And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation]. 2 Corinthians 9:8
What a wonderful promise from God this passage is. We just concluded a stirring series on our eternal security in Christ. We saw how secure His hands are for our eternal destination. How much more secure are they when it comes to caring for the financial needs of His family?
One major controversy that exist in the Body of Christ today is the issue of financial prosperity. Does God in fact promise to care for our financial need? The answer to this question is somewhat complex. Am I going to waver and say no God wants you broke because look at all the starving people groups all over the globe? We have already seen based upon the finished work of healing we can't look at the experience of others and determine God's will from that image alone.
That being said one must not also conclude that God guarantees everyone will live in a mansion and drive a fancy sports car. The promise of provision the Word of God declares is one that needs much balance. Why is this? Is it because God is a stingy Father? Is it because He is like some cosmic "sugar daddy"? The answer is no to both of these concepts. So why the need for balance? Because all through the Earthly ministry of Jesus and throughout the New Covenant Epistles we see much warnings about material possessions.
Money has the uncanny knack of trying to gain control and become the singular pursuit of our life. We all have potential to abandon love and mercy and forsake all others in the pursuit of wealth. Jesus knew this and gave much warning about wealth. So is wealth evil and wrong? Of course not. It is only an object. It is the value we place upon it that makes it dangerous.
Lets answer the basic question. Is it God's will or plan that we prosper financially? I believe the Word is clear.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers. 3 John 2
The Word is pretty clear. God's design is to care for the natural and material needs of His people. How then do we define this care? Is it everyone is going to live in a mansion and be a millionaire if they just have enough faith? I believe many have taught this. What is the results of this type of extreme emphasis? Many have shipwrecked their faith trying to attain a level of wealth promised to them by men and not the Lord.
Our introductory text and foundation passage is the true definition of prosperity. God wants your needs met so you can be a generous blessing to others. If you make $30,000 a year and can live on $28,000 comfortably you have more than enough to bless a local shelter or an overseas missionary. You can help support a local church preaching the goodness of God. You have fulfilled the promise of God in 2 Corinthians.
Now, I am not suggesting God can't get more into your hands through favor and generosity of others. He can and will bless you. If we stop looking at what we don't have and focus on what we do we will rejoice seeing how blessed we really are. Some people on Earth can't even shower in clean water. How thankful are you when you got out of the shower today? Puts prosperity on a different perspective doesn't it?
With the established truth that God's design is our blessing I want to dispel some of the destructive gimmicks men have come up with to depart you from your money. I will not hold back on my concern for error in the Charismatic and Faith circles. I love all my Word of Faith brethren, I still believe much of the faith teaching I received from Brother Kenneth E. Hagin. I am just rejoicing many in the Faith camp are embracing the gospel of His grace and rejecting the error of works based salvation and trying to earn God's goodness.
What about, naming your seed teachings? What about the hundredfold return? What about debt free offerings? What about throwing money on an altar? What about giving money personally to a preacher in order to activate what he/she just preached? I will discuss all of these issues in the next few blog posts.
I trust you will be blessed by these teachings on His goodness and balanced truth of His blessing on our life. Let me conclude by stating emphatically just because we question much of the prosperity teaching that has infiltrated the Body of Christ doesn't mean that we are rejecting the truth that God want's to care for the needs of His people.
May God's best be yours, rest in His goodness this week.