Seminar: Armor/Lance of Prayer
Better Business Bureau: Credit Report Scam
John Maxwell: Education
Welcome to Financial Freedom God’s Way, where you are continuing to learn, apply, and pass on, Bible-based financial principles and applications so that you and your family will not only just survive, but thrive during these very uncertain times.
Hi and welcome everyone, this is Bob Louder from Christian Financial Ministries, and it is an absolute honor to have you with us again—it really is. What is on the schedule for our 30-minute time together today?
First, during our radio seminar time together, we will take a good close look at the seventh and final piece of God’s spiritual financial armor. Ooops, you thought there were only six? We’ll talk about it.
Next, we need to alert you to a recurring credit report scam.
Then, during our Q&A time together today we will take a great question from a pastor and another from a couple of concerned parents.
And finally, during our Minute with Maxwell, John Maxwell with share with us his thoughts, on the word, Education.
So stay tuned, won’t you. It is going to be a great time together. As we start, let me pray for us. Father, thank You for meeting with us again today. Please give us ears to hear all that it is you have planned for us, to Your glory, in Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
Radio Seminar Now, recall that during our radio seminar segment times together we’ve been digging deep into what the Apostle Paul has to teach us about God’s Spiritual armor which can be directly applied to our finances.
As we started out we saw that according to the Bible every financial problem you have ever had was actually symptom of a spiritual problem. When we deal with the problem the symptoms fly away. What’s one of the best ways to deal with spiritual problems that lead to financial issues in our lives? We need to learn to pick and put on God’s spiritual armor.
Starting with the belt of truth which is the Bible. You see, when you put on God’s belt of truth, when you prayerfully determine to make the Bible a priority in your life, you are starting to get dressed for spiritual, for financial warfare.
But Paul tells us there is more to God’s armor than just the Bible, it’s a great starting place but there is more. There is also God’s breastplate of righteousness. God helps prepare you for battle with the absolute assurance that you are “right” with Him because of who you are in Jesus Christ.
Then you discovered you had better make sure you have on His shoes of peace. Recall that would be the peace OF God–the peace that surpasses all understanding that gives you great footing to both stand your ground AND to advance and take back ground previously lost.
Next is His shield of faith which we discovered must be regularly soaked in the Word and anointed by the Holy Spirit.
Then we have the powerful, two-edged sword of the spirit—the aptly spoken Word of God.
And recall, we need to remember two important facts about God’s spiritual armor:
First, it is His armor, and secondly,
each piece of His armor is a highly effective offensive and defensive weapon.
To that’s where we have been, now let’s wrap up of Radio Seminar by taking a look at the 7th and final piece of God’s spiritual armor which is the Lance of Prayer.
But you say, “Bob, I read Ephesians Chapter six, Paul only talks about six pieces of armor, what do you mean by saying there are seven?”
Ah, yes, we have yet to talk about God’s lance of prayer. Let’s talk about it.
It is important to note that most everyone agrees that the Roman soldier had seven basic weapons in his suit of armor, the six we’ve already talked about plus the lance.
And we know that Paul tells us to put on the “whole armor of God…” which by definition would include the lance.
However, Paul does not mention the lance. Nevertheless, he does talk about prayer and supplication. He says,
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Is there a link between the last piece of armor and prayer and supplication? Maybe yes, maybe no. I think so, but whether there is or not, it is clear that Paul full well intends for us to consider prayer when we consider the offensive and defensive parts of God’s spiritual armor. So, let’s dig a little deeper here.
We know a couple of things about Roman lances.
First, some were used as offensive weapons and some used as defensive weapons.
Actually, Roman soldiers had an arsenal of lances to choose from depending on the circumstances.
Some were short for close in fighting.
Some were long to strike at a longer distance.
Now, what do we know and what can we learn about what Paul has to say about prayer?
First, consider how often we should pray…Paul says we are to pray on “…all occasions” which means in the Greek
“at each and every occasion”
“At every opportunity”
“Every time you get a chance”
“At every season”
“At each and every possible moment”
The picture Paul is painting here is that I am to pray “Anytime I get a chance, no matter where I am or what I am doing, at every opportunity, every season, and every possible moment—SEIZE that time to pray!”
Then he tells us to pray “…with all kinds of prayer…”
Just as there were many kinds of lances, there are many kinds of prayers. God has made many kinds of prayer available to you and me for different purposes in our spiritual battles to include our financial battles.
No one kind of prayer is better than the other. Each serves a different purpose and is necessary for the life of faith.As far as I can see the New Testament uses six different words to describe six kinds of prayer.
