by Peter Youngren
One of the saddest things is to see born-again believers with a poverty spirit. In the church I grew up, there was a man living a very simple life, a good brother. But he had never discovered that God wanted him to prosper. The spirit of poverty was so oppressive upon him that when he bought himself a new suit, he got under condemnation and wore it only once and then burned it in the open fireplace. He felt that the new, nice suit would make him proud or materialistic. There is no question that spiritual things are much more valuable than the material, but God wants us to prosper. He wants your life to be good in every area, including finances.
The last couple of months we have looked at Jesus’ words, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35). Jesus tells us that our life will become whatever is in our heart. If our heart has been programmed with good, positive truth, our life will be good.
God told Samuel that “man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”, (1 Sam 16:7). Paul tells us to “Guard our hearts and minds through Jesus”, (Phil 4:7) and “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts”, (Col 3:15).
The message is clear: whatever is in our heart comes out, and the results we see can be traced to our heart. That’s why I am on a campaign to help God’s people reprogram our hearts with the knowledge of Jesus. This is a process; step by step we put on the new life and put off the old. Here are some helpful “put ons” and “put offs”.
Put on Rejoicing; Put off Resentment
Resentment is fuelled by envy that begrudges the success and prosperity of others. If we view prosperous people as bad, we must never become prosperous ourselves, because then we would become bad.
Who do you trust for advice? I have always looked to positive, reliable, focused, determined, persistent, energetic people who believe that there is nothing more important than the cause of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t allow jealous, envious people to come close, because I know their influence will be negative. Matthew tells us that envy killed Jesus, (Matthew 27:18). See how devastating resentment is. Jesus in us causes us to rejoice in the blessings of others and to put off any resentment.
Put on Teachable Humility; Put off the “know it all” –attitude
I’m curious, always asking questions. Sometimes we think we know something because we read it in a book, but we don’t really know it till we have lived it. The prodigal son had a “know it all” attitude, as shown in his demanding request “Father, give me”. By the time he returned to his father’s house, all that had changed. Instead of saying, “Father, give me,” he called out, “Father, make me.”
“Give me” shows us an attitude that somebody owes us something. “I demand my rights!”, “I can make it on my own!” The new life in Christ teaches us to transition from “know it all” to “learn it all”.
“Make me” indicates a new attitude of “I don’t know everything yet”, “I’m teachable”, “I want to learn”. Benjamin Franklin said, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” In the early destructive period for the prodigal son, this was his priority.
Have > Do > Be
First he wanted to have everything so he could do everything, and then he thought he’d be somebody. After he returned to his Father’s house, his motto totally changed.
Be > Do > Have
This is an attitude of true prosperity. “Jesus, I depend on you, trusting and relying on what you have done. I want my heart to be reprogrammed by Your Word. Then I will be who You have called me to be, and do what God called me to do and have everything I need to have.”
Do you see the complete turnaround? First, let me be, then let me do, and finally, I will have.
Prosperity is not really about money: it’s about being the maximum person God made you to be. Prosperity starts on the inside and works its way out into every aspect of your life.
Put on Christ’s Worthiness; Put Off Low Self-esteem
Humans seem prone towards low self-esteem and speaking despairingly of ourselves. Often we hear people say, “I had it coming” or “I’m getting what I deserve”. Of course, no one has anything to boast about, because everything we have received from God is by His grace. Yet, when we see ourselves as God sees us, we put off low self-esteem because we know God, the Father, sees us the same way He sees Jesus Christ. As Jesus is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
Real prosperity happens when Jesus flows through us. Money will not give us self-worth; money will only make us more what we already are. If we are mean, it will make us meaner. If we are kind, money will help us to be kinder. If we are snobbish, having money will just make us more snobbish. If we are already generous, having more money will make us more generous.
It is true that having low self-esteem can be a major motivation for people to succeed. Many very successful people had a very bad relationship with their parents, or felt put down, and that feeling of low self-esteem has driven them to be successful. Here is something wonderful: we have a much greater motivation for prosperity. The love of Christ constrains us to be everything God has intended. The more Jesus’ prosperity manifests through us, the more we can give for His Gospel and the more we can bless others.
Be a good receiver and let what you receive be channeled through you. Take the attitude, “if anyone should experience supernatural wealth transfer it should be me”.
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31 – 32).
Did you see that? If God has already given Jesus for you, He sure is not holding back in any other area. No – with Jesus all things are freely given to us.
Let God’s prosperity – spiritually, physically, relationally, financially – flow from the inside of your heart into every realm of life.Give Your Best Seed HereMy Prayer Request