THE DOCTRINE OF PROSPERITY
GOD IS THE SOURCE OF ALL PROSPERITY
We are going to start with a simple yet important principle: What God does for one, He will do for others. 2TI 3:16 says that all Scripture is inspired by God. ACT 10:34 tells us that God is not one to show partiality. We trust in God’s Word the great doctrines of the Bible, it should follow that we also trust in His Word when it comes to our finances, and according to the Bible, God wants every believer to prosper.
For the Christians that have placed their faith and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no true prosperity apart from God. Every category of prosperity; whether it is spiritual, temporal, historical, and even dying prosperity has God as its true source. He wants every believer to prosper according to His principles and guidelines as taught in the Bible. There are certain spiritual laws concerning the giving of our time, talent and treasure that must be followed in order to receive the highest and best that Divine Providence has planned for our lives. Many people are destroyed by wealth because they don’t obtain it by following God’s instructions. They have acquired it by means of human principles, and therefore they have no spiritual balance to guide them in the use of their prosperity. Always remember that God is the God of prosperity, and He has created all the wealth and abundance on the earth. HAG 2:8 The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of hosts. PSA 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. PSA 50:10-11 “For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.” Prosperity and abundance are part of God’s Divine nature and He has given us more than three thousand promises in His Word so that by them we may partake of Divine blessings. We know that these promises are assured, for He can never lie. TIT 1:1-2, Paul, a bond-servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago. HEB 6:17-18, God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, in order that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us.
God never thinks in terms of shortages, financial or otherwise, and He does not want us to think that way either. If our minds are continually filled with thoughts of doubt and unbelief, how can we possibly enjoy prosperity in our lives? Man was created in His image and if He created us to be just like Him, it follows that He wants us to live in abundance. GEN 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” We see the manifestation of the abundance of God that He created for us by first looking at His creation. The first chapter of Genesis tells us how God stocked the earth with fish, animals and birds and how He provided fruits and vegetables. GEN 1:11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth” and it was so. God provides us with the seed within the fruits and vegetables themselves so that we may reproduce them many times over. GEN 1:20-25, Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind” and it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. Now, did He create all of this wealth for the unbelievers? Did He create this wealth for those hard-hearted sinful individuals who deny Him, curse Him, disobey His Word and could care less about Him? Does He really want to see them prosper, and not His own children? Let’s take a look at MAT 7:7-11, “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” If we who are evil know how to give good gifts to our children, does it not follow that God who is perfect will not withhold any good thing from His children. If He was willing to give us His only Son, it just doesn’t make sense to believe that He would hold anything back from us. God the Father wants the best for His children; He wants the world to see prosperous, joyful, loving, happy Christians. ROM 8:32 “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” David said the same thing in PSA 84:11 “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
There are two extreme positions which Christians take regarding prosperity. One concerns those who hear that God wants to prosper them, and they want to jump on the bandwagon to grab as much as they can. They are following God just for that reason, and as soon as things get tough, and the time for sacrifice arrives, most of these believers will fall away wondering what happened to the good times and all their stuff. They never learn that blessed lesson taught throughout the Scriptures; most great spiritual growth comes through trials, sacrifice and suffering, not through luxury. They follow the world’s approach to prosperity acting like spoiled children, each wanting their own way. Then there is the opposite extreme position which holds that prosperity for Christians is totally wrong. Many Christians believe that poverty is godly; they believe prosperity destroys humility, and draws us away from God. There is no question that the wrong approach to prosperity can cause us to lose our way; that is why there are so many warnings in the Bible concerning this subject. However there is a way to prosper that is not evil and that is to follow God’s spiritual decrees outlined in His Word. If we follow these principles and honor His Word, there is absolutely nothing wrong with prosperity. God’s desire is for good fortune in all areas of His children’s lives. True prosperity is being content in whatever circumstance you find yourself in, as the Apostle Paul said in PHI 4:11 “Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”
If it wrong to be prosperous, how can you explain why many of the greatest men of the Bible were prosperous. Many prominent men of God have flourished as a result of following His guidelines. One good example of the application of these principles can be seen in the life of Abraham. The Scriptures teach us that he lived a prosperous and fruitful life, and he did it the right way – God’s way. GEN 13:2 Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold. GEN 24:1 Now Abraham was old, advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in every way. Abraham trusted God in every aspect of his life, waiting years for God to fulfill His promise of an heir and when that blessed child finally came, Abraham did not hesitate at God’s command to sacrifice Isaac, but trudged up the mount fully intending to do as the Lord willed. GAL 3:6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Not only is Abraham heir to these blessings, but all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ have the chance to share in these same blessings, if they follow His laws for prosperity. God wants to bless us just like He blessed Abraham; it may not be in the same temporal fashion, but it will be magnificent just the same. GAL 3:7-9, Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
We have another example of God prospering those who put Him first found in the life of Solomon. When Solomon assumed the throne as the king of Israel, God asked him what he wished to be given. Here is Solomon’s answer: 1KI 3:5-12, In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” Then Solomon said, “Thou hast shown great lovingkindness to Thy servant David my father, according as he walked before Thee in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward Thee; and Thou hast reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which Thou hast chosen, a great people who cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. So give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Thine?” And it was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.” Because Solomon was not selfish in his request and asked only for that which would help him rule wisely, God was pleased. Solomon had his priorities straight, he placed God and others above his own needs. Listen to the reward God gives to him because of his positive decision. 1KI 3:13-14, “And I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. And if you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.”
