How do you feel about money? Some people love it, some hate it, and some are fearful of it. But what is money? Does it even exist? Dr Natanael Costea is a pastor, a speaker, and an emotional intelligence coach. He joined Neil Johnson on 20Twenty to discuss the spiritual aspects of money and the principles he learned from his Jewish heritage about the blessings God pours on those who invest in His Kingdom.
Every day we face challenges on how to spend, invest, negotiate, save, budget and give. How you deal with money affects everything. It affects your family, your work and even your faith in God. Jesus was very clear when he said you cannot serve two masters.
No One Can Serve Two Masters
‘“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”’ Matthew 6:24 NASB
If you continue to read Matthew 6:25-34 you will find great comfort knowing that, as God’s children, we have nothing to worry about. God provides for us. In the spiritual realm, money does not exist. When the Israelites roamed the desert for forty years, God provided for them. The Bible gives many examples of God’s provision for His people.
The Jewish Bible, the Torah, which is a compilation of the first five books of the Bible, speaks about how money is a spiritual aspect. ‘Unless we understand that, we won’t really have a healthy understanding of how it can enslave us,’ said Natanael. ‘Money doesn’t really exist. I mean, we use a plastic card or a form of paper. There are also metal coins. And now a lot of it is digital. Money is a spiritual currency as such because the value of money changes.’
Natanael explains that when it comes to money, we are at the mercy of governments who can announce that something worth $20 million can suddenly be worth nothing. Money can dissipate or disappear. It is not wise to put our trust in money.
Trust God For Everything
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust in the Lord. It goes on to say in Proverbs 3:7-10 that we should not be impressed with our own wisdom. Instead, we should fear the Lord and turn away from evil. The book of Proverbs has some of the best financial advice that comes to us free of charge. We must always acknowledge that God owns everything. The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.
‘We’ve just got to understand that even though we make the money and we’re emotionally attached to it, it comes from God,’ said Natanael.
Many people have become accustomed to over-borrowing just to have the appearance of being wealthy. Debts are skyrocketing and people over-stretch themselves by spending more than what they earn. Then when they are behind on their mortgage payments they dip into their redraw facility and when that is spent, they refinance to keep up with the debt.
There is good debt and bad debt. Mortgages are classified as good debt because your property usually gains value over time, but it can become a bad debt if you’ve overstretched the amount you’ve borrowed and can’t keep up with the repayments. Credit cards or car loans are classified as bad debt because unless you pay your credit card in full every month, you will be paying interest on top of interest. A car devalues the minute you drive away with it. When you add the interest on top of the purchase amount over the years of the loan you’ll find you’ve paid a hefty price to own the car on top of the cost of running it. This sort of debt leads to enslavement where you are just working to pay your debts and it becomes difficult to get out of that debt cycle.
We have a responsibility to be good stewards of our money. At some stage in our lives, we will go through tough economical times where we don’t have enough. But if we’ve budgeted for these times, we will get through and prosper once again.
‘God allows tests in our lives so we can test Him. He wants to prove Himself to us. He allows us to go through deep valleys so He can prove He is our provider. There has to come a time in our life when we fully trust God,’ said Natanael.
‘“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts;’ Malachi 3:10-11
We Are Distributors of God’s Wealth
Natanael says we are distributors of God’s wealth. We are stewards of something we don’t own, but we get to vote where the dollar goes. The purpose of wealth is not to keep it but distribute it with the priorities of the Kingdom in mind. We also need to think about building a legacy for generations to come. We should not spend our children’s inheritance. We should teach our children about money so they become masters of money, not slaves to money.
Natanael is the founding director of Apostolic Churches Alliance and the principal of the Australian School of Ministry and leads Manoora Church in Perth. To find out more about his work, visit: https://www.natanaelcostea.com/
This article was inspired by Natanael’s interview with Neil Johnson. To listen to the full interview, click the link below: