Have you been overtaken by debt and now find yourself in financial bondage? Whether you are in debt because of your carelessness or due to circumstances that were beyond your control, God is a God of mercy and grace and he will help you because he is in the business of debt destruction.
The bondage of debt
People enter into debt too quickly. It seems that our society is run by debt. For example the majority take out mortgages in order to buy their homes without considering that there might be an alternative. There are stories of 19 years-olds with debts up to three times their annual income. In the last year, debt increased by 75% due to Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA).
The national debt is a staggering ?456 billion, equivalent to a debt of ?9,500 for every adult in the population. Personal debts amounts to ?1.2trillion and one fifth of this is unsecured borrowing. That is ?24,000 for every adult on top of the ?9,500 owed from the national debt. Babies are born into the world owing ?19,000. Add to all this the fact that many people are living below the poverty line, struggling to make ends meet by visiting loan sharks, yet still sinking deeper and deeper into debt. Debt is bondage.
Bad borrowing is a tool that the devil uses to spring poverty traps on people. Many borrow and pay for goods and services on credit without adequate thought of how to repay. Another snare is overspending. What drives us to overspend? Sometimes it’s the lure of the good life. We strive for a lifestyle that promises us health, wealth and happiness.
A lesson from Scripture
In 2 Kings 4, the widow of a member of a group of prophets came to Elisha for help. “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.” The widow’s debt had led to bondage. Her debt was a “no-fault’ debt. She and her family were doing everything right. However, her husband died and she found herself in a poverty trap.
What did the prophet’s wife do?
The prophet’s widow took the matter to God. She was not just being spiritual or religious. Rather, she understood the difference that God could make. Lining up with God is the very thing that will stop us from getting into financial trouble in the first place. When we walk with God, financially, we are better off. In crying out to Elisha, the widow was seeking a word from the Lord and the results that would come from the word. This woman also had something with which she could back up her appeal and that was the fact that she and her family served, honoured and feared the Lord. This was a powerful argument that he brought to Elisha. She could have pleaded for God’s mercy and that would have been enough. However, it matters to God that we serve him.When we take care of his house or family, he will take care of ours.
A supernatural solution
There were two principles at work here. First, you must be prepared to do what you can do. Secondly, you must believe that God will do what only he can do. The prophet asked the widow what she had in her house. She said all she has was a small quantity of oil. He asked her to bring it and put it in the house of God. When you yield the little that you have to the Lord, in obedience, and do what he asks you to do, then the principle of multiplication will kick in.
The widow, willingly, yielded the little she had and put it into the hands of God. The prophet then told her to bring as many empty jars as she could find. She took the oil and poured it out till the jars were full and there were no empty ones left. Then Elisha told the widow to sell the oil and use the proceeds to settle her debts. This was supernatural provision for debt payment. In the end the widow not only had her debts paid, but she also had her on-going need for income taken care of. “Sell the oil, pay the debt and live on the rest.” God will take care of you for the rest of your life if you are willing believe in him and act on what he says.
You can also experience God’s provision through giving in tithes and offering and forgiving. Luke 6:37-38 shows the principles involved. “…Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” This is how giving is the basis of receiving.
You can activate God’s principles of kingdom economics so that you can live a supernatural lifestyle of divine supply. God will break into your debts, destroy or reduce them and pour the blessings that you need into your life.
Walking with God and better off
On 4th January 2006, the Times ran a headline: Evangelicals demonstrate faith with a cheque book. This is what the report said, “They (Evangelicals) give nine times more money to charity than the average person in Great Britain. They give 12% of their net income; even more generous than the Americans who give 10%.” The survey also found that Evangelicals, in Britain, have times that average level of household savings and a tiny three fraction of the debt and many had no debts at all.
The reporters went on to say that it shows that the Evangelicals took the words of Billy Graham seriously, “A chequebook is a theological document. It shows how and what you worship”. Evangelical churches are also the fastest growing segment of the church in Britain. The report also said other churches have wondered how the evangelical churches generated such large cash flows. The answer it suggested was that the evangelical pastors teach the biblical injunction to tithe. Also mentioned was that the protestant work ethics embraced by Evangelicals means that they are often high earners earning 17.5% more than the national average.
God will bless you and prosper and keep you if you walk with him. We have a winning formula!