Does God Like You Better…. BROKE?
This is the question on the back of one of my favorite books, "Pray and Grow Rich" by Richard Gaylord Briley. He finishes this sentence by saying…
Or might God really want you to be a success? BETTER PUT THIS BOOK DOWN NOW — if you really think God might punish you for seeking a better life on earth.
I recommend you pick it up and read it to learn why thousands say this book removed the #1 obstacle to their success.
You know… every once in awhile I talk to someone who fears success because they believe that leads to loss of their salvation. Such an opportunity arose the other day which led me to writing this post.
I grew up in a Christian home and church and heard messages of salvation and applying the Ten Commandments as a guideline to live by. But there were never any real messages that I recall, either from the pulpit or from around the dinner table at home about God's expectations for us to have financial success in our lives.
Yes, of course God wants us to have a successful marriage, and friendships and relationship with Him, but I think the reason many Christians don't strive for success in the area of financial abundance is because it's presented to them through church and pastorial counsel in a RELIGOUS way. I talk about that further down. Let's just call it…. lies.
And it's these same churches that don't have enough money to impact their community, feed the poor, or pay for mission projects!
That is messed up!
In fact, I've been to many churches who's pastors are hesitant to preach even on the subject of tithing, yet it's a financial principle for success. I recall pastors 'pre-warning' that the sermon was on tithing and that he hated to talk about it but… "gee, it was necessary".
What's up with that? I would think that pastors would be excited to preach on financial prosperity and the abundance that awaits his/her congregation if they will just apply what God says to do! People deserve to know the truth!
These kinds of teachings leave impressions and values on the hearts and minds of little kids like me growing up around that. And we manifested what the pastor taught… not much. Plenty of love… but I learned to stop asking for things because I already knew the answer….
"No, we can't afford that."
"No. money doesn't grow on trees."
"No, what am I, a money bag?"
The theme…. No. No. No…. no money and be happy with what you have.
So what's a kid to believe right?
It's no wonder Christians have hangups about being rich!
These same churches preach about God's abundance in love and forgiveness and Christ's dying on the cross so we can have eternal life, and yes, this is the most important message… but it's not ALL that Christ has for us.
Christ came to earth and died and rose again so that we may have life and have it abundantly and He says so in John 10:10
The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
The Scriptures that Tripped Me Up
There are a couple of passages in the Bible that I grew up reading that I THOUGHT had to do with rich people (or those people with the big houses and nice cars and wear nice clothes and always seem to 'have' stuff).
And because I was not properly taught on these passages, I made assumptions early in my girlhood that if I am rich, or had any level of wealth or financial gain, more than I needed, I could not go to Heaven.
Or that money would somehow change who I was and it would change my heaven ticket to loss of salvation.
WOW! I was a prisoner in my own beliefs and understanding!
Money is not evil… the LOVE of money is evil. Big difference! And during the time in which Jesus spoke the scriptures below, rich people were cheating poor people causing them to be more poor, even to the point of death. It was about how the rich were treating poor people. Once you discover the history and understand the context of what Christ was saying in the passages below, you can say… "OH!… and get a handle on the truth!"
Here are the a few passages of Scriptures that I internally and quietly struggled with for years, all my growing up years.
In Luke 12:33-34 Jesus says,
"Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys."
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
There's also the passages in Luke 18:18-25 wherein the a rich young ruler asked Jesus,
"What he must I do to be saved" and Jesus told him to "sell all your possession and give it to the poor and follow Me".
Jesus went on to say, "It is easier for a camel to go though the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
You Cannot Serve God And Money
Serving God and serving money are two separate things. Many believe that you cannot have money any kind of abundance in your life or it's a sin. That's not what God says. We already know God wants to bless us and give us abundance.
What this means is not to worship money. Don't put money first and above seeking God. Don't seek money for the love of money.
Seek God first, put Him first. Worship God. Lean on Him for your every need and trust Him to lead and guide you in your life. When you seek the Lord first, He will give you the desires of your heart. Ask and you will receive.
It's a matter of priority.
Incorrect Understanding of these scriptures lead to Religious Poverty
Because I wasn't taught the proper context of these passages, I associated riches and wealth with going to hell and loss of salvation. I did enjoy a level of success, moreso than the average person in terms of income, but I would inevitably back off subconsciously from continuing to prosper. I couldn't figure out why that was.
