Some years back I read a book by DeVern Fromke entitled, “The Ultimate Intention.” One of the main insights I gained from it was how easily humans can turn just about every good thing into a negative when it becomes all about us.
It is a matter of perspective. Just as medieval scientists under the Ptolemaic system believed that the earth was in the center, with all the stars, planets as well as the moon revolving around it, we tend to see everything from the perspective of how it serves or benefits us personally.
The earlier view was later proven false by Galileo, and its challenger Copernicus was vindicated. This was a major paradigm shift for the scientific world, but the truth has made possible many advancements in the world of science and technology, and has impacted our daily lives as well.
What does all this have to do with the Prosperity Gospel?
Jesus Christ has come into the world in order that we might have Life in its highest sense — more abundant life and fullness of joy! He demonstrated the Life of God as one that is focussed on others. God so loved the world that He gave…..The depths of the gift of His Son on the Cross are so great as to have cosmic implications! Who can fully comprehend it?
This life as Jesus presented it is one of self-surrender to the infinite love and grace of God. The whole weight of self-centeredness is lifted from the one who is “born from above,” and the focus turns to our loving, wise, giving and all-powerful God, Who is Himself focused upon others. We learn from Him how to lift up the lives of our fellow human beings.
In Luke 9:23-25, Jesus said: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?”
The greatest danger I see in the way the Prosperity Gospel is often preached is that it so easily becomes man-centered. As we previously mentioned, there is always the risk that we will make everything about us. Even the message of Salvation through faith in Christ has too often become contaminated to the point that for some it is no more than a “fire insurance policy.”
God wants us all to live life to the fullest, as He originally intended. Sin and selfishness has gotten in the way of that. Are we then to turn His remedy, the Cross of Christ into a formula for gaining the whole world, and losing our very soul? Our we to promote a return to the old paradigm of self-centeredness and selfishness, and laying up for ourselves material treasures that ultimately fail?
The beauty of this surrender of self to Christ is that He is so much more capable of looking out for our well being than we are. He is worthy of our trust, and we can rest in that knowledge, with a peace that surpasses all understanding!
Paul wrote: in Philippians 3:13-14:
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
The freedom of this single-minded pursuit of Christ contributed to His leaving one of the greatest legacies of Christian history.
What kind of legacy will this generation leave to the next?