International Institute of Church Management
(An Educational Trust), Chennai, INDIA
Founder/President: Patriarch John Williams
New York, U.S.A.
A Monthly Internet Magazine of IICM
(Circulated to 300,000 Pastors and Leaders in 209 Countries)
Featured Article for the Month of August 2005
Why Should we Prosper?
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WHY SHOULD WE PROSPER?
In order to understand why we should inherit and enjoy divine prosperity, it is important for us to understand what exactly divine prosperity means. Divine prosperity is, first of all, a plan of God. It is Godís plan to bless and prosper His children. Divine prosperity is Godís will and desire. God wants to bless His children and make them a blessing to others. God also wants to build His Kingdom through His servants and children. In order to do Godís work, all kinds of resources are needed. If a person says that he is not interested in divine prosperity it may only mean one of the following things:
1. He does not want to accept any responsibility.
2. He does not want Godís plan to be fulfilled.
3. He does not want to build Godís Kingdom.
4. He does not want to be a channel of Godís blessings.
Some people think that it is humility when they are not interested in prosperity. Some of the important reasons given in the Bible as to why God wants us to prosper are discussed below:
A. TO ENJOY GODíS BLESSINGS RICHLY
I Timothy 6:17 says that God has given us richly all things to enjoy. When God created earth and all the things therein, including the animals, birds, creatures of the sea and other natural resources, He had in mind the needs of man both for his nourishment and for his comfort. Therefore, there is nothing here in this planet that has no value to human beings. There is not anything set on this planet by sheer accident. God in His wisdom foreknew and foresaw the needs of human beings and created everything for them, to possess and enjoy them. Therefore, the children of God have every right to claim and appropriate all of Godís promises of divine prosperity and success and to enjoy them to the fullest extent. They do not have to feel guilty about enjoying all the riches and wealth provided by God.
B. TO HAVE ALL SUFFICIENCY IN ALL THINGS
II Corinthians 9:8 says that God is able to bless us to the extent of having all sufficiency in all things, so that we may abound to every good work. The more prosperous we are, the more good works we can do. When we are enjoying divine prosperity it should not be for selfish reasons, but it should be rather for the blessings of other people and to be involved in more and more good works. The motivation for prosperity should not be merely enjoying the pleasures of this earth or security for the future, but rather the love and compassion for the poor and the needy who struggle in their lives for their survival. As a matter of fact, a person who is concerned about the poor and the needy will be more interested in prosperity than a person who is just interested in his own welfare. The Bible says, Jesus went about doing good all the time. As sons of God, we have the responsibility to continue the works of Jesus. Unless we have all sufficiency in all things, we cannot abound in every good work.
C. TO HAVE ALL GOOD THINGS
Psalms 34:10 says that they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing, which means, they will not lack in their lives anything that is good. In other words, they will have all good things for which they have a definite need. As we read about the life of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, we can see clearly the abundance of flocks, herds, silver, gold, servants etc. they had. They all literally lived like kings. They did not lack anything that they needed. This is what divine prosperity is. As children of God, we have every right to live without lacking anything.
D. TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL
God has commissioned us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commanded His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. In order to carry out this great commission which the Lord has given us, we need unlimited amount of money and resources. Even though we give the gospel free, it takes money to print and distribute Bibles and Christian literature. Even though the gospel is free, it takes money to travel to other countries to preach the gospel. If there is one thing that hinders the ministry of the men of God today, it is the lack of financial resources. In other words, if there is one thing that will speed up the process of reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is money. This is the area in which Satan is working hard and he tries to rob the blessings God has for the people of God, in so many ways. He does not really worry when the people of this world are prosperous, but it bothers him when money and other resources fall into the hands of Godís children, because he knows that they are going to be used to destroy his works and to extend the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 16:19, the Bible says, whatever we bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. In other words, God has given the church the authority to release the resources that are necessary to do the gospel work in this world. As we take the initiative and do our part, the heavens will cooperate with us in supplying our needs to fulfill our responsibilities.
E. TO BE FREE FROM WORRY AND FEAR
When we have adequate resources to meet all of our needs, we will have peace and security. We will not worry, fear or be anxious about the next day or the distant future, because we believe that our God shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Our trust and confidence for our daily supplies and provision must be in God. We have to be careful, however, that our trust or security is not in riches or prosperity.
F. TO ENSURE PROPER DISTRIBUTION OF GODíS RESOURCES
In order to enjoy divine prosperity, we should be good stewards of God. We should take the position that nothing belongs to us and that everything belongs to God. We have to assume the role of stewards of God so far as the resources that are given to us are concerned. In other words, we should see ourselves as channels of Godís blessings to the entire community in which we live. Normally, a Christian prays for his or her own needs to be met. And such prayers are offered all through their lives. Seemingly, their needs are never met, or in other words, as one need is met, another need arises. Having our needs met appears to be a never ending process. It is Godís plan that we should get filled and begin to overflow. When we become channels of Godís blessings, we do not really think or worry much about our personal needs. As we pay our attention to the needs of the people around us and find ways and means to meet those needs, God opens the gates of heaven and releases to us resources and riches which are more than adequate, not only to meet our needs, but also to meet the needs of others. As Godís riches flow through us constantly, our needs are automatically met. In other words, whatever we need are always available to us. If our goal is to be a channel of Godís blessings, we will always have enough for ourselves.
G. TO BE A GOOD TESTIMONY AND TO GLORIFY GOD
Whether we are aware of it or not, the people in this world are watching us all the time. As we are blessed by God and as we increase in prosperity, the people of this world will know that it is our God whom we serve who blesses us. It shall be a testimony to the people around us and they will know that our God is faithful and that He provides for our needs. Further, as we give credit to our God for our state of life, His name will be glorified. On the other hand when a Christian goes through poverty and suffering, it does not glorify the name of God.
H. BECAUSE JESUS PAID THE PRICE FOR OUR PROSPERITY
When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden by disobeying God and following the counsel of Satan, his allegiance shifted from God to Satan. At this point, Adam was more or less willing to forgo the blessings God had for him in lieu of a package, which Satan offered. At this juncture, Adam lost the paradise and became a destitute having been deceived by Satan who is not only a liar, but the father of lies. The consequence of the sin of Adam was death, sickness, sorrow, pain and poverty. God in His love for mankind devised a plan to redeem mankind from these curses of Satan and sent His only begotten Son into this world to destroy the works of the devil and to reconcile the world back with Him. Jesus suffered a horrible and shameful death on the cross and shed His blood for the remission of sins. A part of the atonement was to restore man to His kingdom and to free him from the curses of death, sickness and poverty. The Bible says in II Corinthians 8:9 that Jesus who was rich became poor for our sake so that we who are poor may become rich through His poverty. In other words, Jesus left the glory; condescended to this earth; took the form of man; lived a simple life; emptied Himself totally; suffered great pain; died on the cross for our sake; paid a price to save us from poverty and death; gave us peace and joy; healed us from all diseases; and made us prosperous and rich. Since Jesus has already paid the price for our prosperity, it is our right and privilege to receive and enjoy it in a full measure.