SPIRITUAL CURRENCY (PART 2)
7/3/2012 10:08:44 PM -
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters, and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
In Part 1 of Spiritual Currency, I discussed the concept of currency and established that money is the generally accepted currency used for trade in this physical world and is peculiar to kingdoms, nations and regions based on their geographical and geopolitical dispensation. It was also established that just as the physical world has money as its currency, there is also a spiritual world - God's Kingdom - and it has its own form of currency - Faith - which I call the Spiritual Currency.
I further established that although we live in a physical world, we Christians belong to a spiritual world - the Kingdom of God - and everything we need and want has already been provided for us in the spiritual realm. The only way we can access (buy) them or cause them to be made manifest physically is by using our spiritual currency - Faith.
In this episode, I will draw the contrast between the physical currency (money) and the spiritual currency (faith).
The first thing I would discuss is that irrespective of their primary function and ability of buying, one actually has the 'purchasing power' to buy the other while the other does not have that ability. Faith buys money; money cannot buy faith. Faith buys money may sound strange but that is the truth. In the foundational Scripture, the Bible says to come buy and eat without money. If you are going to buy without money, then definitely, you are buying with something else and that is faith. But as discussed earlier in Part 1, there is nowhere on earth you can go and say you are buying things with faith, no. Here is the possibility; though you may not have money, you have faith with which you can buy money which in turn buys the physical things you need. Again, in Part 1, it was discussed that we 'the Just' shall live by faith and the expression 'live by' was explained to mean people do the things they do and get the things they have including money by a determinant, which in our case as Christians is faith.
In Haggai 2:8, the Bible says, 'The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty.' Here, God Himself is telling us that the silver and gold representing the money we seek are His. In John 3:27, the Bible says, 'A man can receive nothing (including money) unless it has been given to him from heaven'. God is saying that all the money is his and unless He gives it to you, you cannot have it. It is only by faith that we can receive from God; when we ask Him for things, He does not respond to our needs, He responds to the faith with which we ask. That is why in Psalm 81:10, He say, 'Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.' The opening of your mouth is an act of your faith. The bigger your faith, the wider you open your mouth. God Himself is asking you to ask Him for all the money you need, all you have to do is increase your faith.
Secondly, faith can buy all things; the seen and the unseen, the possible and the impossible while money can only do so much. This may be a little confusing to some people especially when reference is made to the Scripture that says money answers all things, which is why I intend to address this. Ecclesiastes 10:19 reads, 'A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry but money is the answer for everything.' As you may have noticed, the Scripture spoke about feast and wine and the benefits they offer before it introduced money with the conjunction 'but', suggesting that money can get you all that a feast and wine can get you if you have it. The Scripture tried to expose the limitations of feast and wine (which are physical things that exist and which can be bought with money) and the benefits they offer. It tried to say that what these things offered which were laughter and merry are the only things they could offer but if you have money, you can buy anything that money can buy and their respective benefits including a feast which gives laughter, hence, money is the answer for everything.
Moreover, you will notice that the key word in the Scripture is 'Answer'. Here is the thing, an answer can only answer a question to which there is an answer. You and I can testify that in this world, there are uncountable things without answers. Money can therefore not answer such things. It only answers that which it can answer or buy such as a feast.
This illustration from one of the accounts of Jesus' life could help explain it better. I do not know who the greatest economist in the world presently is, but I can certainly tell you that if you asked the best brains in the world in the area of Economics whether the monetary value of five loaves of bread and two fishes can feed the region of Darfur for a day, their answer will be a definite no. Why? Because they will be looking at principles of demand, supply, scarcity, et cetera all emanating from the concept of money, projecting the limitation of money and spelling out a definite scenario of impossibility where money is concerned. However, in Matthew 4:13-21, we see Jesus feeding about ten thousand people (only the men were about five thousand) with five loaves of bread and two fishes with extra twelve basketfuls of broken pieces being gathered, signifying that if there were more people, they would all have been fed. How was this possible? Faith made it possible. With faith, all things are possible; everything can be bought. 'Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes'.'-Mark 9:23(NKJV). All things including the seen and the unseen, the possible and the impossible, what money can buy and what money cannot buy, all things are possible only if you can have faith.
Furthermore, I would like to distinguish between the two key words 'Answer' and 'Possible' in the two Scriptures. There are things which physically don't have answers (cannot be bought with money) but they are possible (can bought by faith). Having discussed all these, I would like to go through a few things which faith can do or has done that money cannot do or has not done.
The first and the most important is Salvation. 1 Peter 1:18-19 reads, 'For you know that it was not with perishable things such silver or gold (money) that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.' And Ephesians 2:8-9 also reads, 'For it is by grace you have been saved through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no-one can boast.' These two Scriptures reveal to us that with money we cannot buy our own salvation. Salvation is made available to us by the grace of God through Blood of Jesus in the Spiritual realm - God's Kingdom - as a provision. It is only by our faith that we can access (buy) it, then we will truly be saved.