But then as an adult studying the subject and learning from other pastors outside the ones I was exposed to growing up, I discovered that God is a more than enough God and poverty is NOT of God, at all! In fact, poverty is a sin.
The Problem is…. Religion
I love my faith and God but I dislike religion. It's religion that tells people it's holy to be poverished. Religious men want people to think that in order to be holy, you have to give everything to God and not be concerned in the least about earthly things.
And once religion is in a family, it's hard to shake it off. It's passed down from generation to generation.
Some religions every take a vow of poverty. This is just crazy. How can you be a blessing to others when you can barely take care of yourself? This is wrong thinking and wrong teaching.
If you do any search at all, nowhere in the Bible can you find where it's holy or cute or respectful or honorable to be poverished. It's a man-made doctrine that "stinks in the nostrils of God" as Pastor Jesse Duplantis says.
God Wants You To Be Successful
Here's some of my favorite passages about abundance and prosperity
Gods plan for your life
I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.
The Bible Gives Us Prosperity Laws:
Obey everything written in it (the laws of the Bible). Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Success bows to God Purpose
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.
God loves success
Remember that it is the Lord your God who gives you the power to become rich.
God wrote the book on success. It's called the Bible. God is not in the failure business. The first piece of the Bible written was a success story! Most scholars say the book of Job (rhymes with robe) is the oldest in the Bible. More than a hard-luck tale, it tells of a good, successful man who loses all in a series of disasters. Later, he gets it all back, double for his trouble, at God's hand.
For My Women Friends…
A special passage for my women entrepreneurs… you'll love this. Read Proverbs 31:10-31. Here are segments from that passage. Reference your Bible for the entire passage.
Her husband trusts her judgment; he does not lack income.
She brings him profit, not loss, all the days of her life.
She seeks out wool and flax and weaves with skillful hands.
Like a merchant fleet, she secures her provisions from afar.
She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household, a portion to her maidservants.
She picks out a field and acquires it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength; she exerts her arms with vigor.
She enjoys the profit from her dealings; her lamp is never extinguished at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy.
She is not concerned for her household when it snows—all her charges are doubly clothed.
She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing.
She makes garments and sells them, and stocks the merchants with belts.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs at the days to come.
She opens her mouth in wisdom; kindly instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
This woman has it going on! I love this passage and strive myself to be a Proverbs woman. There's nothing about poverty or lack there! She uses her gifts and talents to generate income, she has handmaidens, wears fine garments, she buys fields and plants vineyards and enjoys her profits. She is very much successful in her entrepreneurial endeavors!
Great Books To Read
Here's two good reading recommendations if you or you know of someone who struggles in the area of Christian wealth.
The first I already mentioned, "Pray and Grow Rich" by Richard Gaylord Briley.
The second is "God Is Not Enough, He's More Than Enough" by Jesse Duplantis
Of course, read the Bible, it's the handbook on prosperity.
Free To Be Successful
After understanding Christians are called to financial success and prosperity, I found myself free to set and achieve goals. God has blessed my life and my business and it feels fabulous to be a gracious receiver. In receiving the fruits of my labor, I'm able to bless others like a ripple effect. There's such freedom in Christ and looking to Him for your success and abundance and does He ever want to give it to us!
The Lord says…
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus through all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:21
Research and Discover these things…
God calls us to be successful so that we can give and be a blessing to others.
God gives us laws of prosperity in reaping and sowing.
God gives us examples in the Bible about giving more to the person who is responsible with little.
God gives us examples of how to use faith and vision to manifest what we want.
God gives us poetry and stories about prosperity and abundance.
Religion says it's holy to be poverished, NOT God!
God calls us to be prosperous in every way.
If you struggle with religious rules and teachings on having wealth in your life, I challenge you to research and really see what God says about it.
I believe you'll find a new freedom that allows you to move forward without clipped wings so you can fly!
God is the ultimate freedom giver!
Leave your comments as I always love hearing from you, and hearing your thoughts and ideas and opinions. Have a blessed day!
PS: Are you looking into creating an income through a home based business? See what I'm up to here.
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