Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. —Psalm 118:25
I believe in prosperity.
Yes, by that I do mean spiritual well-being and physical health. But I also mean material or financial blessing. When the Apostle John declared, “Beloved,Iwishabove allthingsthatthou mayestprosperandbeinhealth, even asthysoulprospereth” (3 John 2), I believe his intent and meaning was to refer to three distinct areas of life—material, physical, and spiritual. His fervent desire was that we should thrive and flourish, or prosper, in every aspect of our being. This is the proper application of prosperity—balanced, sound, complete, and evenly emphasized.
Some people have argued that the phrase “that thou mayest prosper” does not refer to financial prosperity. They contend the phrase was nothing more than a common greeting, or idiom, of the day that simply meant, “May things go well for you.”
The Greek word translated “prosper” or “prospereth” in this text is “euodoo.” Euodoo is comprised of the words “hodos,” which means a road, and “eu,” which means good. Thus the Greek word eudoo (translated “prosper”) literally means a good road or a good journey. So even if in this instance the word did not mean specifically to prosper financially, at the very least it meant to have a good and prosperous journey.
I have a hard time understanding how anyone could have a good and prosperous journey if he didn’t have adequate provisions for the trip—if he was broke, lacking, and in poverty and want every step of the way.
Besides, this word translated “prosper” is the same Greek word the Apostle Paul used in First Corinthians 16:2 when he directed the believers in Corinth to set aside some money each week as God hath prospered him. Certainly and without doubt, the word prosper can be and is used in Scripture in reference to financial prosperity.
Poverty Does Not Produce Piety
As I said in the Introduction, the Church seems to have a hard time staying in the middle of the road on just about any Bible subject. When it came to the topic of prosperity, the church people of my day were off in the ditch on one side of the road. They had been taught that poverty produced piety and that God didn’t want His people to have anything.
I always heard preachers say, “I don’t want any of this world’s goods,” because they thought there was something wrong with this world’s goods.
But Psalm chapter 50 proves why it’s not wrong to have this world’s goods.
For every beast of the forest IS MINE, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. . . . If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for THE WORLD IS MINE, and the fulness thereof [that means that everything that’s in the world is God’s].—Psalm 50:10,12
Mark those verses in your Bible. Meditate on those verses and confess them.
The Lord showed me these verses because He had to get my thinking straightened out. I thought it was wrong to have anything. I thought a person ought to go through life with the seat of his britches worn out, the top of his hat worn out, and the soles of his shoes worn out, living on Barely-Get-Along Street way down at the end of the block right next to Grumble Alley!
That’s the kind of thinking many people in the church world have today. But they’re not thinking in line with God’s Word.
Sadly, too many Christians (preachers included) remind me of young birds just hatched, sitting in the nest, eyes shut and mouth wide open, waiting for momma to come and feed them. They will swallow whatever is poked into their mouths. Many people in the Church have been religiously brainwashed instead of New Testament-taught. Without knowing what the Bible says, and having limited spiritual discernment, they are tossed by every wind of doctrine.
So in time, even erroneous teachings become traditions not easily changed. They are passed down from one generation to another, and the new generation accepts the error without question because that’s “what we’ve always believed.”
Learn To Think in Line With God’s Word
You see, a lot of times, our thinking is wrong. It’s not in line with the Bible. And if our thinking is wrong, then our believing is going to be wrong. And if our believing is wrong, then our talking is going to be wrong.
You’ve got to get all three of them—your thinking, your believing, and your speaking—synchronized with the Word of God.
God has given us His Word to get our thinking straightened out. In my case, God knew my thinking was wrong because, as I said, in the denomination I’d been brought up in, we were taught that it was wrong to have anything. I began my ministry in this particular denomination, and they were great about praying for the pastor: “Lord, You keep him humble, and we’ll keep him poor.” And they thought they were doing God a favor!
Then in 1937, I was baptized in the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues. I got the “left foot of fellowship” from my denomination and came over among the Pentecostals. They were doubly that way about praying for the pastor. In other words, they doubled up on their praying: “Lord, You keep him humble, and we’ll keep him poor”!
What Does God’s Word Say?
The idea that God wants His children poor, having no material things, is totally unscriptural. The Bible has a great deal to say about money—about receiving it to meet personal needs and giving it to support the work of God and to bless others.
It is significant that many of God’s servants throughout the Bible were wealthy. I’m not talking about just being spiritually prosperous, either. I mean financially rich! The Bible says, “And
Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold” (Gen. 13:2). That verse doesn’t require much interpretation, does it?
