In this article, we are going to study the story of Gideon and by going deeper, we will study how the principle of obedience leads to financial excellence.
The Story of Gideon (briefly told)
In Judges 6-7 the Bible tells us that the Israelites were suffering greatly because of their disobedience. They “did evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years.” And the Midianites were very cruel to the Israelites. So, after seeing all the oppression, how they’d suffered and how they started turning to Him again, God sent an angel to talk to Gideon. When the angel went to see him, he even called him “mighty hero” while he was fearfully hiding some grain from the Midianites.
In this passage, we can almost feel Gideon’s fear and despair due to all the suffering and destruction. He asked tough questions and wondered why God was letting this happen to His people. Without giving any answer to those desperate questions, the angel simply gave Gideon a command. He asked Gideon to save Israel.
So Gideon replied:
“But Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”
Then the Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”
After that, God asked Gideon to destroy the altar to Baal and to cut down the Asherah pole that his father had built. Even after all of this, Gideon still doubted that God was with him and that He was going to use him to save Israel.
After giving Gideon two more signs, he summoned warriors from all over Israel and they were ready to fight. But God knew his people’s hearts and He knew that if the 32,000 warriors fought, they would boast and claim that they’d freed themselves from the enemy. So He asked Gideon to let go of most of his army. At the end, only 300 soldiers were left to fight.
At night and with only some provisions like pots, torches and ram horns, God gave Israel the victory. They didn’t even have weapons and they didn’t need them because God flooded the Midianites with confusion and they killed each other. The ones who survived ran far away and most were caught by warriors from other tribes.
What can we learn from this story?
First of all, that God often uses “the weakest” and “the least” for His purposes. Remember your identity in Jesus Christ and never doubt for a second that God will use you to make His dreams for you come true.
Second, that God acts in ways we can’t even imagine. We get scared and forget to trust God when we find ourselves in some kind of trouble; especially when it comes to our finances.
Isaiah 55:8 says: “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
In the chapters mentioned above (Judges 6-7) we see clear consequences of disobeying and obeying God and His commandments. Remember that the enemy wants us to doubt the greatness of our God and he tries to make us believe that He can not help us or that He is not listening to us. He tricks us so that we start struggling and fighting all on our own instead of going to the only One who can truly help us. When we do that, we make all types of mistakes.
What does this have to do with financial excellence?
Sadly, this world is ruled by another god… money. The world has set very high expectations about what we should do and have. Thus, people end up living a lifestyle they can’t afford and that’s when they become slaves of banks… all to live up to the world’s expectations. They also become slaves of debt, possessions, envy, having more than the person next door, having no vision, thinking about the world and its pleasures instead of putting God first.
They simply forget about Him and don’t surrender their finances to Him.
How often we forget about what Jesus said and continues to say today! (John 10:10)
My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Another version says:
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Even in the Old Testament, there’s a clear promise of financial excellence if we obey and surrender to Him (Deuteronomy 30: 8-9):
Then you will again obey the Lord and keep all his commands that I am giving you today. The Lord your God will then make you successful in everything you do. He will give you many children and numerous livestock, and He will cause your fields to produce abundant harvests, for the Lord will again delight in being good to you as He was to your ancestors.
And also (Joshua 1: 7-8)…
Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
These verses have big “ifs”. So we must do as God tells us instead of paying attention to what the world says!
Principles to Achieve Financial Excellence from God’s point of view
- Give: Remember how Jesus fed 5,000 people with five barley loaves and two fish? That was all a young boy had and he gave it. At the end, they filled twelve baskets with the scraps left. He gives back all we give happily. Psalms 37:21 tells us that the wicked borrow and never pay but the GODLY are generous givers.
- Tithe: God promises to bless the 90% when we give the 10%. That’s His strategy for prosperity. When we tithe, with a happy heart we know that the 90% left will become more than the 100%. That’s “heaven maths”. (Malachi 3:10-12)
- Offer: Sometimes God might test our generosity to see if we are good servants. He wants to examine our hearts and know it is according to His own heart.
- Avoid debt: Romans 13:8 says it clearly “Don’t owe anyone anything, with the exception of love to one another”. When we owe to others, we are not being good servants. And what’s worse, we don’t have any financial freedom.
- Save money: We are good servants when we acknowledge that everything we have has been given by God. Thus, we must not covet what we don’t have. Be certain that if we rejoice in what He has given to us, He will bless us in many ways. We must be patient, have a strong character (to avoid overspending), and persevere.
- After receiving our salary, we must do our best to save money (whatever we can) constantly. You can establish a fixed percentage every month and after that, you see how much is left for you to spend in other things different from your fixed monthly expenses.
- Think long term. What will you leave to your children? Be patient and know that “at just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
- Multiply: In Matthew 25:29 the conclusion to the Parable of the Three Servants is: “to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given and they will have in abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” God wants us to multiply our talents and with our talents. We must not be afraid or hide them because that’s how we let the enemy win; when we feel insecure, unable…. he knows that fear paralyzes us and that’s how we stop God’s kingdom from growing, right where we are.
God wants us and needs us to prosper with His principles, not with the world’s.
I hope this post has encouraged you to achieve financial excellence by following God’s Word.
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Also, please comment below and let us know your thoughts about this topic, or you can always jump to our private Facebook group. What has helped you achieve financial excellence? Do you have a piece of advice regarding this topic? What has been your biggest struggle regarding finances? Please share.
Be gracious and don’t forget God’s love never fails.