Many of the Lord’s disciples were well off and some were even wealthy. MAT 27:57 And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. LUK 8:1-3, And it came about soon afterwards, that He began going about from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God; and the twelve were with Him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means. There is nothing wrong with being well off unless this prosperity comes ahead of God; He wants us to possess the good life, but He doesn’t want it to possess us. Some Christians believe that our Lord was poor during His earthly ministry; because of this they believe we should also live in poverty. This position is incorrect. It does seem apparent that Jesus was relatively poor while growing up as the son of a carpenter, but a careful examination of the Scriptures will reveal that the Lord was not at all poor during His earthly ministry. MAT 11:19 “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” The Greek in this passage brings out the fact that He ate fine foods and drank good wine; He knew God’s guidelines and instructions for prosperity. During His ministry the Lord had quite an organization. As the first traveling evangelist, He had many people who followed Him from city to city. LUK 10:1-7, Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two and two ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your ways; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. And whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ And if a man of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it will return to you. And stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house.” In this passage we learn that the Lord had at least seventy disciples whom He sent forth knowing that their needs would be met. How could a poor man run an operation such as this? How could a poor man meet the needs of so many people? In fact, His organization was large enough to have a treasurer and guess who He picked to handle the money, the very one that would steal from Him and ultimately betray Him for thirty pieces of silver, Judas Iscariot. JOH 12:4-6, But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?” Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.
Jesus was a complete master of God’s guidelines and instructions on how to prosper and He used those principles repeatedly to meet His needs. He had the most genuine faith ever seen on this earth and as a result He was able to accomplish all that was required in every circumstance by turning little into plenty. He had absolutely no need for worldly material assets because He knew He could apply His faith in order to obtain whatever He needed. He relied totally upon the Father’s Word, and not His own abilities. MAT 17:24-27, And when they had come to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter, and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?” And upon his saying, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Consequently the sons are exempt. But, lest we give them offense, go to the sea, and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a stater. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.” Problem solved with one fish, and a whole lot of faith. Of course, we all know the stories of Jesus feeding the multitudes. MAR 8:14-21, And they had forgotten to take bread; and did not have more than one loaf in the boat with them. And He was giving orders to them, saying, “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they began to discuss with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up? They said to Him, “Twelve.” “And when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?” And they said to Him, “Seven.” And He was saying to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
What poor man could provide for others like this? The point is that when you are doing the will of God, He will provide all that you need. This does not mean that you won’t have any needs, but it does mean that you will be content with whatever God provides. When the Lord needed a colt (the Cadillac of transportation in those days) to ride into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, He didn’t have to rent or buy one, He simply told two of His disciples where to find one. MAT 21:1-3, And when they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them, and bring them to Me. And if anyone says something to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” When He needed a room to observe the Passover, He didn’t go to a hotel to rent one, instead He told the disciples what to do. MAR 14:12-16, And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?” And He sent two of His disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, ‘Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?’ And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; and prepare for us there.” And the disciples went out, and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
