A Storm is ComingThe vast majority of the articles God uses me to write are to encourage, edify and equip. This one is different. It may encourage, edify and equip you; but that is not my primary intent. I am writing it because I need your help; help in discerning what God is trying to say to me, and to the body of Christ, about our wealth and the coming storm. I am writing with the hope of hearing the LORD’s voice in community.

To begin, let me establish a baseline for the meaning of “wealth”. Here are some statistics that I have heard over the past few years:

  1. Those living at or above the poverty line in America are in the 95th percentile of the wealthiest people in the world. In other words, 95% of the people in the world live on less than the poverty level in America.
  2. Similarly, those that live at or above the median American income are in the 99th percentile of the wealthiest people in the world.

The vast majority of Americans are “wealthy” when compared to the rest of the world – including most of our Christian brethren. These stats don’t tell the whole story, but they do help us appreciate what God has entrusted to those of us that live in this nation.

Now, there are two particular passages of Scripture that have been haunting me for the last few years.

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 1John 3:16-19

The second passage is the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Please read it. My conviction is this: The talents are all that God has given us for investment in His kingdom. That includes whatever wealth He has entrusted to us. The return He expects is something of value to Him and His kingdom.

Just to be clear: I do not believe that to “forsake all that he has” (Luke 14:33) means to give everything away and live in a state of poverty. God entrusts us to be good stewards of something; and He uses our stewardship to mature us in Christ and community. Part of that responsibility is for the well-being of my wife and children; even after my death.

Furthermore, there is Romans 14:23 (whatever is not from faith is sin); and Jesus’ sobering warning in Matthew 7:21:

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Obviously, whatever we do with the wealth entrusted to us, it must be done in the Father’s will; and it must be done in faith. We must be able to hear His voice; it must be His word for the faith we need to invest in His kingdom.

My Questions

Forgive me, but I have laid all this out to make sure you understood what I wasn’t asking, and to establish a context for the following questions:

  1. Why has the Lord given us such wealth when many of our brethren are living in poverty?
  2. Why would God give it to us and not to them?  What have we done that we should live so far above another child of God?
  3. Has He not given it to us to invest in the things that are important to Him?
  4. Are we burying our talents?
  5. Has God given us this wealth to prove where our true devotions lie?  How far are we from believing the prosperity gospel?
  6. Can we enter in through the narrow gate with so much coinage in our pockets?
  7. What do we believe about this?

Let me stop and say again that I am serious about needing your help in this. This is not a carefully crafted attempt to change anyone’s heart or mind. I simply need some discussion out of the virtual community that reads this blog. I want to hear His voice for my stewardship of His wealth.

So what does this have to do with the storm that is coming? God is not bound to the pattern or warnings described in The Harbinger. However, if the pattern holds, then many in the American church will soon lose much of the wealth that has been entrusted to them. In 2008, that was roughly 30% of all the savings of every Christian in America – lost. I wonder how much of that was intended for eternal investment – never to be lost; returning a profit for eternity.

Thank you for your attention to this issue. I pray you can hear my heart in it. Better yet, I hope you have heard the heart of my Father.

Humbly yours and forever His,