Do you want to live a prosperous life? There are a surprising number of believers today who feel as though poverty is a sign of humility, and that God uses sickness to “teach them something”, but my friends this could not be any further from the truth. The Bible teaches that God is a God of abundance, of health and prosperity in every area.
Why is it then that so many believers are living without these blessings? Immediately most would answer “sin”, but that also is not what the Bible states as the real answer. Today we will be studying how to live the truly prosperous life that Jesus came to give us, full of His abundance and favor. A life that honors Him by enjoying the riches of His grace.
Make no mistake, God is into health, He is life and healing, and He is also into prosperity. This is the God who went around healing all who came to Him, feeding the multitude that was hungry, and also the same God who blessed Abraham with extreme riches and wealth, gave Job back twice what was stolen from him and blessed a widow and her son with enough oil to pay her debt and then some.
If these things were sinful or not appropriate to have, then Jesus went around doing the opposite of God’s will. However let’s examine what the scriptures say on the matter. Matthew 9:25:
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”
Obviously it is God’s will to heal every sickness and every disease. Notice also that He healed freely, without asking them to clean up their behavior or live perfectly first, He healed their disease because of His compassion.
Now there is another interesting point here as well… and this is that the verse states that Jesus went around teaching, preaching and healing. His power is available for all to draw from, but before people can draw, they must understand why and how they can draw from Him. We see here that Jesus was laying the proper foundation for the people to be able to come to Him and receive whatever they needed. For example, if you were $500,000.00 in debt, and I came along and wrote you a check for $500,000.00 and handed it to you, you now have the means to pay your debt, but you still must deposit the check for the money to be in there. If you have no understanding of what a check is or how to deposit it, then even though it is made available to you, you will never make use of it. Do you see?
God has given us a check, written in the name of Jesus and signed in His blood. It is placed in the hands of all believing ones who come to Him, but many do not understand how to use it, and some are actually unwilling. Let’s continue…
As stated in the opening, there are people today who feel that their ailments are from God and that He wants them sick to teach them things or that He wants them poor to keep them humble. This is a flat-out lie from the enemy designed to keep people from receiving the very blessings of health and wealth that Jesus paid such a high price to give them. Let’s read 3rd John 1:1-2:
“The elder to the well beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”
Most people when they read this, tend to skip over verse 1, assuming that it is just the opening address of a letter, but let’s remember that nothing is in the Bible as an accident or mere fluff; everything in the Bible has a divine purpose and was recorded by the Holy Spirit for us to learn from.
Here we see that this is addressed to “the well beloved Gaius”. As it turns out, one of the definitions of the Greek word Gaius is a believer, so in its simple beauty, this scripture is clearly seen as being directed toward you and I today. And what is the Word of God for us here? That God desires above all things that we prosper (that’s financial prosperity) and be in health (that’s physical prosperity), even as our soul prospers. Now here’s the key. “Even as” means “to the same degree”. Meaning that you will prosper financially and health-wise to the same degree as your soul (your mind and your emotions) prospers.
Now some people when they here this they think that this verse of scripture is teaching new age positive thinking, and it is not! This is not mere positive thinking, but it is changing our mind and our life from the shifting sands of human passions, desires and strengths, onto the solid foundation of Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for each of us.
In a previous study, we saw how we can only rest and receive from Jesus when we recognize His God-hood, and this includes following His leadership and advice. Going back to the analogy of having the check that I gave you to pay off your debts, let’s say that the check came from someone that you didn’t trust – such as a known scam-artist, then you probably wouldn’t even attempt to deposit the check. For you to deposit the check, there has to be a level of trust and respect. Let’s let Jesus Himself explain this point more clearly in Matthew 7:21-27:
“Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house on a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell not: for it was founded on a rock.
And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, which built his house on the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
Let me be totally clear on this point so that there is no confusion. This is not talking about doing right to earn God’s favor. We already have God’s favor freely available to us through Christ Jesus and it cannot come through any other method or means. Jesus Christ is the favor and righteousness and blessing of God to us. Got it? Now this is where most people are missing it. The check is in their hand, but they are failing to take it to the bank and deposit it. We deposit our Jesus check today by following His guidance and leadership, making Him LORD of our lives. Jesus says in verse 24 that whoever hears (receives) these sayings of His and does (keeps, listens to and practices) them, that person will be on a solid foundation. It’s simple.
Study the miracles of healing and provision of Jesus and you will find that there is only one single thing that stops God’s power from flowing: failing to recognize His Lordship. This happened in His own hometown of Jerusalem of all places, because they were familiar with Him. It’s possible to become familiar with a person, and not see them for who they truly are, and this happened with Jesus in His hometown. Let’s examine the account in Mark 6:1-6:
“And he went out from there, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From where has this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given to him, that even such mighty works are worked by his hands?
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
But Jesus, said to them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands on a few sick folk, and healed them.
And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”
Because these people knew Jesus from when He was a child, they had zero respect for Him, His wisdom or His power. Because of this failure for them to recognize His Lordship, they never came out to receive His healing power or to hear His words (the few who did still received healing).
Sadly this same problem affects many believers today. They acknowledge Jesus and are familiar with Him, but they fail to recognize or respect His Lordship. You see my friends, we live in an imperfect and fallen world (no surprise there!), and God knows this. He wants the best for us and wants us to have every blessing. He wants to give it to us now, but there’s that fallen-world thing again. So He wants to lead us, guide us and advise us so that instead of settling for second best, we receive His very best… again, simple.
He knows exactly how to lead us to His best. The problem? Most of us are very stubborn and prideful. Instead of following His advice and leading, we follow our own human reasoning and emotions instead. The result? We stray from His perfect path and get into trouble, and then wonder where God is as if it’s His failure.
My friends, this is more common than you might imagine. I’ve talked to people who have flat-out told me that they are going to continue following themselves because they want to. And they still expect God to bless them in things that are completely opposite of what is stated plainly in Scripture.
Don’t fall into the trap of being familiar with God without making sure that He is also your Leader. Yes He is personal, and yes He is your loving Father and Friend, and thank God for it! It is because He loves you so very much that He wants to lead you into His very best for you.
So how do we know when God is leading us? I have several studies devoted entirely to that topic, but we’ll look at one verse quickly because we are almost out of time today. Real quick, John 10:1-2:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.”
Jesus is using a simple analogy here. He states plainly in verse 9 in this same chapter that He is the door, and we also know from John chapter 1 that Jesus is the Word (your scriptures).
So what Jesus is saying here is that any voice that does not come through the Bible (which is the door / Jesus / the scriptures) but that comes through some other means such as our emotions, desires or inward promptings is a false voice of the enemy (the thief).
But the one that comes through the door (Jesus / the scriptures) is the leader of the sheep, and the true voice of our LORD.
I know that there are a lot of believers and even some leaders out there today that talk of inward promptings from the Holy Spirit, but my friends, you have seen plainly from scripture what Jesus says.
The Bible never tells us to listen to any other voice or promptings on the inside. In-fact the Bible tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful above all things and deceptively wicked.
I have watched many people fall into error from following their own self, heart and desires. I’ve seen people pray for God’s leading but then never open their Bible. Then they become discouraged and claim that God is silent when all the while they never bother to read His Words.
My friends, God wants to lead you into prosperity. We’ve read it tonight straight from the Bible. Let Him lead you, and watch as His Word comes alive and His prosperity fills your life in every area.