God Has an Economy, and You CAN Be Rich In It

by Andy Wood on November 5, 2008

in Five LV Laws, Life Currency, Money, Principle of Abundance

It was the Beverly Hills of ancient Asia.  A center of wealth and high-end commerce.  A medical haven, where people came from miles around for treatment of various ailments.  If you wrote your mama and told her your job was transferring you there, she’d have something to brag about the next day.  This was some place.  And there was a church in town.

How would you like to get a personal letter from Jesus Christ, where the first thing he said was, “I know what you’ve been doing”?  That can be a little unnerving!  But that’s exactly what Jesus said to the First Church of Coolville, alias Laodicea.  He had a few other things to say as well.  Let’s peek at their mail:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see (Revelation 3:15-18).

Looks like the guys and dolls in Lala Land had a few things to learn about wealth.

So do we.

They thought they were loaded; Jesus said otherwise.  Remember, though, that in spite of its scathing message, this was a love letter.  And in his love, Jesus gave them, and LifeVestors everywhere, a few pointers on His economy.

Principle #1:  The root nature of sin is a declaration of independence from God.
Yes, I know this isn’t technically about economy, but it feeds everything to do with it.  This principle was true in the Garden of Eden.  It’s true today.  It was frighteningly true in Laodicea, even among a group of believers.  They had reached the point where they were so blessed, they assumed they needed nothing.

Not even God?

Apparently not.  Oh, I’m sure they knew the platitudes.  But somewhere, somehow, their gratitude had turned to smugness, and Jesus was on the outside, knocking on the door of his own church.

Principle #2:  God has a system of economy unlike the world’s system.
How do I know that?  Because the world attested to the believers there that they, indeed, had made it.  God, however, had a different take on all this:

“You say you’re rich; I say you’re broke.”

And when God says you’re busted, guess what?  You’re busted!  It doesn’t matter how the world keeps score.  God obviously has a different standard of measurement that is more anchored to the truth.

Principle #3:  “Economy” is the exchange of all the commodities of life.
I am indebted to Jack Taylor for this definition.  When we hear the word “economy,” we usually assume someone is talking about cash and coins.  But the idea of economy has to do with how everything – tangible and intangible – is given and received, bought and sold.  The same principles that apply to money management speak also to your physical energy, love, service, forgiveness, and a host of other “accounts” we carry. That’s why a lady of modest means could tell me straight-faced she was rich.  She was “loaded” when it came to the love of her friends and family.

Principle #4:  Money has a unique place in the commodities of life.
Jesus said that money was at the bottom of the ladder, inferior to every other resource

It’s also a false god; Jesus said categorically that you cannot serve God and money.  It’s interesting that neither Jesus nor Paul said this about any other commodity than money.

Your use of money also reveals the contents of your heart.  “Where your treasure is,” Jesus said, “there you heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).  Want to know what you value?  Check out your checkbook.

Principle #5:  It is possible to be rich in the world’s economy and bankrupt in God’s.
I don’t want to beat this to death.  But it’s staggering how blinding this can be.  This church didn’t have a care in the world, and their wealth was the reason why.  They had wallowed out a comfort zone that enabled them to continue “doing church,” all the while being exposed in the spiritual realm as “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”  It wasn’t their wealth itself that was the problem, but their attitude toward it.  Their complacency had marginalized their need for God.

Check in tomorrow; the scenery changes.  I’ll finish this up with five more, including how God counseled these “bankrupt wealthy” people to find the real deal.  But for today, I dare you to take a look at your own attitudes toward money and “the stuff.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Stacey Derbinshire November 5, 2008 at 10:45 am

Great post. I will read your posts frequently. Added you to the RSS reader.

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