Secondly, your faith can buy you unexpected, absolute and instant healing. In Mark 5:24-34, there is account of a woman who suffered a serious illness of bleeding for twelve years. The Bible describes her as suffering a great deal. The Bible goes on to say that she had been under the care of many doctors and spent all (every money) she had but only grew from bad to worse. Then in just one day, she came across Jesus and touched his garment and the Bible says immediately, her bleeding stopped. Jesus then turns to her and tells her 'your faith has healed you'. After all these years, with all the money spent and all the specialists consulted, just one moment of faith healed her. Today, there are and have been billions of dollars of investment in the area of medicine to find answers that scientists are struggling with. However, there have been answers to these same questions and diseases they have invested so much in and are still struggling to unravel, through miracles by faith. I sometimes ask myself how about poor countries who can't fund these projects? How about poor people who can't afford common pain killers? Will they always end up in the grave? Well, maybe it will be those who lack faith but certainly not those who do have it. There have been great testimonies among poor countries and people and across the world of healing and answers which all the big investments are yet to find answers to. I have read of people with wombs surgically removed receive new ones, dismembered dead accident victims raised wholly from the dead, people receive brand new legs and the list goes on and on. You may be sick physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally; whatever your sickness may be, activate your faith and reach out for your healing. Grab it, it is yours.
Thirdly, faith certainly buys both household and macroeconomic enhancement. In 2 Kings 7, there is an account of how the entire economy of Samaria was transformed in 24 hours after the Prophet Elisha had prophesied to this end. At this time, the economy was so bad that even women resorted to cannibalism, eating their own children. It took a 'step of faith' from four men with leprosy to transform the entire economy. In this same account, there was a high ranking government official, more like the special advisor to the king who did not believe the impending economic transformation after the word of the Lord had come. Verse 2 of 2 Kings 7 reads, 'The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, 'Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of heaven, could this happen?' 'You will see it with your own eyes,' answered Elisha, 'but you will not eat any of it!'' That is what his unbelief and lack of faith got him.
Today, the global economy is in a total uproar. We see great empires which used to be like Greece, resorting to austerity measures and virtually begging for money. We see the great nations of the world attend summit after summit without finding any concrete and lasting solutions. Why? Because they've been looking at this problem from the perspective of what money can do and how much money they have. Not so long ago, Zimbabwe's economy was in complete shambles that they had to abandon their national currency. Inflationary figures were in quindecillions and novemdecillions by December 2008 because more money was printed with the understanding that more money will solve the problem but as it turned out, it did exactly the opposite. It aggravated the problem to gigantic proportions.
For those of us from the so-called third world countries who think it is impossible for God to make us superpower nations, we must remember what happened to the king of Samaria's official who had the same doubts and take a cue from that. There are men and women with the same tag who have risen and defied all the odds against them and are running multi-million dollar organizations and investments because they chose to have faith in God. Brick layers are now bank owners by faith. They chose to believe in the economy whose kingdom has its streets made of gold than to believe in the economy which is still struggling to tar its streets. It is pure unbelief in the power of God to transform our economies if we continually think the only way to make headway of improving our economies is to continually beg from other people. Like the king's official, we will only see other people make strides in economic transformation because of their faith while we wallow in poor economic conditions. With faith, we can access the glorious riches of God which are immeasurable and based on the same faith; we must act to receive the glorious riches to transform our economies because faith is dead without action.
One other thing about faith is that what it buys is eternal while what money can buy is earthly and temporary. John 3:16 puts it this way, 'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.' When you believe in Jesus, you obtain salvation which brings you eternal life. Money can never get you that.
The final submission about faith and money I would like to make is that faith is far more precious than money and it never perishes while money does perish. 1 Peter 1:7 says, 'These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold (money), which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.' And 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, 'And now these three remain: faith' These inform us that money can perish and lose its value as is also proved in the economic misfortune of Zimbabwe but faith doesn't. You can lose money without your consent but you decide whether to give up your faith or not.
As a Christian, your life and faith are inextricably intertwined. You cannot be a Christian without faith because by it you live and move and do all things. As a matter of fact, it is by faith that you even got to be a Christian. The Bible even emphasizes that it is sinful to eat without faith. In Psalm 23:6 the Bible reads, 'Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.' By faith, you get to enjoy all the goodness and love the Lord has to offer you all the days of your life here on earth and by that same faith, you get to be part of His glorious and eternal Kingdom forever after your life on earth. You may lose everything including money but, never give up your faith because it is your spiritual currency that gives you access to all that the good Lord has provided for you as an inheritance here on earth and in His Spiritual Kingdom.