Out from the Wilderness
As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare your way before You”
As you might notice, there’s a lot going on by the Power of the Holy Spirit. Please read below to my PS for how you can help me share this message and bring more of what the Spirit is speaking in the area of financial grace forward!
I received my first ‘anti-prosperity’ email this week. I also heard from so many people who are looking to make some extra money, and I’ve spent considerable time prayerfully listening to the Lord’s leading in what’s the big deal about prosperity? Here’s the revelation:
Prosperity challenges our reality. If we look around and perceive that we’re not living how we’d hoped or expected to be living, or when we look around and see poverty, our minds process this as some sort of ‘proof’ that God isn’t against money, but not for everyone. We read that Jesus died to give us an abundant life and we determine to spiritualize abundance and not connect it to the natural world.
You can be assured I’ll share a lot more about this in the weeks ahead, but for now, the Spirit of the Lord reminded me of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego from Daniel 3, “…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (v17-18). “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
If you’re experiencing poverty of any sort: relationally, physically, financially would it be fair to describe that as a wilderness experience? I would say so. If you are strong, healthy and joyful are you living in prosperity? Sure. When your mind, will and emotions (our soul) prospers you are not living in the wilderness or in a state of poverty because you are living the abundant life Jesus came to provide.
Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy the prosperity of God’s people and he seems to have done a fine job convincing too many people that God doesn’t want us to experience prosperity! God’s first words to man were blessing. Last time I checked poverty was NOT a blessing!
What’s the meaning of blessing? ‘Empowered to prosper’.
What does to prosper mean? ‘To succeed and flourish; to advance or gain anything good or desirable. It also means well-being’.
How are we empowered to prosper? Through relationship with our Lord through the Holy Spirit so He can guide us in all truth and show us the path we should follow.
How do we realize biblical prosperity? “Again, I [Jesus} say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:18-19).
The condition of our heart must be committed and surrendered to our Lord while we’re living in the world. In Jeremiah 29:10-13 “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon [after a lifetime of living under the world’s system], I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place [Jerusalem, the city of peace]. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity .”
Prosperity challenges us because it forces us to look at ourselves and realize our sin: feeble attempts at self-sufficiency, of trying to do things on our own.
The world wants us to think money is something private that we need to work hard at accumulating enough so we can look after ourselves in old age and be able to eat, drink and be merry.
Then we add in a flavouring of guilt because we might have some debt, or some pride if we’ve got none, and we top off the mindset with a dessert of self-condemnation, or self-justification based on how much we’re giving (or not).
Collectively we have to realize the world view of money is fueling this poverty spirit and sinking us deeper into the wilderness. It’s getting worse as we continue to try to manage money on our own from the limited understanding we’ve received from living in the world or taking lessons or advice from the world. This doesn’t mean we have to avoid the worlds money system or not take advice from world money managers. No. We need Christian money professionals to help the Body of Christ to unlock the riches stored in secret places to return the wealth of the wicked stored up for the righteous!
Here’s the anti-prosperity message I received and my response:
“Please take me off your list. I believe prosperity theology is a sin. I am interested in obeying my Lord not asking him for wealth”.
Hi…, You have been unsubscribed. I agree materialism is a sin as it places trust and focus on the created, not the creator. Biblical prosperity, however is very much evident throughout all the scriptures and requires a deep intimate relationship with our Lord to navigate the financial world we live in today. Poverty is very much a curse and our world’s system has brought that into the church. Jesus’ anger at the money changers in the temple is a great example of the passion He shared in demonstrating how we are to be wise in money matters to overcome materialism fueling poverty.
The bible I read in every different translation very clearly shows how God intends to bless His people which includes material blessings so we can bring the light into the darkness. Jesus was not a pauper and certainly didn’t go to the cross for us to be held in bondage to money. During His ministry, He also gave direction to His disciples multiple times about where they would find money/wealth. Peter’s re-fishing expedition that broke the net; the coin in the mouth of the fish; feeding the multitudes are just a few examples where Jesus was asked for money (material blessings) and He answered.
And so “I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2) and that He blesses you with an overflow of financial increase so that wealth will overflow from your life to others who have less that we may all prosper and be in good health! Abundant Blessings, Sam
I knew years ago that God was calling me to deliver this message to His people. I nattered back and forth with Him in prayer because at the time I was broke financially, physically, emotionally, relationally (even my marriage was barely tolerable at the time), I was weak spiritually, and I was intimidated by ‘church people’ especially leaders.
But God is patient with us. He calls each of us ‘for such a time as this’ for some purpose that we likely won’t at first see, but He’ll keep prompting us and directing our steps as we surrender our will to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. He will empower us out of a wilderness of lack – even if you currently ‘feel’ like you’re doing ok today.
What do I mean? I mean that ‘ok’ by the world’s standards is a self-determined benchmark. Some people believe they’re doing ok when they have an extra $1000, yet others deem ‘ok’ to be $1m, $10m, billions? It’s a subjective, personal value that has given the person a sense of comfort and control over their life based on the material, temporal world we live in.
