Owasso Spirit-Filled Church

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Introduction

Have you ever found yourself wanting to pray, but not knowing what to pray about? I’m going to give you my top two prayer requests. I pray these almost every day.

The first one is, “God, give me Your wisdom. According to James chapter one, You are generous with wisdom. You never rebuke me for asking for wisdom. You always give it as long as my faith is in You alone. I don’t want human wisdom; I want Your wisdom. Obliterate all of my own ideas with your wisdom. Amen.”

If you draw a blank during prayer time, ask for wisdom. Humble yourself by laying down your own wisdom to pick up God’s wisdom. You’ll be surprised at what He reveals to you.

The second prayer I pray almost daily is, “God, help me to see money the way You do. According to Luke chapter sixteen, You consider it a small thing. In a world where money calls the shots, I want to live in your Kingdom where money is no big deal. Amen.”

Jesus taught that money is the preschool of faithfulness. How we use money determines if we are ready for the more important things in God’s Kingdom.

If you are going through a financial test right now, it’s likely because God is preparing you for a more prominent place in His Kingdom. But before you get promoted, you must pass the money test.

Would you like me to help you pass the money test? Do you want me to help you see money like God sees money?

Rich People

Turn to James, chapter five. If you have a pen or pencil, pull it out. I’ll have you underline a few keywords.

James 5:1-6 NLT –  Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.

When the Bible refers to “rich people”, we tend to think of everyone who has more money than we do. That’s an American perspective, not a Biblical perspective.

When the Bible rebukes a rich person, it does not refer to a person who has a certain amount of wealth. It is talking about someone who has the wrong relationship with wealth.

Maybe I should say that again to make sure you get it. 

Yes, the Bible rebukes rich people on several occasions. But it is not the amount of money that qualifies you for the rebuke; it is your wrong relationship with money that qualifies you for the rebuke.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to apply this scripture to people with more money than you? That’s covetousness, by the way.

When you concern yourself with how someone else uses money, covetousness is at work. It may be hidden, but somewhere, you are jealous of what they have.

Remember, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor” is one of the Ten Commandments. Let me put it to you this way. When God gave us His top ten tips for a godly life, this was one of them.

When it comes to seeing money the way that God sees money, you no longer get an opinion on how others use money. That’s between them and God.

You’ll be tempted to get your thoughts involved in other’s finances over and over again. Cast down those ungodly thoughts. Never allow yourself to get involved in other’s finances.

The only thing you are permitted to do is celebrate when those in the body of Christ prosper. Don’t think, “Must be nice.” Instead, say, “God, you are faithful! Prosper them more in Jesus’ name!”

Wrong Relationship with Money

Now that we are clear on that, we can get something done. I am not trying to help you determine if someone you know needs to be rebuked for having a wrong relationship with money. I am helping you determine if you have a wrong relationship with money.

If I didn’t establish this first, you’d spend the whole message thinking about how someone else needs this message. They might, but their relationship with money is not your concern.

So, let’s talk about you. Let’s find out if you meet the Biblical qualification of a rich person who needs to be rebuked.

Remember, it’s not an amount of money that qualifies you for the rebuke. It’s a wrong relationship with money that qualifies you for the rebuke. 

You might just find that you need to be rebuked. If that’s how this message turns out for you, glorify God because He disciplines those He loves.

God loves you too much to leave you in your wrong relationship with money. He wants you free so you can truly prosper.

Back to James chapter five. This block of scripture provides a very detailed description of what it looks like to have a wrong relationship with money. That’s why I had you underline a few words.

Rotting Wealth

In verse two, we learn that wealth is not the issue, but rotting wealth is. When does wealth rot? 

Have you noticed that the Bible loves to use farming parallels to teach about money? It refers to giving as sowing a seed and producing a harvest. And here, we have rotting wealth.

Bananas have an ideal time to be consumed. We may disagree slightly on that, but there is only about a 2-3 day period when they are at their best.

