Dicipline and Trust equal Prosperity

A number of you read my last blog on “Christians can have a prosperous life”. Your response was encouraging so I thought maybe I should follow up. First, let’s define prosperity: it can be considered financially successful. If you have lived on an equivalent of fifty thousand dollars a year, rising annually to include inflation, and are able to retire and maintain a similar standard of living, that would mean you have prepared successfully for retirement. A person would not be prosperous if they made a hundred thousand dollars a year while working and then retired on a thirty thousand dollar annual income. Typically, this is happening to the majority of senior citizens. When they retire or can no longer work because of a disability, they seemingly live in what is considered poverty or just above the poverty level. At least they must sacrifice their standard of living. Assume a person retires and their income from social security is $1500 a month. They are used to living on $4000 a month while working. That means they may need an additional $2000 monthly to maintain a similar standard of living. They need to accumulate investments worth $480,000 in order to meet their needs at 65. A person twenty could start with saving $150 per month. If you wait until fifty to begin, it will take more than a $1000 a month in savings. However, it is never too late to start.

Reading the daily devotion from the Neon Faith booklet reminded me of God’s promise to the Israelites. Joshua 1: 7–9 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Practically every prophet or religious leader under the Old Covenant had problems trusting God. The eleven apostles who spent three years under Christ’s teaching scattered when He was being crucified because they could not truly trust what Jesus had told them. Most of us seem to believe what the Bible teaches about being successful and prosperous but it is meant for someone besides us, so we think. Isn’t much of our mistrust really that we do not understand or we ignore Biblical teaching?

God told Joshua: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” I have read the Bible at least 25 times from cover to cover. God’s promises to those living under the Old Covenant were: live as my laws command and you will be successful and prosperous. To those of us living under the New Covenant these same laws apply. In fact to Christians, Christ taught what God expected and what our results would be. Do any of us not believe that God wants what is best for us? Does He want us to be failures and live in poverty? He has even given us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to help us live according to His laws. Yet, many believers are more inclined to listen to Satan and live as the world lives. A lot expect that a loving God will take care of all of their needs even though they ignore His Word and do not abide by His commands.

I do believe that a Christian who lives by God’s law and His commands, God will meet their needs. But how many of us find that we do not have the discipline to be that obedient? The Bible teaches that God will help us find our purpose and give us direction and we pay little heed and live as we please. But being a Christian and receiving God’s blessing comes to those who are truly committed to following God’s Word. If we don’t study the Bible how will we ever know what His commands and promises are?

God has unlimited blessings for us. But, God required the Israelites to go into battle. They were required to take action with His help. They didn’t just walk in and every nation throw up their hands and surrender. Prosperity too requires our action. Study the Bible, learn how to live by His rules and watch God bless us as we take action as good stewards do. Remember: God’s Word promises prosperity! It doesn’t come by sitting on the sofa or following Satan’s ways. Satan has an apple in his hand offering it to every one of us. No matter how red, bright and delicious it looks, don’t bite the apple and miss God’s promise! The same could happen to us that happened to Adam and Eve. At retirement we could have a very limited financial future. If we could ask Adam if the apple was worth it, what do you think he would say? Is living and refusing to plan for the future worth it? You may find yourself one day outside the garden without fruit and vegetables to sustain you.

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