At this point, some will bring up 2CO 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” This verse does not tell us that Jesus was financially poor throughout His earthly ministry; it says that He became poor. He became poor on two levels: First, He became poor when He made the supreme sacrifice of becoming human. He voluntarily laid aside the glory that was rightfully His in heaven and made His dwelling place here on earth in order to purchase our so great salvation. Secondly, He also gave up all of His earthly possessions by the time He went to the cross. When He died, He didn’t own one thing in this world. In spite of the many pictures you have seen to the contrary, the Lord Jesus Christ was completely naked when He died on the cross. He could not have been any poorer than He was at that time. Some others might wonder what this has to do with them. Some think that Jesus was able to do such things because He was the Son of God, and the rest of us can’t do what He did. Well, that’s a lie from the one who told lies from the beginning, Satan. Satan spends all of his time spinning lies, and promoting human viewpoint in his attempt to rob blessings and prosperity from mankind. JOH 14:12-15 tells us that we can enjoy this same total prosperity during our lives here on earth, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” This prosperity is not automatic just because we are Christians. We must follow God’s guidelines and instructions as put forth in the Bible. If we do, God will not withhold any good from us, PSA 84:11 “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
MAKE GOD NUMBER ONE IN YOUR LIFE
MAT 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” PSA 34:10 “But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.” Millions of Christians are living far beneath their rights and privileges as children of God because they fail to give Him top priority in their lives. When we are in right standing with God and love Him ahead of everything else, we’ll receive all of the riches and honor that we’ll ever need or want. Whatever any of us needs in any area of our lives, He will provide when we keep Him first. However, here’s the question, what does it mean to keep God first? Ask yourself the following questions: 1) Do you place your family commitments ahead of God? 2) Is seeking financial prosperity and success more important to you than seeking God? 3) Do you spend more time entertaining yourself with television, computers, games, hobbies and your social life than you spend seeking God? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is time to examine and evaluate your lifestyle. Only by being honest with yourself will you ever begin to live in God’s guidelines and instructions for prosperity. The Bible teaches that if you are going to be a winner in the spiritual life and receive God’s highest and best, then you have to overcome distractions and opposition. Distractions come from many different directions and some of them are very close to us. For example, there will be times when those closest to you such as family and friends will divert you from your spiritual life. One of the tactics of the kingdom of darkness is to sidetrack believers from Bible doctrine, and hindering their spiritual growth, by drawing them away from the Pre-designed Plan of God (PPOG). Many believers struggle with the distractions caused by family, getting so caught up in their family lives that God is demoted to a secondary position. Parents find themselves running from one activity to another. It is all well and good to love and care for family, God wants us to do this. However, when family commitments overwhelm us and begin to take us away from Him, it is time to sit down and rearrange our priorities. Remember this important principle: GOD is the most important One in your life. Of course He knows you love your family very much, He knows that you care for, and are concerned about your children every day; He doesn’t want you to stop doing this. What He does want is to be first in your life, and if you trust Him, all of these other things will be taken care of, for He will never leave you or forsake you. MAT 10:34-39, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.” Even Our Lord had to deal with family distraction during His earthly ministry. His own relatives including His mother thought that He had lost his senses and was out of His mind. MAR 3:21 When His family heard about this (that He claimed to be the Son of God), they went to take charge of Him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” They did not come to hear His teachings; they thought He was taking this whole thing a little too seriously. In fact, His brothers at this point in time did not even believe that He was the Son of God. They did not come to believe that until after the resurrection when He appeared to His brother James (JOH 7:5).
Our Lord taught that believers were closer to Him than His natural family and closest relatives. Our relationship with God must always take precedence over our relationship with people, even family. MAT 12:46-50, While He was still speaking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. And someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.” But He answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold, My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” Secondly, the world’s system of prosperity puts financial wellbeing ahead of the things of God. Many people get so caught up with earning money that they think about it constantly; their lives revolve around it. If they are not thinking about how to earn more, they are thinking about how to invest it, or what they can buy with it. Money has become their god; the more they get, the more they want. But, we as Christians should have this all consuming desire for God instead of money. It is God that we should be constantly thinking about. It is God that should be at the very center of our existence. Every aspect of our lives should revolve around Him. We shouldn’t ever be able to get enough of Him, the more we learn of Him, the more we should want to learn. PRO 16:16 “How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.”
PRO 23:23 “Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.”
