We’ve all likely heard more times than we can count how the ‘enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy’ (John 10:10) and that our enemies aren’t flesh and blood and the things of this world, but are ‘are principalities and powers and rulers of the world (Ephesians 6:12). We also know that Christ came for us to have life abundantly (also John 10:10) and that the Power at work within us is greater than anything in the world (1 John 4:4). So how come on a day to day basis our hope is dictated by what we can see or expect to see in the world around us? Maybe you know what I mean and maybe you’re wondering how this relates to finance. But, here’s an interesting observation I’ve made through my own life and those I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years: Think about the kinds of things that spark hope in your life; things like a nice warm bed to sleep in, a good meal, weekend activities, just about anything to do with your children, sunny days so you can enjoy outside activities (unless you’re a winter sports fan then you probably hope from fresh snow in the mountains or something similar). What about at work? Do you hope for a promotion, or the end of the day so you can go home? Do you hope the car starts and there’s no traffic congestion? Do you hope for a particular person to call or for a bunch of ‘likes’ on social media? Or do you hope for things like ‘a once in a lifetime vacation’, or winning the lottery because you don’t really expect it to happen?
All these things are external natural thoughts. They are rooted in an expectation of something having a positive reinforcement from something in the environment. I have a vintage picture by my desk that reminds me of where out heavenly Father wants our focus to be, ‘Hope though in God’.
How this Godly hope ‘plays out’ in day to day life however, has a lot to do with what we expect to experience in our life. Do we expect certain things to happen because that’s what’s always happened; or because we have done everything we can to prepare; or because we have something inside that’s a bit empty and we have found temporary fulfillment from some self-effort in the past?
I am perhaps a bit ultra-sensitive to this topic right now because Joe (my husband) and I have been living in temporary accommodations for over a year. We experienced a supernatural move of God and were extremely grateful to have landed in our cozy abode. When we packed up our home we expected to stay for about 6 months-ish in transition and didn’t really know where God would lead us. We spent a lot of time together driving and praying and looking. Now, thousands of miles later, we sense the general area God is calling us to but our heads (our soulish nature of our mind, will and emotions) is impatient to be moving on. But, when we listen to how Holy Spirit is speaking to us, where we have our peace, and how certain passages of scripture jump out at both of us, our expectations are that He’s not calling us to another temporary accommodation, but rather He’s calling us to the land we have envisioned for numerous years now – which ultimately means that our hope for our new home is based on God’s promises and His confirmation in scripture, not what we can see in the bank account, real estate listings and our natural environment. Our hope is in God to fulfill the desire and vision that He has birthed in both of us for our next home and ministry centre.
What I have known before and am living now, is that if we turn our attention to anything outside God’s love and plans for the fulfilment of a desire we have in our life, even if it’s just the expectation of a daily pleasure like a warm shower in the morning, we are hoping for something other than God; our attention will turn to what we think we can afford, or what we think we can do on our own.
I’m sure I’m not alone in having experienced a cold shower because the tank ran dry or was somehow malfunctioning and instead of experiencing satisfaction, felt frustration, anger, bitterness, maybe resentment, or even anxiety if you sensed a repair bill coming. Over time our thoughts become wired for fulfilment this way and the phrase, ‘how we do anything is how we do everything’ begins to impact our entire life; eating and sleeping habits, exercise, relationships, work, organizational patterns, entertainment, what you say (or don’t say), and ultimately what you believe. We expect things to be a certain way because they bring us some sort of fulfilment, and when they don’t we react with some kind of negative thought and likely language as well.
When you seriously consider the concept of what God the Father is telling us to do when He says to love Him “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (see Luke 10:27), and how this plays out in real life, it’s quite a humbling thought. It’s also easy to see how looking at your current financial reality and considering God’s promises produce a disconnect and challenge our faith, and our pride because it smacks us with our sense of wanting to be in control of the situation and do things how and when we want to do them.
All this makes me wonder if the reason financial lack feeds on itself and builds walls of intimidation and misplaced trust and deeper wounds of hopelessness is because we give the devil greater influence over our lives by thinking more about how and what and where and when we can do something. Instead, God asks us to focus our attention on who and why, and believing the scriptures and trusting Him (the author of those promises and desires and visions) to show us where, when, when, how, who, etc. He’ll direct us to fulfill those promises according to His plans for His purposes and glory!
Please join me Monday at 7:30 am as we pray for a renewed financial hope to fill our minds as part of an ongoing transformation to Triumph Over Money. I ‘expect’ to be launching the first phase of the 7-Step Prayer Strategy for Financial Increase based on the Lord’s prayer that God woke me up writing in my head a month or so ago, this week, and I hope it will be a blessing to you!
I am choosing to be hopeful for amazing results from this project, instead of letting the enemy of hopelessness grip me with fear or get me sidetracked about our home situation and lose site of the big purpose for life. So with that, I pray hopefulness for everyone in the Financial Grace community and ‘hope’ you’ll join me in praying, expecting and receiving a renewed sense of hope and fulfilment, in Jesus’ mighty name!
PS – If you’re currently experiencing delays and find yourself tempted to reduce your expectations to fit the financial ‘reality’ you can see and ‘expect’ to see, stand firm! The enemy wins if you reduce or attempt to justify the desires of your heart to something that makes sense in his domain. God gives us desires and visions and promises and unlimited possibilities as we turn to Him, but the devil will do all he can to ‘steal, kill and destroy’ the good plans God has planned for His people!
7:30 am PST Monday Morning. Login at https://zoom.us/j/908651509?pwd=oNRiFMgKOIDMVzuZKKKqIw%3D%3D and use password: blessings