Encouragement for Today
“A Joy Stealer” - Part 2
Wendy Pope, Author, Development Coordinator, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Proverbs 31:8, "She sees that her trading is profitable." (NIV)
Yesterday, I confessed to you the lifestyle of sin and debt I lived in during many years of my marriage. As promised, I want to share with you today how I broke the chains that bound me to the stores and allowed me to live freely in a joyous, intimate relationship with Jesus, and an open, honest relationship with my husband – all debt free.
I gave a clue to the secret of my success yesterday. I would venture to say that most people do not like change. Especially, change that requires us to stop doing something we enjoy. A friend of mine used to say the only person who likes change is a wet baby.
Before I go on, let me tell you this: without the power of the Holy Spirit within you, you are not capable of making the changes necessary to stop the cycle of frivolous spending. Changing requires us to live beyond ourselves. Remember, because of the sin in the Garden of Eden, we were born with a sinful and selfish nature. I want to encourage you with one of my favorite verses in 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." (NIV) God has given you the power of self-discipline. You can change, if you want to change. The choice is up to you.
I have walked this road and now live free from debt. I trust that the Holy Spirit will work with you to enable you to apply what I have learned in my journey to bring you freedom.
This first step I made was to commit to a daily quiet time with God each morning. This is before my shower, juice and kisses from my family. When we seek God first, His Word tells us much will be added to us and the mercies He gives are new each day.
Secondly, I asked God to change me. I begged Him to give me a heart to know Him. I asked him to teach me, refine me and making me pleasing and acceptable in His sight.
Third, I found Scriptures that dealt with my issue and began to pray them.
Fourth, I made the choice not to go to the mall or other stores. This does not mean I did not go to the grocery store or stores that had what my family needed. If you are a frivolous shopper, you know what I mean in this step.
Fifth, in a small notebook I wrote down all the stores I went to and the amount of money I spent there. (Even fast food restaurants)
Last, I cut up my credit cards and confessed my lifestyle to my husband and to my Lord.
I wish I could tell you these six steps took a few days and then I was free. Freedom from this type of lifestyle takes time, however, because the root of the problem is not money; it is a hurting, lonely and unfulfilled heart. God is the answer to your heart problems and with proper care from the Great Physician, and time invested in following His prescription, you will become free.
I want to include a disclaimer: I am not a financial expert but I am an obedient and willing child of the Most High King. He has not asked me to change anything that was not for my good and His glory. Ladies, beware, the enemy knows your weakness and wants nothing more that to keep you bound. Verbally rebuke him! Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
My Prayer for Today:
You are my all Sufficient God. You are my Covenant God Who has promised me in your Word to be my strength and sustainer. I need You now more than I ever have. My desire is to be pleasing and acceptable in Your sight. I’m asking You to do what it takes to fill my empty desires. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Set your alarm clock 15 minutes early to get up have quiet time with God. Do this every day.
Turn the television off at night and open your Bible. Look up verses that deal with what you are going through in either your Bible concordance or online at www.crosswalk.com.
Make a budget for your spending.
Begin journaling the changes you see happening in your life.
Don’t give up no matter what.
Where I do I spend most of my money?
What do I buy that is not necessary?
Do I have a budget? Why not?
Am I really willing to change? Why or why not?
Proverbs 17:16, "Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?" (NIV)
Ecclesiastes 7:12, "Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.” (NIV)
Habakkuk 2:7,"Will not your debtors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their victim." (NIV)
1 Timothy 6:6, "But godliness with contentment is great gain." (NIV)
Cents and Sensibility, by Bethany and Scott Palmer
Dollars & Sense, by Cynthia Sumner
Do You Know Him?