Sid: It seems as though finances cripple the individual. There are people that are making more money today than they’ve ever made in their life and they still aren’t able to put savings aside. They’re still not able to give to the ministries they want to give to. It seems as though the more they make the more they spend and that’s the way it is, but that’s not the way God intended it. I have on the telephone my friend Craig Hill. He is the founder of Family Foundations International it’s a seminar teaching ministry on the family based in Littleton, Colorado. Craig I’ve just described most Christians in America how can they get out of this “No matter how much I make I spend it all?”
Sid: That would even be good for some of the people. “I spend more.”
Craig: Yep that’s right. I think one of the key things that we haven’t considered Sid in this society is a very simple question that most people have never answered. It’s a question that I believe needs to be answered in writing and most Christians have never sat down and even thought about it and the question would simply be this, how much is enough? How much is enough? So when people are considering their own consumption they need to answer before the Lord “How much is enough for my own consumption?” What that does, and I talk about that often times as a circle. My friend Earl Pitts gave me this picture years ago of our own consumption is like a circle and most people have an open circle. What they means is they’ve never answered that question how much is enough? Now if you think about it here God is with infinite resource and when you look at most ministries and things that are being in the kingdom of God they have a lack of resource. Now if God has infinite resource and ministries have lack of resource, what’s the disconnection? Does God not want ministries to prosper? Does He not want people with vision to be able to accomplish that vision in the kingdom? Of course that’s not the case. The disconnection is that infinite financial resource that God has access to has flow through us, has to flow through people to get into ministry. Why doesn’t it get much into ministry? I think the reason is people have very sticky pipelines. Most of what God puts through the pipeline, us namely, gets stuck in the pipeline because of the spirit of mammon’s influence on people’s minds because of the fear that produces that “I’m not going to be taken care of. I don’t have enough.” So as a result of that what people do is they keep anything they get, then when increase comes it usually just goes to increase their circle. It’s amazing when increase of money comes what enters into people’s minds. I mean the classic example Biblically was Ananias and Sapphira. That when they turned the property they had into money the next thing you know they’re not fulfilling the commitments they made to the Lord but they certainly get other ideas of what to do with that money because again they had not closed that circle. They had not ever answered that question in writing, how much is enough?
Sid: How do you figure out how much is enough?
Craig: Yeah I think what has to happen… well the first thing that has to happen is people need to have an understanding that there even supposed to do that they need to answer that question. Then that is answered on paper through what is commonly known as a budget sitting down together and going through some very simple types of… going through basic line items of a budget.
Sid: How can someone do that that has never done it before?
Craig: Yeah. I think one of the best ways, I mean that was in the seminar we that we do on finances we put together a 10 week follow-up group just for that purpose because we find that many people don’t know how. There are many good courses and books that people can get ahold of but the critical thing is they sit down and they begin to establish:
How much for clothing?
How much for food?
How much for housing?
Sid: Well today with computers even for people that are pretty computer illiterate you can buy software that will do this for you.
Craig: It’ll figure it out for you and all you do is plug in numbers the categories are already there. You know one of the funny things we’ve found is as husbands and wives have sat down to do this sometimes it results in some of the hugest conflicts they’ve had. It really again… there’s a spiritual aspect to it, there’s a need to pray through these things to find out… again the issue is not what does the husband think should be spent, what does the wife think should be spent, but what does God think? That’s the issue. Lord what are we supposed to be, what should our circle include? I think the critical thing is it’s not a matter of judging others of what somebody else thinks, you know, or what somebody else includes in their circle. It really isn’t an issue of whether your circle should be 50,000/year, 100,000/year, 20,000/year, the issue is, what can you stand before Jesus look Him in the eyes and say “Lord to the best of our knowledge we have closed our circle with what we believe You’ve told us is supposed to be in that circle.” Now once that happens…
Sid: Now wait a second, what if you in your circle, or your budget if you will, and you’ve prayed and it’s higher than your income?
Craig: Yeah that’s a good question. Now you know if you’ve got a closed circle number let’s just pick numbers for example. Let’s say you’ve got a closed circle number that says you need $3000/month, and you’re only making $2,600/month you have a $400 gap. Now you know what to pray for, now you know what to bring…
Sid: So you can be specific in prayer.
