Jesus”. Using tandem #1, I’ve established that I’m committing my thoughts unto Him, trusting in His promise, and knowing what to ask. With His thoughts now my thoughts, I devise a path for myself which He subsequently directs. While along this path I am praying that He meets my needs — and He will.
So what now Bryce? You’ve kicked out some scriptures, hit us with interpretation, why am I still struggling? Why have I been praying for 2 years for a breakthrough and received nothing? Why can’t I pay my rent? Why can’t I get that promotion? Its not God’s will? I’m not thinking the right thoughts?
I need everyone to get out of that mode of thinking, because it is that very same discourse that lead me away from the church in my teenage years. Defeated Christians at the alter every damn Sunday, wailing over the same old problems. God is not a genie. He is not a jinn. He is not a magic 8 ball. If He put something on your heart you MUST go after it with reckless abandon. Yes, there are times when you are in trouble and you need to adhere to Psalm 46:10 “be still and know I am God”. HOWEVER, life is war. Success is war. Progress is war. You must be willing to fight and TAKE what you KNOW God has put on your heart for you to have. Going back to Jeremiah 29:11 “for I know the thoughts I thinketh towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end”.
Poverty and lack are not in there. You will suffer, you will fight, you will cry. Why? Because life can be a bitch. But if you want something as bad as you want to breathe air, that’s what has been put on your heart by God. You must go out and create opportunities for yourself under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You must go out and conquer your Canaan, regardless of the circumstances that seem much bigger than you. Why? Because that’s God’s perfect will.
I have some other alternative views on Jehovah’s “will” for our life that I may enumerate another day, but I am one that subscribes to a theory that God doesn’t care whether you become the president of the US or the principal at your local school, as long as you accept his Son. Therefore, to get so caught up in the weakling’s discourse of “is this God’s will?” during a job hunt becomes murky ground for me. Jesus said that God can make a pearl appear in a fish’s mouth if you have the faith. He controls nature for crying out loud, act as someone who is His child and take a bold stance with life.
It is his will that you “may have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), whether that is financially, spiritually, emotionally, or romantically is between you and God. It is a dual relationship. Stop living defeated and talk to Him about what you want. Align your thoughts and heart with His (“draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you” James 4:8). & you will KNOW His will for your life.
It will then be up to you to choose whether or not you believe it.
Are you a Joshua? Will you bullishly believe what God puts in your spirit? Or are you like the other 10? Afraid of conflict because its not the easiest thing God couldve done?
When you answer that you’ll know why you haven’t paid rent or gotten the promotion.
Be courageous. Be crazy. Be confident. God loves it. Its the craziest of the bunch he exalts to places of esteem.