Duane Vander Klok
Are you rich?
When asked that question, many people see dollar signs or take a quick inventory of the “stuff” they have accumulated. What comes to your mind? Do you think of cars, homes, jewelry, your savings account or a long awaited dream vacation?
While Biblical prosperity includes having enough money to live and do the things God has called you to do, it also includes having good health, peace of mind, good relationships and much more. The Apostle John wrote, “I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2). In this verse alone, you can see that God’s view of prosperity is much more than money and the things you can buy. He desires that you would prosper in your spirit, your soul and your body.
Poverty vs. Prosperity
I knew a man in South America who lived in a tiny hut that took only two days to build. He had a wife, a couple of children, a little plot of land with a few chickens, and he wore only a loin cloth. It might seem to you that he lived in a state of poverty, but he couldn’t imagine being more prosperous.
I knew another man who lived in a huge home on acres of land. He had a wife and two children, a couple of expensive cars, a membership in an elite country club and a luxurious yacht. Judging from appearances, most would probably say he was more prosperous than the first man. But was he really?
Contrary to popular opinion, being truly rich does not come from having lots of money and an abundance of this world’s treasures.
Suppose the man who has all the “stuff” finds out he has cancer, or his wife leaves him for another man, or his kids are on drugs. Is he enjoying prosperity? What if everyone he knows hated him, or he lived in constant fear? Would you still call him rich?
Someone who is prosperous in God’s eyes is rich because of his or her spiritual condition. It has nothing to do with material possessions, but everything to do with our relationship with God. Likewise, poverty is not the result of a poor financial state. In reality, poverty is a destructive spirit sent from the devil to rob people of the abundant life Jesus came to give them. No one is poor just because they have no money; they are poor because Satan has stolen their health, their family, their relationships or dreams.
Jesus told this parable in Luke 12:16-21: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. He thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” This man was a millionaire; yet God called him a fool! Like him, you can have all of the things the world has to offer; but if you are not rich toward God, you are not truly rich.
Seek God First
Some people make the mistake of seeking God only for what they can get from Him, but Jesus said, “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). If you seek only after God’s blessing, you will miss out on the things He wants to add to your life, but when you seek Him first, He is able to bless you.
Faith makes a difference. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” You see, it makes a difference when you pray and read God’s Word. It makes a difference when you worship. It makes a difference when you obey His Word and when you give your tithes and offerings to God. When you exercise your faith and diligently seek Him, He will reward you.
Success comes from doing things God’s way. You may have a good marriage, but if you do not value marriage the way God does, you may lose it. The same is true with your finances or any other area of your life. If you do not value what God has given you, you may lose the blessing He intends. However, when you seek God more than you seek any other thing, you will value what He values and you will be blessed.
As you put God first in your life, He is able to make you prosper. He is also able to help you develop a lifestyle that enables you to maintain and pass on that prosperity.
God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He wants to be your God, your children’s God, your grandchildren’s and your great-grandchildren’s God. He wants the prosperity He gives you to flow from generation to generation. The Apostle Paul spoke to Timothy about this, saying: “…I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5).
God’s will is for every area of your life and the lives of your descendents to be blessed. For example, it is great if you have a good marriage. However, it is even better when your values influence your children so they can have good marriages, too. It is good when you do well financially, but it is even better when you pass on the ability to successfully manage finances to the next generation.
When you are truly rich, your words and your actions will teach your children to seek God first. They will learn by your example that faith and Biblical prosperity can be passed on from generation to generation.
Don’t Settle For Less
No one can afford to be satisfied with less than God wants to give, so why settle for prosperity only in the financial or physical realm when it is available in every area of your life? Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Remember, Satan is the one who causes sickness, disease, pain, poverty, and anything else that brings lack into your life. Jesus overcame the power of the devil so you can have an abundant life!
Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” It is God’s blessing that makes you truly rich. As you seek Him first, He is able to bless you and manifest His presence in your life. He becomes your sin-removing, life-giving, truth-revealing, burden-bearing, problem-solving, joy-restoring, prosperity-granting God. In addition, the scripture says that He adds no sorrow with it.
Being truly rich is about so much more than money, and God’s plan is that you prosper in life as you grow spiritually. He will supply everything you need – and even enable you to pass your prosperity on to your descendents – when you:
• Seek Him first
• Exercise your faith
• Value what He values
• Live according to His Word.
My prayer for you is that you will live a life that is rich toward God so that you can be truly rich. Don’t settle for less!
(All scriptures are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.)