First Kings chapter 10 tells of the queen of Sheba coming to visit King Solomon to see if he was as wise and great as she had heard. After testing him, asking many hard questions, she told him, “Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard” (1 Kings 10:7).
Job was also very wealthy. God’s Word says, “His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3). During the trials and suffering he endured, Job lost his great wealth. But God restored Job’s riches! How do I know? The Bible says, “So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses (Job 42:12).
In Second Chronicles 26:5, we read that as long as King Uzziah sought the Lord, God made him to prosper. It seems clear that God is not against prosperity; otherwise, He would have been violating His own principles when He prospered Uzziah and others.
It is important to realize that God is not against wealth and prosperity. But He is against people being covetous.
Qualifications for Walking in Prosperity
God wants to prosper His children. He is concerned about us and wants us to have good things in life. He said in His Word, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land” (Isa. 1:19). But God doesn’t want us to put “eating the good of the land” first.
Moses was an example of someone who didn’t put material things first. For example, Moses, who was raised by an Egyptian, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter when he grew up.
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.—Hebrews 11:24-26
Think about what Moses refused! He was the son of Pharaoh’s daughter—and he was in line for the throne! Moses had prestige, honor, and wealth. He had all the things the world had to offer. Yet Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ as greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. Moses saw a difference between the people of God and the people of the world.
Some people are more interested in making a dollar than they are in serving God. But spiritual things must come first if you are going to be spiritual. You must esteem the things of God —spiritual things—more than earthly things.
One qualification for prospering is to esteem earthly things lightly. You cannot put earthly things above spiritual things and expect to prosper as God desires you to.
No, it’s not wrong to have money. It’s wrong for money to have you. It’s wrong for money to be your ruler or master or for you to consume finances on your own lusts.
God wants you to prosper financially! But your prosperity depends on your putting first things first. There are qualifications involved.
In the Old Testament, God told the Israelites to keep His statutes and walk in His commandments (Deuteronomy 28). God desires the same for us today. To put God’s Word first and to walk in the truth is spiritual prosperity.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John writes, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2). In the next two verses, John goes on to say that he had no greater joy than to hear that God’s people are indeed walking in the truth of God’s Word.
God told the Israelites, “Walk in My statutes and keep My commandments. Do that which is right in My sight, and I’ll take sickness away from the midst of you, and the number of your days I will fulfill” (Exod. 15:26; 23:26). That’s physical prosperity or divine healing and health.
The Lord also talked to the Israelites about their “basket and store” being blessed, their barns being filled, and about them being the head and not the tail (Deut. 28:1-14; Prov. 3: 10 ) . That’s material prosperity. But notice their physical and material prosperity depended upon their spiritual prosperity.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest PROSPER and BE IN HEALTH, EVEN AS THY SOUL PROSPERETH.
—3 John 2
John is talking about financial or material prosperity, physical prosperity, and spiritual prosperity. Notice that material and physical prosperity are dependent upon spiritual prosperity.
Put First Things First
The first Psalm is so beautiful and further confirms that God wants His people to prosper.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall PROSPER.—Psalm 1 : 1 -3
So, you see, God wants us to prosper. However, our need is to evaluate things as they should be evaluated—to esteem earthly things lightly and to put first things first.
Folks could have faith for healing or for anything the Word of God promises—prosperity, a healthy, happy family, long life—if they would just put first things first.
Determine in your heart to put spiritual things first and to esteem earthly things lightly. Put God first, even before your own self. You’ll be blessed spiritually, physically, and in every way—you and your family as well.
TRUE MEN OF GOD INCLUDING PASTORS AND TEACHERS:
– have a responsibility to teach the full Word of God, not just one part
THEIR PRIORITIES WILL BE
1. To preach the full Word of God
2. To get people born again
3. To get people Baptized with the Spirit
4. To get people operating in all the gifts of the Spirit
5. To get people healed and delivered
5a I would pray and lay hands on the sick, I would lay one hand on each side of the body. If I felt the fire jump from hand to hand, an evil spirit or demon was present in that body causing affliction. I should call him out in Jesus’ Name, and the demon or demons would have to go. If the fire, or the anointing, in my hands did not jump from hand to hand, it was a case of needing healing only.
I would pray for the person in Jesus’ Name, and if he would believe and accept it, the anointing would leave my hands and go into that person’s body, driving out the disease and bringing healing. When the fire or anointing left my hands and went into the person’s body, I would know he was healed