Thirdly, many believers today spend much more time entertaining themselves through their social life, and the electronic medium of television, movies, and computers than they do with the Word of God. They are filling their minds with garbage and they are living in a world where things are not as they seem. They become blinded to the truth, and instead are controlled by a series of carefully crafted lies and schemes of the devil. Cosmic thinking has been so deeply ingrained in many that the only way to see what has been carefully hidden from them is by learning Divine viewpoint. We are taught over and over again throughout the Word of God to be careful of what information we allow into our souls. PSA 101:3 “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.” MAR 4:24 “And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to.”
Finally, another test that a believer can take, to see if his priorities are in line, is the problem test. Many believers allow the problems in their lives to take precedence over God. They have become much more problem-centered than God-centered. They spend too much time focusing in on their troubles, and too little time focusing in on God and His ability to solve every one of their predicaments. If God is really first in our lives, we should never be worried about anything. So here’s the test, how do you react when a problem comes your way? Do you say to yourself “I don’t know how to solve this problem” or do you say, “I put God first in my life and I’m going to trust Him to see me through”? If we are worried about the situation, we allow it to take priority in our life over God. Instead of constantly focusing on the problems, we should focus constantly on the promises found in God’s Word and the great ability of God the Holy Spirit living inside us. Switching our pre-occupation from ourselves to God is the beginning of freedom and peace. Freedom from the worries of life caused by family, finances and problems followed by a perfect, total, complete and absolute peace. ISA 26:3 “The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in Thee.” We begin to put God first when we begin to lose ourselves and spent our time getting closer to Him. MAT 10:39 “He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.” We, as Christians, put God first when we pick up our cross daily and follow Him. LUK 9:23-24, And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Taking up your cross daily means having the same attitude toward life as our Lord had when He walked the earth. What were His main priorities? He came to do the will of the Father and through desire, determination and devotion He accomplished all that He was given to do. JOH 17:4 “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do.” The Lord gave of Himself completely when He walked among man. Every moment of His public ministry was spent teaching and helping others; He gave no thought to His own desires, He spent no time pursuing His own goals. He gave until He finally gave His all by pouring Himself out on the cross for our so great salvation. JOH 10:15 “even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” PHI 2:8 “He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” It should be our goal to have this same attitude that our Lord had. PHI 2:3-5, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”
God’s guidelines and instructions to prosper will only work to the degree that we keep Him first in our lives, totally, completely and absolutely ahead of everything else. The blessings we receive from our Father will be in direct proportion to the degree of our true, deep and lasting commitment to Him. 2CH 26:5 “And he continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him.” It may seem difficult to apply these prosperity principles; it takes faith, because they are so different from the world’s viewpoint. We must be willing to pay the price to find out what His Word says He will do and then believe that he will do what He says. PRO 22:4 “True humility and respect for the Lord lead a man to riches, honor, and long life.” (The Living Bible)
HOW TO PUT GOD FIRST IN YOUR LIFE
PRAYER. We should make it our goal to spend some time every day in peaceful prayer with God our Father. A good habit to develop is to start the day with a period of quiet time in prayer; a time when you can speak with Him directly and ask Him for guidance, direction and help concerning anything that you will encounter that day. It doesn’t have to be a long session, but there should be some conversation with Him if you really believe He is the most important thing in your life. You can even pray before you get out of bed, PSA 4:4 “Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.” prayer is the system that God has given to believers so that we might have a means of communicating with Him. Prayer is the source of astonishing power from God. The key to prayer is doctrine which then becomes the motivation for your prayer. Even though our Lord Jesus Christ lived in unbroken fellowship with God the Father, it was still His regular habit to devote much time in prayer for guidance and blessing. LUK 5:16 And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed. The Greek verb in this sentence indicates that this was not a single event, but rather it was the habit of the Lord to withdraw from the crowds and spend time in prayer. If our Lord felt the need to spend so much time in prayer, how much more is our need to withdraw and pray.
STUDY AND MEDITATION OF GOD’S WORD.
