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Prosperity Begins Here – A Biblical Perspective
We are told to make a choice:
Choose Life and Prosperity, or choose Death and Adversity.
I hold to a Reformed view of scriptures. (Yeah. Let’s get that out of the way, upfront.) Reformed theology includes any system of belief that traces its roots back to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century. Of course, the Reformers themselves traced their doctrine to Scripture, as indicated by their credo of “sola scriptura,” so Reformed theology is not a “new” belief system but one that seeks to continue apostolic doctrine.
Generally, Reformed theology holds to the authority of Scripture, the sovereignty of God, salvation by grace through Christ, and the necessity of evangelism. It is sometimes called Covenant theology because of its emphasis on the covenant God made with Adam and the new covenant which came through Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20). I guess you could say, ‘that is an educated way of putting it’.
It sounds funny to me to hear myself say that I hold a Reformed view of scriptures. First, because the Bible tells us that, at one point, that “the Sadducees, rulers, scribes, Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent, observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, and were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus”. And secondly, because I find myself hoping to see God do, in my life, the amazing things He did with those disciples.
So, I find myself clinging to both a Reformed theological view because it is a dependable framework for understanding and following sound Biblical principles, sound doctrine as the Bible guides me in the matters of life, and to a belief of the miraculous, because that, too, is in the Bible.
The Bible teaches that it is God Who initiates salvation; it is God Who initiates sanctification; it is God who makes us holy, and it is God Who works miracles. He does these things around us, to us, with us, within us and sometimes, through us. We participate with God in what He is doing through our faith, submission and obedience in action. It is never about us.
Secondly, I need to be clear, that any prayer which says, “I take authority over…”, or “I command this or that…” unless it is framed within the context of the ‘Giver of authority’ which is Jesus, it is folly. The Bible says, “Jesus called the twelve together, and He gave them the power and authority over all the demons, and the power to heal diseases.”
An example of that authority and power is found in Acts 3:6 when “Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but what I have, that give I to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Did you catch that? “IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH, WALK”!
Presuming, or assuming, that you own or can make God’s power and authority your own, is preposterous in the least, and is an affront to the authority and sovereignty of God and foolish at the worst. Still, I hear some Christians foolishly say that they have ‘appropriated’ this blessing or that authority, that is, they have ‘taken exclusive possession’ which is without the authority or right.
It is better viewed as, “I am being blessed by God”, or “God used me to feed the hungry”, or perhaps even, “God worked a miracle as I prayed and laid hands on someone”. These are not matters of semantics, it is a matter of ego and of attitude.
Now, with that said, let’s please move on to “Biblical Prosperity”.
(Please note: The Hebrew word for ‘Blessings’ is Bᵉrakah which, roughly translated, means that ‘God is the source of blessings which are the types and kinds of prosperity which flow from the praise of God; they are a gift and a present; they are a treaty of peace with God. Also, I am using bold lettering for emphasis.)
Deuteronomy 28:1 “Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
Verse 2. “All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God:
Verse 3. “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
Verse 4. “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.
Verse 5. “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
Verse 6. “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
Verse 7. “The LORD shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.
Verse 8. “The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
Verse 9. “The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.
Verse 10. “So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will be afraid of you.
Verse 11. “The LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.
Verse 12. “The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
Verse 13. “The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully,
Verse 14. “and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
1. ‘Diligent Obedience and doing all His Commandments’, is what is missing from much of the “Prosperity gospel message” by many of the Word of Faith movement preachers.
‘Recognizing that it is The LORD Who will command the blessings upon you and not of yourself’, is what is missing in the “Prosperity gospel message” by many of the Word of Faith movement preachers.
2. ‘Diligent Obedience, doing all His Commandments’, is what is missing from the practice by many of the “Post-modern and traditional Westernized American Christians”.
‘The failure to recognize, understand and knowing’ how to place yourself under The Blessings and prosperity promised by God.
(Please click here to go to BIBLICAL PROSPERITY & BLESSINGS, part 2 – A Prophetic Word)