If you grew up in the kind of church or family as I did, the conversations around wealth were always conflicting or at least contradicting. I would often hear people in church or at home shaming and bad-mouthing rich people. Yet, in the same breath, praying that the Lord would send help for them to pay a bill, get out of financial trouble, or even to pay off the church’s debt. As a young person, this would always be conflicting to me. It was difficult for me to believe that being financially well off was such a bad thing and something that was not pleasing in God’s eyes because being in lack just didn’t feel good at all! And if we were all in lack and needed a financial blessing, just where would it come from if not from someone who could financially afford to help.
I remember sitting in church listening as they read the scripture that talked about the rewards of giving generously. They would read Luke 6:38. It says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom…” Wow, did you catch that? It said men would give. It would not drop from the sky nor be brought by ravens. It would come from men! Well if it was to come from men, those men would have to be doing pretty well financially because poor, financially strapped people don’t have anything to give.
At that moment, I asked the Lord to allow me to be on that side of the giving equation…to let me be the one whom He would use to give unto someone’s bosom. But that was only the first step in breaking the chains from my poverty mindset. Next to be conquered in my mind was whether God’s intent for our prosperity was for our own enjoyment as well as answering the call for Kingdom building. When you ask most Christians why they want to be rich, their answer using centers around so they can give more. Not that I don’t believe that this is true, but I don’t believe that it is all-inclusive.
Most people will not include in their answer that they would like to take their family on nice vacations, pay for their kids to go to college, or buy themselves a nice car. We have all been taught that it is not Holy to desire things for ourselves and that it is not pleasing to God for us to prosper financially in order to enjoy the fruit of it for ourselves. These teachings never sat right with me. The main reason was that poverty and lack felt so miserable and I just could not grasp how a good and loving Father could take joy in His children staying poor just for humility’s sake. My search for more answers led me to Psalms 128:1-2. “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” The word well in this scripture translates to good, rich, valuable in estimation. So my suspicions were correct! God is good with us enjoying the fruits of our own labor and He wants us to be happy doing so!
Let’s explore some more scriptures. John 10:10. “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” In the Greek abundance translates: over and above, more than is necessary, superadded. Again, my suspicions were correct! He doesn’t just want us to have enough, but more than what is necessary…in fact, overflowing to be exact!! In Psalms 35, David is continuing his request for the Lord to rise up against his enemies. In verse 27, he asks the Lord to bless those who vindicate him but he also makes note that the Lord takes pleasure in the prosperity of His people. 27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” Prosperity here translates to completeness, welfare, health and prosperity. God is pleased with our prosperity! How do you feel when you read that? It is so important for you to do some self introspection on where you stand regarding this question. For if you do not believe that God wants you to prosper then you simply will not! OR you will feel some sort of guilt or condemnation when you do. You see, if you believe in your heart that financial prosperity is wrong, you will either intentionally self sabotage your chances of growing financially. Or subconsciously work to stay in the same place that you are. Your belief or faith in any direction is very powerful. The bible says as a man thinketh in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7)! God wants His children to prosper! My hope is that you will renew your mind with the Word and go forth knowing that God delights in the prosperity of His servants!