From Debt to Financial Freedom
One revelation can change your life forever.
At the time of this writing I have been married and ordained for 13 and a half years (we were married and ordained on the same day), but the first several years of our lives together were a financial disaster.
At that time we were living in a small rental house in Richmond, Indiana. There were leaks in the ceiling in the kitchen and the bathroom was full of water damage that had not been repaired by the landlord for over a year. Like many young couples, we were in debt up to our eyeballs. We had one vehicle, a Chevy Astro minivan with a dent in the front right side.
We had around a dozen credit cards and almost all of them were completely maxed out. We were often borrowing money from one credit card to just barely pay the minimum payments on the others. I remember when we would spend time searching through all the furniture trying to find enough change to go out to eat at McDonald’s. McDonald’s was a special treat for us in those days. We were both working at jobs on and off, but we never did find a decent job for either one of us.
My wife has a Bachelor’s degree, but the highest paying job she found with it was only $6.25 an hour. I’ve done all kinds of jobs including selling satellite dishes door-to-door, signing people up for credit cards in front of Sears, delivering pizzas for Little Caesar’s, and even delivering newspapers (as an ordained minister at 22 years old).
I don’t even want to imagine how bad our lives would have been if we had children at the time. Free time was spent studying the Bible, listening to ministry tapes, and preaching. We had a Bible study and church in our home during part of this time period. The saddest part of this story was that we fully believed in prosperity.
We believed the verses that teach God wanting to bless his people. We listened to tapes on prosperity. We read books on financial blessings. Our situation did finally change, but not in the way we expected or had been taught. The most often quoted verse about financial blessings is this one:
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”Luke 6:38
We knew that verse by heart and I quoted it regularly. You would be hard pressed to go to any church and not have that verse quoted at least several times during the service, especially at offering time. We believed and quoted that verse at almost every offering. Another popular “financial” verse is this one:
“But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”Matthew 13:23
Because of this verse and the other ones similar to it, we constantly believed for a hundredfold return on our giving. It’s too bad that this verse really isn’t about money. It has been badly taken out of context and we will study it in context some other time. We would give $500 to a ministry and go home confessing God was going to bless us with $50,000 (hundredfold return on the giving).
We even borrowed from our credit cards many times to make these gifts (yes, these are the same credit cards which were almost maxed out). We never received a “miracle” of someone helping us out with our debts. God’s anwer for us came in a completely different way. Instead of sending us the miracle check, He gave me a revelation in my spirit.
This one revelation changed our lives from that day forward. Our situation started changing for the better the same week. We were able to pay our bills on time. We soon started paying off our debts. We moved to a much nicer rental house. Within several years we bought our own home. The loan for our home was paid off in less than ONE year. We purchased two brand new vehicles with cash. We’ve been on a second honeymoon to Cancun (we never actually had a first honeymoon because we could never afford it).
We have thousands of dollars invested in real estate. Last year we GAVE away more money than we used to earn in 3 years. All of the above didn’t come overnight. It is over several years. The changes began occurring immediately from the moment the revelation came.
Instead of going deeper in debt, we started coming out of debt. I have learned quite a bit more about finances from the Bible since then, but that one revelation was the breakthrough for me. We have gone from complete financial bondage to true financial freedom. A banker doesn’t tell me what I can or can’t do for God. Money doesn’t rule my life. It is simply a tool that works for me.
This is true financial freedom. I’m sure that by now you’d like to know what it was I learned that day. The revelation I received from God in my spirit was simply this:
“Don’t pray for money anymore. Pray for wisdom and you’ll never have trouble with money again.”
We’ll talk about this more another day…