Empowered To Prosper
Tell me how you would react if God came to you and told you to go to a place that you never new existed and He would bless you. Would that have been difficult for you? Maybe so, but what if He told you He would bless you to be a blessing and that because of you all people on the earth would be blessed. Well, it sounds better now huh? What if God told you everyone that blesses you would be blessed and everyone that curses you would be cursed. That definitely should cause you to get more respect right? Oh, but now God goes further and says he will make your name great and multiply your descendants upon the earth. God says he will make you so fruitful that you will begin to produce nations and kingdoms that shall rule and reign generation after generation. Now, after God has thoroughly snatched your attention He offers you the opportunity to come into covenant with Him. God tells you the only part of the covenant you must keep is to obey every command that He gives you and then He will empower you to prosper.
If the tale I just described was fiction then I could end this article now. However, the story above is not fiction but is the deal of a life time offered by God to Abraham. The Bible teaches that the blessing means “empowered to prosper” and Abraham by faith accepted God’s offer and from that point forward God began to increase Abraham. He possessed much land and riches. As God said no enemy was able to stand before him because God was with him and had commanded His blessing on him. The blessing of God was so powerful upon Abraham’s seed that the Bible said one could put a thousand to flight and two could put ten thousand to flight. What a blessing! This blessing would later produce King David a man known to be after God’s own heart. It also would produce David’s son Solomon described in the Bible to be the wisest man to ever live. Scripture details that Solomon was so wealthy in gold that silver was counted as nothing.
God clearly demonstrated His intentions to bless Abraham. God was going to make nations from him, establish him and make him fruitful. Every blessing pronounced is clearly because of what God has chosen to do in Abraham’s life. Unlike Abraham many of us are unclear of where our blessings originate. We seem to have intentionally forgotten that it is Christ who gave His life that we could have life and have it in abundance. Many Christians today think it is their brilliance, their beauty, their charisma or their overtime which produces the wealth, riches and prestige they enjoy. Through this article I hope to correct such flawed thinking, because apart from the grace and mercy of the living God all the plans we layout are doomed for failure and all our work is in vain.
When You Used To Need God
Many years after the pronouncement of God’s blessing upon Abraham, the covenant promise continued through his sons Isaac and Jacob. Although, at one point the Israelites were in bondage to the Egyptians God’s covenant was still in affect. In the midst of the affliction of Egyptian bondage the people cried out to God and He heard them and delivered them through His servant Moses. Moses advised the children of Israel that God did not deliver them because of who they were but because of his love for them and because of the covenant He made with Abraham Isaac and Jacob. God led them through the wilderness He said to try them and test them to see what was in their hearts, whether they would keep His commandments or not. As a believer in Jesus Christ you had better know and be willing to accept the fact that God will also try and test you to see what is in your heart. It sounds harsh doesn’t it? It may be harsh but it’s true.
After God led the children of Israel from the wilderness He promised them a land that flowed with milk and honey, land in which there would be no scarce supply of bread, a land in which they would lack nothing. God then reminded the children of Israel not to forget Him once the blessing began to overflow in their lives. You see Saints God knows that we puny mortals have a tendency to forget. God says emphatically it is I who gave you power to get wealth and you better not forget that or you will perish from the land for sure.
In Deuteronomy 31 Joshua was being commissioned as the successor to Moses pending Moses’ death and during this meeting of God, Moses and Joshua, God begins to prophesy to Moses about how the children of Israel would immediately begin to rebel against His commandments. Read here for yourself how God feels when people who say they belong to Him respond to his kindness with disobedience: “And the LORD said to Moses: “Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ 18 And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.”
