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Providing: It starts with Work

Via Flickr, by user maveric2003. Used under Creative Commons License.

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?

Up Next: “I need” vs. “I want”


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Comments

  1. Great points! I wonder how much emphasis there should be on our “land” being God-given “land”? Is the point to make sure we are working on what God gives us to work on (which I’m sure happens)? Or is the point to make sure that we are working and NOT being lazy? Just thinking out loud!

  2. Proverbs are not promises.

    • Bob, if “all scripture is God-breathed,” (II Tim. 3:16) then there is as much authority in what He says in a proverb as what He says anywhere else in Scripture. I believe that everything God says is a promise, because His words never fail; rather, they accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sends them (Isaiah 55:11).

  3. Sometimes these issues do not seem cut and dry to me. For instance I am praying to know the Lord’s will about my current job. I am a teacher and my husband is a pastor. However, I am so busy that I often do not have time at home to enjoy any family time. I know that the Lord has lead us to foster and/or adopt children (we have biological son right now). Also, my sister is quite ill and needs someone to stay at home with her during the day. I am left with the obligation both to care for my family and to provide for them (as my husband does not make enough at a small church to support us). I appear to be unable to do both at the same time. I do not desire to be lazy, yet I do not know what to do. Sometime it is not simple.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Up next: Provision starts with Work Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Filed Under: God's Master Plan Tagged With: blessing, enjoyment, giving, investing, money, providing, saving, spending, tithing, work « Debt is not part of God’s Plan Young American: A portrait of overspending » […]

  2. […] money starts with providing for your needs, and the needs of your family. And providing starts with hard work. But once you’ve done the work and earned the money, how do you decide how to spend […]

  3. […] God’s Master Plan, we know that God’s first priority for our money is that we use it to provide for the needs of our families. After all, I Tim. 5:8 tells us: Anyone who does not provide for […]

  4. […] work hard, you budget, and you’re careful to provide for the needs of your family. The basic […]

  5. […] money begins with providing for your family. And though we all have ways in which we can improve as workers, planners and budget-makers, the priority of providing comes fairly naturally to us. It’s […]

  6. […] not the bank that supplies your needs. It’s not even your employer (although work is certainly part of God’s provision). It is God who […]

  7. […] impacts our lives in so many way: It rewards us for hard work, and punishes us for poor management. With a lot of money, a lot things in life become easier. When […]

  8. […] don’t want to contradict anything we’ve said about hard work or about the importance of saving. But it’s important to remember that even if we’re […]

  9. […] that He has entrusted to us. We’ve already discussed the importance of the first two steps, working to support our families and tithing to support the church. But it’s in this third step where things really start to […]

  10. […] like us to handle the resources that He has allocated to us. God’s plan includes things like providing for our families and tithing to support our local churches. In addition to that, though, God wants us to be big […]

  11. […] we owe it to Him to do the very best that we can with the things that He has given us. That means working hard, budgeting well, tithing faithfully, giving generously and saving […]

  12. […] your money. We’ve discussed three of the pillars of that plan already — God wants us to provide for our families, tithe faithfully to our local churches, and give generously to help the poor and build the […]

  13. […] air, how much more can we expect Him to take care of us? God promises that if we are faithful to work hard, He will be faithful to provide for […]

  14. […] Work is essential to success in life, and certainly to financial success. And as we’ve said before, all work is God’s work, because every type of work is ultimately a way that we serve people. But there’s more to work than that: God wants His people to work so that they have money to use for giving. Let’s go straight to Ephesians 4:28 to see what Paul had to say about work and giving: […]

  15. […] people; other times it will come through opportunities to roll up your sleeves and do a lot of hard work. But however it comes, it comes from the Father, which means that it is the perfect solution to […]

  16. […] of you. God makes it very clear throughout scripture that he wants to to tithe to your church, provide for your family, give to the poor and store up an inheritance for future generations. Those […]

  17. […] for their sins in the end. If you believe that God is your provider, you also need to believe that He will meet your needs through noble work and the generosity of His people. Stay away shady people and shady […]

  18. […] Providing: It Starts with Work — We look at what Prov. 28:19 teaches about the importance of working hard in providing for our families. […]

  19. […] Providing: It Starts with Work — We look at what Prov. 28:19 teaches about the importance of working hard in providing for our families. […]

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