Dr. Elizabeth Jackson
Does God want us to be prosperous and successful?
The quick and easy answer to this question would be, yes!
While prosperity and success, comprises far more than money and material things, the Bible makes it emphatically clear that God wants His children to prosper in every area of their lives.
Unfortunately, many well-meaning messengers of the Bible, who may have intended to enlighten the Body of Christ of their divine inheritance, made a mess out things, by putting more emphasis on “chasing money” rather than chasing God. Some extorted God's people, fed them false hope and gave them nothing in return. Ezekiel the Prophet, testified
of a similar corruption in his day. He wrote:
"There is a conspiracy of her false prophets in her midst, like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured [souls, people, human] life; they have taken [in their greed] treasure and precious things; they have made many widows among her (Ezekiel 22:25)."
This left a bad taste in the mouths of many believers, and today, the subject of success and prosperity is not readily received. Nevertheless, God’s word remains true, it assures us that it is His desire for the citizens of His kingdom to prosper. Allow me to contextualize this truth further.
Poverty in a kingdom is a reflection on the king.
Traditionally, many preachers wrongly taught us to abandon any thoughts of prosperity because, “Having money—is the root of all evil” and “It is hard for a rich man to enter Heaven!” The misinterpretation and erroneous teachings of these and other scriptures pertaining to money has led many Christians to believe being poor and piteous, somehow equates to spirituality and righteousness. Nothing can be further from the truth. Your poverty does not mean you are more spiritual or accepted by God! Here is what the wise king Solomon had to say about being poor.
"The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor." Proverbs 10:15 (NIV)
"The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender." Proverbs 22:7 (NIV)
The thought of the King of Kings, who is rich in houses and land, the maker of Heaven and Earth; who said, "The silver is mine, and the gold is mine", prefers His children living hand-to-mouth, and paycheck-to-paycheck is absolutely ludicrous!
God is not at all impressed with our financial lack and poverty. In fact, He insisted that we live our best lives, and enjoy ourselves while we’re on this earth. Remember, poverty in a kingdom is a reflection on the king. Don’t make the King look bad!
Seven scriptures that prove God wants us to prosper.
God wants us to have riches and wealth in this life; but more importantly, He wants us to be well enough to enjoy it. This is His gift to us. (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19)
God wants us to have “Good Success”, but it will only happen when we observed and obeyed His biblical laws on wealth and finances. (Joshua 1:8)
God’s desire is for us to prosper and be healthy, even as our souls prosper. (3 John 2)
God wants us to have riches and honor, along with a good reputation. He doesn't want us to compromise our character and integrity to become successful. (Proverbs 8:17-21)
God has plans to prosper us and give us hope for our future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
God finds pleasure in the prosperity of his children. Poverty doesn’t please Him. (Psalm 35:27)
God wants us to honor him with our wealth and increase. If you have none, how will you honor Him? (Proverbs 3:9-10 NLT)
God will empower you to become successful, but you have to do the work.
“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Deuteronomy 8:18 (NKJV)
God didn’t say He will give you wealth—He said, “He will give YOU THE POWER to get it!” Power may embody ability, skill, knowledge, ideas, relationships with people who are already successful, good health, a desire to succeed, etc.
In the past, we taught many believers to “Name it and claim it”, as a way of gaining success by faith, without ever having to make any effort. However, the Bible opposes these erroneous teachings. James, the Hebrew writer expounded in his letter that, faith alone cannot save (deliver or protect) us. He encouraged us to incorporate works (action) to what we believe, and by so doing, our faith is made perfect. The writer goes on to say, “If a person is hungry, you don’t pray by faith that their stomach will be filled; you take action and feed them!” (James 2:14-26)
God is not a Jeanie in a bottle, a magician at a magic show, or a fairy godmother who will wave a magic wand and make everything perfect in our lives. He wants you to be successful, but it will not fall from the sky.
You can desire to be a business owner, but if you don’t start a business, you’ll never have one. You may desire to go to college, but if you don’t fill out a college application, you will never see the insides of a college. Sure, there are other alternatives like online schooling, but you still have to apply.
The point is, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-26). After we’re done shouting, dancing, and declaring what we want by faith; God still requires us to take action.
Five types of people the Bible said will not prosper.
People who are lazy will never prosper. (Proverbs 10:4 & Proverbs 13:4)
People who sit around waiting on God to bless them, when He clearly said, “He gave YOU the power to get wealth”, will never prosper! (Deuteronomy 8:18).
People who do not have a plan or vision for their lives will not prosper. (Proverbs 29:18)
People who hear financial wisdom and never apply it to their lives will never prosper. (James 1:22-25)
People who reject biblical instructions; especially, instructions concerning wealth and prosperity, will never prosper. (Proverbs 13:13 & Hosea 4:6)
What is the conclusion of the matter?
Once again, I think King Solomon, who was also the richest man who has ever lived, summed it up best when he said:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV)
God doesn’t have a problem with us having prosperity, He just doesn’t want prosperity having us. This is what Jesus was referring to when he said, “No man can serve two masters…” (Matthew 6:24). If you allow money to control you, it has become your master. So, what you have to do is serve God, and learn how to make money serve you.