My Pastor, Pastor Clarence Sexton of Temple Baptist Church, said something in church last Sunday, almost as an off the cuff statement, that has rocked me to the core. It was one of those moments where you just know you will be accountable for the message preached from that moment on. And you also know that your guilty actions came from a wicked, faithless attitude.
What did my Pastor say? “My wife and I have made it a habit to never say we can’t afford something. Instead we say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will.’ That puts the right perspective on the matter. Because God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory, so I have everything I need.” (DISCLAIMER: These may not be his exact words because the audio is not up yet. I have the thought correct though. I will post the sermon here as soon as it is available.)
How simple and profound!
I thought over the past year and a half of blogging. During that time, we have tried to share tips and tricks to help with your budget. I have used words in the past that I thought were colorful and engaging like “panty-hose-thin-budget” and even “ministry budget” but this implies that we are just scraping by. This is not how God intended us to live. The Lord has given us exactly what we need to rely on Him, to be satisfied with Him and not the world, and to accomplish our ministry for Him in this world.
As I am blogging this, the Lord is using my children to reinforce the lesson. One of my sweet daughters just came in to me, whining that she wanted her “blankie.” I called her name sharply, somewhat annoyed to be interrupted by her whining and said, “What did Momma say about whining?”
“It’s sin,” she answered, but still whining.
“How do you ask nicely?”
“Please?” She asked in an instantly sweet voice with a smile.
I giggled at her silly two-year-old smile and instant turn of spirit and got up to get her the blanket in question.
Ordinarily, I would continue the dialogue on Not Whining 101 while I got the blanket, but the truth is–I was under conviction again! I realized her request and words were not wrong, but it was the way she said it that was! The Lord pointed out again how much He hates “whining” in my own life. How many times does the Lord feel like He has to correct my tone and attitude before He can give me what I am asking for even if He intended to give it to me all along? Surely our Heavenly Father dislikes when we go to Him asking for what we want or need in a whiny, faithless prayer. I know that in my own parenting, I enjoy getting my children things much more when they come and sweetly ask me, knowing I love them and love to please them.
This is not a “name it and claim it” mentality. Nor am I trying to imply it is more spiritual to be “poor.” It is a simple recognition that our personal budget is exactly what we need to live the victorious Christian life and accomplish His purpose in this world. So we don’t need to act like we can’t afford what we need. We can afford it! We have what God wants us to have!
Of course we may not make as much as some professions in this world, but we have exactly what a loving God in His infinite wisdom knows that we need.
The same principle goes for all matters of life, doesn’t it? We have exactly the right amount of health God intends us to have; the exact right amount of trials; and the exact right amount of talents.
We will still be offering budget-stretching tips on this blog, but it will be from the mindset of being good stewards of what we have and not because we do not have what we need. Because we already do have everything we need in Him!