THE CONVERGENCE OF MONEY AND FAITH
by paul hoffmaster
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Satan has continually attempted to offer the things of the world to the multitudes of Believers who are in search of spiritual fulfillment. Since the beginning of the Christian movement, people have been in search of tangible, sense orientated evidence of God’s presence and favor in their lives. The pursuit of material happiness has overtaken Holiness as the primary interest of the Believer. Money has been used as a lure to entice people away from the spiritual riches of the Kingdom of God. Satan offers money as if it was God’s initiative to bless the Christian with abundance. The Devil wants God to get the attention through the use of man made substances. When money becomes an evidence of spiritual blessing, the true blessings of the Kingdom will lay unclaimed. Satan attempts to influence man away from holiness to achieving anything that would promote sensual satisfaction. In offering the financial abundance, he hopes to entice Believers into fleshly desires which will, in effect, draw them further away from God’s intended purpose. Satan is a masterful strategist who knows the Scripture. He takes Scripture out of context to promote a temporary excitement. Christians proclaim from the roof tops how God delivered them from financial ruin and blessed them with riches. Money soon becomes the evidence of spiritual blessings. Before long the $ sign and the cross become intertwined to exhibit a new and living way.
Human beings are sensual in their desires. Man is motivated by feelings and experiences. Anything that will bring emotional and physical satisfaction is man’s ultimate desire. Things that will bring pleasure and mental satisfaction are readily accepted as God’s desire for us. The premise is correct, but the process of achieving these goals is wherein the difference lies. Satan promotes feelings; God promotes Faith. Satan offers earthly treasures under the guise that it is God’s desire for Believers to prosper financially.
I don’t believe God wants His children to live a life of a pauper, but neither does He want them to live a life where their dependence on Him could be overshadowed by the riches of the world. Monetary significance is not what the Kingdom of God is all about. David said that he never saw the “righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Ps. 37:25) God has always taken care of the Believers. Paul told the Philippians that God would supply all their needs “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19) There are Christians today that claim Scriptures to cover their wants. Satan opens the world’s riches and distributes them to individuals who have misinterpreted God’s Word. Soon, money and the Believer have merged to form the concept of a Prosperity Gospel.
Whenever there was a need in the New Testament Church, the Believers sold possessions and brought the proceeds to their worship communities where the money was then distributed to those in need. (Acts 4:34,35; 2:45) It was not the world’s money, but Believers taking care of each other. Today, Believers are being taught to bring what money they have to the Church and “seed it,” with the anticipation that God will multiply it in return to them. Satan is a great barter. He will offer monetary rewards in exchange for one’s holiness. The Bible states emphatically that the love of money is the root of all evil. (I Tim. 6:9) Even with that warning, many Believers are incorporating money into their spiritual portfolios. Christians must never lose sight of the fact that it is not the acquiring of materialism that benefits our Faith; rather, it is the peace that passes all understanding which comes from our relationship with Him.
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