Recently I listened to financial expert, Gregg Healey,call people out of Babylon. That is, he challenged his listeners to reject an economic system that God has promised to judge with astonishing severity (Rev. 18:1–24). Upon the conclusion of his message, I found myself asking, “what is God calling me to do?” The following briefly summarizes my takeaways.
Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and money,” and James adds, “anyone who chooses to be a friend with the world becomes an enemy of God” (Matt. 6:24NIV; James 4:4NIV). Put another way, if the markets tank, and you lost your life-savings this afternoon, how would you respond? Revealing, isn’t it?
King Solomon brings further clarity related to money and times of national or international distress by stating, “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death” (Prov. 11:4). Prioritizing our relationship with God is always the first and primary step to take.
Get out of debt now
The Bible teaches that God’s people are called to be lenders, not borrowers. That’s right; you and I should not only have zero debt, we should be in a position to help others (Deut. 28:12; Luke 6:30, 35).
Gregg exhorted, “First, vow not to take on any more debt. Indeed, swear off debt. Then ask God to help you get out of existing debt. Whether it’s a mortgage, car payment, school loans, or a credit card balance, it’s a system of enslavement” (Prov. 22:7). While living debt-free is not a cure-all, in a time of national difficulty, it’s better not to have debt.
Walk by faith
Moving money around—even buying gold, silver, or other commodities—can be another attempt at trusting in our own ingenuity. Too often we are prone to contemplate, “If plan ‘A’ fails, what’s my plan ‘B’ and plan ‘C,’?” In contrast, Jesus taught, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” and all of life’s necessities will be yours (Matt. 6:33). Simply put, God wants to be our plan “A” … and plan “B” … and plan “C”.
When financial challenges come, it seems natural to double-down in our efforts to fix it. Yet, Gregg shared with us how his journey has included many financial shake-ups where the natural response would have been to downsize. But God led Gregg and his wife to stay put and trust Him. Nine years since their challenges began, Gregg’s family still lives in their original home, and God has miraculously intervened on a number of occasions. In the area of provision, Gregg likes to remind Christians, “As believers, we can learn to live from miracle to miracle.”
Gregg moved from a prosperous career on Wall Street to a flourishing life in Christ, seeing God’s provision in ways he had not previously experienced. Equally important, Gregg is un-phased by the Babylonian system that will be judged because he is now living according to kingdom principles. In light of a collapsing Babylonian economic system, it is vital that we do the same!