What drives your investment strategy?
As a Christian, do you ask the Holy Spirit to guide how and where to invest your retirement accounts and after-tax money? Are we blindly following the pattern of the world in our portfolio? What would it look like to be truly led by the Spirit in our investments?
Watch my video below to see how Jesus’ teaching in John 16 may have the answer for us!
Sanctification is this amazing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives to transform us into becoming more like Christ. The Holy Spirit refines us to look, sound, and act more like Jesus in our words, in our actions, in our attitudes and the motivations of our heart. I am completely amazed and constantly reminded that this transforming process is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, there is effort on our part as well. But even our pursuit of godliness and discipline is one hundred percent the work of the Holy Spirit. He gives us the drive, the motivation, and the conviction to cultivate these habits of spiritual disciplines in our lives that leads to our sanctification, and it is the Holy Spirit working through those spiritual disciplines to produce the fruit of the Spirit in us and through us as we become more like Christ and live in the kingdom of God now.
Several years ago I heard a sermon by Dr. Tyler Smiley that I will never forget. He was working on his dissertation at the time on Charles Spurgeon and the Holy Spirit. Dr Tyler preached on John 16:8, Jesus is speaking here… he says: “And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” At this point in Jesus’s ministry, He is talking to the disciples and foreshadowing his ascension. He tells them, look… “it is good that I go away, because when I do, the Helper, the Holy Spirit, will come and convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment.” As Christians, we should be very familiar with conviction. Conviction prompted by the Holy Spirit is a good thing! Most of us are familiar with conviction of sin, but conviction of righteousness and coming judgment are less understood and rarely recognized today. Let’s unpack each of these.
Frist, The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. If we are in Christ, then we have felt this conviction to put off sin. The things in our lives that do not align with God and His kingdom, the things that are offensive to Him, the things that He hates. When we feel this conviction from the Holy Spirit, the proper response is to repent, to put off sin and seek forgiveness. Our merciful God sanctifies us; convicting us to put off sin in our lives.
Second, The Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness. This is the stirring of the Holy Spirit within us to pursue godliness and holiness in our lives. This is the drive, the stirring, the longing within you to read your Bible, to pray, to meditate, and worship the Lord. This is the voice of the Holy Spirit that encourages us to cultivate habits of spiritual disciplines in our daily life. The Holy Spirit is inviting us to draw near to God in the pursuit of righteousness, just as James tells us: draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
Third, The Holy Spirit convicts us of judgment. This is likely the least understood and recognized of the three. Every single one of us will one day stand in judgment before a holy God. Our children and our children’s children will stand in judgment before God. People all across the world, even those in unreached territories who have never heard the gospel nor have a bible in their language will stand in Judgment before God. And what is our only hope in light of the coming judgment? Is it how little we sinned? No! Is it how much righteousness we pursued in our own efforts? No! Our ONLY Hope in light of the coming judgment is the gospel. The good news of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. This free gift, not of our own works, so that no one can boast. Realizing this, we should live with a great sense of urgency, numbering our days. We should seek first the Kingdom of God and every other pursuit should fall by the wayside to the supreme mission of living in light of the coming judgment. The Holy Spirit convicts and stirs within us to strive with everything that we have to proclaim the gospel to every corner of the earth and to each generation, for just as the gospel must go forth geographically, it must also be passed down generationally.
The Holy Spirit is convicting the world of sin that we need to put off, righteousness that we need to pursue through Christ, and this reality of the coming judgment. This is the work of sanctification by the Holy Spirit in our lives: putting off sin, pursuing righteousness, and living with urgency in light of eternity.
Now, we have a choice before us. We can become hardened or callused by ignoring the conviction of sin, ignoring the pursuit of righteousness, and living focused on temporal things of this world… OR we can be sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and obedient to His will for us walking by the Spirit and not by our flesh. (Gal. 5:16-25)
Now consider with me how this Sanctification process also works in our financial philosophies and practices. Almost 3 years ago I began sensing this conviction from the Lord in my financial stewardship as I learned what it meant to be a steward investor. A steward who recognizes that God is the true owner of all things, and our job is to steward everything entrusted to us for His glory.
God Owns Everything
We Steward Everything
Therefore, Steward Everything for God.
First, I looked at the investments in my portfolio. I realized that many were producing sin. In some cases I was participating in and profiting from companies that directly resulted in sin through their products or services. Some companies promoted a kingdom of darkness agenda through the use of their philanthropic giving supporting organizations that work contrary to the Kingdom of God. I needed to put off these holdings in companies in a similar way to the Holy Spirit convicting us to put off sin.
Second, the Holy Spirit was convicting me to pursue righteousness by proactively investing in companies that align with Biblical values and the advancement of God’s kingdom. I wanted to invest in companies that produced righteousness in the world. These can be publicly traded or privately held companies that are looking to provide good, needed, profitable services in the world addressing many of the global problems we see today for the Glory of God.
Third, I was convicted that in our financial stewardship, we should be investing in light of eternity and the coming judgment. Through the mentorship of Don Simmons, I was able to allocate a portion of our investment portfolio to missional companies that were proclaiming the gospel to the nations and to the next generation.
What might the Holy Spirit be stirring you toward? Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart. (Heb. 3:15).
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Gal. 5:25)
Imagine with me what it would be like, if we as followers of Jesus did this all together as one body in Christ. If the millions of followers of Jesus across the world were more diligent in surrendering to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives in this way. What if we as followers of Christ were joyfully obedient in stewarding resources in a way that aligned to His Kingdom: putting off investments that produce sin, choosing to invest in companies that produce righteousness, and prayerfully considering the resources we could invest into missional companies for the advancement of the kingdom of God in light of the coming judgment.