Step 1: Write It Down
For the next few weeks we want to dive deep into four steps that will help give your marriage the best chance for financial success.
The first step to financial clarity is to write down your financial concerns.
Scripture is full of examples of God’s people bringing their sin, fears and hardships before the Lord. Entire books of the Bible are dedicated to writing down events, prayers and answered prayers from the Lord.
In 2 Kings 19, a scared King Hezekiah brings the letter from Sennacherib, commander of an invading Assyrian army, to the house of the Lord and spreads the letter out before Him. When he begins to pray, Hezekiah first fixes his heart on the unchanging nature of who he is praying to.
“O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth, you have made heaven and earth.” (2 Kings 19:15) Yes, we want deliverance from our problems, but like King Hezekiah, we want God to be the hope of our deliverance, the one who has real authority over us and our financial concerns.
So what does it look like to spread out our financial concerns before the Lord?
- Make a list of all the things you own and the value of the items today; your assets.
- Write down all the debts you own and amount you still need to pay; your liabilities.
- Your assets minus your liabilities is your net worth statement.
Whether you have a number followed by many commas or you used lots of red ink to write down your net worth amount, now you can see your financial situation clearly.
When you write it down you can see where your money is actually going. When you don’t write it down you just wonder where your money went.
Just as Jesus explains in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, we will give an account for how we used God’s resources. We have a responsibility for good stewardship. It’s important to remember that He owns the assets, the ones keeping you up at night with worry. He owns the liabilities, the debt that seems insurmountable at the moment.
Spread the net worth statement out before God in prayer.
He already owns it all, this is your opportunity to surrender your concerns to him. Psalm 24:1-2 is clear on the proper owner, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.”
Your financial concerns may come from your own sin, from fear and doubts, or from actual hardships that will be a significant challenge to overcome. We’ll deal with these in the next post in this series. For now, give to God what already belongs to Him. Hold up to Him with open hands, the assets that are to be used for his glory and the liabilities that are too great a burden for you to carry.
Remember that Jesus has taken our greatest liability upon Himself—the debt our sin created has been paid by Jesus on the cross. If He is willing to deal with our sin debt, He is more than wiling to deal with our financial concerns.
By Alan Morgan