by Sherry Sommer

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and money.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body,
what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:24-26

I love how Aaron took Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and described how differently those needs are met by the world’s system of economics versus God’s kingdom. In the world’s system, individuals are responsible for providing for themselves. In God’s kingdom, we can trust that God will provide.  We don’t need
to fear, even though the world is complicated and there are so many things that we can’t control. We can know God will take care of us. God’s  provision is a reminder of his presence.  I have lived according to the world system of economics as well as God’s system. God’s system, hands down, has been the most stable and fulfilling way to live.

I grew up in an industrious family, and I went to schools where the world’s view of economics was dominant. I remember finding it strange that the wealthiest people seemed haunted by concerns about maintaining their family’s place in the social and economic hierarchy.  My childhood was spent wondering how anyone could spend time slaving and worrying when…well, just look around!  The world was so magical.  I believed that God would provide and that the Holy Spirit would guide me. 

When I graduated from college, Colorado was in a recession, and I started to panic and to question my childhood beliefs. Those voices alerting me to adopt the world’s economic system were loud and overwhelming. Although I was a Christian, I spent too much of my young adult  years wavering between trusting God and relying on my own effort. This was definitely not a good way to live. On the positive side, making a lot of mistakes gave me plenty of opportunities to learn.

Jesus told us not to be afraid, because we can trust him

Life is, by nature, something we can’t control. This is scary for everyone  — those who live in the world economic system and those who live by the kingdom values. My experience has been  that living by the world’s system is painful, unpredictable, and exhausting. When I give my concerns to God, asking him for help, I can be calm and peaceful. The world is still unpredictable, but Jesus has given me resilience and confidence because I know he will never leave me, and that he can be trusted. 

Listen to the Holy Spirit as a way of life

The Holy Spirit is an essential guide to living in God’s economy. This doesn’t mean constantly asking if every last little decision can be confirmed by the Spirit.  God wants us to make decisions based on our own thoughts and sense. This means we need to tune out the voices that tell us we are not enough for the task or that God has abandoned us. It means meditating on his word and praying as a way of life. 

I have found that I make the best decisions when I am calm and sensitive to the Spirit, and when I’m reflective and peaceful, and not in problem solving mode.  Here’s one example:  In 2011 we lived in Boulder, and Louisville seemed like a much better place to raise children. This move seemed impossible financially but I spent time resting in God, meditating on his word and praying. In the meantime, I also worked hard to make our house in Boulder a good home for my children.  After many months, I felt prompted to try again to find a house in Louisville.  As it turned out, the timing was excellent.  The market suddenly shifted and prices went up several thousand dollars.  I am so thankful for God’s provision: Moving greatly improved our lives  because we  found a more suitable home because our faith grew.

Trusting God’s economy can encourage others

Trusting God can help others who witness how God’s economy works. Remembering back to my studies in Paris, I met a wonderful Christian training to be a missionary.  She loved music, and prayed that God would provide an apartment where she could enjoy it. I admit  to doubting her prayers would be answered. Well, within a short time she had located two wonderful possibilities — one that had a beautiful piano, and one with a stereo and collection of classical music records. It’s so sweet to remember her and God’s provision in her life as she was seeking His kingdom. 

 Praying for what we need gives us opportunities to be surprised and to thank God

I always tell my children, when we ask God to provide, we have someone to thank, and that  is wonderful in itself.  When my son was four, we had very little money and needed some basic necessities. I made a list of what we needed and asked Samuel if he’d pray with me that God would provide. Within a short time, we were surprised and delighted by the way God answered all of our prayers.  If we had been able to go to the store and buy what we needed, we wouldn’t have stories to remember together. If we had enough money, we wouldn’t have had the joy of thanking God for his provision.

Thank you God, for providing what we need when we trust you. 


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