Posted by: rogermitchell | November 18, 2009

Money

I’m currently in conversation with several people who have been trying to forerun for the kingdom of God and are facing big financial challenges at this time. I don’t think that this is the ordinary constraint of financing the work in an economic downturn.  Rather I believe that it is to do with prophetically important shifts that are happening in the ecclesia and in the western global empire. Some people are just taking this on board of part of the recession and taking practical steps to get alternative employment, fundraise or make or take redundancies, depending on the nature of their situation. In one sense this is only right because the people of God are in the world for the world and shouldn’t always try to evade its problems.

However my conviction on this occasion is that we have entered a prophetic season that is quite simply about the coming down of empire and that the shaking of our western post-Christendom capital based global empire is part of that. I would go so far as to suggest that it is part of the intervention of God through the church into the world. We have had three generations of revival and can rightly expect a cosmic shift. The consequential worldwide prayer and prophetic movements, although often misdirected, have been used by God, together with the hidden impact of the deconstruction of centrist church structures and have combined together to release a contemporary version of the stone cut by no human hand (Daniel 2:44-45). Therefore our role in the world as forerunning people of God is to demonstrate a totally different means of life which must mean a totally different source of supply. The Western Christendom initiated financial system is based on empire which is in turn based on fear. We have to find our way back to provision based on faith. I am not referring to the kind of ‘living by faith’ that has sometimes come from a wrong spirit of manipulation, obligation and moral pressure. This is of course just a covert means of parasitic dependence on the western financial system. I am talking about radical dependence on God. In our personal experience and a number of significant situations in which we are currently involved the opportunity to come in a different spirit and trust God more directly has issued in some exciting breakthroughs. Not surprisingly I want to encourage friends who are facing tough financial challenges to trust God and experience the same kind of breakthroughs in provision.

I think there are at least three conditions that need to be applied here in order to avoid blatant stupidity! I would like to encourage some serious discussion about this, by all means through the blog, if anyone would find it a helpful medium. Firstly the condition is the way of the cross, simply the Jesus kind of life laid down loving living. This is a wholehearted dependence on the principle of resurrection with is ready to go through death in hope. Secondly, there needs to be a rejection of fear. Empire and all its consequential legal, military and economic structures are based on fear. We must reject fear and embrace God’s reputation and promise to supply for those who lay down their lives in faith. Thirdly, there needs to be a prophetic commitment to the new day, to coming out the other side of empire in ecclesia and world. This is an issue of the spirit and is not always outwardly obvious. Some people appear to be operating outside the box but are carrying the spirit of empire. Some that appear to be inside concentric structures of church and western world are actually the most kenotic of people. We have to know who we are at heart. Finally we need to know the Spirit’s call and timing to us to embrace and embody this kingdom way of life at this time. If this is all coincides for us then let’s take the great leap forward one step at a time!

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Responses

  1. I am really interested to see where this goes. A challenging subject when you think how tied up in our future and our fears our money can be, saving for pensions, insuring against accidents, thefts and fire etc.

  2. At last! Rog – this is fantastic and one of the most helpful narratives (if that’s the right word) on what many are experiencing but dare not talk about. And that can leave you feeling isolated and, perhaps, a little crazy. Because when the money gets tight it’s incredibly tempting to go into self-help mode just to sort it all out and avoid the pain. But I absolutely believe that’s missing the point. Can we live that knowing God is enough? Even when our bank balances might lead us to doubt it. There’s the rub. And I’m fed-up with prayers for ‘break through and blessing’ when the subtext is clearly one where breakthrough means more money and, ideally, in our pockets. I don’t think this is necessarily the case. I don’t like financial squeezes any more than the next person BUT – and this is the biggy for me – I so badly want to see resources coming through into the places that need them. The community where we live is far from wealthy yet we’re getting stuck into projects which will call for big bucks. I truely believe they will come. We have to know how to steward, live sacrificially and be the kind of people God can trust to steward large sums of money. Steward many things in fact rather than control them. And for the record, I’m a complete learner in all of this and find myself wavering between faith and fear almost daily. But if anyone else out there is in financial poo – hold on! Don’t try and manage your way out of it and avoid common sense at ALL COSTS. It’s the complete enemy of faith. We have to let God complete the work of turning things upside down but which, in fact, means the right way up. Sorry – bit long this.

