At this time when the world is facing a pandemic, and the buzz words are furlough, salary cuts, termination, social distancing, crash in oil prices, stock market crash, loss of business income amongst other negative news, most of us are worried about the state of finances. This review comes at the right time to reassure us that we are worth more than birds to God and He will meet our needs if only we put our trust in Him and put Him first.
BOOK REVIEW – DARING TO LIVE ON THE EDGE|| LOREN CUNNINGHAM WITH JANICE ROGERS|| SOVEREIGN WORLD INTL || 1991|| 200 PAGES
The book is written by two Christian Missionaries who have had to depend on God for their needs and those of their members on the field; from their basic essentials to major financial needs for building projects and other mission related activities.
The authors have written the book with 2 interesting combination of readers in mind;
- The missionary, the full-time Christian worker, or potential worker.
- The person in the church congregation; the person working a secular job where;
The former is looking to step out in faith, to trust, obey and lean on God for his finances, while the latter is looking to learn to obey God and trust Him for Miracles bigger than what he can do on his own.
Surprisingly, the authors were able to address both sets of readers by dedicating a couple of chapters to each of them and then allowing the rest apply to both. The book has 15 chapters in total and an appendix on ‘The Creation of Wealth and the Alleviation of Poverty’. They also shared a lot of real-life stories to buttress their points.
I have categorized the lessons from the book in 3 sub-headings;
HOW TO TRUST GOD
For us to be able to trust God, we need to know Him in-depth and be confident of His character, that He will keep His promises to us; this is particularly important considering the fact that it is usually much easier for us to believe in what we can see that the invisible God’s promise to provide for us.
We also ought to be willing to live by faith, which comes by
- Knowing what God wants you to do,
- Obeying whatever He shows you to do, and
- Trusting him to do what you cannot do in His way and time.
MONEY: A TOOL FOR GOD AND THE DEVIL
As many have come to confirm, Money is neither good nor evil; rather the love of Money is the root of all evil according to the Bible. Money takes on the character of the person with it. It can be better viewed as a tool in the hands of either God or the devil.
The devil looks to use money to control us, through our greed, pride, lust for power and fears – especially the fear of financial insecurity ; other of such fears include the fear of not having enough, the fear of loss of control & the fear of spending power. These fears leave us vulnerable to manipulation from the devil, and makes us doubt God’s ability to provide for us, so we don’t trust Him.
The ways to counteract this manipulation is to be humble, have a servant’s heart and give generously. Giving in the face of your fears totally throws the devil off balance.
God also uses money or the lack of it to test us, to know where our priorities lie. Sometimes He uses it as a reset button to get us away from being too comfortable or overly reliant on ourselves; and other times, He is more interested in developing our character and faith, than He is about immediately supplying our needs.
HOW TO SEE GOD AS YOUR TRUE SOURCE
Using the aspect of missions and people’s money concerns about becoming a missionary or working full time for God, the book explains how we can rely on God’s invisible means of support by trusting in His means to provide; and not in the ways He has provided in the past or how we expect him to provide. He may want you to speak to others about your need, He may want you to be quiet about it, just be willing to sacrifice your pride and be prepared to obey whatever means He will instruct you to use.
Tosan’s take: For such an old book, it is thought-provoking to note that the sensitivities around money have been around for a while and will still be here long after. I learnt about our pride surrounding how we expect God to meet our needs, either through our own self-dependency or through our dependence on particular people he has used in the past. The goal is to put your trust in God, to know His ways enough to let go of your fears and worries about your finances and then let Him use ALL the tools in his arsenal to provide for you, not just through the one limited way you think He should.
In the mean time, don’t become a WORRIED Bird.