Craig: Exactly. Whereas… and I really do perceive this is the case. It’s like God in a sense is like a manager of a multi-trillion dollar trust fund. Imagine if a multi-trillion dollar fund came to town and it became known that they were willing to fund anyone that would like to come and make application. Suppose you went down to make application and they said “Well how much do you need?” and you said “Well I don’t know a little more than I have.” They say “Well how much more?” “Well I don’t know exactly some more.” “Well what are you going to use it for?” “Well to pay my bills?” “Well what bills exactly?” In other words, if you couldn’t be specific what trust fund manager in his right mind would release any money to you if you can’t even account for the money that you have now who in their right mind would release more to you. Or what I’ve said to many people “Flip it the other and suppose that you were the trust fund manager and it was your job to dispense money responsibly for the owner of the trust fund, would you give yourself any? Would you invest in you?” And a lot of people (chuckling) you know their eyes go to the ground about that time, you know the obvious point is if you wouldn’t even invest in you because you don’t have any budget, you don’t have any track record, you don’t have any way of managing what you have now who in their right mind would give you more.
Sid: Okay you do your budget you find out your $400/month short, you pray to God that that $400 will come in. It now comes in now what?
Craig: Now your closed circle is met. Now you find yourself in a wonderful position because now you get to become what I call a “Financial Eunuch.” That sounds like a strange term but eunuchs were those that were… that served in harem of the king. Their goal was to prepare the king’s wives for him. They didn’t touch those wives for themselves. What would happen if one of those men who worked around the king’s harem touched one of those women for himself? They’d be executed. So in order to insure that nobody would they only had eunuchs working around those women. So what is a financial eunuch? That’s somebody who has sparrow faith in his heart, again somebody that believes “My needs are met because my Father in heaven loves me. My circle is closed, my closed circle budget is met, and now God I’m believing you for an extra $2000/month that I can simply be an administrator over, that I can be a channel of to channel into Your kingdom.”
Sid: What most people would say is “I want an extra $2000/month of which God I’ll be glad to give you 10%.”
Sid: $200, that’s not what you’re saying?
Craig: No we’re talking about now saying “God I want to manage a cash flow that’s a 100% Yours it all goes to You.” You know my father had an incredible experience like this some years ago Sid where he got that revelation and he said “God that’s exactly what I want to do. I want to be a manager of Your business. I want to be a manager of cash flow if it really is true that you have infinite resource, then I want to be a channel through whom some of that resource could flow. I want to be financial eunuch so to speak where I don’t touch it for myself I just want it to pass through to you.” And he had an incredible experience in that when he made that commitment, and he made that commitment legally by conveying some assets at the time that were worthless but he thought would have great potential value into some trusts that were legally owned by Jesus Christ and managed by trustees on his behalf for the benefit of ministries. The day he legally signed those papers those assets began to multiply…
Craig: …and within the next 2 years they literally multiplied a thousand times, not a thousand percent a thousand times the value…
Sid: Now now let’s step back. Is it wrong or ungodly if you’ve prayed and you feel that God wants you to put in that circle you’re forming of your expenses things such as vacations, maybe even a second home, or is that a greedy thing and we shouldn’t do it?
Craig: Not at all and I think vacations is something that should be in everybody’s budget. People that have never closed the circle that tend to get deeper and deeper in debt could never enjoy a vacation anyway because every time they go out on a vacation they feel guilty they shouldn’t be spending the money and they need a vacation from their vacation when they get back (laughing). But I believe the key to that Sid is being able to look the Lord in the eyes and to be able to stand before Him with a pure heart and say “Lord we prayed about this and we really believe that this is what You’ve told us we’re supposed to have in our circle for the purpose of glorifying You and expanding Your kingdom.” If a person can stand before Jesus with a clear conscience and say that I don’t think there’s a problem.
Sid: Craig there is so much more in this teaching. I mean you show people how to supernaturally get out of debt, how to supernaturally become stewards of God’s fortunes. I mean this is such… and to have the motivation right and understand money.