Does money (or the lack thereof) often feel more like a burden to you than a blessing? In our consumer-driven culture, it is easy to feel bogged down by our finances. The concept of financial freedom offers a ray of hope, and you may be closer to it than you think. In this blog post, we’ll answer the question, “What is financial freedom?” in two different ways.
What is Financial Freedom?
Financial Freedom: The moment when passive income from your assets exceeds the income you get from your job. At that moment, you can quit working because your standard of living is paid for by your investments alone. This is ‘freedom’ because you are now free to do whatever you want with your time!
However, getting to a place of financial freedom is a process. For most people, it’s not going to happen overnight. Luckily, freedom isn’t reserved for wealthy people. You can cultivate a financially free mindset regardless of the amount in your bank account. So, there really is a deeper answer to the question, “What is financial freedom?”, and I’d venture to say that it’s the more important one to grasp.
Financial Freedom: An attitude that rests in the confidence that God is your provider, so you will have everything you need.
Jesus spoke about this kind of freedom often. Perhaps most notably in the scriptures is found in Matthew 6:25-27:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Here’s the thing—the Bible warns against the love of money a lot. However, most people only think about the danger that presents to people who are extremely wealthy, not those who are scrounging to make ends meet. On the contrary, Jesus knew that worrying about money is a major way that people become a slave to it. Finances can easily consume your thoughts and energies.
I always say that before you become a millionaire, you have to become a millionaire in your thinking. In other words, you must know how the wealth building process works on a conceptual level. If you’re not familiar with what it takes to steward and grow wealth, you might be prone to squander your millions as soon as you get them!
Similarly, it’s important to develop a financially free mindset in the spiritual before you attain that reality in the physical. Otherwise, your wealth could be a burden rather than a blessing. That’s why there are so many rich people who are technically financially free, but still operate as though they are slaves to money. Their material possessions consume them. If you don’t feel rich in God when you have a little, you won’t magically feel rich in God when you have a lot.
In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray. Using His framework, here are 3 prayers you can pray to help you liberate yourself from the hold money may have over you.
3 Prayers for a Financially Free Mindset
1. Pray that God will show you how to use your resources for His Kingdom.
“Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Our resources are a tangible way that we can partner with God to bring Heaven to earth. I like to use my wealth to bless people through business, nonprofit work, and real estate, but God could be speaking to you in a myriad of different ways.
It is empowering to give generously even when you don’t have a lot. It does something in your soul to affirm the provision and partnership you have in God. Think of the poor widow in Mark 12:41-44—all she gave was two copper coins, and Jesus exclaimed how, in reality, she actually gave more than everyone else!
2. Pray that God will give you enough for today—and that you’ll actually trust Him.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Even if we know God will take care of us, we may not believe it. There have been seasons in my life where I’ve had to pray for trust every day, and God always provided the ‘bread’ I needed to get through the day.
3. Pray that God won’t give you more than your character is ready to carry.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Now, this prayer does not imply that God wants to tempt us. In his book, When Heaven Invades Earth, pastor Bill Johnson writes that the verse above is a prayer asking God to guard us from our own susceptibility to temptation:
“This prayer is actually a request for God not to promote us beyond what our character can handle. Sometimes our anointing and gift are ready for increase and responsibility, but our character isn’t. When promotion comes too soon the impact of our gift brings a notoriety that becomes the catalyst of our downfall.”
In other words, it is helpful to ask God to let His desires trump our own. In our prayers for provision, we can often miss the point. If we’re not careful, we can slip into believing a prosperity gospel that’s filtered through the American Dream, not scripture. When we ask God not to give us more than our character can carry, we can find freedom in the fact that He is our guide—there’s not as much pressure as we may think.