A Step Forward and A Step Back

My last email newsletter update…FYI

You haven’t heard from me in a couple weeks.  Some people who will receive this message have even stopped receiving messages from me…Alas, that is one of the steps back from the past couple weeks.  If this is you and you no longer wish to stay connected by email this way, please accept my apologies and simply click ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of this message.  I switched email service providers and one of the glitches in the switch was migrating over the current contacts. I do apologize for the inconvenience.

This will be the 3rd email service provider and 2nd backend system I’m integrating for the delivery of Financial Grace programs and services.  I migrated from the first system so I could automate more.  The second system wasn’t nearly as user friendly as it claimed to be and service wasn’t available during times when it was needed.  This new system brings with it another learning curve.

Maybe you know what I’m talking about when I refer to the ‘weight’ of facing something new after a series of frustrations, delays, andother challenges?

But Jesus wants to take all these ‘weights’ from us (see Matthew 11:28)?  A weight is a heavy burden.  What makes it a heavy burden?  A root of fear of some sort.  Where does fear come from?  Not the Lord.  We know that perfect love casts our fear and that God is love (see 1 John 4:18 and 1 John 4:8) so we know that the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy is at the root of fear (John 10:10a).

We might not necessarily call it fear, but if you have concerns, uncertainty, nervousness, anxiety, stress, depression, discouragement, disappointment, or feel paralyzed to make a decision or to make a step towards something good on your heart, it’s the devil coming to interfere with the abundant life Jesus came to bring (John 10:10b).

Getting Real:
Finances have a way of dictating what you’ll do and not do. They’ll impact what you believe, who you know and just about every area of life.  I used to say that money was as important as oxygen for survival, but I now know that to be one of those ½ truths the devil wants us to believe.  Jesus said, ‘man cannot live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4).  And, in Acts 17:25 we learn that Jesus himself, gives life and breath to everything and that the first words in the bible were God creating the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).

The whole idea that money can dictate what your life looks like is actually absurd when you put it in the context of scripture.  Jesus couldn’t have been more clear when he said, ‘you can’t serve both God and money’ (Matthew 6:24).  So why then do financial issues have such power over our life?

I’m going to propose from my personal and professional experience that it’s because Satan, through fear based tactics has manipulated our belief system so God’s people have adjusted their beliefs about money to fit with the reality they see, not the promises God makes in His Word.  The concept of managing money a perfect example.  If you’re managing money, you’re serving money, not God.

What about goals and dreams?
God gives each of us unique desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4).  Whether we take steps to realizing the full potential of those desires is too often determined by the financial reality we see around us.  In an attempt to acquire the desires we develop from the world around us, we will acquire knowledge (or not) depending on our belief about whether realizing a desire seems ‘realistic’ or not. The rationale is that by learning financial strategies and principles we’ll be able to make better decisions and be able to realize the desires of our heart through the proper implementation of the strategies that we learned based on the beliefs we developed from the world!

At some point in our life journey, however, God who is patient and faithful and who calls us by name (Isaiah 43:1)) for the fulfillment of His good plans and purposes for our life (Jeremiah 29:11) will show us where we have let fear and self-control take the place of His faith operating in our lives.  Your journey might not be about finances, perhaps it’s relational, or physical.  I’m going to assume that because you’re reading Financial Grace, that on some level you also have an interest in understanding financial matters operating in your life.

A Step Back to Step Forward:
The month of June in my family’s life saw an abundance of disappointments and losses.  Let’s just say it was ‘negative fun’.  But, God says He will never leave us or forsake us and that He works all things for good for those who seek Him (Hebrews 13:5 and Romans 8:28).  This means that intellectually what seems like it might be a step backwards, can actually become a step forward…unless we decide to make it a ‘life sentence’ and get burdened by discouragement.

In real life Satan uses discouragement (which is rooted in some form of fear) as his chosen tool to keep us stuck in unbelief.  Unbelief is doubting God’s goodness and His promises.  But knowing this and living with a financial loss, disappointment, uncertainty or delayed realization of a dream requires faith – not fear!

Fear can be masked as the heaviness I described above, and it can also be masked as an intellectual ‘reality’.  My question to you as it is to myself, is what reality do we live in?  God’s promises?  Or Satan’s reality of what we can see or think we can expect to see?

I apologize to you for how the delays that my own disappointments, loss, discouragement and a general sense of ‘lack’ have impacted the development of Financial Grace programs.  There have been setbacks in the natural for sure, but the reality is, ‘the Lord is our Shepherd and we lack no good thing’ (Psalm 23:1) and He ‘will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19).  Often those riches come from God bringing a word of encouragement through someone else.  This is very true in my life through the people He has brought forward and the mentors and teachers He has empowered to deliver messages that are available through technology when you don’t actually know someone with the expertise being imparted through books, courses and video teaching.

The step forward is always to obey God’s command to ‘be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for He will be with you wherever you go’ (Joshua 1:9).  I thank you for your patience as I navigate the pieces of this grand online puzzle and I continue to remain faithful to share the message of Financial Grace to connect God and money in real life today through relationship with the Lord Jesus and with each other.

I will share more soon!  In the meantime, I pray this message blesses you and I look forward to connecting with you further!!

Abundant blessings,

Sam

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