It feels good to be debt-free. Working hard, living within your means and using wisdom in everything does pay off. Proverbs 15:6 says, "In the house of the righteous is much treasure."
I did not always think this way. I went through a "trial of faith" after college that opened the door to this realm of grace. The lesson I learned is what America needs to know right now.
I had outstanding college loans that deeply bothered me. I felt the weight and obligation of my debt. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I had experienced many wonderful answers to prayer, so I took this matter to God in prayer. I latched hold of the promises of God and unashamedly asked God for the money I needed. I prayed openly three to four times a day for a set amount of money. I had faith and was determined.
On the third day, God answered my prayer in an unexpected way. He gave me a perception and a perspective more valuable than my petition. The Lord said to me in my heart, "If you pay your spiritual debts, your other debts will take care of themselves."
I was stunned. First, I realized God wasn't going to dump a lump of money on me. Secondly, I realized I had "spiritual debts" I had not even considered. I owed the Lord much more than I owed the bank.
Meditating on my spiritual debts I realized I owed the Lord big-time. He died for me! He forgave all my sins. He saved my soul and my life (multiple times). He gave me a new life, a new heart and a new mind. He gave me a wonderful wife and children. He gave me a great pastor and church family. He called me into the ministry to serve Him. He heard my prayer and answered me as a Father.
I saw my spiritual debt as huge and my other debt as insignificant. I took seriously the word that had come to me. I began to worship and serve God with all the zeal I had.
Meanwhile, I made monthly payments on the loans that I had taken out (without prayer). The goodness of God so filled my life, that as I finished paying off the debt I owed, I hardly thought about it except to say "thank you Lord, they took care of themselves".
Currently, America is carrying a $16 trillion debt. Many feel this and it is heavy. However, my fellow Americans, we owe God a debt much greater than $16 trillion. We owe Him everything. This beautiful land, our freedoms, and our heritage are from Him - too much to list. We are in debt to Him.
Currently, we deny Him and default on our debt to Him. Our problem is not financial in nature, it is spiritual. Ungrateful children and unfaithful servants are what we have become. We push God out more and more while the bills pile up.
Where did all the good things we have really come from? Are we just lucky? Is it all just chance? No my friends, we are surrounded by the mercy and goodness of God.
It is time to pay our debt to Him. It is time to acknowledge His goodness openly without hesitation. It is time to do what is right all around. It is time to turn away from sinning and seek God. Without this change, there will be a day of reckoning in America and we will lose our freedom. Don't wait: Pay your debt.
- Butler is the pastor at Wings of Love Community Church in South Williamsport