God gives the promise of prosperity
“Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually, “Let the LORD be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”Psalm 35:27
If God has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant, how much more does He have pleasure in the prosperity of His children?
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”3 John 1:2
Do you believe that God promises and wants you to prosper? One of the reasons people are afraid of the word prosperity and it triggers them is because there has been an abuse of extreme prosperity teaching and so many people are afraid of that topic. At Hungry Generation, we preach the Bible. We don’t preach our fears or experiences; we preach the Bible and the Bible says God finds pleasure in the prosperity of His servants. We should not allow fear or somebody’s bad experience to drive our doctrine.
Have you ever had someone do something really bad to you? Maybe your husband or wife are driving you crazy but the way you reacted was as bad as what they did. Sometimes, this is what happens with prosperity teaching. There has been extreme abuse of it which says if you have money, that means you are holy and righteous. If you sow $1000, all your medical bills will be paid for. I have been to churches that took seven offerings in one service.
The moment there is an over-emphasis on richness and wealth, it is an extreme abuse. If we begin to act on that extreme abuse by creating another extreme, it can be as bad if not worse than the extreme we are trying to respond to. Our goal is not to have a reactionary doctrine; our goal is to have a doctrine that is based on the promises and character of God. God is good and He wants to bless you.God not only gives us the promise of prosperity, He also gives us the power of prosperity. Click To Tweet
God gives the power to prosper
“And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”Deuteronomy 8:18
God’s promise of prosperity indicates that God reveals His goodness, character, and heart. He is a Father, a generous and abundant God.
The power to prosper means that God supernaturally intervenes in our financial difficulties and overrules the law of nature. Power is when water comes out of the rock (Psalm 105:41, Numbers 20:8). God fed millions of people with manna – bread from Heaven. That is supernatural. Supernatural power is when Jesus fed multitudes with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Supernatural power was demonstrated when Jesus sent Peter to catch a fish with a line and it had the coin in its mouth to pay their taxes.
The fact that God not only gives us the promise but also the power to prosper means that there are situations you can find yourself in where only God’s supernatural intervention can get you out. We still believe in the God who supernaturally provides, supplies our needs, and gives miracles in our finances. God has the power to make things happen supernaturally.There is a third way in which God provides, which is not through His power or His promise but through His principles. Click To Tweet
God gives principles of prosperity
God’s principles of prosperity are certain spiritual laws that God has established in the universe, which if we obey, we experience His prosperity.
“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.”Psalm 1:3
There are things you can do which trigger God’s spiritual laws of prosperity in your life. There are three main principles that we should pursue that will bring prosperity. None of these are chasing money.
“A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.”Luke 15:11
This is actually a very audacious statement. In other words, the impatient son was saying I wish you were dead. You don’t get an inheritance from your father until he dies but this is what he asked for. The prodigal son does not have patience because he doesn’t have a job, intelligence, or any character. It was so disrespectful. Having a disrespectful or hateful attitude towards your parents is a seed of future poverty.
“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”Ephesians 6:2-3
The Bible says to honor your father and mother so that it may be well with you and you will live a long life. The prodigal son had no respect for his father. He was rebellious. Despite this attitude from his son, the father goes along with it. I think the Bible allows this story so that we can learn that disrespect and dishonor to authority, your parents, pastor, leader, or boss will eventually lead to the place of poverty.
1. Don’t seek Money, seek to do well.
“And I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”Luke 15:19
This is an interesting change from entitlement to humility. Entitlement always leads you to poverty. When the son comes back, he says to his father that he wants to be made a servant so he can earn an honest living. Finances and prosperity are not a result of entitlement but of earning.
The word prosperity in Latin means to do well. The Greek word for prosperity means to lead along a good path or to guide well. It is used in the sense of succeeding or things turning out well.
“And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand.”Genesis 39:3
I want you to see the contrast between these two men: Joseph and the prodigal son. The prodigal son demands to have money. He is entitled, spoiled, disrespectful, and rebellious. Joseph, on the other hand, prospers because God prospers everything that he touched his hand to.
I want us to redefine prosperity in our minds. Most of us are afraid of the word prosperity because we don’t know what it means. Joseph was not rich when he was a slave. Joseph did not have an education at the time. He was rejected and sold as a slave, yet he was prosperous as a slave, not because of the amount of money that he made but because of how well he worked. His employer recognized everything Joseph did prospered: he noticed his excellence, attention to detail, and performing better than was expected. Potiphar looked at Joseph and saw he was prosperous.
Prosperity Is Not Evil
Prosperity is doing well. Money is not evil. Money is an exchange for services or products given. The love of money is evil but money in itself is not evil.
The prodigal son got a lot of money but never learned how to add value, provide service, or make a product. He was a worthless guy, in the sense that his existence never added worth to anything or anybody. I do not mean that he was worthless in the sense that he had no value in the eyes of God but he had no value in the eyes of others. When the son learned his lesson, instead of asking his father for more money when he returned, he asked for a job. He wanted to learn to add value, provide a service, and make a product that will help somebody.Don’t chase money. Chase making a product, providing a service, or adding value. Click To Tweet
That makes you Christ-like because Christ came to earth to serve not to be served. Christians are Christ-like. We have a young generation today that is after money. When you are after money, you will not learn how to serve, improve your gift, or do the final touches on your craft; you will just be driven to make an income and profit. You will be ready to cut corners. It doesn’t matter who you will hurt as long as you make your money. It doesn’t matter if you even have to sacrifice your family along the line if you are chasing money. Instead of improving yourself and your contribution, you try to extract money without adding value to somebody else.
Prosperity Mindset, Not Poverty Mindset
God doesn’t want us to think about how we can get more money, views, popularity, fame, profit, or nicer things. God wants us to think about how we can improve our contribution so that the reward for it is financial blessings. Instead of focusing on my reward, I should be focusing on my gift, product, and the service that I offer.
Everybody wants to get a raise but have you raised your quality? Have you raised your service? Has your product got better? Has your talent and value improved? If your value and talent have not improved, asking for a raise is not right. You are breaking the spiritual law of economics.
Our God teaches us not to chase money but to chase improving the product, value, and service we provide. We see this in Joseph. Joesph’s product and service were so great that he prospers. The Bible says he prospered because the Lord was with him. Joseph goes to jail and ends up running the jail. He goes to the palace and ends up running the nation. The point is not your status or recognition; the point is what kind of a service and product do you provide? Chase that more than you chase money.
The Promise And The Principle
It is great to believe in God’s supernatural breakthroughs and finances but they are not common. God sets up rules and laws that oftentimes, heathens obey better than some of us. Many children of God claim the promise without submitting to the principle.
We cannot claim God’s promise of prosperity without submitting to God’s principles for prosperity. There are people who reject God’s promise of prosperity but they still embrace the principle, work hard, contribute, and add value, and they prosper. There are non-Christians who will not accept God’s power but they will add value to their community and society and will prosper. As Christians, we don’t chase the money, we improve our service, craft, product, and work. Christians add value.
Money is not the root of all evil, it’s a medium of exchange for goods or services.
2. Instead of chasing Money, seek after God!
“And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.”Luke 15:13
The first thing the prodigal son did was take his father’s money and waste it. He didn’t know how to add value or provide a service or a product. If you really want to prosper, don’t hope for entitled money, earn it.
The second thing that happened to the prodigal son after being entitled, was that he left his father and brother. When you chase money, you will always lose God. When you chase money, you will lose people. Only God helps us to not only love Him but to love other people as well. The reason chasing money and the love of money is evil and dangerous, is money feeds you with lies.
The Danger Of Money
Money will tell you that your worth comes from your wealth. Money will tell you that the goal is to make more money and it doesn’t matter who you hurt, cut, cheat, forsake, or lie to because money is the primary goal. It is like chasing after the wind; it is never enough.
There are some things money cannot do. Money cannot buy you manners, morals, respect, character, common sense, trust, patience, inheritance, or love. Money can buy you a bed but not sleep. It can buy you books but not brains. You can buy food but not an appetite. Money can buy you finery but not beauty. You can buy a house but not a home. It can buy you medicine but not health. Money will buy you luxuries but not class. It will buy you amusement but not happiness. Money will buy you religion but not salvation. You can buy a passport to everywhere except Heaven.
Money is deceitful if you chase it. It is a tool, a means of exchange but the moment money becomes something you chase, two things will happen. Firstly, you will abandon God and secondly, you will abandon people. Money will not make you happy but it will magnify your true happiness. Happiness comes from relationships. Happiness comes because you have a husband, children, and family. You can be happy when you are poor or rich when you have people with you. Happiness comes from an abundance of relationships.
One of the first things that money will do is cause you to forsake your family because you will work yourself to death. Money will cause you to use your family instead of being with them because money is all about money.
When money is what you chase, you use people. When God is what you chase, you use money. The moment you chase God, He gives you two commandments to live by: love the Lord your God and love people. If you chase money, money will command you to love fame, pleasure, sleep, sex, food, and alcohol, and it will deceive you. The only people who stay with you are the people you pay to be with you or those who stay with you because you have money. The moment you lose your money, those people disappear. They are not your family; they are not your friends and they don’t care about you.
Money gives you fake friends. Money gives you the illusion of success but you are miserable on the inside. Money can never fix your eternal soul. It can never fix the fact that you have a spirit inside you. Chasing money bankrupts you spiritually and relationally. I have someone else whom you can chase today, His name is Jehovah Jireh. His name is the Great I AM, the Beginning and the End, our Shepherd.
Choose To Chase God
When you chase God, you will have happiness because your soul is satisfied. When you chase God, you will have healthy relationships because you will realize that God’s number one priority is not gold but people. You will realize that He sent His Son Jesus to die for people. As you love God, you will see that He loves people. God puts a high price on human beings. All people matter to God. Money is important but family is the most important investment and when you are poor, you still have your family. When you are rich and known, you can still have your family. Then, there will be this happiness that exists because you have relationships.
When God starts to give you more money, money magnifies what you have on the inside. If you are lonely, money makes you more lonely. If you are happy, money makes you happier. If you are already happy, satisfied, and joyful because you have a good relationship with God, money didn’t make you happy. It just made you happier. Money didn’t fix the problem but it provided more fulfillment because it provided you with more opportunities.
I challenge you today not to seek money; seek God instead. Then, money will be a blessing to your life and you will use it as a tool to bless other people.
3. Instead of chasing money, pursue integrity.
The third thing that happened to the prodigal son was he went into immoral behavior that caused him poor decisions, which led to poverty. Poverty comes as a result of four things: an attack of Satan, an affliction of life, an act of love, and the aftermath of sin.
Sometimes, satan can directly attack and assault your finances. The Bible calls him the devourer in the Book of Malachi. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy – John 10:10. He wants to steal your finances. Some people have this direct fight from demons in their finances and that is why they are poor. They have to fight spiritual powers to overcome their poverty.
We live in a broken world where natural disasters happen. We have corrupt leaders and political leaders who make dumb decisions that affect us all. Sometimes, we may be under a boss who chooses not to pay. This is an affliction because we are in a broken world.
Jesus chose to be poor for the sake of the Gospel. That is why poverty can come as an act of love. The Bible says He became poor so that many will be enriched.
The fourth reason people become poor is they make poor decisions. This was what happened to the prodigal son. He made the decision to leave his father. That was a bad decision. He did not honor his father. Another bad decision. Then, he didn’t invest his money or start a company. It wasn’t that his investment went bad. He went clubbing, doing drugs and immoral things and wasted the money.
The Prodigal Son’s Poverty
Interestingly, at the same time that he lost his money, the economy went down and the nation went through a severe famine. Meanwhile, his father was still living in a good economy. Sometimes, when you find yourself away from your Father, you will find yourself under the economy of this world, instead of the economy of God. God is not affected by the stock market. God is above the dollar. God is the King of the Universe.
The prodigal son’s sinful decisions led him to poverty. He ended up in the affliction of poverty because everything he did led to poverty. Even when he got a job, they don’t even pay enough for him to eat. He had a bad job in a bad economy due to bad decisions, and a bad relationship with his father, and he developed a bad attitude and habits because he only consumed instead of contributing.
Things The Bible Warns Us Lead To Poverty
Overeating And Drinking Alcohol
“For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.”Proverbs 23:21
If you love food, money won’t be chasing you. Food is not your friend; food is your fuel. If you make food your friend, it could cause poverty. Don’t make food your friend. You should have real friends, not a refrigerator. Make sure your spouse is your friend, not your food. Eat well and eat healthy but loving food and developing an affair with food is dangerous for your finances. The Bible commands us to love the Lord our God, not our food.
Sleeping Too Much
“Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.”Proverbs 20:13
We all need sleep but loving sleep, oversleeping, being a sluggard, and lazy is different from getting a good night’s sleep. What we love as Christians is the Lord our God and our neighbor. We should not fall in love with sleep.
If you are poor and struggling financially, it might be that you love things you should not love (Food and sleep).
“He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!”Proverbs 28:19
These are people who always have dreams, daydreams, and things you have seen online instead of living in the real world, it will lead you to poverty.
“For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.”Proverbs 6:26
If you live in sexual purity like Joseph did, it will lead to prosperity. The moment you do not live in a way that honors God in the area of sexuality, it leads to poverty. If you are married to a person and stay faithful to that person, there is an automatic compounding effect that happens on your finances. If you have a healthy marriage, your heart is satisfied. Your work and performance won’t suffer because you have a crisis in your home. Your work even gets better and they begin to pay you more and promote you.
There is a natural tendency of having peace in your heart and love in your life that leads to prosperity in your workplace. The Bible doesn’t want you to chase love; it wants you to chase God and love people. When you break the cycle and chase love, you get poverty.
Some people are in love with love. They love the idea of being in love instead of loving God. This is dangerous because it leads to sexual immorality which leads to poverty.
Seeking Pleasure Leads To Poverty
“He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.”Proverbs 21:17
In order to see money come into your life, you have to stop chasing it. In order to see pleasure become a part of your life, you have to stop wanting it. In the presence of God, there is pleasure but when we seek the pleasures of life and sin instead of being productive, useful, and effective and our whole goal is to be happy, it is dangerous. God gives us a new way and says if you want happiness to chase you, chase Me.
If We Are Lazy We Will Not Be Prosperous
“The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”Proverbs 13:4
How You Handle Correction
“Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.”Proverbs 13:18
Do people have to walk on eggshells before they give feedback on your work? Do you feel like you need to see a therapist just because you got a correction? Can you take feedback and correction without crying and tears? We have to allow people to give us correction, feedback and even rebukes because this is the key to getting better. This makes our service, product, contribution, and reward better. Disconnect your character or identity from your work, let people critique your work without feeling like they destroyed you, and you will get better at your work, and as a result, your reward gets better.
A poor person is so sensitive and easily offended. That is a poor mentality. Be eager to learn and hungry for improvement. Ask for feedback. You can even ask your employer because you are not working for self-esteem, you are working to offer service. Desire to grow.
Chasing Get Rich Quick Schemes Will Get You Poor Quick
“A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him.”Proverbs 28:22
There is no such thing as getting rich quickly. Most of the time, I don’t believe God wants that either for most people, because you have to develop principles, structures, and systems. When you have your own business for 15 years, for example, you will develop these things so that when money comes, you can handle it and if money leaves you, you can bring it again because those characteristics that brought the opportunities and money are still within you. When someone else works very hard and gives you money, you don’t know how to think or work like that and you will lose that money. This is why you always want to work on yourself as a Christian. Work on your mindset and don’t buy into get-rich-quick schemes.
Repentance Brings Prosperity
“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”Proverbs 28:13
This takes us to the end of the story of the prodigal son. When he realized that he made poor decisions that lead him to poverty what he did was amazing; he repented. You can make all the wrong decisions but you can always turn around and make the right decisions. It doesn’t matter how bad it got for you, you are never in a place where there is no hope.
The prodigal son did not think about getting a better job somewhere else but first, let me go and get a better relationship with my father. If you are in a low place or financially struggling, there may be many reasons and things you are blaming but let me ask you a question: how is your relationship with your Heavenly Father? Fix that first.
Fix Your Relationship With Your Father First
Let us stop chasing money and career success, and let us chase the Lord. Get your relationship with God right.
The prodigal son resigned from his job. If you are doing something that doesn’t pay you at all, quit your job. He left the economy of famine and moved to the economy of bread. When you come to God, He switches the economy you live under. Under God, your boss is not your provider; your job is your resource but God is your provider. When you live under the shadow of the Most High God, you live under a different economy.
The young man returned to his father and didn’t ask for more money; he asked for a job. Switch your mindset. Don’t think that you just need a miracle from God. Ask the Lord for opportunities, not miracles. That miracle will come as a surprise in your life but that should not be what you are seeking.
Lord, give me an opportunity to be a better contributor and a servant.
My prayer is not ‘God, make me famous, successful, rich, or give me a big church’. My prayer is God bless my calling to touch more people. Help me to improve my ability to serve Your people by preaching the product: your Word. My desire is not ‘God, increase my finances’ but ‘God, increase my contribution to the body of Christ. Lord, help me do this in such a way that is righteous. So my accusers have to come up with lies to accuse me. If someone was able to tear apart and see the pieces of my life, let the only thing they see be a radical commitment to God, love for my spouse, love for my friends, and integrity before God.’ I don’t want to go high, I want to be impactful. I want God to bless the work of my hands and the words of my mouth.
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, meaning I don’t just want to seek God, I want to seek integrity because I know people who sought God but were shady, the product they provided was flawed, and the service they provided was nasty.Don’t chase money, chase providing service, God, and righteousness. That will set you up for God’s principle of prosperity to be honored in your life. Click To Tweet
God promises prosperity. God gives us power, sometimes supernaturally overriding the rules and laws to give us prosperity. God also provided us with principles that if we adhere to them, we will live a life of honor and prosperity. Does that mean everyone is going to get rich? No. This has very little to do with financial riches compared with the contribution we offer for which we receive a reward.