Walking by Faith and not by the Checkbook
by Teresa Marshall
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I’ve heard it said that spiritually I can tell where I am by reviewing my checkbook. My checkbook can either be an asset or a liability for the Lord. I’d prefer my checkbook to be a positive help in extending the Kingdom of God. Unfortunately, my checkbook hasn’t always been an affirmative indicator of my walk with the Lord.
When the Lord opened the door of employment for me in Charlotte, NC at the main headquarters of the Bible Broadcasting Network (BBN) I felt like Abraham, in leaving my family, friends and everything familiar to me. So off I go with the truck packed to NC.
After coming down off the mountain of employment and seeing paychecks. The routine of daily living begins. For example, rent and groceries need to be paid. Medical bills are waiting for a piece of my paycheck. By the time all the checks are written, there wasn’t anything left for the Lord. As I rationalized to myself, I’m a single income family. I knew this was wrong. The Lord allowed me to go this direction for several months.
Finally, I began to see that I was getting further in the red and medical bills were continuing to overwhelm me and my checkbook
So, I told the Lord on my next pay raise, I’d begin to tithe with the attitude of, “If I do this for the Lord. Maybe He will meet the medical bills.”
No, the medical bills weren’t “miraculously” vanished. As time progressed I began to grow in trusting the Lord with my checkbook. The Lord knew it was best for my ability to trust to be developed, because He knows “the plans He has for me.” (Jer. 29:11)
I began to notice that each time I needed to move, the Lord provided better housing and location. I saw how He was taking care of me and developing a closer relationship with Him. He didn’t always provide financially.
So when the bottom dropped out with my job termination and I began receiving unemployment. I still continued to tithe, because I “knew” somehow the Lord would take care of me.
Finally, unemployment did end. I had to move back home with my Mom. I was thankful for family and a place to go too. It was hard to give up independence but the Lord continued to teach dependence on Him. Those were hard dark days for me. The Lord was working His plan for me, even though I couldn’t seem to see any answers to my prayers.
I contacted the local Rehab. Vocational counselor. He said I qualified for Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center. I enrolled in their Business Program to up grade my computer and office skills. Through living on campus and a weekly allowance the Lord provided.
The week of graduation was an emotional roller coaster ride for me. I was interviewing for a job, trying to find housing and complete my classes. The Lord closed the door to moving to Richmond because it’s very expensive. The job didn’t go through. Now what Lord?
He pushed my disability claim through. Then He provided a brand new apartment for me and my cat Tootsie. By way of Stan Shirk being the Rehab. Chaplin. He brought me to Cornerstone. I began enjoying the ride!
It felt good to have an income again. The Lord knew I was going to need assistance. He sent MaryJane along the way. She helped me set up a budget. I never could get a budget to work except on paper. This budget is working!
Through the budget, I began to make consistent medical payments. Within a year’s time, I was out of medical debt of about $1300 dollars. My eye doctor wrote off $600 for me. I continue to praise the Lord for His provision in this area. I am out of debt and it’s wonderful. No, I didn’t go without the daily needs.
My attitude about tithing began to change too. So as I gave, it became more out of a heart that wanted to give. Not out of an attitude of “having to give.” Now, I look forward to writing that first check to the Lord and knowing He will continue to take care of me. Phil. 4:19.
Then the Lord began to encourage me through Faith Promise giving. This is something that I do not budget because that would not be giving by faith. At the end of the month if that amount is there, I give. Sometimes the Lord provides through a part-time computer job.
Currently, He sent it through the mail. I had caught my faith promise up to date. So after Women of Faith, there was a letter in my mailbox. It contained EXACTLY what my faith promise was for four months! AWESOME!
In closing I am learning that I cannot out give the Lord. It’s exciting to give and to know the Lord is enabling me to have a part in reaching others for Him through the local church and through missions. I realize that I cannot afford not to give. The Lord will pour out above and beyond my needs. Today, I’m “walking by faith and not by sight nor by the checkbook.” My translation of II Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” (KJV)
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Teresa, David wrote in the Psalms, "I was young and now I am old, Yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor their children begging bread." I will send you my comments on this piece in a separate e mail, but I wanted to publicly thank you for an inspirational bit of evidence that we are not forgotten nor ever out of His sight. Austin