This morning the first to jump out at me from the ever moving internet was an article about the “prosperity gospel” and its survival during these tough economic times. The truth is that I have never exactly followed any of the so called prosperity teachers. Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyers are just three of the teachers that I have listened to but I have never exclusively followed any one person or teaching (and that includes a local church or preacher).
What I have gathered is that prosperity is not about getting but about giving. It is impossible for me to meet the needs of those that I come in contact with during the day if I am unable to meet the needs of my own family. Prosperity is about having nothing missing in my life and nothing broken.
The article I read this morning was about how the “prosperity gospel” could survive tough economic times. The concept of God having to survive anything made me smile but I think I understand what the writer was talking about. Is belief and faith enough to pull anyone through what is going on in the world?
The answer is simply YES.
The Proverbs 31 woman was a woman of means. She bought property to make more means. She provided for her household, including all those that worked for her. She reached out her hand to the poor. There is not talk in her life about 501Ks, retirement or savings plans.
The Keys to Prosperity During Tough Times
1. It all starts with God. Prosperity is not about getting what you want but about getting in a position to do all the things that God is doing. It takes time to understand God’s purpose for your life. Studying His word, talking to Him and most importantly LISTENING to his direction. A relationship with God will help guide you in all the decisions that you will ever have to make.
2. Debt NEVER leads to prosperity. It is impossible to have nothing missing and nothing broken if you are enslaved to any thing other than God. Any time someone or some thing has control over your life then you enslaved. That means that if you are not free to give it away because of debt then you are simply NOT free.
3. Stuff is not the issue. Everything that is done – from sunrise to sunset – must be focused on the purpose that God has laid out for your life. Stuff will only hinder your walk if your walk becomes all about the accumulation of stuff. The goal is to get into a position where you can freely ask “what now God” and be ready to step out in whatever direction He says.
4. Giving is essential to blessing. It is impossible to out give God but that does not mean that you are supposed to give out without prayer or discernment. Giving is all about stewardship. Hearing the direction to locate the best soil will help determine the return. Leaving $20 in a bible in a hotel MIGHT be a blessing to someone but that same $20 into a proven walk could provide the 100 fold return that is called for in stewardship.
5. Prosperity involves actions. The Proverbs 31 woman was always on the move. There are no scriptures about “girls’ night out” or her favorite television programs. Sitting around talking will not get anything done. Actions can speak louder than words because it is actions that will draw the prosperity. Reaching out to help a neighbor, giving of time or resources or talent and following the direction of God are all actions that promote prosperity. Actions speak louder than words because everyone can SEE actions but only those that are close enough to hear can hear words.
6. Formulas will never work. There has only been one burning, one delivery by a whale and one long-haired strong man. The answers come from developing and intimate relationship with God and not from following the steps of others. The heart is the most important element of prosperity and without a relationship the heart can not get right with God.
7. The basis of prosperity is anchored by God. Everything that you have, that you are or that will be comes directly from the Creator. He IS and it really is that simple. Everything that is needed for His purpose is available. Blessings beyond expectation are waiting for hearts that are completely devoted to God. The world can not touch His blessings because God’s resources are unlimited. He created everything and everything still answers to Him. Fish produce the money necessary for taxes, birds deliver food to a man by a river, oil does not run out, and kings agree to pay for the repair of the captive’s homes.
My studies of the “name it and claim it” teachings have been limited. The teachers feeding me have only talked about getting my heart in line with God, growing to Him and learning His word. When I walk with God THEN I walk in His blessing. When I am right in His will then it is easy for me to ask anything and expect a result because I only ask for those things that are part of my purpose.
Prosperity is about provision and blessing. My prosperity is the tool to give the time, the resources or the money to the purpose. And that prosperity can not be hindered by a few falling numbers in the world’s economy.