By: Tom Copland
When dealing with an important financial decision, it is critical to obtain counsel from God. Why? “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” (Job 12:13)
Too often we believe that we have to figure things out on our own, but this is not God’s will. God wants us to seek his counsel on any important decision: “But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, ‘First seek the counsel of the LORD’” (1 Kings 22:5). Isaiah described God as “wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom” (Isaiah 28:29).
God’s wisdom will be invaluable in making any financial decision. “The LORD gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him.” (1 Kings 5:12) Similarly, today God will provide his wisdom if we ask in faith. James 1:5 states: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
If you want true financial wisdom, the starting point is to have the utmost respect for God—that is “the fear of God.” Proverbs 9:10 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” If you do not have a personal relationship with God (“knowledge of the holy one”), you will never be able to access true financial wisdom.
If you do have a personal relationship with God (Revelation 3:20), it is critical that you study God’s Word for his financial principles and spend quality time with God in prayer listening to his voice. God instructed Job, “Listen to me, be silent, and I will teach you wisdom” (Job 33:33). Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
Many times God will speak to us by providing verses from his Word that clearly indicate his wisdom and his direction in a particular situation. For example, God’s admonition to plan ahead (Luke 14:28–30), the dangers of debt (Proverbs 22:7), and the importance of giving to God’s work (Proverbs 3:9, 10) can all provide specific direction in certain situations.
However, sometimes there are no verses that specifically apply to your financial decision. Then the only option is to spend quality time with God in prayer, seeking God’s wisdom and direction. God has promised that he will direct us (Psalm 32:8) and provide his wisdom (James 1:5).
A committed Christian who has a close personal relationship with God and who spends quality time with God on a regular basis can hear God’s gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12) and discern God’s will for his life.
Whenever I am faced with any important decision, I spend quality time with the Lord, seeking God’s wisdom and direction. I use a spiritual journal to document my prayer requests and what I believe the Lord is saying to me. Specifically, I ask God to speak to my heart and mind and protect me from the enemy and my own selfish desires. I regularly review my journal, and if there is consistency in terms of what God has been saying to me, in faith I accept that as being God’s will for my life and act accordingly. When I have listened and implemented God’s wisdom and God’s specific direction in any financial decision, history has shown that it was the best decision.
In summary, whenever you face an important financial decision, you need to “first seek the counsel of the Lord” through prayer and listen to God’s directive for you. God has promised that he will provide his wisdom and his direction to us when we sincerely seek to do his will.