God’s Economy Makes More than Cents. It Just Makes Sense. My Story of Faith and Finance thus Far

Money does not grow on tress, but it just may be cultivated in good soil. Money doesn’t fall from the sky, but Christians know that manna does. Though it may not fall from the sky, it may just spring from the ground.

I want to be real on this topic because it’s something we all give much though to, many of us of too much thought. Money is good because it allows us to invest in ourselves, others and for Christians to invest in the kingdom. Money is an important possession but it ceases to be so when it possesses you.

Want to gauge a Christian’s faith? Ask to see their checkbook. Everything we invest in, spend time on and spend money towards is an accurate gauge of what we value most. It shows just where our heart is at. This is probably why Jesus asked if the rich man would give up his money as well. He located his heart from that question, because if the rich man was willing to step away from that abundance of money (overabundance actually) then he could then truly follow Jesus with no restraint. And believe me Jesus would’ve provided abundantly, only more than in material ways. That’s one reason the TITHE is such a good Biblical concept. For those who aren’t familiar the TITHE is 10% of a believer’s income that they give to God, by choice, through their church usually or to an organization for a Kingdom purpose. Many churches don’t usually make a lot off tithes, but they do invest them into running the buildings, programs and into missions.

One reason the tithe helps believers keep their focus in perspective is that it reminds us our true treasure has nothing to do with this realm. With this world. You cannot bring any of it into Heaven except for the most valuable asset of all which is PEOPLE. Listen. Where your money is will be where your heart will be also.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

Personal Story of Faith and Finance

I was fresh out of college looking for a job. God met me where I was at in meeting a Pastor who chose to plant a church on my campus on my junior year. Logan would meet with me weekly and challenge me to live not only by faith in the everyday but also in the big decisions. In all decisions.

Calling or comfort became the question I would live by.

During my senior year I had a few job opportunities available after seeking them out. I also felt a call to ministry in some capacity. I prayed and sought opportunities. God provided! I received a position as a mentor to teenagers in the foster care system which allowed me to do two things! Work in my field AND intern with Logan’s church plant. And to realize two important lies I’d believed.

  1. I wanted to use my degree in the field I studied which was psychology.

Lie I believed: In order to faithfully live for God you cannot do both. There’s no such thing. You have to live a poverty stricken lifestyle in some capacity and give it all up.

2. God wants you to be happy. But more than that He knows where your real desires lie. He just has a better gauge of the degree of value on which to assign our wants and desires. Guess what? He can make us happy. He alone. The reason that was a lie is because God is already so wise that He can provide for us in whatever field we’re already in. Living for God has nothing to do with a career, but how you live out and share your faith in the field in which you’re ALREADY in.

The MOST effective ministry takes place OUTSIDE the walls of a church building.

3. God REALLY WILL PROVIDE (I know I said two things, but this is good)

Lie I believed: If I take this step of faith, though it’s small, it could be risky. I may be the first person in history God has ever failed.

YEAH! THAT’S WHAT FAITH IS. THAT’S WHAT FAITH DOES. It doesn’t walk by sight. “It’s taking the single step even though you do not see the whole staircase.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

How I ended up in the Company I’m Currently At

This is truly amazing. After walking with God for a bit I learned just how much He provides and the ways He can and will do it. When I’d knew I was going to marry my wife short into the time in which we began talking, I knew I would be moving to the state in which she was living to be closer to her at some point when God called me to do so and move. I knew I was feeling a call there also to attend a graduate school I’d always wanted to and to partner with Logan who I’d mentioned earlier was starting a new church plant opening up in the same state my future wife was in.

So what I did was apply like crazy to jobs. Pray about them all. Guess what? I interviewed for 3 within about 4-5 weeks. I was feeling good. Until I received answers from all of them over a period of a few weeks that they’d chosen someone else. It was humbling because what I hadn’t realized was I thought if I just applied to my same line of work I was doing as a mentor that I could easily land a job as well in another state. But God really had bigger plans. Let me explain.

After the three decisions on those jobs, I went back to the drawing board. My drawing board: A table at Starbucks with my laptop, indeed.com and Bible. I spent an afternoon praying and seeking. I came across this one company which was hiring for a position similar to mentoring but working with adults. I read through the description and went ahead and sent over my resume and cover letters. I went ahead and called the hiring manager as well. Over the next few weeks we were in communication and I had an interview. I remember walking into the company office and actually feeling a peace that this was my job. During this time God used a book I was reading about prayer, “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson to show me the power of prayer. After interviewing I actually thanked God for one week that He was providing this job and stopped asking Him because because I felt like this would be a demonstration of faith in action. I remember telling my then girlfriend, Jordan, I wouldn’t be applying anywhere else. She respected my decision but was probably feeling nervous too.

