Prosperity does not equal Materialism

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2 NKJV).

We our spirit beings with a soul, living in a body.  Our soul is made up of our mind, will and emotions.  It doesn’t take a lot of effort to understand that if your mind, will and emotions are prospering you will feel satisfied.

If your body is satisfied it’s because it is well fed, well clothed, safe, secure, comfortable, strong, healthy, etc.  But, since “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).  And Jesus also tells us that it’s, “The Spirit [who] gives life; the flesh counts for nothing”. (John 6:63).  It is our spiritual ‘food’ that gives, sustains and renews life.  This food is the Word of God.

It is the Word that ignites passion, purpose and desire in our spirit.  Anything else is external and is caused by trying to satisfy the desires of the flesh (the body) through the efforts of the mind, will, and emotions (the soul).  Our soul prospers as our spirit is fuelled by the Spirit of God.  This prosperity is not materialism, despite the fact that some of the satisfaction of our soul might come from the fulfilment of external desires.  Because as you “Take delight in the LORD, he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

There is a connection between the external things that spark a desire and the condition of your heart. If your soul is trying to fulfil desires through its own effort and thinking it will be motivated by lack and emptiness and be driven by a pursuit that cannot be filled through external means.  This is the influence of mammon that causes a poverty mindset because it will never be fully satisfied.

Instead, if your heart is filled with the love and glory of the Lord, your actions will be inspired by the Word and the Spirit and “all these things [external desires] will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).  Pursuing material rewards is never ending because it will never satisfy.  Pursuing the Lord will result in fulfilment with peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control – and the material rewards that God uniquely places in our hearts that prosper our soul.

The key is the connection between the Word and the world we live in.  Prayer is that key that unlocks the connection; both individual prayer and community prayer, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).

The Body of Christ must wake up and gather together around this issue of money.  It’s ridiculous that we don’t talk about it and when we do, it’s superficial or focused on spiritual ‘principles’ only. The Word is full of practical strategies that are extremely important and relevant for the world we live in today, but unless we unite, the church will continue to inadvertently follow the ways of the world by dealing with money from what they can see.

God has repeatedly shown us how He supernaturally provides (manna), but unless we learn NOW to recognize His manna in the world we live today, Satan will continue to gain a stronghold and when the time comes to choose between the world’s financial system of God’s, His people will be sleeping and miss the moment when “he [satan, the beast who] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17)

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