Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sit, Walk, Stand

Ephesians 2:
[5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
[6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
[7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.
[10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Sit: If you are a Christian start with the idea it is going to be OK. Not because of what you have done but because of what has been done for you. I am not suggesting that the Lord is going to buy you a Mercedes Benz, but he has promised that he will provide for you. As a typical American male, I find this concept difficult to grasp. I want to do it myself. Nothing wrong with that, but it is not the right place to start. Instead start with trust in your Lord and Savior; that he can take care of your needs. He can guide you as you manage your finances. He has said, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

Ephesians 6:
[5] Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
[6] Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; [7] With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
[8] Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
[9] And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

Walk: Once you have your priorities in good order, you will learn as you do what needs to be done. Start with the basics, don’t be a thief. If you are an employee do a good job for your employer. If you run your own business, give honest value to your customers. If you are the master of a great corporation, remember you have an obligation to care for your employees, your customers, and your shareholders. When you find pride, greed, sloth or envy in your heart, repent; none of us are perfect. We all wrestle with our own issues. Pray for guidance before you spend or invest money. He will answer your prayers. Read the Book of Proverbs. It is loaded with timeless financial advice. Learn to trust your conscience. If you are resting in Christ, it will provide a very good guide. If you are not resting in Christ, return to step one, get your heart right, then return to the marketplace.

Ephesians 6:
[10] Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
[11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
[12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
[13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand: Folks, we are in a battle against wicked spirits in high places. If you don’t think the World’s financial system is influenced by the wicked one, you are kidding yourself. When you step out into the marketplace you are contesting with the enemy, but it is OK the Kingdom of God is within you. Wherever he directs you to make a stand is his territory. We have all the weapons and armor we need to be victorious. You are His servant and you are acting in His Name. We have already won the battle, if we stand. It won’t be easy but the promise is there.

Many consider the book of Ephesians the most purely spiritual of Paul’s epistles. On the surface it does not have a lot to do with finance or the management of money beyond a few simple instructions we have already learned. I would challenge you to change the way you think about money. Don’t compartmentalize it as something unspiritual, something dirty. Integrate your financial life into your spiritual life. In the end all we are and all we possess are His, even though I forget that fact on a daily basis.

May God have mercy on my soul.

Sit, Walk, Stand is a classic study of the Book of Ephesians by Watchman Nee.

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