Money…What is it Really? Do You Have Enough?

10 Comments
March 27, 2013

Money

Have you ever wondered what money is, and where it came from? If not, you may want to give it some thought. Most people will quickly say that money does not rule their lives, yet money is the main deciding factor behind much of their lifestyle and decision making processes. It’s simply the way of the world.

As you may know, there are two very distinct kingdoms operating in the world today. One kingdom is the kingdom of mankind, and the other kingdom is the Kingdom of God. One kingdom is real, the other is a counterfeit of the real. One kingdom has a real King (Jesus Christ), the other has a counterfeit king (money).

Although one is real and one is counterfeit, both kings have some things in common. For starters, the nature of both kings is all consuming. It is impossible to serve these kings partially. These kings eventually saturate every aspect of our lives. This is why Jesus said this:

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24, NLT)

The Lord’s desire is that we would throughly despise and hate one kingdom, and love and serve the other.  Although the Lord’s heart about this is quite clear, mankind’s system always seeks to mix these two kingdoms together in order to give itself legitimacy. After all, it is no accident that ‘In God We trust’ is written on the back of the very currency that is the standard of all the world’s currencies.

With that said, money is a shadow of the real currency. By taking a closer look at money, we can see some beautiful aspects of our heavenly currency (Jesus Christ).

Where Did Money Come From?

Several years ago, I was employed as a corrections officer in a state prison system. The inmates in that prison system were not allowed to have any outside currency inside the prison. Nevertheless, the inmates created their own currency. ‘Little Debbie’ snack cakes were the recognized currency among the inmates. Things like cigarettes and food were priced in ‘debbies’. Little Debbies were useful because they were edible if one became hungry, or they could be stored as they had a lengthy shelf life. It was an eye opening lesson in economics to see an entire prison economy run with ‘Little Debbies’.

Commodity Money

The inmates did not have to be taught this system, rather, it developed naturally. This is very similar to the way mankind developed the system of money historically. In the beginning, mankind used tangible commodities for the purpose of bartering and trading. Commodities were things like cattle, salt, tea, seeds, etc… These commodities were always in demand because they were useful items themselves. They could be consumed if needed, or the excesses could be traded for needed items as well. Commodity money had inherit value because of its substance. Commodities were able to be divided up into individual portions as well.

Representative Money

The use of commodities for money had drawbacks, however.  It was not always easy to carry around bags of salt or cattle if you were on a long journey. Commodities also could not be stored indefinitely because they had a temporary shelf life. Eventually, societies developed coin or paper money that were assigned a value based on a commodity that currency represented. Many times, a society’s currency was backed by something tangible like Gold or silver. The paper or coin currency represented a real commodity.

Fiat Money

Today’s money, for most of the world, is ‘Fiat’ money. In a nutshell, ‘fiat’ money is currency that has a value assigned to it based on a decree of some sort.  Today, the value of the majority of the world’s currencies are tied to the U.S. dollar.  The U.S. dollar is valued based on a set of parameters set by a board of international bankers called the Federal Reserve Board. Unlike representative money, the value of our ‘fiat’ money is theoretical. It is not based on a tangible commodity. At the end of the day, it is simply pieces of paper and metal.

Earthly Currency & Heavenly Currency… What Are The Similarities?

There are several similarities between the currency of mankind’s kingdom (money), and the currency of God’s kingdom (Christ). Here are a few:

Identity- In both kingdoms, the identity of a person is based on their possession (or access) of currency. Currency identifies us in both kingdoms.

Security- In both kingdoms, our present and future security is tied to our possession of currency.

Access- In both kingdoms, currency gives us access to greater depths of those kingdoms. In mankind’s kingdom for example, if you have currency, you can enjoy and access the finer things that kingdom has to offer. The same is true in God’s kingdom. Christ is the currency that gives us greater access to the depths of His own life (kingdom).

Labor- In both kingdoms, access to the currency involves labor that occupies most of our time. Yes, labor for currency is true even in God’s kingdom; although the nature of the labor is quite different. I’ll explain that difference shortly.

Earthly Currency & Heavenly Currency…What Are The Differences?

Value- Unlike mankind’s current ‘fiat’ currency, our heavenly currency (Christ) is a real, tangible, life sustaining commodity. Christ has ultimate inherit value in Himself. This value does not depreciate or fluctuate over time. Christ, as our heavenly commodity, does not need any representative ‘currency’. Unlike mankind’s institutional religious system, no one person or group can legitimately act as a representative ‘head’, or life, of the church. His headship & life perfectly operate in and through the entire church community. In a true New Testament ekklesia, Christ’s headship and life are tangibly experienced as a real commodity. It is much more than theory or information distribution.

Labor- In mankind’s kingdom, energy depleting labor is required to gain access to currency. In God’s kingdom, however, energy replenishing spiritual rest is the kind of ‘labor’ required to gain access to our heavenly currency. (Hebrews 4:9-11)

Location- In mankind’s kingdom, wealth (money) is located externally. It must be acquired from an external source and brought in. In God’s kingdom, however, wealth (Christ) is located internally (Col. 1:27). In mankind’s kingdom, life begins from a place of poverty and lack. In God’s kingdom, life begins with an infinite supply of wealth (Christ) located within our inner being.

Show Me The Money!