A sense of pride gives us a sense of security and freedom because of the financial resources and material blessings we have in our life. Pride and self-control are sin. Sin requires repentance but it first has to be recognized and personally acknowledged.
What’s God calling you to?
The value of your bank account and material possessions isn’t what’s important to God. It’s our heart He wants. It’s ok to have a bank balance of $1000, just like it’s ok to have a balance of $1m or more.
What’s not ok, is settling for less or rationalizing your financial position to fit your situation because it’s all you can see.
If I continue to hear people (especially Christians) tell me how they’ll never be able to afford to buy a house or how much they can’t afford to do things I think I’ll explode!
We ALL have something to share with someone – maybe it’s something you know that your family needs to hear, maybe it’s your neighbor who needs some skill you have to offer, your workplace, your church, your nation? Maybe you have financial resources or skills or time or expertise.
Whatever it is, it has value to you and to others! God has given you something of value, and He’s given you a desire as a glimpse into the future He’s calling you to, where He wants you to grow that valuable thing He’s given you into overflowing blessings which have a positive impact on our world. He’ll give you the power to realize the vision He’s given you for His purposes, for His glory.
Maybe your skill is something simple like adorable knitted hats for babies. Imagine the joy and pictures that could be sharing God’s blessings if patterns for adorable knitted hats were produced and sold, or someone was given a job knitting them so more were available and they could be sold to provide jobs locally and abroad; to provide funds for orphanages perhaps; to provide smiles to families of sick babies (or healthy babies) who visited their elderly grandparents…overflowing blessings!
There are sooooooo many of these little things that when we bring God into the financial discussion and begin to ask Him what He’s calling us to and what the cost will be to fulfill that vision, He will also show us what seeds he’s given us to plant, and where He want us to plant them. He’ll show us what the costs are to plant and cultivate and produce a harvest. He’ll also show us with whom He wants us to work with in the field and who we’ll serve the fruit of our labour.
The tools we use today are predominantly financial instruments. These require knowledge and professional assistance to source and implement effectively.
Bank accounts are financial instruments just as much as a business is an income generating tool. Insurance, taxes, credit, real estate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, mortgages, leases, loans, pension, medical benefits…these are not simple to understand tools.
Interest rates are just one small component of the calculations for what these tools will help you produce. There’s also the various financial statements and analysis ratios that are the metrics (measurements) of performance – the yield of your crop and how effective your tools are performing!
We need each other and we need to bring Holy Spirit into the money conversation for His guidance. Then He’ll direct the path and He’ll get the glory because He’s providing the strength and opportunities and direction – and He’s giving the wisdom to gather knowledge and apply it according to His plans!
There should be no poverty in God’s kingdom. There should be no isolation. There should be no intimidation, guilt, judgement, envy, self-centeredness. Jesus said, “the poor you will always have” (Matthew 26:11), but that’s not intended to give us a justification for what the devil is stealing. God intends for His people to prosper so we can be the light in the darkness of poverty.
Oh my friend, sadly I know this because I have lived in the wilderness of regret, loss, judgement, anxiety, lack. John the Baptist, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: declared ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins…And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:1-5).
We have to repent of partnering with poverty brought on by self, and by and striving and saving to look after self. Attempting to make financial decisions by self; assuming we know what’s best for self. This is the sin.
The theology of prosperity is not self-focused. It is not sin. It requires the Power of the Word of God to work in your life – in all areas, not just finances!
I have so much to share on all this. This ministry is powered by prayer. It is funded by prayer. It is powered by the Word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit!
And as you know prosperity doesn’t come through self – it comes in community. Jeremiah 29:7, “…as the community prospers so will you.” And I do pray that all of us prosper, even as our souls prosper!
Please share financial grace (the result of applying the paradigm of biblical prosperity) with others.
Please ask questions and participate.
Please apply the concepts to your life.
Gather people around for small group discussions. There is no doubt this message is ‘for such a time as this’… but it’s a process that begins with a seed of an idea that God will grow as you work with His Holy Spirit to water, fertilize and tend to the field. The physical tools we use are the financial instruments of our world today, but the result is a harvest that overflows from your life into the lives of others with all praise and worship to His glorious name!
Its critical to recognize we need community to realize biblical prosperity.
We need biblical prosperity to fund the harvest of souls still lost in the wilderness.
We will not do this under the financial mindset of the world.
We will not do this alone.
We will not do any of this assuming we know how to manage money for ourselves.
The more I surrender my mind to the Holy Spirit in the area of finances, the more I realize His message of unity through the Spirit is bold and loud and critical today.
Retirement, budgets, debt, saving, taxes, insurance, credit reports, mortgages,…We have to come together in prayer and be open, vulnerable, confident, knowledgeable, wise, creative, generous and prosperous in all areas of life: financially, relationally, physically, emotionally, spiritually!
Thank you and God Bless!