It was a threat that I’ve heard before. My good friend Darrell Gooden called me a couple of times in one week saying that he was listening to a series of prosperity messages that I did a couple of years ago. As we talked he said, “If you don’t put this in a book I will.” I’m heeding his warning and, drawing on that material, sharing more insights on prosperity. First some thoughts on prosperity.
EVERYONE WANTS TO PROSPER.
I’ve never met anyone that said, “I want to be poor.” I’ve met some people that believed that they should be poor for Jesus’ sake, but I’ve never met anyone that just wanted to be poor. Most of the poor people that I have known were doing all that they could to get out of poverty.
I believe that there’s a reason for that ingrained in the human spirit—you were created to live in prosperity. Whether you read the Eden story literally or allegorically the message is still the same—we were created to live in a place called pleasure surrounded by superabundance. (BTW—Eden means pleasure. They didn’t teach you that in Sunday School!) It is evident that the universe is a place of abundance and as long as we live in harmony with the Universe abundance manifests.
JESUS WASN’T POOR
My cousin Dr. Dixie has a thriving counseling and teaching ministry in western Oklahoma. When I was last in the area she rushed from teaching a class at the local Mennonite church to be in the services that I was holding. She said that she felt that she had to teach that particular class because it was a question and answer session and she had been asked to answer the question—“Why do people teach that Jesus was poor when He obviously wasn’t?” And He wasn’t. A casual reading of the Gospels shows that Jesus was a member of what was then the middle class, owned a home, pursued a skilled trade, had enough ministry money to need a treasurer for His ministry, and had a network of wealthy friends. If a traditionally conservative Mennonite group understands that Jesus wasn’t poor what should your understanding be?
GOD DOESN’T WANT YOU TO BE POOR
If you read the Bible the way that it’s written (instead of through your Sunday School glasses), it’s evident that prosperity is God’s idea. The garden was called pleasure. God’s friend Abraham was “very rich” through a series of Divine doings. His son Isaac prospered. Jacob was made rich through the practical application of supernatural dreams. The list goes
on. Add to that prosperity promise after prosperity promise and you have to believe that God wants you to prosper.
So why don’t people prosper? Let me suggest three reasons. When you join me “Behind The Door” I’m going to give you “Nine Things That Will Make You Prosper.” You’ll want to get that! Three reasons people don’t prosper--
IT TAKES WORK
One of the problems that I have with most prosperity preaching is that it is purported that wealth comes without work— that finances just flow from an endless spigot. Wrong! Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, all worked. Their work and Divine favor created wealth. When yo work with Divine favor you too will find, “power to get wealth.”
There are supernatural financial miracles. A woman reported that as a result of what I shared in my New Year’s Eve service she received an unexpected forty-six thousand dollars. Another walked up to me this week saying, “I Am A Money Magnet” then went on to say that she received a fifty-one hundred dollar check that she had forgotten about. Great stories. And I’ve got a lot of stories like that. But financial miracles are not prosperity—they’re just proof that God want to prosper. Real prosperity takes work. Both of these ladies are professional women with good jobs. They are not relying on money miracles—but they certainly expect them!
Every person that I know who succeeds works for it. In the Creation Story Adam is put in a place of prosperity and told to work it. Good advice for anyone that wants to prosper.
(BTW—those prosperity preachers who preach wealth without work generally work really hard to get their wealth!)
YOU’VE GOT TO WANT IT
Prosperity doesn’t “just happen.” You’ve got to make it happen. And to make it happen there has to be a “want to.” Do you want you prosper?
More than likely you said “Yes!” But do you really want to prosper? As opposed to, “I’d like to prosper.” Because the latter is the default setting for a majority of people as evidenced by the fact that they don’t apply themselves to prosperity.
My friend Wesley is a wise man that lives life well. When he graduated from High School and Bible College he realized that he hadn’t been taught anything about how money works. So he spent five years studying money—because he wanted to prosper. And he has. Because he wanted to. Do you want to prosper?
YOU’VE GOT TO GET IT RIGHT
You’ve got to get it right in both sense of getting it right.
The late, great Fred O’Dell told me many years ago, “God doesn’t care how much you get as long as you get it right.” Greed, avarice, and manipulation are not indicators of a prosperity mentality. In fact they are quite the opposite—they are indicators of a poverty mentality willing to use unsavory means to prosper. But they never do. Because you’ve got to get it right.
A pastor walked up to me during our first big revival with fire in his eyes and, without even a “How are you doing” asked in a gravel voice, “What do you do if you don’t get your money?” I gave him a funny look because I don’t think in those terms and said, “I don’t worry about it—the Lord provides.” “Alright” he said, “I want you to come to my church.” That began a relationship that lasted for years. And the Lord always provided. Because Fred O’Dell was right.
And you’ve got to get it right. Since, (unless you’re born rich) prosperity doesn’t just happen, you’ve got to do the right things that make it happen. “Behind The Door” I’m going to give you eight “Practical Principles For Prosperity.” Join me there—it’s the prosperous thing to do.
If you have the password you can go “Behind The Door” now. If you don’t have the password hit the “Sowing” button and sow a seed of any amount into this ministry and you will be directed to the password page. The default setting is $20 but you can sow more (many do!) or sow less. I’ve set it up that way because I want everyone to be able to join me “Behind The Door.” I’ll meet you there!