Finances - Prosperity


22/03/2006
You said that God wants us to really show the value of His blood by being prosperous and by being in good health. I’m all for that, but I ran into somebody the other day who told me that God wants us to be average. So I was wondering if you could point me to some Scriptures that show God wants us to be prosperous.

The blood of Jesus is very powerful. It paid the price for our sins, for our sickness, for our disease, for our defeat so that we can have not only salvation but so we can have victory in every area of our life. It honors God when we honor the blood in a way where we receive all that He provided for us. Romans 8 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” God wants to freely give us all things and not hold anything back from us. He desires for us to succeed because His blood paid for us to be saved and to succeed.

Here are some Scriptures that you can share with these people. One of the things that you can say to them is, “Look, here are some Scriptures. You may want to look at them; you may not. It’s totally up to you, but this is what I base my belief on regarding money and prosperity.” And really, it’s not just about money; it’s about success and prosperity in every area of your life. 3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” God wants your soul to prosper, and when it does – when your soul, emotions, mind, and intellect are flourishing in the Word of God – it’s going to affect every area of your life. Genesis 39 says that even when Joseph was thrown into the pit, he prospered and that his master saw that he prospered in everything he did. Deuteronomy 7 and 8 are all about God blessing His people and causing His people to succeed. God is a successful God; He doesn’t fail at anything, so why would He want his children to fail at anything? Psalm 35:27 says, “God delights in the prosperity of his servants.” Go with those verses. Study them. Review the cross-references in your Bible, and you’ll find other Scriptures as well.


Finances - Prosperity


22/03/2006
My question is, I feel like there is a tension between what God says in the Word about prosperity, of how He wants to prosper us, and then Jesus comes and says something like lay your treasures in heaven, not on earth. How do I not feel guilty if I’m doing really well, you know what I mean? How do I do both of them—how do I become prosperous and not lay up treasures on the Earth?

What a great question. Well, first of all, you have to remember that the Bible says in 1 Timothy 6 that God created all things richly for us to enjoy. So he wants you to enjoy life. He wants you to be prosperous. But where does prosperity begin? It begins in your soul. It begins in your emotions. It begins in your mind. As you get your thinking in line with God’s Word, you get your thinking—if there’s thoughts and attitudes in your life that are contrary to God’s Word, you make the adjustments there and as you prosper in your soul, it is an overflow for you to prosper in every other area of your life. So there’s no reason to be guilty when you realize that the good is in your life comes from God.
Here’s how you balance that. If you’re jealously pursuing wealth, if you’re selfishly pursuing prosperity, and you’re doing it because you’re driven to have more so you can feel safe or secure or confident, then you know that you’re doing it for the wrong reason. But when you seek the Kingdom of God, the Bible says, and His righteousness, then the Bible says in Matthew 6:33, all these things will be added to you. All these things will be added to you. So, how do you balance prosperity with what Jesus said about laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven? By giving away what God gives you? Not all of it, but by being generous with what God gives you. You start by giving God the first fruit. The first tenth of everything you receive, you give it to God. That’s what delivers us from greed. Lack and poverty never delivers somebody from greed and selfishness. Because there are a lot of people that don’t have anything, but they’re still greedy and they’re still selfish.

And so what delivers us from selfishness is generosity. What delivers us from greed is giving. So way you balance prosperity is you understand the purpose for which God gives it to you. God gives you prosperity. He blesses you so you can be a blessing. Genesis 12 tells us and Psalm 67 tells us, so look up those verses and that will help establish a foundation in your life. He blesses you so you can be a blessing. So if you’re just receiving the blessing of God, but you’re not being a blessing with it, then you are out of balance. Okay, that’s where you’re going to get into greed and selfishness. So I trust that that helps you to understand that and I believe that that will really be a blessing for you if you take that to heart. Listen, it’s purpose that is the balance to prosperity. When you know the purpose of something, that’s when you use it for the right reason. When you don’t know the purpose of something, that’s when you’re going to abuse it.


Finances - Prosperity


22/03/2006
I recently heard you mention briefly what the New Testament refers to when it talks about prospering. I just wanted to ask you more.

There’s a lot of misinformation about the subject about “prosperity.” There’s a lot of wrong information about the subject and there’s a limited information. Some information is wrong. Like, for example, somebody might say that “God doesn’t mean to prosper everybody.” Well, that’s wrong information. And then, there’s a limited information where somebody says, “Well, God wants to prosper me, which means God wants me to be rich financially.” Well, that’s very limited because prosperity does not limit itself. It does not lower itself to mere financial terms. And so, we need to have the right information and not wrong information and not limited information.

So what does the Bible mean when it says that God wants to prosper us? 3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, even as you soul prospers.” So, the number one aspect of prosperity starts in our soul. God wants our soul to prosper. He wants our mind, our will, our emotions to be healthy, to be sound, to be successful. The word “prosper” itself means to do well; it means to arrive at the destination. And so, God wants us to arrive at His destination for our life, to arrive at His purpose for our lives in our soul and in our emotions. And as we arrive at His purpose and destination in our soul and in our emotions, we will arrive at His purpose and destination in every other area of life as well. So, the clearest definition of prospering means to achieve, to arrive at the destination that God has for you.

