I will bless the LORD at all times;his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! (Psalm 34:1-3 ESV, emphasis mine)
As I’ve said often, my wife and I are working on paying off debt and being financially responsible. Well, a few nights back, I sat down with her to work on our December budget. When we got done, we looked at the numbers–and we’re doing okay. All bills paid for, including some “doubling-up” with student-loan payments AND current tuition payments (the latter should eventually put the former on hold). In the end, we still had a bit of money left over. Not a lot, but enough.
The next day, I read this while on the morning bus:
Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10 ESV)
And I thought to myself, “This is what we’re seeing. This is what is going on in our lives right now.”
I always shy away from that kind of thinking, because the Word-of-Faith heretics have made merchandise of their followers through the abuse of Bible verses like this. But, understood rightly, these are comforting and encouraging words.
My wife and I have committed to honor God with our resources–and not out of fear of not getting blessed, because God is gracious and blesses whomever He wants to, whenever He wants to. Rather, we committed to giving consistently to God’s church and God’s work because it helps us trust Him and keep Him as first place above our income. All good things come from God–even our jobs and the strength and skill we need to make a living.
And what we have seen repeatedly is that God is faithful to provide what we need (especially when “need” has been redefined, and more properly defined, in our minds). Sometimes in unexpected ways, God has taken care of us over and over. And we believe He will continue to do so.
I pointed these verse out to H. yesterday. My clever wife asked with a sly smile, “Are we naming this and claiming this?”
No, I answered. We’re actually living it.
So today, I’m praising God for His provision. He has done great things for us. We are not “reaping a hundredfold of a seed offering” or any such pagan foolishness. We’re trusting our Lord, seeking to manage His money wisely, and experiencing His faithfulness.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:8-10 ESV)