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Friday, January 18, 2019

The Promise of Prosperity

We live in a day where "rich Christians" are judged highly.  Look at the latest uproar about John Gray for example. (We'll talk about that more later.)  It's as if people find offense to preachers and doers of the Word having money.  Now, there is a balance and of course I stand for integrity of usage but I question those that say that they are believers but don't support compensating ministry or ministry works.  I think the answer lies in this: We as believers do not ultimately believe the Word as it concerns our finances.  Given the latest in the government shutdown, I believe this will test many people of faith.  We have become so work driven that we believe that anything that has Christ on it or deals with the Bible should be "given" away.  Most people don't see ministry as work but boy oh boy...that's a lie and another story for another day!  Many support that as a believer you shouldn't "pay" people for their "works in the Kingdom."  I don't understand that when scripture plainly says the opposite.  But maybe, maybe the true problem lies in, we don't believe that God wants to see us successful and because of this - our hearts become jealous at the success of others that are full time ministers in the Kingdom.  So first, let's start with the principle that our Father indeed does want us to have a prosperous life! 

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that though mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous and then thou shalt have good success.

This is a scripture I meditate on quite often but as I was questioning the Father about a few things in my own life, He took me right back to this Word and I saw it a little clearer than before.  It was as if He broke it down in "abc" format.  Let's dissect this:

1. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth.  You need to be speaking it, not just reading it.
2. Meditate (which means to mutter, speak, study, talk, utter, ponder) in it day and night.
3. Then you will observe to do all that is written in it. You can't live a Word you don't know.
4. THEN you shall make your way prosperous.
5. THEN you shall have good success (which means to be wise, able to instruct, prosperous, teach).

The problem with prosperity and success for Christians is when it is not gained through biblical foundations.  See, if your heart is constantly on the Word, when the riches and overflow comes, you have the Father's heart to take care of the the things that concern the Father.  Is that not what the Word says?  Meditate on it and you will observe what's in it - THEN the prosperity and success comes.  Also, might I add - we are supposed to be "blessed", essentially highly favored.  If my life doesn't look like I'm "highly favored", why would anyone believe in the God that I serve to be my provider?  And that is the ongoing cycle.  We call debt blessings.  We call all types of things blessings that don't look anything like a blessing from the Bible.  When I say favor, I'm speaking debt cancellation.  When I say blessed, I'm testifying to people looking to hire me and getting hired on the spot - without even applying for the job!  When I say favor, I'm talking about people being commanded to bless me.  We, for some reason, can't fathom this type of supernatural blessings and favor over our lives.  The Word says that the blessings of the Lord make one RICH and add NO SORROW to it!  I am not convinced that my Father wants me to live barely making ends meet! 

Let's look at Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Again, we see pretty much if/then statements.  We see promises; we see the Word's instruction to success.  And they revolve around the Word of God, the lifestyle of the one who believes, and what the outcome of that looks like.
Psalm 112:1-3 says:
Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.  Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
I could search these scriptures day and night and I am confident that I will find the same promises and principles stated.  The love of money (to pursue it above God) is the root to all evil but the love of God, the delight in His commands, brings wisdom, wealth, riches, success, and prosperity.  This solidifies that you can obtain riches without God obviously because plenty of people do it.  I could have done it and the devil would have paid me nicely at a high price!  So how much more does our Father, and creator Himself wants to give us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10).  I could also search and post scripture after scripture in the New Testament but the truth remains - I have not found one scripture that corresponds with the notion that we should live in poverty.  Matter of fact, the Bible also tells how poverty comes upon people and that the borrower is the slave to the lender!  I believe that if we understood, really took to heart and trusted God at His Word we would see His Word manifest in our lives.  
I can't tell you many times how things get done in my life except for pure favor.  Many things I cannot take credit for.  It seems like a divine set up for my Father to show me, "I'm supposed to take care of you!"  And then He said in Ephesians 3:20 that He would do exceedingly, above all we ask, think or imagine.  I would submit to you that we struggle many times out of the ignorance of the Word; we have no expectations for the Father to "hold up" to the Word He's given us.  I've entered a point in my life where I make a demand on the Word because if God isn't true to His Word that basically deems my entire life a lie.  We can't pick and choose which part of the scriptures to believe.  It is either all truth, or all a lie.  How desperate are you to see the manifestations of God's truth over your life?  
I love that in Joshua 1:5 He tells Joshua, "I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."  When I read this the other day, I could hear the Father's voice telling me the same thing! "I will not fail you daughter! I will be with thee! I will not forsake you!" I invite you today to look at your relationship with the Father.  How much do you trust Him?  I'll come back to scriptural references on Pastors and ministers of the gospel living off of the work of their spiritual labor, that'll be part two so come back next week! But this week - focus on you.  I believe the difference between people who have a problem with Pastoral pay/blessings and those that have a problem with them is simple:
Those that labor or at least mostly those that labor for God understand the Word and call God on His Word.  They're bold enough to use their faith; whereas those that have a problem with it probably aren't.  It sounds harsh but why do people get so offended when pastors/ministers, etc. are blessed by doing the Gospel? Why do people get so offended when people live the Word in healing and prosperity, when it's the promise?  It's in the Word?  That's what we'll run into next week! Until then, have you read the last #hottopictuesday blog A Burnin' People: The HIV/AIDS Epidemic?  Click that title but before you do, catch the 45% sale below! Happy reading and happy shopping!

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