According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, prosperity means favorable, flourishing and marked by success or economic well-being. As followers of Christ, our definition of prosperity looks differently than that of the world. The worldly view is that the more money that we have, the more successful we are. In the United States and around the world, the more expensive stuff that you have,the more power and confidence one can feel.
Why is this so? Is it because we feel that we have all we want plus all we need, therefore we will not suffer the anxiety of wondering how to provide for our loved ones or pay the bills? Is it because we feel we look good with our nice car and expensive clothes?
Any woman or man can tell you that for a price, physically anyone can look better. But, is it really better? This is really pushed for women, but how beautiful is the natural aging process. Those lines that reflect years of laughter and God’s blessings aren’t a bad thing.Unfortunately, we have all seen adults who have ‘had a little work done’. He or she may have thought that it looked great, but possibly many would disagree. This hints at a discontentment with ourselves. There is a deeper issue then, that no amount of ‘touch-ups’ to our physical body can cure.
As a believer in Jesus, one whose life has been transformed with a living God living in us, our idea of prosperity should be different. Our peace is rooted in our relationship to God by His Son Jesus. I should strive to be successful according to the mind of Christ. As I read His Word, the Holy Spirit teaches me about the character of God. I realize that success as a Christian is almost opposite to the success of the world.
What does a prosperous Christian look like? First of all, Christians can be wealthy. A Christian doesn’t need to be poor or rich. Neither of these is the heart of the matter. It is not what we materially possess or don’t possess that is the problem: how we use those can be. Feast or famine can both take our eyes off of the focus of our life which is Jesus and living out our faith. Our focus is to love people as Christ loved. If we have many possessions, we are to give as led by the Holy Spirit. Neither determines our actions: the prompting of the Holy Spirit does.
Again, what does a prosperous Christian look like? We should be living a Spirit-led life. Our profession should be what God has called us to do. We should be ministering to those around us at our house, in our neighborhood, our town, our nation and our world. Acts 1:8 gives us a clear picture: we will be witnesses to our world. We are to love mercy, do justly and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).
Our prosperity is not measured by material things or the lack of them. Our prosperity is not measured by power as the world views power. We are filled with the power of God and should live constantly in that power. What we do or the decisions we make may not make sense to those non-believers around us, but we march to the beat of a different drummer.
Financially, God promises to meet all of our needs. He owns it all. Never will we serve a bankrupt God. I say often, “God’s got plenty of money.” We should spend wisely which I don’t always do, but thank goodness I live under grace and mercy. I get second and third chances and on and on. I will suffer the consequences for my unwise choices, but that is my fault, not God’s. Feast or famine doesn’t show my pros as a follower of Christ.
If we are humbly following Christ, led by the Holy Spirit, showing Jesus to a lost world, I am successful. My needs are going to be met. Since God is a loving God, He is also going to allow some wants. What kind of God would not give blessings of all kinds to His children? These may or may not be monetary. The best blessings are not financial. I work at a school, and a precious kindergartner looks up at me often with her big brown eyes and says, “I love you”. The blessings do not get better than that. I absolutely adore her.
Prosperity as a believer is found in Jesus. Let us read His Word, pray and listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. He will guide our decisions and led us. If we do this, we are living a prosperous life.