Today I want to tell you two stories.
The first is a story of a man came to me in 1986. He came explaining that should he not fulfil the wishes of another person, that person would report him to the Revenue Department for tax evasion.
He was filled with panic and fear. I cannot tell the complete story here, but I explained to him that he needed to honour God, and then God would honour him. After more than an hour, he left, going to his auditor the following morning, instructing him to come clean with the Revenue Department. He declared that he ran two different books in his business. The result was that because of honesty, he was not fined but needed to pay the interest on undeclared and unpaid taxes. Although the amount calculated by the Revenue Department was enormous, with God’s help he managed to arrange sufficient finances to square up with his taxes. He honoured God, and as the months slipped by, he, guided by God, became wealthier than before. When you honour God, God honours you.
The second is a story of a mature, Christian man who came to me today. He called me to discuss a decision he needed to make with the intent of confirming his belief.
As you are aware, we are in level 5 of lock down. This man was approached by people requesting that he do business with them. His business is closed, as it is lock down. He wanted to confirm in his heart that his decision was right. I reminded him that we are called to submit to those in authority (Romans 13), and that if he honoured God in this way, then God would honour him. It might not be a much needed improvement in his business once lock down ends, but God will honour him and care for him because he is obedient to God. His decision was exactly that–he kept his business closed as the law required. I was so proud of the brother because although he knew what he needed to do, he sought Biblical confirmation. I believe God will care for him.
In both illustrations, money is the issue … but at the same time, honouring God is the greater issue.
Biblical thought is required when we are confronted with “grey” areas. In the first story it would have been easy for the man to ignore the demand placed upon him as proving his fraud to the Revenue Department would have been very difficult. But he chose to honour God. In the second story, no one would ever have found this man out should he have opened his business for the people requesting service. But he chose to honour God.
Both men chose to go the God route, even though in both cases this would be costly.
Consider the many decisions you make each day. Most are simple and require no serious thought, but what about those choices that do require serious, Christian thought based upon Scripture? Those areas where the shadows prevent clear sight? Those areas where “greyness” is all over? Will you be the least? Will you chose to lose … yet honour God?
Consider the following passages prayerfully:
Ro 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
Ps 45:11 The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.
Ps 62:7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Ps 71:21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.
Lord Jesus, in all of life, help me to honour You and chose your ways every time. Amen.