If you have worked hard, but have little benefit from it, examine your thoughts and behaviors. Is God number one in your life? If not, He allows your work to fail. Do not envy evil people who seem to be prospering; they will receive the consequences of their behavior in the season God determines. The Bible book of Haggai says God allows hard work to fail when His children are not doing what God says to do. Haggai is like Deuteronomy 28 in that it teaches us that God blesses His children when they are obedient, and He curses them when we are not. The curse is not for your destruction, but for your discipline. Because God loves you, He disciplines you, so that you can receive and reflect His best. Mortgages with the interest-only option are not God’s best.
Mortgages with the interest-only option allow borrowers to pay only the interest for some specified period. The required monthly mortgage payment includes no repayment of principal, though borrowers can make such payments if they like. After the end of the mortgage term, the borrower can either refinance, pay the balance in a lump sum, or start paying off the principal, and their monthly payment amount will skyrocket since the interest rate will increase. Mortgages with the interest-only option are often coupled with adjustable-rate mortgages or ARMs and usually maintain the interest-only feature for five to ten years. Mortgages with the interest-only option can be attached to fixed rate mortgages or adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). Since many interest-only mortgages are coupled with ARMs whose rates change within a year or less, the borrower who thought their interest-only rate was good for ten years, has often been deceived. Also houses are not appreciating rapidly in some parts of the United States, so some with interest-only ARMs could end up needing to refinance a mortgage that is more than the value of their house. Proverbs 11:15 (Amplified Bible) says, “He who becomes security for an outsider shall smart for it, but he who hates suretyship is secure [from its penalties].” Surety is assuming that you will have the resources to cover future commitments without currently having those resources. Who is to say you will be able to refinance? Who is to say that you will be able to get a mortgage that is more than the value of your house? You are putting your faith in future circumstances that you cannot control. Some lenders are appealing to greed by implying that the mortgages with the interest-only option allow one to buy more house than one can afford with a mortgage that pays off principal. The Bible says do not covet (Exodus 20:17). To covet means to want intensely and to be greedy. These loans are often marketed to borrowers who may have a future of increased earnings ahead of them and want to maximize their buying power now. But who knows what tomorrow may bring? Your career or business may go up or down. You could lose your job. Proverbs 27:1 (Amplified Bible) says, “Do not boast of [yourself and] tomorrow, for you know not what a day may bring forth.” Be satisfied with God and what he had given you. Consider praying a prayer like Proverbs 30:8-9 (Amplified Bible) “Remove far from me falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me. Lest I be full and deny You and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor and steal, and so profane the name of my God.”
The human race was created to worship God. Do not place material pursuits above spiritual pursuits (Haggai 1:9). The Israelites were building their own houses and neglecting to build God’s house in the beginning of the book of Haggai. God’s house is a place of worship, work and learning more about God. Pursuing material things above spiritual things could mean that you are trying to satisfy needs and wants without God and that you really do not trust Him to do what He says He will do. God is our provider. Seek first the kingdom of God and all your material needs will be met (Matthew 6:32-33). This promise is suppose to include your wants also because God is generous, not stingy, and as you grow in Jesus Christ, you wants will become His wants. God wants you to live well. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus Christ came that we might enjoy life. God is not against homeownership, but He is very interested in your attitude and actions regarding obtaining a home.
God is a multiple of one as in 1 X 1 X 1 = 1, God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. God is also the God of abundance and storehouses, and not debt and dependence on others. Those who take on mortgages with the interest-only option are dependent on the lender. Equity is not usually built during the typical five to ten years the interest-only option is in effect. One of the definitions of the word “equity” in Webster’s New World Dictionary is “the value of property beyond the amount owed on it.” Five to ten years is too long a time spent on an investment that does not have a return. Because mortgages with the interest-only option are so risky to lenders, they generally have higher rates than conventional mortgages that pay down principal with each monthly payment. If lenders consider these mortgages risky, you should avoid purchasing them.
Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. God sent the prophet Haggai so that the Israelites could hear that they were not obeying His command to rebuild God’s house and that they could then operate in faith by rebuilding God’s house. Haggai 1:12-14 shows that when the Israelites decided to listen to and trust God, God changed their minds, so that they had a desire to worship God by being obedient in rebuilding God’s temple. When you hear a word that convicts you of disobedience, decide to take a step of obedience. God will change your contrary mind to a compliant one. Christians are to avoid debt. Mortgages with the interest-only option seek to manipulate debt rather than avoid it. The Bible teaches us to avoid debt not manipulate it.
The way out of disobedience is to be strong, alert, courageous and work (Haggai 2:4). Changing bad habits does not happen without work. Disobedience is a choice. You made a choice that led to a behavior which led to more choices and behaviors pulling you further away from God and His ways. But God gives us His Holy Spirit to help us turn back to God. The Holy Spirit gives us self-control to stop making wrong choices. The Holy Spirit gives us inner power and wisdom to counteract the fear of change. Sometimes we choose to disobey God because we are afraid of where obedience may lead. Perhaps the Israelites were afraid that if they rebuilt God’s house, they would not have the resources to build their own houses. How many children of God today are buying homes that are too expensive for them and are then unable to bring their tithes and offerings into the house of God? Instead of believing and waiting on God to provide a good house for them, they went off and got something in disobedience. God gives good gifts to His children, but not in a way that contradicts the Bible. As you examine the choices that you make, do you really believe that God gives good gifts to you? Or do you tend to rush out and get something in your own strength? Some times you have to wait to obtain a home. It takes time to either pay for a home in cash or put down a substantial down payment. James 1:4 says patience perfects our character. Rushing shows a lack of character development.
Obeying God is holiness. We are going to have to choose to be holy (Haggai 2:12). Holiness is making careful choices that glorify God. Holiness is work. You are going to have to work to obey God. Without work your human nature will naturally disobey God. It is not a bad thing to want a house and to make it beautiful. However, if this pursuit removes God from the number one position in your life and/or causes you to engage in practices that comprise the Bible, then it is an unholy pursuit. Jesus tells us that God designed us so that He is to be number one in our lives and that a person really loves God, when the person is obedient to God (John 14:15 and Matthew 22:37-38).
Debt is not like adultery. Adultery is always wrong. Debt is in God’s permissible will, but is is not in His perfect will. God tells us to be lenders, not borrowers (Deuteronomy 28:12). Are you discontent with the house you have or the financial resources you have? The Bible teaches wealth is accumulated little by little (Proverbs 13:11). The people who are frugal about going into debt, or do not use much debt, are generally the ones with higher net worth. American society is moving away from the Bible. Since the 1960s, lenders have stretched mortgages from 20 years to 25 years to the current 30-year term. Today even 40-year mortgages are available. This is permanent debt, permanent financial bondage. America was founded as a Christian nation, but that does not mean that the culture practices the Bible.
What satisfies? Ask God what satisfies Him, and you will end up satisfied. Haggai 2:13-19 says that God is not satisfied with partial obedience. The Israelites were bringing sacrifices to the altar, but they were not rebuilding God’s house. When they decided to rebuild God’s house that is when God committed to bless them. We are not going to be sinless (free from making wrong choices) until we get to heaven, but God is saying abandon known sin. If you want to be the head and not the tail avoid debt.
Thank God He gives us the Holy Spirit to empower us to obey God. The Holy Spirit living on the inside of the children of God is a benefit given after the Messiah Jesus Christ paid the sin debt at a cross in Calvary, Israel more than 2,000 years ago. One of the lessons of the Old Testament is that human beings are not capable of being obedient to God in their own human strength. God, the Holy Spirit, has to take up residence inside of us to make us obedient and holy. Allow the Holy Spirit to strengthen you to avoid debt especially debt like mortgages with the interest-only option.