Welcome to our Partner Letters Archive . . .

Dear Partner,

One of the ways that the Holy Spirit teaches us is by dreams and visions. One day while I was reading again the entire passage of Luke 15: 1 through Luke 17:10, what I call a "teaching vision" appeared within my spirit. These are not "open visions" where everything disappears from your natural eyesight and you are only seeing the vision (like the one Peter had on the rooftop when he saw the sheet let down by the four corners. You can read about Peter's open vision in Acts 10:9-16).

Teaching visions are more "internal." Your five physical senses are not suspended while you see them. But they are very real, and for all practical purposes, they are much like watching a motion picture playing across the screen of your spirit. Just as I read the following verse, the vision began:

Luke 17:7a  But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle ...

I saw a vision of the Lord calling his bondslaves early in the morning to receive their assignments from Him for the day. To one He said "Go and plow the south forty acres today." To another He said "Load wagons with grain and go to the dairy to feed my cattle today." Each of these two servants immediately responded with "Yes, Lord" and left the assembly of bondslaves to begin their work.

Then I saw the Lord come to the third bondslave and just as He was about to give him his assignment for the day, the bondslave spoke and said "My Lord, I will only be able to serve you for a small portion of the day for I have made myself servant also to another."

The Lord was surprised to hear this information. He did not speak. He continued to look at the servant with nothing but love in His eyes, but His silence prompted the bondslave to explain further.

The bondslave continued, "My Lord, I and my family have needs that you have not been providing. Therefore, I took it upon myself to borrow money from another master in order to have those things. I must now labor first in his fields in order to repay what I have borrowed with interest. I do love you though, Lord, and I want to serve you. It's just that I am now compelled to work in my other master's fields first. Whatever time I have left over after serving my other master, I will give to you."

With unending love still in His eyes, the Lord said,

Mat 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

That vision caused me to understand with greater clarity than ever before in my life how Jesus feels about our incurring personal debt. The number one problem with incurring personal debt is that, when we do so, we sell huge portions of our life into bondage to "another master." We are simply no longer free to serve God alone! Much of our time must now be spent serving whomever we borrowed the money from. The Word of God is truth, settled forever, and there is simply no escaping the truth of:


In the United States of America, this problem is of epidemic proportions. Nearly all Americans are in servitude to the "lenders." One of the many reasons why the problem is more severe in our nation than others is because the lenders here have made it so very easy for us to borrow.

As just one example, it is now fairly common for people to finance the purchase of a new car for as long as six or seven years! Most new cars are not going to even last that long. Even if they do, the majority of people will certainly want a different car by the time they get that one paid off. Also, by financing an automobile for that length of time, the "pay-off" of the loan is more than the (now used) automobile is worth during most of the time of the loan. That makes it virtually impossible to sell the automobile while the borrower is in servitude.

That's just one example, not to mention how easy the lenders have made it for people to obtain revolving credit card accounts which is an even more effective method of keeping the borrowers in the position of "servant" to the lenders. All of this sets up a cycle of never-ending debt, keeping the body of Christ in a place of servitude to the lenders virtually all of their life.

Yet these methods have become so commonplace, so "normal" for most American Christians, that we seldom consider that every time we take on another personal debt we are literally selling a portion of our future into the service of "another master." For most American Christians, if the Lord spoke from heaven and told them to go into His service in a foreign land, for example, could their response be any different from the man's in the vision? Probably not, because they have sold the next five, six, perhaps ten or more years of their lives into bondage as a servant to the lenders.

Shall we simply blame the lenders? No. The vision also clarified for me many wrong assumptions we make that cause us to go into personal debt in the first place. We'll discuss that in next month's letter.

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


Back « to the Resource page or on to the Next letter » Apr 2001