That Place Where Prosperity Happens
Prosperity and the Gospel are two misunderstood concepts that have riddled mankind for nearly 2000 years. How do you reconcile Gospel message of Hope that is based on poverty? How do you reconcile God’s promises of blessings and prosperity throughout the old testament?
These are questions I ask myself and continue to dig deeper for truth from the scriptures and in my prayer life. For years, I operated under the idea that having any kind of surplus of cash or possessions was ungodly and trapped in the world. At the same time, I avoided any kind of financial opportunity that presented itself and continued to give what I had away.
Then the great economic meltdown of 2008 changed everything. As a mortgage broker by trade, I was very comfortable with a healthy annual income that supported my family in a nice middle class neighborhood. All was great. I had one new car and one ‘seasoned’ vehicle. We had a vacation home, student loans to pay for college, and a few small credit cards with balances. Almost overnight my income dried up. Someone shut of the flow of cash to my family, and many others for that matter.
I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the last five years that I will not trade for any peace I could have had. I’d like to share a few as I define true Biblical Prosperity pertaining to the Gospel message of Christ.
- It is more Blessed to Give than to Receive. I couldn’t agree more with that statement. Anytime God blesses us with abundance, it is such a joy to give to those who are less fortunate and have need. Maybe you can relate to where I found myself a few years ago. I gave until it hurt. Should have been a clue. Paul describes God’s love for a cheerful giver in his letter to the Corinthians. When I needed something, I no longer had resources to purchase my need or want due to my giving. The most logical step was to use credit. King Solomon tells us in Proverbs 22:7 that the borrower is a servant to the lender. Giving away all of God’s abundance can leave you in a position of need resulting in debt that enslaves. The Gospel message is about Freedom. Debt is about bondage. Give and bless others out of overflow, however, don’t give up your freedom to do so. You want to be a blessing to others rather than asking for a blessing from others.
- Men are the provider in the household. Where in the bible does this one show up? During the years of turmoil following the economic crash, I was very frustrated and fearful of how I would be able to provide for my family. It was drilled into me from a very young age at home, in school, and in church that the man’s job is to put the bread on the table or bring home the proverbial bacon. One morning in early 2010, I was praying for help to provide for my family. That’s when God responded with a question. “Are you ready to get out of the way so I can be your great reward, your provider? I never promised you would be the provider. I did however promise to provide everything you need for sustenance.” Wow! That was a powerful life changing moment with the Lord. Men, surrender your trust in chariots, horses, and riches. It’s time to trust in the Lord and Lean not on your own understanding. (PR 3:4-5)
- Worldly wealth is sin. In Dt 8, Moses reminded Israel to Not forget the Lord when they built their fine houses and amassed a fortune saying it was by their own power. Rather, the warning tells us to Remember it is the Lord our God who gave us the ABILITY to create wealth. Wealth and honor are from the Lord, they are not sin. Sin is when we miss the mark and trust in the wealth more than in Him. Sin is when we look at the great power of our hands and our great wisdom. Sin is when we trust ourselves over God Almighty. Wealth is completely neutral and has no emotional power or hold on us that our hearts are not given over to. Take head to Jesus’ warning in Mt 6:24 that we can only serve one master, either God or Money, but not both. It’s been said, “Money is a great servant and a lousy master.”
Prosperity has been taught from the perspective of making a lot of money for the sake of making money. The so called Prosperity Gospel tells us that if we follow God and trust him, we will receive great wealth as our reward. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but even Israel didn’t get a FREE ride into the Promised Land. They had to go to war and fight to take hold of the Promised Land.
God gave us all the instructions on how to prosper. He also gave us the ability to prosper. He does not promise to fill our bank accounts. When we trust Him that his ways are good and follow them, other people will see it and say surely we are blessed and serve a wonderful God. When we trust more in the law and try to circumvent our trust in God for our own gain, we will miss the mark and fail miserably.
Prosperity is a condition of our trust in the Lord and in His most righteous decrees. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as faith. Do you believe God? Do you believe Jesus? Do you believe what they taught you so much that you are willing to stake your life on those very teachings? Joshua reminded us in his book chapter 23:14 that all of the promises of God were fulfilled, not one failed.
When you find yourself in this place of trusting God’s promises and living your life accordingly, prosperity is sure to be near. Prosperity is not, however, a sign of you following God. Be careful not to get confused.