  3. Thanks for the chat about money! I had a thought at lunch time. Jesus was offered all the kingdoms and their splendour and yet choose to live a simple life wandering around with 12 guys and telling people that the son of man has no where to lay his head. Sending them out, without any provision because the worker are worth there wages. This Christian living is far to radical!!

  4. I think this new way of approaching provisioning and resources also goes back to the quantum shift demanded by creation right now. Empire economics, because they are based on fear, always result in the exploitation and destruction of the planet. Yet, those resources are meant to abundantly produce and reproduce, readily available for our use (and the use of other creatures). However, a totally different approach to creation/environment/planet is required if we are to realize that gift from God. c.

  5. a few further thoughts. First of all stewardship is not the same as hoarding. We often confuse the two. Secondly, kingdom economics are based first and foremost on sharing. It is the combination of sharing (a form of stewardship) and stewardship (care for the resource so that it can keep producing) that break empire economics. Empire economics are based on fear of lack which leads to short-term thinking (with fear our brains literally shut down and cannot function) and exploitation of the resource, destruction of the resource, hoarding and greed. Greed breaks community which is why we are told to not even have table fellowship (the sign of Christian fellowship) with a greedy person. Sharing, of course, counters by creating and sustaining community. c.

  6. Be intersting to hear some of these stories about ‘exciting breakthroughs’ right now Rog. I suspect that the stories imbibe more about creativity and personal ingenuity than faith. This is often a misdirection when we use this sort of language.

    For me i am not convinced that radical dependance on God is the answer as it continues to encourage an idvidualistic approach to life that is a hangover of our western culture in which we are inebriated right now.

    As mentioned before to you i am thinking around how we explore understanding the more hidden assets/fruit of our western global empire and it’s systems. I think we already carry a lot of resources for living and sharing life. What if we descaled economics from the macro to the micro and from corporate to a personal responsibility?

    Surely we can only discuss radical dependance within the context of radical need. Not as is often the case with plan b c and d tucked under our belts for the future.

    On the basis of empire breading fear, fear of the future is a rampant disease. If we are truly delivered should we not cash in our pensions, including our property portfolios, to serve the needs of the kingdom and God’s people now?

    I confess this language we are using is old and not very inspiring for me personally.

    Help me help you as Jerry said….

  7. Dear Johnny, in some ways you answer my questions. I am living in Latvia right now, a journey that has taken us 6 years to get here along a path chosen by God with his timing written all over it. We are not living by faith in the traditional sense, ie waiting for our next £/$/€ to come in, we are living out of what God has provided for us already by selling our property portfolios – or at the least the houses we used to live in before we left the UK, they were in many ways my pension, having never worked in a job to accumulate a pension anyway. I was wondering how we get around not saving towards a pension, thinking surely if the Kingdom of God was working properly there would be no need for a pension, but first we have to build the Kingdom now and there does’t seem to be many blueprints out there for that. There has to be a different way and all I can say is we are feeling our way towards that. I am studying Managing Sustainable Rural Development and my husband is mainly clearing woodland, trying his hand at ploughing, experimenting with the garden and doing the very occasional consulting work. I see a community but how that comes about is difficult to see right now as the bitter fighting of the past is infecting the future at the moment and that has to stop.

    So keep asking the questions and I hope it will help me some more too.

  8. Thanks Joanna. You and your husband sound really cool. If you ever want a break in the city come and enjoy our hospitality in London. You would be most welcome.

  9. Thank you Johnny that is very kind of you. You never know, although we do try and avoid cities at all costs 🙂

  10. Roger,
    Feed the fire of this topic (look forward to your Leeds Summat feedback). It’s important stuff!

  11. Interesting…
    What about job creation ? I resonate with your comments on the church being used to break society out of capitalism.
    I’ve been thinking recently about kingdom ministry which to me is looking after the elderly, looking after the orphans and foster kids, looking after and bringing healing to the sick, teaching parenting classes etc. and have been wondering what if those were the best paying jobs ? What if that was where kingdom ministry happenned, and that was valued.
    I agree there is a revolution coming.

  12. At last…someone clearly addressing fear in all of it’s disguises. Wonderful. My thought is that selfish ambition draws power and authority from those with a religious mindset and creates fear based structures……a horrible thought actually! A ‘revolution’ is coming, not a new fad or movement but true religion on the earth….now that is a great thought!


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