What is the Path to Prosperity?
Is prosperity bad? What does it really mean? Does God want me to prosper?
Before we start talking about prosperity, I’d like to give a definition of the word. Because if you say “prosperity,” it may mean a dozen different things in a dozen different people’s minds. So this is a good, biblical definition of prosperity: Having sufficient means to meet your needs with enough left over to bless somebody else.
That is a blessed person! That is a prosperous person! So that is the definition that we’re dealing with. When we talk about prosperity, I want you to think in those terms.
Now, John 10:10 says that Jesus came in order to bring us abundant life. By sharp contrast, the thief… the devil… his aim is to steal, kill, and to destroy. But Jesus said, “That’s not why I’ve come. I’ve come to give you abundant life.” The Amplified Bible says, “I came that they may enjoy life and have it in abundance to the full until it overflows.” That’s what Jesus wants to bring to you and me.
Think about the Garden of Eden. God made man and woman in His image and in His likeness and put them in this beautiful garden. It’s the picture of fullness, and abundance, and soundness, and He said, “Have dominion. I’m giving it all to you.”
Adam’s choice messed things up, and that choice has had negative consequences that have run throughout history. But God has never changed concerning His intent for His people. His intent is still fullness, and soundness, and wholeness, and every need met. And what the first Adam messed up, Jesus, whom the New Testament refers to as the last Adam, came to fix. He came to bring us back to a place of abundant life, having our needs met with a surplus to help anyone else that God may direct us to.
Not only that, but 3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” Now, this is a threefold blessing… a threefold prosperity. “I pray that you’d prosper.” The Greek word means to succeed in business affairs, in material prosperity, “and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” It deals with material, physical, and spiritual blessing!
There’s an overarching theme in all of Scripture that reveals the heart of God for all of His children for all time. His heart is that you may prosper, that you may succeed, and be in health just as your soul prospers… that you would have this abundant, full life, filled with soundness and completeness in all that you do.
But with this comes a warning. Prosperity without an eternal perspective is dangerous. The day will come when we will leave this earthly life behind – with all of its material resources. When our soul is required of us, may we be found to have been rich toward God and His purposes – and not just laying up earthly wealth for ourselves (Luke 12:20-21).
Determine to be a river where His blessings flow through you. Drink deeply yourself and enjoy His blessings. God delights in that. But don’t dam up the blessings. If you do, pretty soon you end up with a swamp that becomes stagnant, and your life begins to send up a stench that reaches even into heaven.
God blesses us because He loves us, but He also blesses us to be a blessing and to further His work on the earth.