Another necessity in putting God first, is to set aside time for the study of His Word on a daily basis. Just as we take care of our bodies each day by providing it with nourishment and rest. God wants us to do the same thing in our spiritual lives. We need food each day to sustain our bodies; we also need Bible doctrine every day to feed our human spirits. The spiritual food we take in is transformed into spiritual strength and energy which we can apply to the various situations that arise in our lives. Your attitude toward the Word of God or Bible doctrine is your exact attitude toward God. We should feast on God’s Word absorbing as much as we can as often as we can. JOH 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” 2TI 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” Doctrine is speaking in PRO 8:14-18, “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine. By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All who judge rightly. I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me. Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness.” Many Christians have fallen into the trap of not keeping God first because they have not kept doctrine first. Believers should endeavor to study and concentrate on God’s Word, trusting completely in Him to supply all that is needed. 3Jo 2-4, “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when brethren came and bore witness to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” In this passage, John equates prosperity with “walking in the truth” or studying and applying Bible doctrine. This is God’s desire for His children; that they live their lives based upon the teachings in His Word. The Old Testament teaches us that prosperity pursues and even overtakes the believer who obeys God, following the Lord as a sheep follows the good Shepard. PSA 23:1-3, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” PSA 23:6 “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life.” When the Lord is our Shepard, and we follow Him in all aspects of our lives, He will lead us through all of the pitfalls of life making us to rest by the still waters. DEU 28:1-2, “Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the LORD your God.” When we obey God, and are diligent to learn and apply His commands, blessings will come upon us. In DEU 28:3-12 these blessings are enumerated, “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country [geographical blessing]. Blessed shall be the offspring of your body [family blessing] and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock [occupational blessing]. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl [domestic blessing]. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out [social blessing]. The LORD will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they shall come out against you one way and shall flee before you seven ways [protection from enemies]. The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you [material blessings]. The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you will keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and walk in His ways [spiritual blessings]. So all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of you [respect from people]. And the LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you [blessings of status]. The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow [financial blessing].”
The primary reason Christians don’t realize true prosperity is that they lack consistency toward the intake of Bible doctrine. Prosperity follows those who have the discipline to continually study God’s Word. Day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year, they don’t quit, they keep moving forward. Their reward is a life of freedom filled with all that they need to be happy. If we really want to be disciples of the Lord, we must have the discipline to get into God’s Word and stay there. JOH 8:31-32, Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Closely linked to the study of the Bible is meditation on His Word. When the Bible talks about meditation it is not talking about some form of contemplating infinity, it is talking about a mental activity of studying and learning, of filling our minds with the Word of God and its awesome power. This type of meditation is a prerequisite to living a life filled with prosperity. JOS 1:2-9, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun, will be your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” This is one of the most important passages of Scripture for anyone who is interested in prosperity and success. It reveals four things that God tells us to do if we intent to be prosperous and successful. 1) We must speak His Word constantly, which means the Scriptures should always be on our minds ready to be spoken of in a moment’s notice. 2) We should constantly study His word and meditate on what it says. 3) We should live our lives exactly as His Word tells us to, and we should know the Scriptures so well that conducting ourselves according to all that is written becomes second nature. 4) We should be fearless and strong in the knowledge that God is with us wherever we go. If we do these things there is a promise given to us that our ways will be prosperous, and we will have success. Another verse that ties meditation and prosperity together is in the Psalms. PSA 1:1-3, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” God will bless the man or woman who does not walk according to the ways of the world, but instead delights himself in the Word of the Lord and meditates on it day and night. Such a person will be like a tree planted next to a river; no matter how bad a drought may become the tree will always have water and bear fruit. The lesson for you as a believer is that no matter how much economic chaos there is, you can still prosper, and have a positive impact. God’s Word should be a delight to us because it tells us everything that any of us will ever need to know in order to live good lives here on this earth. PSA 112:1-3, “Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, And his righteousness endures forever.” As you get to know God through His Word, He will give you everything you need for living a truly victorious life. Once we understand the great power that is available to us, we won’t be able to get enough of God’s Word. Study is often a hard and laborious experience, but it is also one filled with joy and satisfaction. It is certainly an endeavor for which we are well equipped. MAT 11:29-30, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” The Bible will make you think like you have never thought before; true Bible study will take you on a fantastic voyage through the ages, unlocking the answers to the questions that men have asked through the ages. So don’t waste any more time, find your right pastor-teacher, learn Bible doctrine and start living your life the way God intended you to live it. 1TI 4:15 “Meditate upon these things [Bible Doctrine]; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (KJV)
