Summary: Discusses the confusion around the prosperity message.
Satan’s Great Lie - Prosperity
“God wants you to be rich”? “The wealth of the wicked is laid up for the righteous”? “Poor people cannot help God’s Kingdom, He needs people with money.” “You are out of God’s will if you are not financially prospering.” “Give one dollar and receive one hundred in return, give one hundred and receive ten thousand – it is up to you”. These statements have been made from the pulpit of preachers who teach and preach the prosperity message. The prosperity message plays on the desires that everyone has for financial increase and freedom. In last week’s message I laid the foundation for the prosperity message – tithing and giving offerings. I told you how some people tell you that you are cursed if you are not giving at least ten percent to the Church. I also told you the history behind tithing and how the blessing is determined by your attitude in giving, not just in a dollar amount. This morning I will conclude this message on prosperity by giving you God’s idea of prosperity as recorded in His word. I do want to say up front thought, that I do not believe that whether you have a big screen TV or a Lexus, a big house or six-figure salary is high up on God’s list of things for you. They may be on our list, but if we truly want to prosper, we need to know what is on God’s list and what is important to our Father.
Prosperity in the Old Testament came with the realization of goals being met, success in labor, living in peace and safety, happiness, enjoying the benefits of family relationships as well as acquiring and possessing material goods. Acquiring and possessing material goods were not the primary focus of their prosperity. Another point about prosperity is that it comes from God. It is not based totally on an investment system where you invest some and receive more back, but primarily on relationship system. Let us look at Job. My brother and I talked about Job this week and what Satan said to God. He reminded me of this as it relates to prosperity. Job 1:9-10 says “Then Satan answered the Lord, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands and his possessions have increased in the land.” Satan told God basically “You’re the reason Job is blessed – you’ve put a hedge around him – I can’t touch him! Do you see where I am going with this? God is the one who prospers us, and in true prosperity, Satan cannot touch what we are doing for God in accomplishing His will. He can try to distract us, but he cannot stop us because of our relationship with God. Job was blessed and “protected” because of his relationship with God, as are we. Let it be known today, right now, right here, God wants you to prosper and His prosperity is a lot more than just finances. I want you to keep in the back of your mind what Satan basically told God – “You’re the reason Job is blessed, you put a hedge around him and I cannot him!” Keep this in your mind and I will come back to it later.
Matthew 6:8 & 33 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him…..But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
2 Corinthian 9:10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;
Matthew 9:37-38 “Then He said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
Here is God’s prosperity message for us. In Matthew 6:8 & 33 Jesus tells us that we need to establish a relationship with God. By establishing a relationship with Him, we get to know Him and He gets to know us. Our primary job is to seek God and His righteousness so that we can become like Him. His job, in us doing ours, is to supply all of those other things that we need. Things that will enable us to do certain things for Him like working in the harvest. So as we begin to seek Him, god begins to do His part and provide all of the other things that we need. Why does He do this? So that we can be freed us to seek and learn of Him. You see, God wants you to know and develop a relationship with Him and He just removes a lot of things (distractions) off our plate so that we have time to develop that relationship with Him.