Spiritual Wealth: Invest

Being a 24 year old who came from a single parent family, one of my biggest fears was, and still is, struggling financially. Don’t get me wrong, I understand every now and again funds may get tight, kids may need these expensive uniforms for the sports you don’t want to tell them they can’t participate in, or the new tires you knew you needed actually need to be bought, Christmas, a holiday that comes every year yet always seems to take the finances by surprise, is again upon us. I get all of these things. I’m talking about on a consistent, live pay check to pay check basis, struggle.

That being said, I am always looking into the best ways to invest and keep the income I make in order to not only uphold the standard of life I have come to enjoy, but to also prepare myself for the future. I save, pay down debt, and try to invest or find ways to obtain multiple streams of income without forfeiting a large sum up front. (I don’t want to be aggressive, just smart.)

But how do I, or you, invest in our own spiritual wealth. How does our spiritual well being line up with our need for financial stability?

Investment requires a little sacrifice, patience, and consistency. God requires the same things:

Sacrifice: Outside of getting up and getting ready early Sunday morning to spend your whole morning, and sometimes some of your afternoon in a worship service, what else are you willing to sacrifice for your relationship with God? Time is the greatest sacrifice there is. I remember when me and my boyfriend first started dating, (I didn’t understand then but since I know him now I understand better), he always equated the magnitude of his sacrifices and investments in our relationship based on the time he allotted me. While at the time I felt like I wanted more, it was already more than he had to give. But he did it, because he is invested in me, he’s invested in his feelings for me, he’s invested in the goals and purpose of this relationship. Spending time with God, reading His Word, praying more than the Lord’s Prayer can be a huge sacrifice for some of us. But the return on the investment makes it worth it.

We have more than time that may need to be sacrificed for our spiritual stability though. We’ve talked about how some friends just have to be let go, some jobs we may have to quit, some habits we may have to break. But think of the return on the investment you’re making.

Patience: From my research, get rich quick schemes never pan out for us regular folk. You don’t invest (or sacrifice) one day and then expect your account to have added a few commas the next. Investing requires patience. It takes work, and the ability to not be too anxious for the return you know you will get. Patience has been my biggest struggle, and God’s greatest lesson to me over the past year and a half. Patience requires you to make a CHOICE to continue doing something, even if you don’t see the return yet. Patience requires the strength brought on by faith. Are you willing to give the ten percent tithe to the church this Sunday and patiently wait for the blessing God promises that comes after being obedient? Are you willing to make a choice to read the Word daily even if you feel a little more tired than normal at first?

Consistency: In some areas of my life, consistency is great, in other areas, not so much. So far, I am pretty consistent with blogging. As far as finishing one of the four books in the making, not so much. When you look at millionaires, they are consistent. They invested consistently, even when the return wasn’t great, they didn’t stop learning, more importantly, they didn’t stop trying. In my relationship, we have been consistent. Does that mean we haven’t seen down falls and pits? Absolutely not. But we have consistently made the decision to keep going because we know our relationship has purpose, and we love each other. Investing in your spiritual health, wealth, and stability requires consistency. (Well, in what areas Felicia?)

Prayer: God wants to hear from you, not just every so often, but all the time. Just like you (most of you) don’t want to just talk to your spouse every so often, but all the time. God desires conversation with you. Be as consistent with your prayer life as you are with your texting and social media life.

Reading: In my post “Understanding Your Spiritual Ear” I talked about learning the voice of God through learning His character. His character is in His Word. I am an avid reader. Not just of the Bible, but of books in general. (I’m a nerd at heart). Reading not only excersises the brain, it also presents more knowledge and understanding. Read your Word, practice that first, but invest in your personal education. Read a book on a topic your passionate about or the ministry area you want to grow in.

Worship: Be consistent in your desire for and to worship. At the end of the day no you won’t always feel like lifting your hand, singing a song, hugging someone, or even getting out of your bed. But do it. Consistently commit to presenting these acts to God so He sees your commitment and belief in His goodness.

