Will we or won’t we go over the fiscal cliff? That has been the question on everyone’s mind for the last few days. Followed, by anxiety about what happens if we do. The credible speculation is that at the bottom of the cliff is a return to recession, harsh cuts to critical programs & services as well as increased taxes for us all. Scary stuff…The whole idea of Elevate Your Marriage is that we lift what concerns or challenges our marriage up to God.
Beyond the national impending financial calamity, is the local calamity – within your own house. How are we as individuals, as believers of Christ going to survive if the nation does indeed go over the fiscal cliff?
Before we tackle that question, let me throw out a couple of caution flags here that keep us anchored in reality. First, if taxes go up on everyone, well, Christians are apart of everyone. Likewise, if there are defense department or other drastic cuts made, everyone in those industries and depending on those programs, will be affected. Faith will not necessarily exempt us from whatever the common consequences are. The second caution is that, God is not a band-aid or genie in a bottle. Financial constraints may knock on your door, even with prayer and even though you are Christian.
Ok, we got those out of the way so now we can talk about what is still possible with God. The strength of our relationship with Christ is the power of God in all times – good or bad. Let me anchor what may seem like “pie-in the sky” talk in the face of this possible national and international financial crunch. Remember the story of the plagues in Egypt from the book of Exodus? The Pharaoh refused to heed the command of God. Pharaoh’s refusal resulted in 10 plagues: water to blood, an infestation of frogs, gnats, flies and locusts, the poisoning of the horses and cattle in Egypt, a downpour of harmful hail and thunder, an outbreak of boils on people and animals, three days of darkness and the death of firstborn animals and their firstborn children. That is what God did in Egypt. It was national, it was complete, there was no escape, but…What about God’s children, did they experience what everyone else in Egypt did? Look at Exodus 11:7, But against any of the sons of Israel a dog will not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’
It seems like God protected His children from the calamities common to others. Certainly, not something that we can cut and paste to our lives, but it does remind us of what God is able to do in the lives of those that belong to Him. Out of that same Exodus experience we see the promises and power of God toward his people, that when an army, Pharoah’s army, is pressing down on us, and we are chased to the edge of the sea, if He has to, if He wants to, God can part the sea and usher us through on dry land, while destroying our enemy. What then can God do with a man made, self-imposed money cliff?
In I Kings 17, there was a famine in the land, that was effecting everyone. But to Elijah the servant of God, God directed his every step through this national crisis. God commanded the ravens to provide for Elijah in this time of national crisis, as He said these words to Elijah. 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” 5 So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
We also have the encouragement of Philippians 4:19, And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. How many of our needs are covered in “all of your needs”?
Psalm 50:7-15 “Hear, O My people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you; I am God, your God. 8 “I do not reprove you for your sacrifices, And your burnt offerings are continually before Me. 9 “I shall take no young bull out of your house Nor male goats out of your folds. 10 “For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. 11 “I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine. 12 “If I were hungry I would not tell you, For the world is Mine, and all it contains. 13 “Shall I eat the flesh of bulls Or drink the blood of male goats? 14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High; 15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”
Psalm 37:25 I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread.
The reality is we are God’s people, we are His children, and He will provide for us. So, your taxes may go up, you might feel the pinch of government imposed cuts, but you are still God’s child. What can He do in your life and in your home?
That may not look like what we want it to look like. It may not be riches, it might mean a layoff or higher taxes. Whatever comes, He still is God, Your God, the one that provides your every need. So while the nations fret, and many are left to wonder what will happen – pray to God for wisdom and guidance for your family. Rededicate yourself to serving God, to studying and learning of His promises. In a time like this He will be your shelter as in Psalms 91 and we will close out this post and the year of 2012 with this from Psalms 23:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Be Blessed and have a Happy New Year!