When you think about prosperity, what images come to mind? Do you think of a lavish mansion? An expensive car? A job title? A loaded bank account or stock portfolio? In Western culture, prosperity is frequently associated with material items and not spiritual blessings. Of course, there is within the Church a group of “prosperity teachers,” who teach that the Lord wants you to be financially well-to-do. The purpose of this post is not to refute the prosperity message nor is it to call out the teachers of said prosperity teaching. Of course, if God in His sovereign will, wants to bless a Christian financially, He is free to do so. That type of prosperity comes with a purpose and responsibility to advance the Kingdom and is not solely about material wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). This post will examine what it means to life a prosperous Christian life in regards to our walk with God and the pursuit of His Kingdom.
We Must Be in Right Relationship with God
In order to prosper as a Christian, we must be in an active relationship with God, which means we have placed our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for our salvation.
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3,NIV).
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24, NIV).
God Wants Us to Prosper Spiritually
We must understand that God is our loving Father, who wants the absolute best for His children, as would any parent.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4, NIV).
We Must Be Active in Pursuing the Kingdom of God
In order live a prosperous Christian life, we must put aside our old lifestyle and the world and follow hard after the things of God.
“But you, man of God, flee from all of this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:11-12, NIV).
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you shall appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4, NIV).
The Fruit of a Prosperous Christian Life
Though far from an exhaustive list, here are some items and Scripture citations that show what biblical prosperity is:
We will mediate on the Word of God and apply it to our lives- Joshua 1:7-8; Psalm 1:1-3.
We will live a life of obedience- Deuteronomy 5:33; Psalm 128:1-2; John 14:15.
We are quick to confess our sins- Proverbs 28:13;1 John 1:9.
We will be generous with our resources- Proverbs 11:25; Acts 20:35; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8.
We will develop a deep love for other people and realize their need for the Lord- Matthew 22:37-38; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 4:7-12.
God’s word commands us to shine as lights in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation. When it comes to Kingdom prosperity, there are no shortcuts. As Christians in this present world, we face the temptations to take the easy way to prosperity or the easy way out on a daily basis. When faced with those temptations, we must run to God and allow Him to show us the way to go. If we follow after the world’s idea of prosperity, we will ultimately find ourselves lost, grieving, and feeling empty. Just as Paul wrote to Timothy, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:6-10, NIV). Brothers and sisters, pursue God and the true prosperity. Don’t take the bait of the world. God bless you all.