Faith: While there are so many areas you should be consistent in, the last one I want to talk about is the area of your faith. When you’re facing a new situation, practice being consistent in trusting God to fix it until the end. The act of practice affords you the opportunity to grow and build a new, higher, level of faith in God that will comfort you in the next storm.

Take the time today to being a habit of investing. Investing in your spirit is less frightening than making a decision to invest your finances. It is also much more rewarding.

 

Do You Believe?: Interview God

 

Do you believe in money? Magic? Love? Love at first sight? Do you believe in friendship? Loyalty? Destiny?

There are a plethora of things that you can relate to the question “Do you believe?” The reality is, believing, in anything, is a choice. You have an option to believe it, or not.

For instance, you’re best friend comes up to you and tells you about something they saw, something involving another friend or even a boyfriend/girlfriend. The question upon hearing the details they share is, do you believe them? Also, why?

Today I pose a question, do you believe?

The act of believing means accepting as true, have faith, to hold something, and to feel sure that someone is capable of.

Believing in God, in His purpose and Will for your life is an option. You don’t have to, and honestly, you shouldn’t without a reason. Now, us a Christians may not think that’s the most appropriate thing to say, especially if there are non believers hearing, listening, or in this case, reading. But it’s true. Would you tell your kid to believe in something, stand up for something, or fight for something that they didn’t believe? Of course not. However, the individual we are discussing at this point, if God. The definition we just looked at, this part being my favorite, says “to feel sure that someone is capable.” How do you feel sure that someone is capable?

Looking at the capability of someone is essentially what employers do in their interviews. These are the things they look for:

  • Credentials. Someone who is capable of something, should have proven this at some point before to be classified as capable. They would have the credentials to perform the task, and perform it well.
  • Character. A Capable person, especially on a job, has great character. The character of this individual will be in line with the morals and standards that the company is looking for.
  • Ability. If the credentials are not there, many employers look at an individuals ability to perform the functions required for the position in which that person is applying. Based on the credentials they do have, do they have the ability, or potential, to fulfill this role to their greatest capacity, and meet company expectations.

So is God capable enough for you to believe in? Let’s “interview”:

  • Credentials. Throughout 66 books of the Bible, God has won wars, mended families, healed sickness, delivered from bondage, forgiven sins, performed miracles, blessed beyond measure, and a plethora of other things as well. Just about any page you turn to in the Bible will back that up. There are also any number of people who are not confined to the pages of the Bible that can attest to a miracle, sign, wonder, or change that has taken place in their life and attribute it to God. Credentials, check.
  • Character. Throughout 66 books, God’s character is portrayed. From His Holy anger and jealousy, to His love, tenderness, mercy, to His resilience for His people. There is not a time that He can be claimed as fraud, inauthentic, two-faced, or evil. Character, check.
  • Ability. While the Bible may not specifically depict the very situation you are dealing with, down to a tee, the credentials based on other scenarios with similar characteristics, and even dissimilar ones, along with His character can attest that He is able to do ANYTHING, that is of Him. Ability, check.

So, you’ve read your Bible, you’ve seen the evidence, read the resume, now you believe God, what does that mean? Did you know your believe affects the lives of people close to you and strangers alike?

Travis Thrasher has written this book, Do You Believe. While it is a fictional book, it is Christian based. The books takes us on a winding journey among the lives of a dozen or so people, who don’t all know each other personally but are linked in some way or another. Some believers, some not. The story is amazing and captures the attention of the reads by mingling all these people together before, during, and after a tragic event that brings God into the lives of them all in one way or another.

You can find a copy of this book here Do You Believe: A Novel .

This book was also made into a motion picture for my friends who are not big into reading, you can find the movie here: Do You Believe: The Movie.

 

I encourage you to ask yourselves today, Do you believe? In God? Why or why not? and Can you strengthen your believes by reading more into God’s resume?