It is time for a biblical view of prosperity.
Some people preach prosperity from an earthly perspective: back accounts, possessions, prominence, etc. While these things are not evil in themselves, they must be severely managed for they have the power to destroy, not enrich us. It is well known but often forgotten than possessions can possess those who hold them.
The Bible is so clear on this:
- Covetousness made the top ten list in those Ten Commandments we talk about.
- King Solomon, who had everything to be had in his day, warned that it was all vanity and vexing to the spirit—like feeding on wind.
- Jesus warns that is not found in the abundance of things we possess. Jesus councils us to be “rich toward God.”
Jehovah Jireh—The Lord Who Provides
God has revealed Himself to us in a series of Covenantal Names. In these names He explains who He is by what He promises to do. He provides, He heals, He gives victory—and so on. Jesus makes an amazing promise. He tells each of us that if we will put His kingdom and righteousness first in our lives, all our life-needs will be met—no conditions, no fine print loopholes—an ironclad promise.
No wonder we call grace “amazing!”
Prosperity of the Soul
The Apostle John gives us further details on this “Kingdom and Righteousness” guarantee. He measures prosperity of life in terms of the prosperity of the soul—the inner person. This is entirely consistent with the promise of Jesus. Our needs will be met as we put internal things—His Kingdom and Righteousness—first in our lives. Our external needs are met because our internals are in correct order:
- God’s Kingdom—not ours, our anyone else’s, and
- His Righteousness—not just right thinking but right living, not just high sounding words but life-giving deeds.
Giving and Receiving
True spiritual prosperity is more a matter of giving than receiving. It has been well said that the only things in life we can hold on to are the things we give away. This is expressed in the spiritual law of sowing and reaping. If we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly. If we sow bountifully, that is how we will reap.
The disciples demonstrated their prosperity of soul when they encountered the lame man at the Temple gate begging for alms. They were broke in this world’s currency but they gave what they had and the man didn’t need his mat anymore. Their words ring through the ages:
“Silver and gold have I none but such as I have give I thee.”
This is the promised prosperity of soul that produces a life wherein needs are met. Lord, fill us up with true riches so that we can give them away!
Acts 3:2-9 KJV
And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
Give the King your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the King’s Son; That he may rule your people righteously and the poor with justice. That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, and the little hills bring righteousness. He shall defend the needy among the people; he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor. He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure, from one generation to another. He shall come down like rain upon the mown field, like showers that water the earth. In his time shall the righteous flourish; there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more. He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. His foes shall bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute, and the kings of Arabia and Saba offer gifts. All kings shall bow down before him, and all the nations do him service. For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress, and the oppressed who has no helper. He shall have pity on the lowly and poor; he shall preserve the lives of the needy. He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence, and dear shall their blood be in his sight. Long may he live! and may there be given to him gold from Arabia; may prayer be made for him always, and may they bless him all the day long. May there be abundance of grain on the earth, growing thick even on the hilltops; may its fruit flourish like Lebanon, and its grain like grass upon the earth. May his Name remain for ever and be established as long as the sun endures; may all the nations bless themselves in him and call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds! And blessed be his glorious Name for ever! and may all the earth be filled with his glory.
Psalm 122:6-9 NKJV
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.” For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.” Because of the house of the Lord our God. I will seek your good.
Psalm 25:12-15 NKJV
Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, And his descendants shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant. My eyes are ever toward the Lord, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
3 John 2-4 NKJV
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Matthew 6:31-34 NKJV
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Lord Jesus, give me a passion for the internal things—Your righteousness—that make such an external difference in my life. These things are holiness, integrity, purity of thought and intention, compassion for others and passion for Your presence. Lord, help me focus on Your Kingdom, to seek Your will and Your way in all things. I want to lead the way You led, through servanthood, not power and position. When I do these things, I am seeking Your kingdom and righteousness and You have promised to meet all my needs. Help me sow bountifully, giving freely of what I have been given. Miracles will follow me in Your name! Hallelujah!
Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
Words and Music: Karen Lafferty
Seek ye first the kingdom of God
And His righteousness
And all these things shall be added unto you
Man shall not live by bread alone
But by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God
Ask and it shall be given unto you
Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door shall be opened unto you
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved