I was thinking about my life the other day. I’ve been in some form of ministry for 30 years from minister of music, children’s church, teaching ladies meetings to preaching. That is a long time to prove out what God can do. I have seen God work in people’s lives in such amazing ways. I have lived from extreme poverty to an over-and-above life (Ephesians 3:20).
After 30 years of discovering God’s prosperity, it is way too late to tell me that biblical prosperity isn’t for God’s people. After living it for 30 years, it is way too late to tell me it doesn’t work. Like one minister puts it, “I tried broke. I didn’t like it.” Even as a single parent barely getting by, God took such good care of me.
I can already tell this post is going to be too long to do in one round. Since it is VERY hard to read a long, drawn out post (snooze), I will break it up for you. You’re welcome.
In the last Musing I told you I would deal with the word pleasure from Job 36:11, “If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.”
From Strong’s*, we get that the original meaning of the word “pleasure” is to pass in beauty, be delight, be pleasant, be sweet. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Who wouldn’t want to live their life like this? Life is meant to be sweet.
What most people don’t understand is that there are set Laws in the Bible that have to be obeyed. We focus on mercy and grace – and this is very vital and important – but we should also pay attention to what I call “qualifiers” – the obedience or faithfulness required to receive the promises.
A qualifier can be as simple as the promise in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you.” Notice nothing is given to you until you first give. That is the qualifier – YOU give, then it is given back to you. This can be anything (money, things), but it indicates you should be living a lifestyle of giving, being prepared to give away anything you have.
I am learning not to love anything I own. That way, as a giver, if I feel prompted by God to give something away, I can – from clothes, perfume, cash, to washers, dryers, vehicles, houses.
Then from that verse we have the word so many people have a problem with – they choke on this word – prosperity. God says you can spend your days in prosperity. Get that? GOD SAID IT. If God said it, who are you to disobey God?
Say that word with me – prosperity. Say it again: prosperity. Say it louder one more time, P-R-O-S-P-E-R-I-T-Y. Get that picture: God WANTS you to have it. Have what? Repeat after me again: Prosperity.
Here is the original meaning of that word, prosperity. I am listing several (but not all) of the meanings of it so you can get an understanding how whole that word is, how it encompasses your entire life. The biblical meaning of the word prosperity:
Good, goods, (to have) good things, beautiful, best, (to make) better, bountiful, (to be) at ease, (be in) favour, joyful, precious, wealth, (be) well-favoured
Wow, GOD said good “things” – GOD said “wealth” – GOD said you can have the best. GOD said we can have goods. GOD said we can be in favor (another Musing coming). Huh, I guess that knocks out the naysayers because personally, I wouldn’t want to go against what GOD said. (And you kind of have to wonder what they are so worried about, coming against prosperity.)
In the Bible, especially the Old Testament, people knew someone served God BECAUSE they were blessed, rich, prosperous, had more than enough, and were generous. You will also find most of those negative naysayers are broke or certainly not financially well off. And give? Fuggitaboutit. It is highly doubtful anyone who comes against the prosperity message is generous with their finances in a significant way. How can they? They don’t have it.
What do you think has changed since Old Testament time? With God and His Bible, nothing. With people? Actually, not much either. They either obeyed back then or they didn’t, same as today. They were negative back then and are so now. Nothing has changed since the Old Testament. There is not one place in the Bible that now says: “It’s all over; I, God, have officially run out of money and provisions. Sorry, no prosperity for you! The Israelites took it all.”
I’m sure if you’ve read any of the Old Testament, you know what happened to those who didn’t serve God. Let’s just say that they did not spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasure. All did not go well with them. The qualifier back then? Obedience and faithfulness, love Him, serve Him, obey His Word, same as today.
Check your heart today and see if there are any areas of thinking that you might need to renew, change, go in and fix about prosperity. Think about areas you may need to work on your qualification (obedience, faithfulness). It isn’t hard – just see what the Bible says about it, then make up your mind you will do what that scripture says.
Set your mind that if GOD said it, you are going to believe it and act on it. NOT what people say, not what preachers say, not what your granny said, or what your family believes. No, dare to believe what GOD said.
Until next time, why not dig out your Bible and look at these great promise scriptures:
Psalm 16:8-11 – life – keep (make) alive, (to) nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore revive, be whole along with pleasures forevermore
Psalm 35:27 – (there the word prosperity also means safe; welfare, that is, health, prosperity, peace)
Psalm 36:8 – (pleasures here goes to the root: to live voluptuously)
Psalm 149:4 (salvation here is deliverance: aid, victory, prosperity)
Sharing God’s Goodness with you,
*Strong’s Concordance: It is an exhaustive cross-reference of every word in the King James Version of the Bible back to the word in the original text. It is used to help in the study to discover the original meanings of the words translated into the King James version. It often helps give a deeper understanding of what was meant.
A concordance is a verbal index to the Bible. It may be for the original languages, Hebrew and Greek.