The first is the prayer of surrender and consecration
It’s the one used here in Ephesians 6:18.
Most common word used 127 times
Brings me face to face and eyeball to eyeball with God in an intimate relationship. Not mechanical act or formula. It’s a vehicle that lifts me to a place in the Spirit where I can enjoy a close, intimate relationship with God!
This type of prayer includes the idea of “sacrifice” – I am willing to surrender/yield everything in exchange for answered prayer.
It also conveys the idea of “consecration” — I freely give my life in exchange for His life.
And the idea of “thanksgiving” – I thank God in advance for hearing and answering my prayer
A good translation for this verse would be that we are to “Come face to face with God, and surrender your life in exchange for His, consecrating your life on an ongoing basis. And be sure to give Him thanks in advance for moving in your life not only to bless you but also to change you!”
Here are some additional thoughts on prayer
There are some things that will hinder prayer.
Unbelief hinders prayer. The Bible says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb 11:6).
Sin in your life hinders prayer. David said, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psa. 66:18). God will hear your prayer of confession, but if there’s sin in your life, he doesn’t answer your prayer.
When there’s discord between a husband and wife, Peter said, your prayers are hindered (1 Peter 3:7).
Unforgiveness hinders your prayers. The Lord’s Prayer says, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matt. 6:12).
Conditions for answered prayer
First there is the law of asking. The Bibles says, “Ask and it will be given to you” (Matt. 7:7). Ask—do not visualize. I see bumper stickers that say visualize world peace. That’s mind control. Verbalize your request. Have you ever wondered why God gave us speech? I have to believe the main reason was so we could pray. Speech is the mirror of the soul. Speech is the inner self-coming out in word form. Why don’t dogs and horses talk? Because they are not made in the image of God. God Almighty is not a sphinx sitting in the heavens. He speaks. He talks. He answers. He is alive. He is the God who is there when you need Him and when you speak to Him He responds. According to his infinite power, ask big. Knock God off His throne by asking things that stagger the human mind. Attempt to do such great things for God that unless He comes through, you will fall flat on your face.
Second condition for answered prayer is asking according to the will of God. We pray, “Lord, if it is Your will…” The implication is that we can’t know the will of God, or that the will of God is so mysterious we will never understand it. That is simply wrong. God’s will is consistent with his word. You can know the will of God by reading the word of God—the Logos Word of God, remember, that’s your belt of truth that supports all of your other pieces of armor.
Third, pray in faith believing. Matthew 21:21 says, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, “Go, through yourself into the sea,” and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
Lastly, pray specifically. Know what you want and pray for that. Pray so specifically that when God answers you will know God sent it and it wasn’t random chance.
My friend praying about the financial areas of your life is not optional. However, prayer is the most ignored piece of spiritual financial armor God gives you.. Your most powerful resource is communion with God through prayer. The results are often greater than you think possible. Some see prayer as a last resort to be tried when all else fails. We ought to see this approach as backward. Prayer comes first and often. Because God’s power is infinitely greater than yours, it only makes sense to rely on it—especially because God encourages you to do so.
Some final thoughts on your spiritual financial armor.
The armor God gives you is perfectly balanced. They are offensive weapons that enable you to demonstrate and enforce the devil’s already secured defeat. They are also defensive weapons that protect you and give you confidence and assurance as I move forward in my spiritual growth.
Also remember two basic truths about spiritual warfare:
Real spiritual warfare to include financial warfare has to do with taking authority over
your flesh, as well as
over the works of darkness.
Finally, no matter what financial challenge you encounter, your ultimate victory depends on whether or not you choose to use the spiritual weapons God provides for you. Therefore, if you want to live as more than a conqueror in this life, Eph 6:13 must define the way you face every situation:
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Boy, this has been great times with the Lord where He shows us how to get His spiritual armor up and operating in our finances. Just in case you need to review a bit, remember you can always go to our website at www.christianfinancialministries.org to either re-listen to or get a transcript of this and any of our radio programs.
It is time for another scam alert.
Let me ask you this: Are you trying to buy a home? Get a new job? Take out a loan? Then you care about your credit score. Scammers know this, and they are using related scare tactics to get consumers to give up sensitive personal information.
Her is how the scam works.
You receive an email from a top credit reporting company such as TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax, First you notice that the email contains the logos of the companies it claims to represent and so to you it looks legitimate. Then you discover that the email says there is a problem with your credit score, perhaps due to a security breach, and your score has been updated. You want to find out what happened! The email prompts you to click a link or download a PDF to view your new credit score. When you click, you could unknowingly download malware to your computer, giving scammers access to your system.