What happens when we miss the window? There’s a bit of a grace period where the banana can still be consumed, but it’s not nearly as enjoyable. The texture is off. It has brown spots. Bleh.

It doesn’t take long before you won’t even touch the banana because it is rotting. Most throw it in the trash. Some combine it with other ingredients to make banana bread. It can no longer be enjoyed on its own.

This is a direct parallel for your finances. When wealth comes into your hands, there is a time of ripening. Then, the day will come when it must be used for its purpose, or it will rot.

How many of you have rotting wealth in your bank accounts? You can remember a time when the Lord led you to do something with it, but you didn’t do it. And now, it just sits there rotting away.

We get the same picture with the word “corroded” in verse three. Gold and silver lose their shine when they sit in storage year after year, decade after decade.

Counting on Wealth

In that same verse, we get one of the best definitions of a wrong relationship with wealth, “wealth you were counting on.”

This one is tough to admit. But let’s make today the day you dig in and uproot it. The security you feel in a certain amount of wealth is an imposter. It’s lying to you. It could all disappear tomorrow.

I love how the Apostle Paul explains it to Timothy:

1 Timothy 6:17 NLT – Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.

If you have yet to discover how unreliable trusting in money is, I’m opening the rescue hatch for you today. Move your trust from money to God so you don’t have to experience a financial catastrophe to figure this out.

Trusting in money is like a disease that’s hard to diagnose. But I am one of the best money disease doctors in town, so let me help. Here’s what trusting in money sounds like:

“I’ll never find a job that pays as much as the one I have…”

“I can’t touch the money I’ve stored up in my savings account or 401k because I might need it later…”

“I can’t take one day each week to lay down my work completely to honor God and rest…”

“Being a stay-at-home parent is not an option. We both have to work to make ends meet…”

“I can’t do what God is calling me to do because I don’t have enough money…”

Trusting in money. A disease that’s hard to diagnose until Dr. Kade shows up with a verbal lashing to drive it out.

I’m not calling you out for anything the Holy Spirit hasn’t already called me out for. Now I stand here before you as a living example that when you abandon the trust of money, you survive. Not only that, but you thrive.

Now that my trust is in God alone, He richly gives me everything I need for enjoyment. And the best part is I no longer have to worry about money. My Father has everything I need and much more!

So when He tells me to quit working for my most profitable client, I do. When He says to give my savings account to help someone else start a business, I do.

Since His Word tells me to tithe, I do. Whatever He wants me to do with money, that’s what I do with money.

Money is no longer invited to the board meetings for my life decisions. It’s just me and the Lord. He has all the wisdom I need, and I follow exactly what He says, even when I don’t understand.

How do I get to live the life I live? You just learned my secret. I am exactly the opposite of what society teaches. Most people let money play a part in life’s decisions. I don’t. What God says goes.

Don’t put your trust in wealth. If you do, it’s only a matter of time before it lets you down. Put your trust in God alone.

Hoarding Money

Next up, still in verse three, is another identifier of a wrong relationship with money: treasure you hoard.

When you keep throwing money into a big pile, you might be impressed with how big the pile gets, but all God sees is an episode of Hoarders.

If you’ve watched an episode of Hoarders, you know those people are proud of all their accumulated stuff. But there is nothing to be proud of. 

They may have nice stuff. But since they piled it up instead of using it for its purpose, it turned into filth. It’s rotting away. No one even wants it anymore.

The same thing happens with the money you pile up. That thousand dollars in the pile was to help fund a mission trip that impacted generations. Instead, it’s rotting away.

That ten thousand dollars in the pile was to start a business that became millions of dollars and provided great jobs for great people. Instead, it’s rotting away.

That five hundred dollars in the pile was your tithe designed to unlock godly wealth in your life. Instead, it’s rotting away.

That million dollars in the pile was to buy land that would provide wealth for the next ten generations in your family. Instead, it’s rotting away.

Are you seeing how pointless it is to hoard wealth? Money has an assignment. Instead of piling it up, ask God what to do with it and do exactly what He says.

