This week is the final instalment in Pastor Richard’s awesome teaching series, ‘Walking in God’s Prosperity’. If you missed any (or all!) of the first 5 lessons, we highly recommend that you check out the blog posts for each.
In this lesson, Pastor Richard is going to give us 7 very practical tips to walking in God’s prosperity that, if followed, will bring in more than enough to sow into the kingdom and meet your needs abundantly.
Many people don’t experience God’s best because they don’t tap into God’s economy. That’s what this whole series has been about. Did you know that walking by faith alone does not guarantee walking in prosperity. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say someone is believing for healing from bronchitis. This person also happens to be a chain smoker. Well guess what; even if they have faith for healing, they will get sick all over again because of their lifestyle choices.
There are areas in life which are our responsibility. Why would God supernaturally intervene if we are constantly going against the Word of God? He’d be a bad parent! Of course, God has mercy on those who come to Him, but He also expects us to grow up and become mature. If we go right back to living the same way as we were before, we can’t expect God to keep bailing us out. That would be irresponsible on His part.
Let me ask you this; what is better: riches, or the wisdom that leads to riches?
Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding. For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honour. - Proverbs 3:13-16 (NKJV)
Let’s look at the things that we are responsible for. Here are 7 practical principles that will, if followed, lead to financial prosperity.
1. Avoid debt.
The only kind of good debt is borrowing to invest in an asset where the asset will appreciate at a rate that is greater than the interest on your debt. Proverbs 6:1-5. This is pretty obvious. When we put ourselves in debt, we are binding ourselves to the future, a future that we can’t predict.
Proverbs 22:7. How many of you want to be a servant to the rich? A credit card company tells you what to do. You are a servant to that company. Did you know that? How is that true? Well, if you don’t pay it off, see how long it takes for that company to make certain demands on you and ultimately, you’ll be in serious legal trouble. They control you!
Shakespeare said it in Hamlet; Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses itself and friend.
Generally speaking debt is bad. It puts us in bondage. Let’s say you buy a new car. If you buy it with payments, you’re paying way above the price of the car that it’s selling for on the day.
2. Spend less than you make.
Wow! Right? The depth of insight in this blog is quite something. I jest, but you’d be amazed at how many people do this. This is a tough truth to hear, so please know that I say these things because I want to help you, not condemn you. But if you’re spending more than you make, chances are good that you don’t trust God with your finances. The chances are good that you are looking to material things to satisfy you. Proverbs 4:23. Our desire to have stuff can be very powerful. But if we seek God first and His kingdom, this won’t be a problem.
3. Make a budget.
This is how you fulfil number 2. Figure out what you make each month. Then straight away, take at least 10% off the top for God. You can distribute that 10% anyway you like, but I’d encourage you to sow it into good ground. We talked about that in a previous blog.
Then, calculate what you need to live; bills, food, fuel, etc. and anything left over put into savings.
Don’t forget to include things like meals out for you and your family occasionally where you can. Things like entertainment are important and good when used properly and in moderation. But only if you can afford it and fit it into the budget.
A budget is essential. Because of debt and credit cards, we forget this principle. We just think we can buy now and pay later. That’s not great stewardship and it violates principle number 1.
You are a steward over everything you make and this is a critical aspect of God’s prosperity. Saving up and waiting before you buy is a great principle.
4. Work hard.
I know right?! It’s not the most exciting message you’ve ever heard, I know. But it’ll help you. Proverbs 6:6-8. Ants work hard! They a constantly thinking and preparing for future. There are many proverbs about this. Proverbs 10:4-5 is another good one. Proverbs 13:4.
Working hard is part of life. It’s part of God’s system. He has given you power to get wealth. You cannot sit around and do nothing and expect God to drop finances into your lap. Did you know that God doesn’t give us wealth. No, He gives us the power to get wealth. Working enables you to get seed which you can then sow. And sowing enables you to participate in God’s economy. Ephesians 4:28 says Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
5. Save and invest intentionally and patiently.
Proverbs 21:20. A wise person saves up but foolish spend it all. Remember the ant? He knows how to provide meat in summer and gathers food in the harvest. When you have, save for when you don’t have. There are things that can happen. A washing machine breaks. for example. The car, your house etc. A wise person sets aside money to cover such things. Eventually you’ll need a new carpet or sofa. Set aside money to prepare for those things so you don’t have to violate rule number one!
Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathers by labour shall increase. Proverbs 13:11.
Saving is a godly thing. I know some people say that we shouldn’t expect bad things to happen, and that’s true. But it’s also wisdom to prepare for the future and realise that we live in a world where things decay, where bad things happen, and a good steward prepares ahead of time.
It’s wisdom to have an emergency fund that you build up. We try to have at least $3000 in our emergency fund for unexpected events such as a car breakdown or flat tyre. We also have a fund for irregular bills. There’s a lot of great advice out there which can go much deeper into all this.
6. Use faith and positive confession.
Wait a minute, didn’t we just say that we need to prepare for unexpected things that cost us dearly? Well, preparing for them and saying they’re going to happen on a regular basis are two very different things. Speaking positively and having faith for the future is very practical. Proverbs 13:2-3. Being disciplined in our words is an important part of financially prosperity. If you’re walking around cursing everything, you will reap what you sow.
Mark 11:22-23. We need to be speaking positive financial things.
2 Cor. 4:13. Discipline your mouth. Read Psalm 1 and Matt 6 and incorporate those promises into your daily language. Get hold of the promises of God and make them part of your mindset.
7. Moral Behaviour.
I bet you weren’t expecting this one! Proverbs 5:8-10. Sexual immorality will cost you. One way or another, but it will. There are many proverbs on that subject. Dishonesty is another immorality that can cost you. Proverbs 10:2-3. The we act immorally, God opposes that. Proverbs 11:1 - we must be fair and right.
Moral behaviour in the long run causes financial prosperity and stability. The reverse is also true.
So there are 7 principles for walking in God’s prosperity. God wants you to prosper and He’s given you all the wisdom you need to do it. You just gotta do it! So do it…and watch the blessing roll in.
Next week we are starting a new series. It’s going to be good, so don’t miss it!
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