If I just become a millionaire, but I have not arrived at God’s destination for my life, then I am not prospering. There are a lot of people that have a lot of money that are not prospering. There’s a lot of people that have their health, but they’re not prospering. In other words, are we arriving at God’s destination for our lives? “To do well on our journey” is what the word literally means. People would say, “May you prosper on your journey. It was a definition concerning traveling; “may you reach your destination.” Well, so how does that translate to us spiritually? If we reach the destination, the purpose, the calling of God for our lives, then we are truly prospering. And if we reach that, it will affect every other area of our life. When we do what we were created to do, we will succeed in every other area of our life and that’s the clearest definition of prosperity that I can give you today.

Now, that’s not the only definition of prosperity, but that’s the fundamental foundation of prosperity. The Bible says that God will give us the power to prosper, the power to succeed, the power to achieve God’s destiny for our lives, God’s purpose for our lives. Of course, God wants us to have enough money. God wants us to have enough of anything. And you could say that prosperity means having more than enough of whatever you need: more than enough health, more than enough time, more than enough joy, more than enough peace, more than enough money, more than enough of everything. God wants you to have more than enough. Why? Because He wants you to have enough for you and more than enough so that you can share it with others as well.


Finances - Prosperity


16/03/2006
I just wanted to find out if Jesus wants believers to be wealthy financially? I just wanted your take on that.

Excellent question. My take on that is, according to John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy,” Jesus said, “but I have come that they would have life and have it in abundance.” God wants us to experience abundant life. Now abundant life doesn’t mean that we should be seeking and pursuing wealth. But rather it means that we should be seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, according to Matthew 6:33. And he says, “and all these things shall be added to you.”

You see the problem is not being wealthy. Being wealthy is not the problem. But pursuing wealth, as an ambition, is where we run into problems. And where we’ll run into a lot of temptation that we don’t need to be putting ourselves in. But rather what we should be doing is seeking God, worshiping Him, sitting at His feet, doing things His way. Handling our business and handling our money the way He tells us to. And then the result will be He’ll bless us, He’ll increase us and we’ll reap what we sow. So if that means that we’re going to end up wealthy, if I can be wealthy in love and wealthy in generosity and I have enough to give to others to minister to them, then I believe that that is a godly thing that every believer should want in their lives.


Finances - Prosperity


16/03/2006
I was wondering about prosperity. I’ve looked up the word “prosperity” and it’s in there 8-12 times depending on the translation. And it’s not even in the New Testament. And I’m concerned about people preaching prosperity all the time. I understand that people need to have a hope, but telling people that God’s just going to open up the heavens and pour out financial blessings and stuff on you. Like, in the Old Testament, the blessings that they received from God were external: gold, silver, sheep, cattle because that’s how their atonement was made, by the lamb. Now, we’re under a new covenant, the New Testament, everything is spiritual, the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the spirit. And we’re supposed to really be focused on God. What do you think about the preaching of prosperity?

Matthew 6:33 is the greatest Scripture on the subject. It says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” So, yes. We should be pursuing God. We should be seeking God and seeking His kingdom and seeking His way of doing things and seeking His love and things that are much more valuable and much more important that just getting our needs met. But He says when we do that, that all these things will be added to us. He’ll bring to us the things that we need in our life, what we shall eat, what we shall drink, what we shall wear. God wants to meet our needs, but He doesn’t want us to pursue them ourselves. He wants us to pursue Him and then those things will end up pursuing us. 1 Timothy chapter 6.
And again, you talk about Old Testament – New Testament. Let’s talk about New Testament. Matthew 6:33, but also 1 Timothy chapter 6 says, “God created all things richly for us to enjoy.” He created life for us to enjoy. John 10:10 say, “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. But.” Jesus said, “I have come that you would have life and that you would have it in abundance, to the full, til it overflows.”

Now, what does it mean to have an overflowing prosperous life? It starts in our soul. It starts in our physical life, in our spiritual life. That’s where prosperity comes from, that’s where prosperity is. And if your soul is prospering, if your soul is healthy, if you are full of peace and full of joy and full of love and full of grace and full of mercy, then that’s going to spill over into some other areas of your life, it’s going to spill over into all the other areas of your life. Because the Word of God contains within itself the power to bring itself to pass. So when you hear a Scripture about peace, that Word will bring peace. When you hear a Scripture about God providing for you, that Word will bring provision. As long as we’re focused on the Word of God, the Word of God will bring the provisions that we need, whether it’s money or whether it’s time or whether it’s wisdom or whether it’s favor or whether it’s peace or joy or forgiveness. All of that is a part of what Jesus did for us, not just part of it. But it’s all a part of it.

So, I don’t think that we can say that God just in the New Testament deals with spiritual things, because He doesn’t. He told Peter how to get his taxes paid. He fed the multitude fish and loaves so that everybody had enough to eat. God wants to meet all our needs but it starts with our spiritual needs and then it spills over into other areas of our life. Also, there’s a Scripture in Galatians chapter 3 where it says that the promise to Abraham or to his seed that he would heir of the world was to us as well. “If we belong to Christ, we’re Abraham’s seed and we’re heirs according to the promises of God.” God wants us focused on Him, but He wants us to know that when we’re focused on Him, He will be focused on us. And when we’re focused on seeking what He wants, He will take care of what we want. The Bible says that as we seek his kingdom, all these things will be added unto us and they are natural, physical, material things that God wants to add to us as long as we’re not pursuing them, that they’re pursuing us when we’re pursuing God.