When we talk about investing today, many only think of places to put your money so that it will work for you. However the Word of God talks about the 'laying up for yourself` treasures on earth or in heaven (Matt. 6:19and 20). As your treasure is earned by you or inherited as a result of another`s work, it becomes something that will require your stewardship. This treasure has come about through time and ability and is initially represented by money. The money has many demands on it, consumption of all types to meet our obligations, necessities and our wants. Yet one of the purposes should be to invest where it has the potential to increase the effect of God`s Kingdom on earth. This potential can affect the present or the future depending where it is invested.
In order for money to be available for investing, we have to settle the issue of How much is enough. The world system that we live in never wants us to answer that question. As Christians who are seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, we must answer the question, because He is looking for investors who understand God`s ways and principles in the handling of money-people who will have financial overflow to invest in the Kingdom of God. Now if all our overflow is tied up in the world system of investment, then the influence of that system introduces fear and anxiety into a person`s life and because of 'moths, rust and worms and thievery` the investment can be destroyed or at least devalued or limited in its increase (Matt. 6:19). So the Word tells us to heap up for ourselves treasures in heaven where there are no moths, rust and worms and thievery, so it has to be looked after by Jesus, and multiply for the
Money then has to be invested where we see the Father working (John 5:19) and the Holy Spirit directing, and secondly it should be released outside our personal control so that we are not tempted to manipulate people or situations by it. The way we do this is by having a "closed circle". When you have settled the amount for obligations, necessities, and wants, and have God`s opinion on how much should be in each category, you now can be trusted by God as a candidate for overflow. The money that is over and above these three categories is available for investing in God`s work.
Now let`s look at the three categories. First, there are obligations. This category represents money that is consumed for the agreements one has or contracts for goods and services. It could be the mortgage payment on your house, insurance on your home and vehicle, contracts for telephone and electrical services etc. This area would represent the agreements and contracts that are to be honored. Obligations need to be reviewed with the Lord to ensure He is in agreement with each of them. Perhaps some need to be cancelled or consolidated, and each should be reviewed on a regular basis.
Second are necessities. These are variable cost items that are partly or completely under our control. How much you spend for food or household items, where you buy these things, and how you plan your shopping are important factors in managing your necessities. God has an opinion on how much is enough in each category of variable cost. God has helped people manage their health by adjusting their eating habits through knowing the amount of money that they should spend on food. Sometimes the amount of money should be increased as people may not be eating the right things. God wants to be in agreement with us over our finances. I certainly want to be in agreement with Him on where the money is used as a good steward.
The third area is in the wants. This can be a difficult area as the Mammon spirit influences people's hearts and minds through large amounts of choice and continuous advertising. I would suggest that people make a list of the wants or desires that are in their hearts. Husbands and wives, singles, make a list. God knows what is there so get it down on paper. Then prioritize the list, and put the dollar value on each item. If you are married, then together merge the lists. You now are in a position to pray together and ask the Lord about each item on the list. He has an opinion on each item as to whether it is to be included in the list for the next period of time (12 months). If He confirms the item, then check it off. At the end of this prayer time, add up the total of the checked items and divide by 12 (months) and you have the amount of money that is to be included in your "how much is enough circle" for these items on a monthly basis. Set this money aside until you have a sufficient amount saved up for the first item on your wants list.
When God is involved in the details of our financial lives, we develop a greater degree of stewardship and trustworthiness. God`s desire is to overflow our "How much is enough circle" so that we can bring investment money to the Kingdom of God. Perhaps the greatest promise is that we will hear those most precious words from Jesus, 'Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! (Matt. 25:21a Amplified).
For more resources by Earl Pitts, visit FaithandWorkResources.com link to the right of this page.