When you do this God’s way, money becomes a free flow and endless supply. It comes in, and you send it right out to accomplish its purpose.

This is when you realize that you are a steward. God owns it all, and you get to help Him by managing His resources. He not only provides the resources but gives you the wisdom to manage them.

But if you put yourself in the owner’s seat regarding resources, it’s no longer a free flow. It’s a pile of crap. You might be impressed with it, but God’s not.

Actually, should you continue hoarding resources, your pile of crap will testify against you on the day of judgment. So, I recommend taking this scripture seriously and making an adjustment if needed.

Stingy Pay

In verse four, the next identifier of a wrong relationship with money is when you cheat your workers of their pay.

You might think this only applies to employers, but it applies to everyone. At some point, you’ve paid someone to do something for you. Fix your car, paint your house, fix a plumbing issue, and the list goes on.

How do you feel about paying those who work for you? Are you trying to cheat them of their pay by getting the best deal you can? Or are you looking for a win-win arrangement?

Are you annoyed that you have to pay them? Or are you thankful that you get to contribute to providing for their family?

Do you want to be known as the one who squeezes every penny out of your workers? Or do you want to be known as someone who is easy to work for and pays well?

This one is going to mess with some of you. I mean, don’t you have to squeeze everything you can out of those who work for you to be a good steward? Let’s head to a parable to find out.

Turn with me to Matthew chapter 20.

Matthew 20:1-16 – “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work.

“At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.

“At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’

“They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’

“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’

“That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’

“He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’

“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

This is an explanation of how things work in the kingdom of God. We can learn so much from this parable, but for now, I just want to point out how different this is from the world’s system.

If this happened today, the landowner would be taken to court for being unfair. The world wants equal pay for equal work.

The reality is, there is nothing unfair about what this landowner did. He gave the all-day workers exactly what they agreed upon. The others didn’t know how much they would be paid, but they worked anyway. He rewarded them with a full day’s wage.

Clearly, the landowner wasn’t looking to squeeze every penny out of his workers. He cheated no one of their pay. He took advantage of no one. This is how the kingdom of God works.

If you get fussy about paying people well who work for you, or try to squeeze every penny you can out of them, you have the wrong relationship with money. Make an adjustment.

This clicked for me many years ago when I realized that paying the repair man well meant helping him provide for his family. What an amazing opportunity.

It’s a win-win, isn’t it? I get my issue solved, and he gets to feed his family. It’s amazing how God has designed this to work. It’s an incredible partnership opportunity every time we hire someone.

This message is rich, isn’t it? It’s like a college course on seeing money the way God sees it. If you apply these principles immediately, it will transform your entire life.

Living In Luxury

There’s one more identifier of a wrong relationship with money mentioned in James chapter five: living in luxury.

Thankfully, he defines what means to live in luxury. Otherwise it would be up to our interpretation, which would become a different standard for each of us.

According to the Bible, living in luxury means spending year after year focused on satisfying our every desire. It is when pleasure becomes the goal of life.

We are talking about a self-focused life, or maybe I should just say the life of the standard American.

When I lived my life trying to satisfy every desire, I was always unsatisfied. Now that I live my life seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, I am always satisfied.

What has surprised me the most is how God really does richly give us things for our enjoyment.

Most think that when you give up the pursuit of pleasure, you’ll live a miserable life. They picture a life with no fun, no enjoyment, just serious work for God. But that’s a lie from the pit of hell.

A couple of years ago, I was scrolling Facebook marketplace. I was looking to save money on something I needed. I was being thrifty like the good Dave Ramsey follower I was.

Suddenly, a blue Jaguar convertible showed up on my feed. I knew it was from the devil, so I scrolled past as quickly as I could. Then the Holy Spirit interrupted me and said, “I want you to have that.”

I’ve come to know that still, small voice. But, I argued anyway. In my thoughts, I replied, “That’s irresponsible. Plus, what would people think seeing a pastor drive around in a Jaguar convertible?”