PRACTICE THE DOCTRINE YOU HAVE LEARNED
The next question that needs to be answered at this point in our study is: “Are you going to be a doer of the Word or merely a hearer who deludes himself?” JAM 1:22-25, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.” Knowledge itself is not sufficient enough to activate God’s principles and guidelines of prosperity. God does not want us to learn these principles, and try to apply them using our human viewpoint. The key to activating His laws is to get them inside of our hearts so that we can use them when the need arises. He wants Bible doctrine so established in our hearts that we won’t be afraid of any problems that come our way. He wants our hearts fixed upon His Word, trusting completely in His promises. No matter how bad a situation might seem to be God will always come through to the exact degree that we believe and trust in His character and nature. God will always do His part and we must do ours, that is perception, metabolization and application of Bible Doctrine. PHI 4:5-9, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.” PRO 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”
Our Lord placed great emphasis on the importance of doing what God’s Word tells us to do. We read in MAT 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.” The Word of God is the foundation of life, to be built upon and cherished. If you work these doctrines into your life, the Lord likens you to a smart builder who constructs his house upon solid rock. The rains came, the river flooded and the winds blew, but nothing could move that house because it was built on a firm foundation. Compare this with the foolish builder who constructed his house upon the sand; when the storms came his house fell down. In this analogy, the rain represents the constant, continual problems that confront us in this life. The floods represent the opposition that comes against us suddenly. The wind represents the adverse conditions which arise out of nowhere. The Lord is saying in this passage that when the storms of life hit we won’t fall if we have laid a strong foundation build with doctrinal viewpoint.
A part of being a doer of the Word involves controlling what you say. If we are really filled with the Word of God, it will be reflected by the things that we say, especially during times of pressures. What fills our hearts will be revealed by the words we speak. If we don’t keep our tongues under control, we are in danger of becoming spiritually ineffective and losing any chance of receiving God’s prosperity. JAM 1:26 “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.” PRO 21:23 says, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.” When the going gets tough, we will be in a better position to control what we say if we have consistently studied and meditated upon God’s Word. The best person to emulate in a time of crisis is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He quoted Bible doctrine. MAT 4:3-11 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge concerning You; and On their hands they will bear You up, Lest You strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
Many Christians fail to receive prosperity from God because they fail to step out in faith and obey His word. If we expect to prosper, God’s Word and a strong, unwavering faith should not be far from us. Remember this principle: The thoughts that we have and the words that we speak will determine whether or not we are ready to receive prosperity from God.
RENEW YOUR MIND
An immediate result of consistent Bible study is the renewing of the mind so as to start viewing the world from Divine viewpoint. God wants to restore our souls, to make the soul brand new, and in tune with His Divine doctrines. We need to renew our minds in order to learn how to change our long established thought processes from the world’s idea of prosperity to God’s guidelines and instructions on prosperity. We live in a world filled with lies and satanic deceit; it is only through Divine viewpoint that we can see what is truly going on. ROM 12:1-2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” EPH 4:22-24 says, “in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” What does it mean to renew the mind? The Greek word here is anakainosis, and it means to make new, to receive new strength, vigor and energy, to be completely changed to a new kind of life. Our minds are like computers, and for years we have been filling them with information from the world system, now they must be reprogrammed with new data; that is Divine data that will enable us to learn and apply God’s principles of prosperity. Are you willing to erase years of human viewpoint and replace it with Divine thinking that will completely change and transform your life? There is only one way to accomplish this goal, and that is through the daily intake and study of Bible doctrine. It happens when you learn the Word of God, and realize it is alive and powerful, able to change you into a completely new person.
In order to solve the really difficult problems of life, the New Testament gives a similar command to the one that tells us to renew our minds. We are told to put on the mind of Christ. This means letting the thinking of the Lord Jesus Christ rule your thinking and thereby controlling your life. ROM 13:14 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” PHI 2:5-8, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” EPH 4:24 tells us “Put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” This renewed thinking will allow us to see problems as God sees them. There are no problems in your life, financial or otherwise that are too great for Christ Jesus who strengthens you, for nothing is impossible for God. If we fail to change our thinking, we leave ourselves open to doubts, fears, worries and anxieties about the world that surrounds us. We can live peaceful and prosperous lives because the Lord Jesus Christ has paid the price for our peace, joy, prosperity and health. However this lifestyle is not automatic; we will experience them only to the degree that we apply God’s principles and guidelines for prosperity. JOH 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” PRO 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Those Christians who pay the price by diligently renewing their minds will focus on the solution to the problem, those who haven’t will focus on the problem. Our mind won’t be under control unless we cast out all the negative thoughts, and focus on God’s way of thinking. We should refuse to let any external thought process control our thinking and decide for ourselves what thoughts will control our minds. PRO 3:13-18, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profit of silver, And its gain than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, And all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast.”
