The Road to Prosperity
Our God is certainly a miracle working God. This is one fact that all Christians should treasure. Here is one area where I believe prosperity and faith preachers and teachers have done us a service. Many have been greatly inspired by their stories and exhortations to believe in our God with Whom all things are possible! Ordinary believers can generally use a measure of encouragement to live in the anticipation and expectation of greater things to come in God. However discouraging your present circumstances may be, this kind of faith can lift you up in the present, and move you forward toward brighter days.
This kind of encouragement is found throughout the pages of Scripture. Consider these words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:7: (Love)” bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
If we take issue with any particular teachings that come from the lips of a popular televangelist, we should never criticize him or her for lifting our spirits with optimistic words like these from the pages of Scripture.
The greatest miracle of all is of course the New Birth, wherein a hopeless sinner becomes a saint, a child of the Living God, by the wonderful grace of God! That newly born child of God is immediately translated into a higher station of life — as a member of the most Royal Family of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!
With proper leadership, teaching and guidance, the new-born Christian will normally be set on the road to prosperity in not only the spiritual dimension of life but also in the emotional, social, physical, and financial as well. This has been my personal experience, and that of countless thousands of others.
Those of us who have come from lower income families take great comfort from the words of Jesus and also of James, “Hear my brothers, has God not chosen the poor in this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He has promised to them that love Him?” (James 2:5). And yet, that inner transformation which made us rich in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17), has also contributed to changes in our outward circumstances. Our improved mental and emotional state transforms our attitudes and outlook which in turn affect our relationships, our work habits, even our physical health. It is easy to see how all these changes can work in a very practical way to help us to better deal with our problems.
What I am saying here is that real, genuine spiritual growth results in your becoming a better and wiser parent, child, worker, student, citizen, and manager of your finances and your health. This process has much more to do with our prosperity than a simple “positive confession.” That positive confession, as taught by many prosperity preachers must correspond with true and steady growth in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What I am also pleading is that we should never measure our spiritual progress by our material circumstances, as some would suggest. Godliness is not a means of financial gain! The greater gain is in godly contentment with the normal and necessary provision of food, clothing and shelter. Better and safer it is to flee the love of money, which has led many away from the faith! (1 Timothy 6:5-11).
How poor are those who store up material wealth only, and how rich are those plain and simple folks who have found their infinite treasure in Christ! (Luke 12:20-21, 18:22).
“And do not seek what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.”
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.”
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
(Luke 12:29-34 NAS)