The Crash of 2008 part four

The financial crash of 2008 is the product of greed, boom and bust cycles and the manipulations by power players. But it is also the product of man’s sin, man’s mammon worship and God’s judgements.

Prophetic insights tell us that God wants to humble people and the nations and to have them rely only on Him, not on their money or their survival plans.

What Should You Do?

What are the things you should do to weather the storms we are facing and will face in the future? I suggest that you consider the following list of things that I have taught others to do in this situation.

Humble Yourself

If it is true that God is at work in this situation, seeking to humble the nations and bring them back to Himself, then the best thing you can do is be quick to humble yourself. It is time to repent of your materialism and to stop looking to money to be your saviour. Money is proving unstable and even toxic to some.

You also need to consider whether you have been worshipping Mammon. God wants you to worship only Him.

Cry Out To God

Call on the name of the Lord, cry out to God and trust Him to deliver you in this situation. God is ready to rescue those who trust in Him. So call upon Him. Put your trust in His ability to protect and save you.

God promises in His Word that we can be kept safe even when we go through the flood and the fire.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; neither will the flame kindle upon you.” Isaiah 43:2

Expect God’s Blessing

We are able to expect God’s blessing, even in a time of famine or trouble. God’s ability to bless us is not limited by physical circumstances.

Thousands of years ago Isaac, son of Abraham, experienced a 100 fold return during a time of famine.

“And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar ……. Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year one hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.” Genesis 26:1,12

Whatever is happening in the global markets, God is able to protect you and to bless you. He is even able to bring you amazing provision when everyone else of struggling, just as Isaac had a one hundredfold return during a time of famine.

Avoid Slavery to Debt

Debt is not sin, but debt does make people servants or slaves to others. Those who are in debt are vulnerable to having their situation overturned by the lender.

“The rich rules over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7

I reiterate that it is not sin to have debt, but it is dangerous. In a season of financial upheaval it is possible to be penalised by the one who has lent you the money. If you have the opportunity to get out of debt, that would be to your advantage and an excellent strategy.

Let God Purify Your Heart

When our faith is tested then so too is our heart. God holds our faith to be of great value. He tests us to see how we cope under various pressures and to see what comes out of our heart.

“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:10

As your financial and material security is put at risk your heart will be exposed. You will either trust God or be angry with Him. You will either rest in God’s provision or you will strive more and more in your own strength and cunning.

I have personally been through protracted times of hardship and those seasons tested and purified my heart. In such seasons I have been able to sort out my attitudes toward material goods, worldly values and God’s call on my life.

So, let God purify your heart even in the challenging financial times you may be going through.

Stand On God’s Word

People of faith know how to stand secure on the Word of God. God makes many promises about His blessings and His protection in our lives. Rather than looking to the newspaper headlines, you are much better to look into God’s Word and stand firm on what He is saying.

God says the He will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19) and that His blessing meets your needs without bringing you sorrow (Proverbs 10:22).

Look To God

People seek to protect what they have and to build up a greater store of assets. This is the desire for gain and fear of loss which drive so much of our markets.

The Bible reveals that God is our greatest source of security and blessing. In fact, unless God supports your plans for protection and profit you are wasting your time.

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders waste their time: unless the LORD protects the city, the watchman wakes in vain.” Psalm 127:1

Look to God, not your own cunning or resources. Your financial advancement and your security are found in him, not the markets or your clever ideas.

Help Us Turn Australia (and the Nations) back to God

God is challenging the pride and rebellion of the nations that try to survive without Him. Christians have the role of bringing the nations back to God. Rather than being eaten up in your own concerns, ask God how you can help to bring your nation to repentance and humility before God.

Back to the Source

Here I go again with another analogy on the subject of our ‘source’. You can see that it is an itch in my thinking that I keep scratching. I think that’s because God wants me to articulate this theme for your benefit (as well as my own). So let me take you into yet another imaginary scenario, where we can better see how choosing our source impacts our whole life.

Two men are church friends and they often share together. They both have high hopes for their future and they both profess faith in Jesus Christ. In time both men face a challenge where they must wait on God for provision. This is quite trying for both men and their families.

Both men are introduced to a business opportunity which could make them the funds they need. However the deal has a shady quality about it. It may be that money is made at the expense of unsuspecting people. One of the men steps away from the deal. The other goes into the deal.

Some time later, when the man who entered the deal is doing financially well, he calls on the other, who is still struggling. He reveals how well he is doing and exhorts his needy friend to join in the deal too. The friend questions the integrity of the deal and confirms that it does involve exploitation of others. He challenges his wealthy friend about the moral compromise he has entered into, encouraging him to trust in the Lord.

The wealthy man says that he has tried trusting the Lord and it did nothing for him, pointing out that his poor friend still trusts the Lord and it has done nothing for him. He pats his wallet and says, “This is what works. I am secure now and I don’t need the Lord. Money is what is going to get me out of trouble.”

The men part and don’t catch up for many years. In that time the poor man has found his feet financially and established the things he needs for his family. The man who loves money has gone on to greater heights of financial success, although his faith is now just a religious façade.

Then their nation entered a time of immense upheaval. Law and order crumbled. Factions fought violently to take control of the country. Banks collapsed, industry stood still and commerce crumbled. The assets of the rich were taken from them and many people died in the civil strife and mob rule which erupted in the land.

The men met again by chance. The lover of money was being herded into the back of a truck, to be taken away by mercenaries, possibly to his death. He called to his friend and said, “Do something!” The friend replied, “What can I do? Why don’t you use some of your money?”

The richer man replied with despair, “It’s worthless! I’ve lost everything!” Then he called to his friend as the truck pulled away, “Pray for me!” “You can pray too!” His friend called back. The rich man shook his head, “No I don’t think I can.”

The Bible warns us not to place our trust in ‘uncertain riches’.
“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” 1Timothy 6:17

This does not mean that some riches are sure and others are unreliable. It means that monetary riches and physical assets are in and of themselves ‘uncertain”. They are subject to theft, decay, destruction and devaluation. Some riches mean great things in the right circles, but nothing at all in another context. Whole currencies have been scrapped, making the money worthless. Can you imagine how a priceless Ming Dynasty vase would be used in a refugee camp?

The wonderful thing about having God as our source, rather than wealth, is that He is not subject to devaluation or inflation – He changes not. He has always been priceless. He is equally and supremely relevant in every economy and in every place across the planet. He cannot be stolen from you, nor will He decay. You cannot be swindled out of God. There is no currency collapse which makes your connection to God of no consequence. You don’t need an ATM, traveller’s cheques or a stable economy in which to access your Creator.

When you make God your source you are vastly better off than everyone who looks to anything else. Make God your source! Don’t be beguiled by uncertain things, even job security, the promises of men, material assets, or the privilege of your birth or national heritage. God is your only truly reliable asset in all of eternity. Be vitally connected to Him, first of all and above all else.