Continuing our theme of prosperity, last week we examined the provisions that God has made for us to prosper in every area of our life, and today we will be going deeper still to uncover the root of why so many believers today are not prospering, even though God desires that we do prosper.
If you have been wondering why you are not seeing the full provision of God in your life, or even doubting whether He wants you to prosper, this message is for you today.
As we begin our study today there is one very important fact that must be stated right at the start: God does want you to prosper in every area of your life. And the sad truth is that there are many churches, pastors and leaders out in the world today that will deny this simple fact. They will tell you that God has made you sick to teach you something, or that God wants you to be poor to keep you humble. My friends, to believe that God has brought sickness or poverty on your life is to have a wrong opinion of God and of His character and His love for you. Every sick person who came to Jesus received their healing, and every poor person found their provision in Him also. The very first blessing that God gave to Abraham, was to make him very rich. We can read in Genesis 13:2 that God made him very rich in cattle, silver and gold. God is not against His people having wealth, He is against wealth having His people.
Let’s read 3rd John 1:2, and see this more clearly:
“Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”
We can see here that God desires for us to both prosper and be in health, because these two things enable us to enjoy life, and to be a blessing to others. If you are poor, you can not help the poor, and if you are always flat on your back with sickness, you can not be an effective witness to anyone.
Furthermore, Jesus paid a very high price to make health and riches available to us, it’s time that we as believes start taking them.
It’s also important to mention here that God does indeed want us to enjoy life. There are certain segments within Christianity that believe that we should be all work-minded and never enjoy any pleasures at all. Now if that was truly the case, then someone needs to go back in time and tell Jesus that, because He was not that way. The very first miracle that Jesus performed was at a wedding feast where everyone was celebrating. And just when they had run out of wine (which would’ve ended the party) Jesus turned the water into wine, and the best wine that there was!
Furthermore, Jesus was often recorded enjoying meals with His friends and also others who wanted to meet with Him. He was never hurried, never rushed, never troubled, always at perfect peace. He was not “work-minded” but He was “peace-minded”. Yet He accomplished more in His time on the earth than anyone else. He knew how to rest in the midst of the storm, and even when He was at work, He was always at perfect peace and complete rest.
So how was He able to accomplish this? The key is in the second-half of the scripture that we read: that we would prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers. Now to understand this, we must understand what our soul is. The world often confuses our soul and our spirit, thinking that both are the same thing. However our soul and our spirit are two separate things. The world has no true comprehension of the spirit, because until they are regenerated by Jesus Christ their spirits are still in a suppressed state. Yet to save time, I will just explain it to you here today… that you have three-parts that make up the whole you right now. The real you is a spirit, you also have a soul, and you right now are living in a body. Your spirit – which is the real you – will live forever. It is the eternal part of you and it is also the part that can communicate with God. Your body is simply the part of you that can interact with this physical world. This brings us to your soul…
Your soul is actually your mind and your emotions. Your soul is what enables you to feel, to think and to reason. So now when we read our scripture verse with this new understanding, this is what we see: Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your [mind and emotions] prospers.
We can see now more clearly what this verse is saying to us. Now the question must be asked, how do we have our mind and emotions prosper? To answer this question, we must look at another verse of scripture, Proverbs 4:20-24:
“My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Put away from you a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from you.”
This is the key to a prosperous soul, when we meditate on the Words of God and keep them close to us always. Not in a rule-book fashion, but when we treat them as love-letters from God to us. Keeping them in the center of our heart (where love is).
Notice also that our mouth and speaking is involved. Usually when this verse is read, it is taught with the implication of not speaking bad words or cussing/swearing, of course those things are not desirable, but what this verse is truly saying is that to have a “froward mouth and perverse lips” is to speak anything that is contrary to the Word of God, and anything that denies the finished work of Jesus Christ. If you find yourself speaking about sickness instead of the health you have in Christ Jesus, that is a “froward mouth”. If you find yourself speaking poverty about your life instead of the riches that Christ paid to give you, that is “perverse lips”.
Instead we are to attend to God’s words… and what does He say about you? He says you are beloved, you are special, you are protected, you are healthy, you are an over-comer, and you are rich! Because Jesus Christ loves you enough that He came and suffered all of your punishment and took all of the curses that was due you, and bore them in His own body on that cross. He died so that you would live, and live abundantly! Give Jesus the praise!