When it comes to finances, most people tend to get a little uneasy.
Images of prosperity preachers prioritizing wealth over spiritual devotion and exploiting their congregations often cloud our perceptions. However, while the Bible repeatedly cautions against the love of money, it also offers reassurances. Both the Old and New Testaments affirm God’s desire to bless His followers in return for their faith.
Respected financial counselor and Pastor Jim Baker identifies three key barriers that might prevent Christians from experiencing God’s full blessings.
The Knowledge Deficit
Firstly, Baker notes that a lack of knowledge often prevents Christians from prospering. He points out, “My people perish for a lack of…’ doesn’t say lack of faith, doesn’t say lack of money, doesn’t say lack of time, people perish for a lack of knowledge.”
He believes that financial knowledge forms a critical threshold to one’s financial growth. “To increase your resources for the King and His kingdom, you must enhance your capabilities and your financial understanding. Remember, it doesn’t take money to make money. It takes money to invest money,” he adds.
The Mammon Influence
Next, Baker discusses the detrimental impact of what he calls the “spirit of Mammon.” He explains, “Mammon aims to shift your focus to money instead of God. If having a substantial sum in your checking account makes you feel more secure and important, that’s the spirit of Mammon at work.”
Baker insists that our sense of security and significance should come from God alone. He cautions against the pervasive influence of this spirit, as it forms the spiritual background to money, mentioned in Matthew 6 by Jesus.
Baker likens the spirit of Mammon to a two-sided coin with fear on one side and greed on the other, both rooted in the worry of not having enough. “God’s supernatural cannot flow into that fear and worry. Fear and worry are symptoms of the spirit of Mammon,” he asserts.
The Absence of a Wealth Map
Lastly, Baker highlights the importance of having a ‘wealth map.’ He points out that “No NFL team steps into the Super Bowl without a strategic game plan. Likewise, God had a plan for Joseph on how he would prosper during the seven years of abundance to save the world during the time of famine.”
He further adds, “God has a plan for you and how you will prosper. Your wealth map is not about going from point A to point Z. Instead, it outlines how you will secure the resources for your vision. What steps will you take? How will you reliably build wealth using timeless biblical truths and proven financial principles tailored to you? That’s your wealth mapping.”
Understanding these potential roadblocks and actively addressing them can provide a clearer path to experiencing God’s blessings in your life. Remember, the road to prosperity is a spiritual journey, and God is our ultimate guide.