The Holy Spirit backed off until the next day. Once my haughty attitude subsided, once again, He said, “I want you to have that.”

It took awhile, but I worked up the courage to tell Beth that I wanted to go look at it. You should have seen the perplexed look on her face. She said, “You really want that?”

I said, “I think so. Uh. I believe the Lord wants me to have it.” With raised eyebrows, she said, “Okay.” But I’m pretty sure she was thinking, “Riiiight.”

Whether she was or not, that was pretty much what I was thinking. I had never purchased anything just for fun. All of my purchases had a purpose and return on investment.

On top of this, I couldn’t wrap my head around the Lord wanting me to have something like this. In my mind, He was more practical than that. He wasn’t really into enjoyment and having fun.

It took a lot of self-denial for me actually to go drive this thing. But somehow, I mustered up the courage to do so. 

Honestly, I don’t care about cars that much. I’m good as long as it starts and gets me where I need to go. So, after driving the Jag, I thought it was cool, but wasn’t V8 intoxicated like most guys would be.

Nevertheless, the Lord’s desire was burning within me. He wanted me to have it. But I needed to sleep on it to be sure. So, I did. I woke up the next morning, and still, Holy Spirit said, “Get it.”

It was like an out-of-body experience: I met the guy at the bank, gave him the check, and drove away in a Jaguar convertible. I kept the top up so no one would see me, so I drove home.

My parents were the first I told about it. You should have seen the look on their faces. My dad couldn’t believe it. They took it out of a spin, and my dad came back V8 intoxicated.

It wasn’t but a few months later, he was showing me the Corvette convertible he purchased. He got inspired.

This car became a place of rest for me over the next couple of years. I would go for a drive several times a week down new country roads at the speed of an old man.

As I adventured down the tree-lined roads, I would meet with the Lord in a way I never had before. It was like a Father-son road trip where our relationship would deepen each time.

I still have the car today. I no longer hide it in fear of those who covet this crazy pastor. I drive it around with the top down, Charity Gayle blaring and smiling from ear to ear.

And to anyone interested, I share how my heavenly Father gave it to me because He wanted me to have it. This blue Jaguar convertible is the goodness of God in front of your eyes.

Adopt God’s mindset

When the scriptures say that God richly provides all you need for your enjoyment, it’s telling you the truth. And there’s only one condition: see money the way God sees money.

If you adopt God’s mindset regarding money and do it His way, you’ll find yourself living in a dream. Not the American dream but the abundant, life-filled realm of heaven.

That’s why Jesus taught us to pray, “Father, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

I gave up the pursuit of pleasure and pursued God’s kingdom and righteousness instead. He gave me abundant life where the yoke is easy and burden is light. He made me rich with no sorrow added to it.

I stopped being annoyed when paying people to work for me and instead focused on the blessing of being a part of providing for their family.

I stopped hoarding money and finding security in the size of my savings account and gave God full access. Now, I live in a flow of wealth that keeps on multiplying.

Instead of seeing the money as mine, I recognize it belongs to God. I ask Him for wisdom to steward it well, and He shows me how to multiply it continually.

If you look at my life and wish that you could live the same, know that you can. I am no one special. I’m simply obedient to the Word of God.

I’ve abandoned human wisdom, including Dave Ramsey’s. I’ve abandoned my own good ideas. I simply ask God to help me see money like He sees money, and here I am, prospering beyond belief.

It’s been a journey getting here, but that’s because I’ve been a slow learner. Everything I’ve taught you today has been implemented over the last 15 years of my life.

Don’t let it take you that long. Go all in. Implement all five of these things in James chapter five.

Most importantly, quit inviting money to the board meetings for your life decisions. Simply meet with God and do exactly as He says, even when you don’t understand.

Here’s the deal about God’s wisdom: it’s not yours. One hundred percent of the time, you won’t understand what He tells you to do. Do it anyway, and His wisdom will become yours.

About the Author

Kade Young

Kade Young is the lead pastor of NoLimits Church.