Why don’t you try to imagine yourself as a parent providing your children’s wants, needs, and desires and your goodness is met with disrespect, ungratefulness and intentional disobedience to the rules and boundaries you have set. That hits home doesn’t? I know it does for me. I want my kids to respond to my goodness with appreciation. If we are made in the likeness and image of God then why do we think God who is our heavenly Father should expect any less respect, obedience and gratitude from us? You might ask, how am I disrespecting God? By not going to church, not praying, not thanking him for every good thing in your life, and not giving His TEN PERCENT the TITHE that you OWE. If you can pay TXU, JCPENNY, EXXON and VISA surely you can pay God. If you routinely rob God of the tithe and offerings and walk around thinking you are blessed, you have been deceived, become a liar and the truth is far from you. The blessing of God only rests with those who understand and adhere to His covenant.
Christians in America are not unlike the children of Israel. We have been blessed by God to live in a great country that has bountiful blessings, yet many give God marginal credit for the social status they are enjoying. Most of us should remember that we come from families that had very little of anything. Have some of us gone crazy? Now, scripture does teach that prosperity destroys a fool. Has money made us stupid? Most of us, but for God’ s grace are one layoff away from bankruptcy or homelessness. Some of us now live in fancy brick homes instead of the projects. And some of us although we didn’t live in the projects or the trailer park were close enough to it, living in houses that were almost about to fall over with a roof that leaked even when it sprinkled outside.
The days when you were struggling to pay the electric bill and begging God to help you make it you didn’t have the uppity friends you have now. However, when God prospered you, gave you an education, increased you, blew you up, then you got some conceited friends who begin to sing in your ear telling you how nice you were, how smart you were and then you quit talking to God. Why? Because you thought you didn’t need him anymore. Guess what? Take a breath. Hold it for 1 minute. Your need for another breath proves your continuous need for God. We must understand that God has admonished us as believers not to forget Him when we begin to “Get Fat”. Our God is a jealous God and he will not share his glory. When we say our intelligence, hard work and overtime made us who we are it robs God of glory, because it is God who has given us everything we possess.
Mishandling the Blessing
The Bible says in Psalms 62:10 if riches increase, set not you heart on them. Cleary the psalmist wants to alert us to the danger of allowing money to be our source and not God. The bible says in Luke 12:15 beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses. Further in Luke chapter 12 Jesus begins to tell of the parable of the rich fool who had a problem. His problem was that his fields were producing more food than his barn could hold and instead of thinking how he could be a blessing to others he decided he would build a bigger barn and keep everything for himself. Paul in 1 Timothy 6:17-18 advised Timothy to command those that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; and that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. Well, the Bible says God ended the rich fool’s life that night. Why? You might ask. This man’s life ended because he forgot the source of his blessing and was unwilling to be a blessing. Oh Saints, if you are reading this message please soften your heart to the commands of God that you won’t have to pay such a high penalty for selfish living.
The rich fool was not the only one to disrespect Gods blessing. The Bible says Moses could not enter the Promised Land because he failed to hallow God’s name at the waters of Mirabah. In 1 Samuel, Eli the priest lost his families role in the priest hood because of failing to take control of his children. Later in David’s life he made a grievous mistake in taking privileges with another mans wife and then murdering him and for this David lost two sons and would later lead to the division of the kingdom. Even Solomon in His old age allowed his wives from foreign countries to worship their idols with his knowledge.
The moment we begin to rely on ourselves and not God the end of the “good-life” is rapidly approaching. Jehovah God is indeed long-suffering and abundant in mercy, but He will not always put up with man’s insolent behavior. God does not waste words He knows men have a tendency to swell up in pride when they gain possessions and notoriety. However, God also knows that any man who enjoys praise from other men deny Him glory. The Bible says a man who is praised and honored and does not understand God is like a dumb animal that perishes. The Bible goes on to say no matter what amount of wealth one may possess they still cannot redeem a soul from hell. Money can’t cure cancer, money can’t buy love, but money can ensnare a fool. Proverbs 10:22 says, the blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and add s no sorrow with it.
It is my prayer that as this article is read many will consider the blessing God has bestowed upon them and to make sure it is used for His glory and for the uplifting of His Kingdom. Not for a selfish desire to be highly esteemed by men.
I pray the Lord gives you wisdom, knowledge and spiritual understanding as you diligently seek Him. Amen.