PRO 8:10-11, “Take my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold. For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things can not compare with her.” PRO 8:18-21, “Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, And my yield than choicest silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice, To endow those who love me with wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.” PRO 16:16 “How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.” PRO 23:4-5, “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings, Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.”
This next principle in our study involves the concept of seeking God. We can only find God through His Word and applying that Word in our lives. It is through positive volition that we seek Him; it is through study under the authority of a pastor-teacher that we come to know Him. Let’s closely examine a passage in Hebrews in order to get a handle on this principle. Heb 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” We begin with the prepositional phrase without faith, which in the Greek is choris which means without, pisteos which is faith or doctrine. Next we have the accusative singular adjective adunaton without a verb, which means impossible. The phrase to please Him is the constantive aorist/active/infinitive of the verb euaresteo which means to please, to be pleasing, to be approved by God. A constantive aorist gathers up into one entirety the action of the verb, so here it would mean that pleasing God is having consistent and persistent positive volition toward doctrine. The active voice means the subject, the believer as a member of the Royal family of God produces the action of the verb, which is to please God. The deliberate aim of the believer should be to please God. The word for in our passage is the explanatory use of the Greek particle gar, which indicates why there is only one way to please God in this life. The phrase He who comes is a present/middle/participle of proserchomai meaning to approach or to occupy oneself with. The present tense is a customary present meaning it is the Christian custom to be occupied with God. The middle voice means God draws you to Himself, but you must have the positive volition to draw near to Him through the Word. The word for must is a present/active/indicative of the Greek verb dei and it is used for the compulsion of duty or obligation. The meaning is the Word of God must now define your objectives in life if you are to please Him. The Greek word for believe is the aorist/active/infinitive of pisteuo and it means to believe, to be dogmatically convinced of something. The aorist tense is constantive and it gathers into one ball of wax the concept of the verb which is the fact that the believer must be convinced. Little by little as doctrine becomes resident in the soul the accumulation convinces you to continue with it. The phrase He is, is the present/active/indicative of eimi which means He keeps on being. This speaks to the essence of God and the fact that He exists and has a plan. The second He is actually is He becomes, it is the present/middle/indicative of the Greek verb ginetai and it indicates that under certain circumstances God becomes something, in this passage, a rewarder. The middle voice is intensive which emphasizes the role played by God; in other words He Himself becomes. The word rewarder is the Greek noun misthapodotes and is translated a rewarder or someone who recompenses. This combination of words is called a hapax legomena meaning that it is only used once in Scripture. Doctrine tells us of the reality of the existence of God, but the fact that God is a rewarder is not a certainty, it is a possibility depending upon one’s attitude toward Doctrine. So, Doctrine becomes the basis for Divine blessing in life. The phrase those who seek Him is the present/active/participle, ekzetousi which means to diligently or earnestly search and seek. It is a verb of obsession, meaning that something becomes so important in life that it crowds out all other things. It is a static present tense indicating it is a condition which perpetually exists. It represents the importance of being positive toward Doctrine. The believer must persevere, he must endure! The entire verse, in corrected translation, goes like this, “And without what is believed or without Doctrine resident in the soul it is impossible to please Him, For he who is occupied with God must be convinced by resident Doctrine that He is, and that He becomes a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
COL 1:9-10, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
If you desire to seek God, you must make daily decisions to learn and apply Doctrine. It means taking advantage of every opportunity to advance in the Word regardless of the distractions and temptations of life. It means taking responsibility for your life as a believer-priest responsible to God. As a priest, you should ask yourself who you are trying to please here on this earth. Are you trying to please others? Are you trying to please yourself? Or are you trying to please God? 1TH 2:4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts.
work hard – persevere – don’t give up
The Word of God repeatedly tells us that if we want to lead prosperous, successful and useful lives it is necessary to work hard and discipline ourselves. Many Christians believe that they can have anything they want simply by asking God for it through prayer. They are incorrect. God expects us to do the very best we can with the abilities He has given us. ECC 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might.