HOW TO AVOID CREDIT SCORE SCAMS: (1) Be suspicious of unsolicited emails. If you think the correspondence is real, confirm it by visiting the company’s official website or calling them. Just be sure to find the phone number on their website, not in the potential scam email. (2)Don’t click on links when you are not sure of the sender. Never click on links in suspicious emails or text messages. (3)Never give in to fear. Scammers want you to panic and take immediate action. Stay vigilant, ask questions, and do your research before making a decision. (4) Review your credit report. Order your free credit report once a year from each of the three major reporting agencies or from AnnualCreditReport.com .Review your reports to be certain it doesn’t include accounts that you have not opened.
This is a scam that seems to roll around every couple of years of so. Be prayerfully be alert. Don’t click on links when you have any doubt at all, don’t panic and act in fear, and review your credit report once a year.
Question: Reverend Bob, I’m a pastor. Quite often members of our congregation give us junk and then write it off on their income taxes. We get worn-out cars, worn-out clothes, and other items that we have no use for. I have a real problem with this. What are your thoughts?.
Response: I often ask Christians who are content to give junk to God–if they would like to get junk back from God. I suspect not. I don’t believe that a church should be a refuse dump for unusable items. Larry Burkett used to counsel that “If you can’t use, refuse it.” Consider setting up a screening committee to evaluate all non-cash gifts. If you don’t have an actual use for the item, or it’s not readily convertible into cash, don’t accept it. Groups like the Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries refurbish used furniture, clothing, appliances, etc., and turn them into assets. Refer your donors to them.
Question: Dr. Louder. My husband and I are middle-class parents. We have a nice income, no debts, and money in the bank…praise the Lord! Here’s our question: How much should our children know about our finances? We are concerned we might create the false impression that we are rich.
Response:This is truly a matter of personal opinion. Basically, I believe it’s best to be totally honest with your children…age appropriately honest–probably best in their teen years. If you are earning, giving, saving and spending according to God’s plan for your life (which appears to be the case) then why not show them your plan and help them develop and start to live on plans of their own? Help them develop positive expectations of what can happen if they learn and apply biblical financial wisdom. Honestly, wisdom is a blessing at any age. As it says in Proverbs 16:16, How much better to get wisdom that gold, to get insight rather than silver.
Minute with Maxwell
Now, let’s start to wrap up our time together today with one of the highlights of all of our times together. Let’s spend a Minute with Maxwell and John Maxwell gives us his thoughts on the word “Education.”
Wow, another great teaching. What I hear John saying is Whether you just graduated or completed a certification, or years have passed by, never stop learning. If you do not continue to grow, you will not continue to improve. Praise the Lord and good for you for listening to our Financial Freedom God’s Way program each week. Plus, we have some great virtual seminars and workshops available for you on our website AND you can come to our training center starting this fall for a group of live seminars. I’ll make sure to keep you posted. Education, financial education, financial education God’s way—there is oh so much you can learn, apply, and pass on.
Okkkkk, that just about wraps up our time together for today. Recall, .
We started out by taking a look at the 7th and final piece of God’s spiritual armor which is the lance of prayer—prayer based on the first piece of armor, the belt of truth, which is the word of God—the Bible. During our Q&A time we recall that God always supplies all we need to do whatever He calls us to do. Nowhere in the Bible do we ever find that anyone had to borrow to accomplish God’s will.
We alerted you to a recurring credit report scam and suggested that the best way to avoid this and most email scams is to be prayerfully be alert. Don’t click on links when you have any doubt at all, don’t panic and act in fear, and review your credit report once a year
We talked about folks who tend to give the church junk and then write the give off on their taxes—Pastor Bill, if you cannot use it, refuse it. And we also challenged mom and dad to lead by example when it comes to sharing your financial practices with your children.
And finally, John Maxwell just reminded up how critically important it is for us to always continue learning, to perpetually continue our education. As the matter of fact, part of retirement planning ought to be financial as well as vocational. What you can do is sometimes based on your age but is always based on your vocational training.
My friend, thank you for being with us today. Remember to check out our website at www.christianfinancialministries.org. Now, well now it is time to close out in prayer. Father God, I thank you for bringing us together today and for each of the days to come to Your glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Have a blesse d day, won’t you, and we’ll see you next time as we continue down your personal road to Financial Freedom God’s Way.