As newlyweds, my husband and I set up our first bank account. We were both busy college seniors with an overload of classes and few large expenditures. During our first year we made 20 deposits (in person, at the bank) and wrote about 450 checks – most under ten dollars. Our lives were simple, and our account was never overdrawn. Though financial management has changed drastically over the past half century, the same basic principle applies: when expenditures exceed income, you incur debt.

The same banking principle applies to our spiritual lives – which have much more bearing on us eternally. Have you ever thought of deposits and withdrawals to your spiritual life? Are you in debt, spiritually speaking? How often do we get spiritually bankrupt because we spend more time withdrawing from that spiritual account than depositing?

We understand the financial realm, so let’s check out our “spiritual banking.” First, one must create an account. On the spiritual side, you must repent and surrender your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When Jesus “creates in you a new heart,” you are now open for deposits.

Spiritual deposits come in only one form: personal time and energy spent with the Lord, both alone and in fellowship with other believers. These ‘deposits’ take the form of reading your Bible, being obedient to God’s instructions, allowing the Holy Spirit to convict and teach you, talking to and listening to God in prayer, and worshipping in song/hymns. (Psalm 119 has great instructions).

Like making regular deposits to a savings account, spending time with God is a discipline we must develop. Those deposits are the ones you can count on when trials come – which they always do! Here’s a few examples: Let’s say your alarm goes off earlier than usual on Monday morning because you have a doctor’s appointment before work. The nurse ushers you into the doctor’s office. With a grim face he says, “Your test results don’t look good.” After your appointment, you head to work, and your boss meets you at the door. He says, “I’m really sorry, but I need to cut our payroll in half. Your job is the first to go.” With a very heavy heart, you clean out your desk and head home. Your son greets you as you pull into the driveway. You think, “Hmmm…unusual to see him at home so early in the week.” He tells you, “I flunked out of college and I’m moving back home.”

How’s your spiritual bank account holding up? At this point you may feel woefully in debt, maybe even bankrupt. Without significant, daily deposits, no one is prepared when the trials and tribulations of life happen. James writes, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials…” Think of it: Joy in your heart even when you face a health scare, loss of your job, and/or a family crisis!

Though weekly church attendance is important and brings in small deposits, those deposits are not enough to bank on when the “various trials” come your way. When Jesus is your best friend and you love Him with ALL your heart, you will want to spend every waking moment being with Him – reading and meditating on and being obedient to His Word, the Bible, as well as praying diligently all the time. That’s where those major deposits are made that you can bank on to strengthen your heart and find joy in the midst of life’s storms.

That, my dear friends, is what spiritual banking is all about. But don’t take my word for it. This is what Jesus has to say, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure (deposits) is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV).

How is your spiritual bank statement looking today?