This is part 4 of a 4-part series about wealth; where it comes from and how we relate to it. What does God say? Aren’t there dangers? What about poor people? Please… read on. (Enjoy these delicious links to parts 1, 2, and 3.)
Part 4: Why does this subject matter?
In this series, I hope to have established that the scriptures CLEARLY say that obedience to God, left alone in a vacuum, leads to financial prosperity. There are, of course, many many examples of those who’ve had their lives and families wrecked by tragedy and sin. I personally have friends who’ve followed God through generations but have had their wealth wrecked by thieves and scoundrels. That certainly happens… but it doesn’t upend my contention that the Biblical recommendations for life and money end up in wealth.
We also discussed:
- The fact that greed is evil and to be actively avoided with care
- There are many people who, for various reasons, don’t get to enjoy the fruits of their faithfulness
- God’s favor is real and all-purpose
- God’s plan for wealth is always multi-generational
So, I’m feeling pretty good. We’ve established some Biblical precepts, hopefully challenged some assumptions of yours, and maybe gotten your head a bit more toward God’s intentions for you and your family.
So… what’s the point of my saying all this? Well it’s NOT for you to click your heels, pee your pants, and fall to your knees saying, “Ohyesyesyeys I’m gonna be RICH I’m gonna be RICH oh yes yes money money money yeysyesyeysyeyes” (that would be… embarrassing). My POINT is (well actually I’ve got 5):
- I want you to know that the hard work you do today (whether it’s paying off debt, pulling back spending from the American standard of “easy and instant all the time”, or training your kids to obey you and walk in God’s ways) will pay off if you create a family culture that can last generations. It will pay off! It will! This is what patriarchs do, right Abraham? (We’re here to help you with this and teach around this subject in every possible way.)
- To get you thinking about bigger money issues before you actually experience them. I want you dreaming about what your family would do with a million extra dollars (please don’t say “buy a condo in Ft. Lauderdale”) well before you have it. That kind of forethought (which will lead to culture-building and family training) will only help your generations to NOT go nuts and squander what’s been entrusted to them.
- To encourage you to do the work, even if you’ve only got a little now, of keeping greed at bay. Be an aggressive giver. Pay down that debt like a banshee. Pray to God that greed never gets into your precious heart. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, and you’d better gird your loins up now. Greed is like a bear just past the edge of the forest, looking for every possible opening to exploit. Hang your food high from a tree even if you can’t see him! Dispose of all food waste properly! The bear is real—and hungry—even if you can’t see him! BE ON YOUR GUARD FOR GREED.
- For all of us to stop acting like prosperity (which is really a better word than wealth, because to me, it covers all 5 capitals) is something that happens only to the lucky or the greedy. Prosperity is the road we’re walking with God (or maybe you need to help me understand how “life to the uttermost” is possible while enduring the crippling financial pressure that most Americans experience on a daily basis). Why do we walk through deliverance? Because we believe that our good Father wants to see us FREE, right? Why do we get born again? Because God has good things in store for us and the wages of sin is death! Why do we lay hands on people and pray for healing? Because the Physician restores life to the body! ALL his ways are life! …so do we seriously think that His generosity, His kind and abundant plan for His children STOPS when it comes to the material (which is the least important capital)? I would find that logic to be on a par with Kyrie’s understanding of the shape of the earth. He would simply not say “I want plenty for you in every area… but in finances, I have planned pain for you.” I just can’t see it.
- If you think that financial wealth is a result of luck, you’ll never take responsibility for it. You will ride on the American Ferris Wheel of Poverty forever; owing and spending, stingy and frightened. But if you believe that God WILLS prosperity for you then, like Bible study or your free time, you’ll begin to assume RESPONSIBILITY for it. In partnership with God, in submission to His Word and your community, you’ll start to walk out of the modern American morass and into a place of sonship (which always includes responsibility). I really, really want that for you.
God’s ways ALWAYS end in Eden. They end in love and joy and peace and goodness. Abundance. Plenty. Trust. But not just trust in Him; responsibility and stewarding as well! (And that means having something to steward!) In this way we grow into His image (for He is managing a massive, unimaginable amount of resources at this very minute)!
I’ll get off the soapbox for today, but feel free to object (and I’m sure some of you will… and that’s okay). I’m happy to discuss this stuff because I know it’s contentious and I know it’s been warped over the last 100 years by charlatans who tell you that rich = righteous. That’s the same spirit that would say that contracting a disease is a blight on your character. That kind of talk is nonsense and is not what I’m saying here. What I’m saying is that God’s ways are right and always end up in plenty. This is true of finance as well as anywhere else. What do we think favor means? What do we think the benefits of sonship are? What does God as Provider mean? What is a city on a hill if not a prosperous and well-managed one? Brothers, we need to wipe our hands of every perverted doctrine we’ve heard, repent of our fallen concepts, and come into agreement with God and His Word on this basic point:
The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it. Proverbs 10:22