God has a master plan for your money, and the first priority in that plan is to provide for your needs. If you are responsible for a family, you have to provide for them, too. So, how do you go about doing that?
It all begins with work.
Sometimes, we Christians like to believe that God will provide for and take care of us no matter what. In some circles, people take an extreme position, believing that God is going to miraculously bring the resources that they need into their lives, without them having to do any real work. And while God is certainly able to do miracles and provide for us in abundance, the Bible makes it clear: His chief way of providing for us is through our own work.
Consider Proverbs 28:19 —
‘Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.”
I can’t think of a much clearer way of saying it. Work=abundance. Laziness=poverty.
For those of us seeking to handle our money in the best way possible, this is an encouraging verse. We have God’s promise here that our hard work will lead to provision for our basic needs (“abundant food.”) That’s a good thing to know — as long as we are faithful to work hard, God is faithful to provide. I don’t have to worry about my family starving. I know that as long as I uphold my end of the bargain, He will be good for His.
A couple of interesting things to note: The scripture refers to those who work “their land.” God has given us each “land” to work — a particular job, profession or calling that is specially designated for us individually. That means that there is something in your life, your workplace or your sphere of influence that is your responsibility to accomplish. Throw yourself into that work, and provision will come. (Also, a side note: it’s important to make sure we’re working in the right areas. If we have been equipped for a certain type of work, but neglect our gifts for some reason, how can we expect God to bless the work that we are doing?)
The verse also helps us put our dreams into context. It warns that people who “chase fantasies” will end up broke. Does this mean that we shouldn’t dream big and have big goals? No; it simply means that we shouldn’t let big dreams get in the way of working our land. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming — dreams are the seeds that can grow into our greatest achievements — but if we always dream and never work, we find ourselves on the fast track to poverty.
The Bible has a lot more to say about work, and the role that it plays in our financial success. Proverbs makes many points about diligence (hard work applied faithfully over time). God tells us that diligence brings wealth; that diligent planning leads to prosperity; and that diligence can propel us to the top in life. Laziness, on the other hand, always leads to poverty.
Here’s a great way to sum it up: God is responsible for providing for our needs. But we are responsible for positioning ourselves in the place where His provision is going to come. If God’s plan is to provide for you at the office, the factory or the farm, what are you doing on the couch?