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There are two enemies to making money. The first and the greatest enemy is fear. The second enemy is greed, and greed comes in many forms and can be dealt with pretty quickly. Greedy people are quite hasty, and if they ever get their hands on any real money they become rather miserly. Most of the people I know struggle more with fear than they do with greed. So, let me first deal with fear and then we will move to greed in the months ahead.

Fear is twisted faith. Fear is waking up every morning and expecting the world to attack and even beat you that day. Fear is faith in the circumstances, while faith is believing the promises of God. This is a simplified and short definition, but it is to the point when you are dealing with money.

What you focus on and celebrate will stay in your life. The Bible tells us to magnify the Lord. The world will have you watching the news and magnifying the trends and the possible negative scenarios. You need to get above the fray and concentrate on what the Lord has given you and make good and sound decisions without fear.

Before you start your day, defeat fear. Fear says, "Hold on to what you've got. You'll never be able to get more or better." Fear says, "Hey, you better protect yourself." On the other hand, faith says, "He is the provider, the increaser, and the protector."

Magnify God Instead

The first step to defeating fear is to pay no attention to it. Focus on what God has already given you, and magnify the victories that you have had in other adverse situations. In other words, magnify God and minimize the circumstances. Now, this is going to take some work on your part and, believe it or not, the best way out of financial fear is to put yourself to the test.

Have you ever played golf with someone who is not as good as you? What do you have to do in order for you to be challenged to play to your best? You have to give the lesser golfer strokes. You have to give him an advantage to even the playing field. Now, the fearful man sees himself as the man who needs strokes, and the fearless man is the man who is free and willing to give strokes.

It has been my experience that even in those circumstances, the better golfer usually wins. The lesser golfer gets cocky and does not play within himself. He takes chances and plays beyond his ability, while the better player sticks to the basics. The better golfer makes fewer mental mistakes because he knows he has already given the advantage away.

I have found this to be true in my financial life as well. When I feel fearful, I give my way out of it. I give away what the world may call my security, and I press back to the basics. I free myself from the responsibility of maintaining what I already have by giving it away. I then hunker down to the basics that got me through the last time. I pray, I listen, and then I execute the plan given to me from God. I don't rely on the circumstances or my nest egg. I rely on the One who delivered me the last time.

Most people in life are looking for somebody to give them something for nothing. Most people want someone else to give them strokes, according to our metaphor. Most people are not willing to be the one who will give strokes because they don't see themselves as advantaged. They continually view themselves as disadvantaged.

This viewpoint is born in fear, and it is born out of a lack of knowledge. This mentality leads to mistakes and will lead you to take risks that you haven't learned to take, or haven't earned the right to take. You are not yet prepared or equipped.

It takes work to begin to see yourself as advantaged, equipped, and skilled. You have to spend the time rehearsing the victories and the structured strategies. You may have to gear up for the tests that come to everybody.

Do this and be encouraged because you are a believer and you have the ability to invoke a conversation with the greatest brain trust available. Still, you see yourselves as disadvantaged. You need to give strokes to prove to yourself that you are the head and not the tail. You need to give away your earthly security and press back into the basics, thereby defeating your fear.

You cannot defeat fear by something outside of you. You defeat fear with a decision. You say, "I believe He will provide," and then act on that fact. Do something to demonstrate your faith in His ability to deliver you in this financial situation.

There were many days that I had to come against fear as a futures trader in the Crude Oil pits. I had to remind myself that money was not who I was, and that my chances of success were greater than my chances to fail. I had to constantly renew my mind and come against fear. I don't think that I had one day where fear didn't try to dominate my thought life. I was afraid of losing money. I was afraid of losing my voice, my temper, my witness, and sometimes my mind. But I knew who the author of fear was, and I was never, ever going to let that defeated liar get the best of me.

I knew, and I reminded myself everyday, that "the greater one lives in me, and that I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."

When fear comes, and it will come, attack it by giving something away. Give the advantage. Give away money. Sow a seed. Attack that fear with the Word of God and with faith, knowing that you trust not in your own ability but in the supernatural ability of God.

Giving carnal things away puts you into the realm of faith. You are telling yourself and the devil that your trust is not in earthly power but in heavenly power. By doing this, supernatural power and ability goes to work on your behalf. This is the way of faith. This is the way to defeat financial fear and to be free from the bondages that come through fear.

Faith Exchange Fellowship
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Dan Stratton
Web site: Faith Exchange
Dan Stratton has been a member of the Wall Street community since 1981, first as a Yale-educated businessman with exceptional acumen, and today as a pastor and entrepreneur with a vision for using the Marketplace to unite the Body of Christ. Stratton’s oratorical style is straightforward, a coach in the half-time locker room, with the Bible as his game plan. Occasionally he lightens the mood by poking fun at himself and then showing the congregation his technique.

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