Unfortunately, most believers live life needlessly poor. Many continually and needlessly struggle with issues they have the ability to be free from. Many believers have nothing of substance or life to offer those around them. Instead, they are continually consumed with their own problems and issues. It is poverty of the worst sort.

Many are poor not because they lack wealth, however. In Christ, we have been given an infinite supply of valuable currency (Christ) within our inner beings. Many of us are poor simply because we refuse to see what is right in front of us on a daily, moment by moment basis.  There are a variety of reasons for this, but that is another subject entirely.

In the kingdom of God, taking possession of our heavenly currency (Christ) is all about beholding the true light of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18, John 1:4-5,9).  If we want to live ‘large’ in the kingdom of God, we have to take possession of our heavenly currency by seeing. Being fiscally ‘disciplined’ in the kingdom of God, however, is all about making the right choices.

When you look at yourself, you have a choice to make. Do you see the old ‘broke’ person that was already put to death on the cross, or do you actively look for the new ‘rich’ person that now exists in Christ?

When you look at your brothers and sisters in Christ, do you look for their fleshly faults, or do you actively look for the breathtaking beauty of Christ that is already dwelling within them?

When you go about your day, are you simply reacting to the physical circumstances around you, or are you actively looking for the work & activity of Christ in your midst?

When you watch sports, movies, or listen to music, are you actively (not passively) listening for the voice of your Lord?

When you gather with other people, do you regularly share your sightings and impressions of Christ?

The way we answer these questions will determine the amount of ‘wealth’ we live by in the kingdom of God. As a result, I’d like to leave you to ponder this question…

How’s your cash flow these days?

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Jamal Jivanjee

 

Jamal Jivanjee

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10 responses to Money…What is it Really? Do You Have Enough?

  1. Wow, amen brother a much needed read for me. I really appreciate you sharing this truth. Something the Lord is showing me as well.This was the nail in the coffin. We can abide in his life or worry about the cares of this world when really our true self in him could care less about worldly money.

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Amen brother. Thanks for reading. To go with the leadings and promptings originating within our inner man that dwells with Christ is always the best bet. It leads to freedom, not bondage. Blessings to you brother!

  2. This is amazing brother. I have been journaling and praying for the past two weeks asking the Lord to teach me how to lay hold of His rest. He spoke to me to just “be” with Him today and that everyday is today and now. I know today, I have received a greater revelation of His rest. I just looked up the word rest, and two of the definitions really stood out to me. One was this: Relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs. And the other really pierced me was this: To repose in death. I believe that the Lord wants me to die fully in order to lay a hold of His rest. It is the only thing I must “do”. AMEN! With tears streaming down my face…today I am free and rich! He is freedom and I am rejoicing to overflow today http://youtu.be/6Cr5tgdLkSw

    In His Love,
    Jess

  3. Were any of you raised to shop only for sale items, discounts, and cheap to the place where you think God smiles at you for being so frugal. It was almost like God directed you to all of them as a blessing just for you. I’m not saying a deal is not a good thing, but to live in such a mental state is not godly. God has just been teaching me these things, which has been almost opposite of my raising. To learn it is not humility to go cheap has been so great. To know I don’t have to go without something just because it is more expensive than I think I can afford is happiness overflowing. I have learned that, like you said Jamal, Jesus is my source and I do believe He has supplied all my needs has been a stretch of my faith, but I am overcoming poverty thinking. Us believers must decide to believe God and, like sister Jess said, just rest in Him. The only labor we are commanded to do is labor to come into His rest in Heb. 4.

  4. :) Bless you, brother!

    A different facet of this sticks out to me. He has been engraining in me the last few years to not make any decisions based on money…to not even let it be a determining factor. A voice always rings in my head, “Anything goes as long as you love!” And it is so freeing to know that being limited on money does not mean that I am limited in love!

    Once, in India I was inclined to stay when others left, desiring to give them relationship rather than my limited finances that could not have covered all their needs. I ran out of my own physical resources but still wanted to be with the kids who slept on a sidewalk. So Christ in me loved them with nothing but love. It wasn’t until my money ran out that I saw love in a whole new way.

    There are countless other stories…recently a friend offered to pay for me to go to Ireland, but Spirit wasn’t leading me there. Other friends offered to pay for me to go to Haiti with them, but He wasn’t leading me there either! I’ve joked that He’s been leading me away from where there is money and leading me toward where there is not. :-p

    It is so good, and truly so rich. I say it, but He makes it true — Love is my compass.

    With the way He is living my life now, it would be death for me to seek an income. He may shift that later, but for now His words resonate so deeply — I cannot serve both God and money.

    Thank you for posting this…It’s feeding my fire that the enemy has tried to quench through well-intentioned believers who did not see that it is not I who am living my life, but Christ. :)

    “In Him you have been enriched in every way…” 1 Corinthians 1:5

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 29, 2013 at 6:09 am

      Sister, I am thankful that love is your ‘compass’. With that kind of a compass, you’ll never get lost. Thx so much for sharing:)

  5. Another great, insightful and innovative way to look at the Kingdom! Really appreciate how you juxtaposed these two commodities – wow. Great book to recommend on this topic is “The Treasure Principle” by Randy Alcorn. Highly recommend it to everyone – it will change the way you look and think about money. It’s certainly inline with this great post!

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