I was praying for a few minutes one morning with my landlord (Because God just provides everywhere because He loves us that much) and I mean literally right after, I received a call from the hiring manager. She said that I had not received the specific position I applied for but that the hiring manager was impressed and would send me to apply for the same position with a different team within the company. I gladly accepted and interviewed with Cindy, a sharp, witty and extremely humorous woman highly versed in her field.

I knew then when I walked out that I had received the position. Partly because she told me! 😂

Let me mention it should be no surprise the hiring manager who initially had referred me to Cindy was a Christian as well which I would come to later find out. This is by no means a Christian company either. GOD LOVES USING HIS PEOPLE FOR HIS PURPOSES. I could go on for pages about this. I could write a book! I think I will write a book. 😂

God in my Workplace

It’s so amazing how God had worked in my work. When I joined the team, I saw how efficiently they worked. I remember an intern on the team who had asked me when I first started out how I ended up at this job. I used it to share my testimony of how God had worked and just give Him the glory. Shortly into our talk he goes, “Do you swear?” I try not to I told him. “Well just know you will have a hard time making it in this field if you do not because some of our clients are a little rough around the edges, you know?”

I didn’t feel the need to counter it because I knew I’d still be in this position and that God would work through me in HIS POWER. Which doesn’t require vulgarity. I just told him, I understand clients are like that but I’m not going to swear.

Fast forward one and a half years later and I’m in the same position having seen tremendous transformation in my clients’ lives, having developed heartfelt relationships with them all, and having seen God show up in their lives!!! All without swearing.

Not only that but I’ve realized there are many believers in my company. On my own team, I met a Nigerian woman with whom I started praying with on our breaks each week. We witnessed incredible things through those times. We didn’t even discuss theology, but instead and even better, I encountered it. She didn’t have to tell me what she believed and she didn’t feel the need to. She was full of the Holy Spirit and of LOVE who is God and she demonstrated it in her conduct, speech, and LIFE. I’m so thankful for my sister Fumni and the diversity I’ve seen in my company. We grew together in the Lord and I was blessed to know that she admired my faith when she told me this before I transitioned to a new team.

More Decisions, More Opportunities

I would go wherever God called, even if that meant leaving this job to do so. So when my church began holding services on Saturday, I knew I would have to take a different shift or switch to another team. I didn’t feel called to leave my company though. God had planted me here for a time. I prayed and prayed. Finally a supervisor let me know that there was a position on the other team open to apply to which did not involve Saturday shifts! I applied for it and took it!

I faithfully worked at it even though the money involved was not much. People in the field of mental health generally do not make that much. But they love people so they enjoy their work which makes up for it.

If we commit our way to God He will at the right time provide. But it may take time.

So it’s been over 6 months since I’ve been on this team when I’d gotten a feeling in my spirit that I should be seeking promotions. That God would bless me soon. Oh, did I hear you wrong God?

God, you do know my company gives but a 10 cent raise in salary per year on a good dayt? All the other positions within in it are for master’s level clinicians. There was no possibility.

I went on. I poured myself into working as unto the Lord in whatever way I could. It was not at all easy. It was stressful at times. But it was also rewarding. So God loves to speak through people. It’s amazing how He lays things on His people’s hearts to share. Over the course of many months 3 people prayed for me things related to finance. God confirmed the same message through a single underlying thread: I would be alright financially.

How It Happened

A few weeks ago at my work we found out they were restructuring the contracts so to provided services to our clients in a more efficient manner. In this process was an email sent out about a new position opening up which would be practically a promotion to my current one! I thought about it. I immediately felt like I’d look into it more. The same day a woman on my team who I’m good friends with just walked over to me and said “You should apply for it.” It should be good to mention she’s a child of God as well!

Did God just speak through her? I fully believe so because that same day I talked to the hiring manager about what the position entailed and interviewed with her a week later.

I prayed with several more friends about this and am grateful because God provided me with the position. Even if He hadn’t it would be His will, because I’m in His will. I look forward to see God’s hand at work in my workplace and to see how I can be an innovator and creator in the new position I will be in. God is faithful and trustworthy. He will at the right time fulfill our needs when we put Him first and trust Him.

(Seek first the kingdom and of God and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 ESV)

Alexander Oram

June 13, 2018

 

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