For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13 (AMP Study Bible)
God working in your life can help break you out of financial struggle. Sometimes, a supernatural financial miracle is not always the answer, but rather it’s executing a number of choices that result in THE breakthrough you’re wanting to experience. We’ve all been in a place where we faced financially challenging times. During these times in my past, I had to discover why I made the decisions I made that caused me to be in a place of financial pressure. When I take this step, I ask the Spirit of God to counsel me and to help me identify what went wrong (Psalm 32:8)—this is the time you need to have honest introspection.
In the past, those decisions usually resulted from three factors that were present while I made the decision:
- Being fearful of man or the future
- Comparing my life to my peers, friends or other family members
- Not having adequate knowledge of the potential scenarios that could play out if I made such a decision.
I had to face my financial picture in 2015 because I would be getting married in 2016, and I wanted to pay for my wedding without troubling my parents for financial assistance. I asked the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and to help me develop the discipline I needed to save up enough money to meet our wedding budget. I knew getting married was God’s purpose for my life and knew that He didn’t call me to get into financial pressure to fulfill that purpose. I began to ask God every day to lead and guide me and prayed that I would be sensitive to His promptings. All of His promptings (at first) started with me sacrificing a spending habit. It came down to having what I only needed—it was a tough year-and-a-half.
I shopped at stores I never thought I would shop at to save money, I re-shopped my car insurance, brought my food to work, didn’t buy any new clothes and renegotiated my internet bill to a lower amount, amongst a number of other changes. I even direct-deposited a large portion of my paycheck to my savings account, which meant I was forced to be on a strict budget. Restrictions like this are always painful, but God was working in me to fulfill His purpose (Phil. 2:13). He was helping me to be wise and to be a good steward (Psalm 32:8). Over time, I understood that the sacrifices I made were only temporary and that the bigger picture was more important than sacrificing comfort for a short time. By the way, nothing supernatural happened to my finances while I lived on a strict budget. I expected God to move supernaturally over my finances, but all I sensed He instructed me to do was to be wise with what I had.
In January 2016, worry begun to set in as I wondered how I would have all the money I needed by October of that year. I discovered that at the rate I was saving, it still wouldn’t be enough to meet our budget because estimates were changing and certain services needed for our wedding weren’t yet quoted for us due to various delays and constraints. The thoughts came, “Did I hear you correctly, God? I did everything I think you asked me to do, but it doesn’t look like I’ll have enough.”
We’ll pick up this story in the next article, but for now, let’s pray this prayer based on Philippians 2:13 and Psalm 32:8 everyday if needed.
Oh Lord, I know you are faithful to Your Word, and I trust you completely. I ask You to let it be Your good pleasure to will and to work Your purposes in me. Please instruct me and teach me in the way I have to go to break out of struggle. I am willing to learn so counsel me with Your eye upon me and cause my thoughts to become agreeable to Your will. I will follow Your instructions. Amen.
Financial Champion Challenge
- Think about a financial situation where you struggle or have struggled. Did you or are you trusting God to give you your breakthrough? What can you do to show God you are trusting him?
- What actions can you take this week to help you reach your financial goals? How do you ensure you carry out that action?