God Wants Me to Prosper?
I have good news: God wants you to prosper.
I’m not talking about the “prosperity gospel”—a uniquely American false teaching— but God’s desire for you to have true prosperity. The prosperity He wants for you is financial and fiscal responsibility and blessing.
But have you wondered if God wants you to prosper? Listen to just three Scriptures.
And he [the righteous person] shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in the season, his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:3)
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as thy soul prospereth. (Third John 2
Let the Lord be magnified, who hath pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. (Psalm 35:27)
I’m not claiming you’ll become a millionaire,living a life of luxury. People often look at a man who’s gone through several marriages, whose kids are rebellious, who has an ulcer and battling an addiction, but because he’s got a big bank account, they call him prosperous. He’s not prosperous. He’s a miserable failure. But the Bible says, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22).
The challenge is to have true prosperity God’s way. The wisest man who ever lived, other than the Lord Jesus, was Solomon. In Ecclesiastes chapter 11, he sets out 8 principles of prosperity.
1. Investment Principle
1 Cast thy bread upon the waters for thou shall find it after many days.
Solomon invested wisely (1Kings 10:22-23). He was a trader, investing in ships, sending them across the sea, “casting his bread upon the water.” Sometimes they’d be gone for as long as 3 years, but when they came back, they returned with incredible riches.
The Lord Jesus taught us to invest. Remember the parable of the talents (Matthew 25) and the property owner’s anger upon return when one of his servants did nothing but bury the money in the ground. “His Lord answered and said unto him, ‘Thou wicked and slothful servant.’” That is, “You should have invested what I gave you and made it grow.”
You are a steward of all God gives you. Your responsibility is to grow His investment. Your motive must not be greed or pride, but wise use of what He’s given. And you must get wise counsel. “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20) If you lack wisdom, ask God and He will give it to you.
2. Diversification Principle
2 Give a portion to seven and also to eight, for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.” Ecclesiastes 11:2
I looked this up in another translation. It clarifies, “2Take shares in several adventures, you never know what will go wrong in this world.” Don’t pull all your eggs in one basket. Diversify as you invest.
3. Preparation Principle
Get ready for the foreseen and the unforeseen. There will be a rainy day. Sooner or later a storm will come.
Some say, “Well, I’ll just trust God.” You ought to trust God, but the Bible says to make preparation. If you don’t prepare, that’s not trust, that’s presumption. “Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sin” (Psalm 19:13), and “Learn a lesson from the ant.” “Go to the ant thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise….” (Proverbs 6:6). Prepare for a rainy day. Are you saving for the future? You ought to be. “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man spendeth it up” (Proverbs 21:20). You say, “Well, I’m trusting God.” Faith and prudence are not in competition with one another. “The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. (Proverbs 14:18)
4. Venture principle
Another word for “venture” is risk. Did you know the Bible encourages taking a risk? You say, “Oh, isn’t that like gambling?” Not at all. Every farmer putting seed in the ground takes a risk. The servant who buried his master’s money did so because he said he was afraid.
I’m not talking about foolish chance or hoping to get rich quick. You’ve got to get out on a limb because that’s where the fruit is.
You must trust God because there are some imponderables in life that are solely under the sovereign control of Almighty God. Rather than worry, there comes a time when you have to say, “Lord, I realize I’ve got to make investments. I must diversify, make preparation, and be willing to venture. But after I’ve done all that, who knows what’s going to happen? So Lord, it’s in Your hands. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know You, Lord, and I know You love me. I will trust You.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
6. Work Principle
6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand, for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both alike shall be good.
Here the principle of diversification is married to the principle of work.
Solomon said, “The sluggard shall not plow by reason of the cold, therefore shall he beg in harvest and have nothing.” (Proverbs 20:4)
Paul agreed: “For even when we were with you this we commanded you that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-11).
7. Perspective Principle
Solomon gives us much-needed perspective in verses 6-9. Enjoy life, but remember bad days will inevitably come. Sooner or later you’re going to get sick; you’re going to die. Keep that in perspective. Enjoy life. God wants you to enjoy life. If you have good things, enjoy them.
Jesus was not a recluse; He was actually accused of being a wine bibber and a glutton. Of course He was not, but his accusers envied how much He enjoyed life! Jesus was a man of joy.
There is nothing better for a man that he should eat and drink and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw that it was from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 2:24
If God is showering you with blessing, if He prospers you, if God gives you a home, enjoy it. If you sit down to a Sunday dinner, thank God and enjoy it. If you are surrounded by your wife, your children and your grandchildren, rejoice. If you’ve got brothers and sisters in Christ today, thank God for them. If there’s beautiful music, let it bless your heart. God is good. Don’t forget that.
The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11
8. Accountability Principle
Grow up. Put away pessimism, put away sin, live wisely, because we are stewards. Ask, “God, how much of this do I need to use? How much should I save? How much should I invest? How much should I give? For none of it is mine. It is all Yours. And I know soon and very soon I’m going to stand before You, and You’ll say, “What did you do with what I entrusted in your hands? I am a steward.”
Listen well: What you call your own is not yours. You’re only a manager. Owners have rights. Stewards have responsibilities. And if you have Jesus, you’re already rich.
To hear this entire message, including more content than we can share here, the message will be heard on radio nationwide in two parts on Friday, June 22 and Monday, June 25. You can hear it on our website, www.lwf.org on those dates and afterward, and at www.oneplace.com.
If you’d like a CD copy for your own study and review or to share with a loved one or friend, call us at 1-800-LOVE-GOD and request Message # 1901, “The Principles of Prosperity.”