COL 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Whatever you choose to do in life, perform it as if doing it for the Lord. Always remember, as a believer here on earth, you represent the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is the One you serve. The Christian should never have the attitude that the world owes them something; in fact it is quite the opposite, the Christian should have the desire to be of service to others. Unfortunately, in today’s society many people are content to put as little effort into their work as they think they can get away with. They place more and more emphasis on self-gratification, pleasure, leisure and living life with the “me first” attitude. If you want to succeed and live a life blessed by God this selfish attitude must be replaced with a willingness to work hard. Laziness and slothfulness will lead to poverty. PRO 6:9-11, “How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest. And your poverty will come in like a vagabond, and your need like an armed man.” To be great at anything in life requires a tremendous amount of time, effort, dedication and devotion. Many Christians decide they are going to pay the price of being faithful in the study of God’s Word, but for some reason or another they just don’t stick to it. When they don’t see immediate results, they simply give up on Doctrine and move to something else. If they would just stick to a routine of doctrinal intake and study they would begin to think in the realm of Divine viewpoint. This would lead them to a new set of values; that which they once cherished would become unimportant and the things of God would now occupy their thoughts. PHI 3:13-16, “but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”
AS SOW SO SHALL YOU REAP
The Lord Jesus Christ taught us that every area in the Kingdom of God is based upon the principle of reaping and sowing. He explained to us the process of a seed falling to the ground and growing into something that bears much fruit. These are natural laws which apply to the believer and unbeliever alike. MAR 4:26-28, And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts up and grows how, he himself does not know. The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.” The following passages take this analogy and apply it to the Christian way of life: GAL 6:6-10, “And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” PRO 3:9-10, “Honor the LORD from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.” PRO 11:25 “The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.”
If we sow enough seeds of faith, love, kindness and good will it is only a matter of time before the harvest comes in and we will receive of the bounty of that which we have planted. If we want to reap a harvest of blessings, we must sow seeds of blessings. If we want to reap a harvest of prosperity, we must sow seeds of prosperity. Whatever you desire to reap you must first sow. Whatever you desire to gather you must first scatter. Whatever you desire to acquire you must first disperse. 2CO 9:6-7, “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Sowing and reaping are an important part of God’s guidelines and instructions on prosperity. This is why we should never hesitate to do good things with any resources that we possess if it is our power to do so. Whenever we give of our time, treasure or talent, what we are really giving is a portion of ourselves. When we do this, it provides God the channel that He needs in order to give back to us. God does not need what we give; He already owns the whole world and everything in it. He wants us to sow seeds by giving, not for His benefit, but for ours. When we give it provides Him with a means of multiplying blessings back to us. LUK 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” EPH 6:8 “whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord,” 2Cor 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”
Note all the positive statements in this verse. It emphasizes the fact that this type of prosperity will be available to us at all times, even during periods of economic hardship. However, despite all of these wonderful positive thoughts, the most important word is “able.” However, this is not an automatic situation. It all depends on how much we are willing to sow. As you sow, so shall you reap. We are not just talking about giving to your local assembly here; we are talking about giving to any person or organization that God leads us to help. 1JO 3:17 “But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” This simply means if God happens to bring someone into your life with a certain need and you have the ability to fulfill that need, it would be a wise choice on your part to do so. When the believer lives his life in such a way that he fulfills these instructions on prosperity, God’s promises become reality. PSA 23:6 “surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life.”
PRO 19:17 “He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.”
PRO 22:9 “He who is generous will be blessed, For he gives some of his food to the poor.”
PRO 28:27 “He who gives to the poor will never want, But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.”
The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s greatest example of the laws of reaping and sowing. When He gave His life on the cross of Calvary, He planted the most precious seed in the history of mankind. God “sowed” a seed by giving His only uniquely born Son and The Lord “sowed” a seed by giving His life. They did this in order to reap an ultimate harvest of millions of people who would believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. JOH 12:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
LEARN TO BE CONTENT
PHI 4:11-13, “Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
If you have read this book, it is fair to assume that you would like to receive prosperity from God. So your next step becomes believing all that the Bible has to say about it and putting that belief into action. Are you going to accept the challenge from God to start living your life according to Divine viewpoint or are you going to continue in your own ways, following the principles of men? It is entirely up to you. The more we study God’s Word, the more evidence we see of God’s plans for our abundance and prosperity. The purpose of this book is to learn God’s ways and apply them in our lives.
ISA 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.