The Keys to Prosperity

by | Feb 7, 2012 | Spirit-Led Living

f-Wiese-Recession-Proof_1So what requirements has God established that lead to a pathway of prosperity? The Bible reveals several overarching keys.

1) Seek Him. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). All what things?
All the things He mentioned in the verses preceding verse 33—such as
treasures upon earth or what you will eat or drink or wear. We are not
to seek those things first. We are to seek the kingdom first.

What does it mean to seek the kingdom? It is seeking to do His will. His will is what He did on the earth, such as healing all (Acts 10:38), casting out devils (Mark 16:15-18) and preaching repentance (Matt. 4:17).

Jesus went about teaching and preaching the gospel (Matt. 4:23)
and told us to preach the good news of salvation: setting people free
from bondages, laying hands on the sick and feeding the poor (Is. 61:1-2; Matt. 25:35-36; Mark 16:15). How could we feed the poor and support the gospel if we are broke ourselves?

Colossians 3:2
states: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the
earth” (KJV). So, let us understand that He will not prosper us unless
we are committed to seeking Him first.

2) Help the poor. Proverbs 19:17
says: “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay
back what he has given” (NKJV). Throughout the Bible we are instructed
to help the poor. Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:33) to illustrate giving of ourselves for the welfare of others.

Tommy
Barnett, co-founder of the Dream Center urban outreach ministry in Los
Angeles, explains it this way: “The secret to a successful, happy life
is giving yourself away. According to the Bible, you will succeed in
direct proportion to how much you give yourself away. ?

“Giving
is truly the key to blessing ?.?.?.? because we have learned to focus
more and more on servanthood, downward mobility, on giving everything
away.”

He goes on to say: “We are conditioned to think in terms of limits, and therefore the world operates on the principle of lack.??

“God
approaches life from the opposite angle. He operates on the principle
of plenty. In God’s kingdom, the successful man or woman is the one who
gives the most away. The world says, ‘He who dies with the most toys
wins.’ The kingdom says, ‘He who gives the most away wins.’”

Jesus also said in Matthew 6:19-21
not to “lay up for yourselves treasures on earth … but lay up for
yourselves treasures in heaven. … For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also.” This is the only 100-percent-safe investment.
For us to be about the Father’s business is laying up treasures in
heaven.

3) Examine ourselves. As I
mentioned earlier in the article, when my wife and I are faced with
challenges, we take time out to pray, read God’s Word and examine
ourselves to see where we may have missed the mark.

This is a biblical exercise. We see it in, among other verses, Ecclesiastes 7:14: “In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other” (emphasis added); 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves”; and Haggai 1:7: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Consider your ways!’”

In
examining ourselves, we are not to feel that we cannot come to Him if
we have not kept every Scripture verse. No, because it is by grace that
we receive the things we desire from Him. We do not try in our flesh to
live holy. We live holy because we desire to, and it’s by His grace we
can do it.

In addition, God loves us regardless of
how we perform. We don’t score points with God, and if we are good
enough He will love us more.

No, He loves us already
the way we are. However, His desire is for us to grow and mature in Him.
Anytime God corrects us, it is because He loves us. Hebrews 12:6 states, “Whom the Lord loves He chastens.”

4) Obey His Word. I
want to make it clear again that I am not talking about legalism when
it comes to obeying God’s Word. We are not trying to earn God’s grace or
to be burdened under “performance.” We can’t earn anything, as it has
already been given to us freely.

We are justified by Christ’s blood and by faith in what He did for us on the cross only. (See Rom. 3:24-25; 4:25; 5:9, 16, 18; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Titus 3:7; 1 John 1:7-9.)

As I’ve mentioned, God’s grace empowers us to obey His Word. We cannot obey by our own power or ability but only by His Spirit.

The
difference is, when you are truly in love with God, you are eager to
please Him. It is not a burden to keep His Word but a delight. We keep
His Word because of a heartfelt desire and not our performance (Ps. 119:16, 24, 47, 72).

When
we understand His grace, there is a joy that comes to us, because we
see it is not based on our power to keep His Word or resist sin, but by
His power. However, searching the Scriptures to be sure we are obeying
His Word doesn’t nullify grace; being obedient to His Word is a result
of grace.

We are to continually strive to better
ourselves by receiving correction from His Word. Our desire should be to
grow from glory to glory. Our goal is to become more like Him (2 Cor. 3:18). If we say we love Him and do not obey Him, we are liars. We don’t really love Him (1 John 2:3-4), and we don’t know Him (John 14:15).

It is our attitude that makes the difference. An obedient heart seeks to do what pleases Him.

God’s
Word is a mirror, and if we look into the face of His Word, we can see
where we are. It should give us the desire to want to improve ourselves
and please Him.

David said he loved God’s commandments above gold (Ps. 119:127). Solomon said God’s wisdom was better than rubies (Prov. 8:11). Both comparisons are to “treasures” of significant material value “hidden” in the ground.

If I told you I had $10 million hidden for you and gave you the treasure map, you wouldn’t feel burdened to go look for it, would you? No, you would be excited to look for it. In the same way, we are to value God’s Word and apply it to our lives (Prov. 3:1-2). We are to seek after wisdom, knowledge and understanding as hidden treasure (Prov. 2:1-6).

Another important truth we need to apply to our lives is that God’s Word is also holistic—it all ties together. There are built-in safeguards in His Word that cause it to work in its fullness only as a whole.

For instance, if you don’t tithe, you won’t prosper God’s way (Mal. 3:8-9; Matt. 23:23).
However, if you do tithe and do not build God’s house (focus on saving
souls), the money you are blessed with will have holes in the bag and
run out the door (Hag. 1:5-9).

If you do not have faith, you will not receive anything from God (James 1:6-7). However, if you have great faith to move mountains and have not love, it will not do you any good (1 Cor. 13:2-3).

Yet, if we do all of these, but do not honor our parents, it will not go well with us (Eph. 6:2-3).

If we do not put on all the armor of God, we won’t be able to withstand in the evil day (Eph. 6:13). If we do not submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, he won’t flee from us (James 4:7). If we don’t forgive anything, Satan will get an advantage over us (2 Cor. 2:10-11).

If
we labor for souls but lose our zeal for the Lord, we have left our
first love, and Jesus says He will remove our candlestick (Rev. 2:2-4).

Do
you see how God’s Word all fits together? It is our responsibility to
learn all of God’s precepts and do them. As we do, God will prosper us,
as Joshua 1:8
reveals: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you
shall meditate … [and] observe to do according to all that is written
in it. For then you will make your wayprosperous” (emphasis added).

Bill Wiese is a speaker, author and former realtor who has appeared on numerous television and radio shows to discuss his book 23 Minutes in Hell (Charisma House), a riveting firsthand account of his afterlife vision. His latest book, Recession-Proof Living, released in October.

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