Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:1-16; Luke 6:45; 2 Peter 1:2-4; James 1:16-18; John 8:44; Revelation 11:15; 2 Corinthians 10; Mark 11:22-24.
Why the prosperity movement became known primarily as one concerned with stuff is a phenomenon only some have fully grasped. I do not believe it began that way, for true prosperity begins in the heart.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.1
The problem began when focus moved from the Giver of all good gifts to the gifts themselves. That was when people lost out on the meaning of true abundance. 2 Peter opens with a blessing to the reader then goes on to emphasize that all things pertaining to life and godliness have been given to us through the knowledge of Him, and that by partaking in His divine nature, we escape the corruption of lust that exists in the world.
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.2
God never intended for us to go without when we are in need, but that we remember to place Him first. I say this to point out that the areas in my life which currently are in lack do not have to remain that way. “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him”3 are not words to glibly say and then not believe. Or, to say, and then deceive myself into believing that “life and godliness” has just a spiritual application. Either we believe what the Word says or we don’t. Either God is Truth or He isn’t. Nothing in the kingdom of God is halfway.
For me, an area of lack in my life is my seeming inability to knock off the excess pounds that came with childbirth and aging. It isn’t that I do not eat right but that it just doesn’t come off. Now that we live in Colorado, I am more aware of my lack in this area than ever, due to the combination of collective athleticism in the state and the corresponding spoken or unspoken judgment that seems to accompany those who never had to deal with a weight problem.
Everybody’s a critic, the saying goes, and it generally is worse within the church. It must be human nature to become religious apart from the power of God. The church is so full of insecure people, it is a wonder any of us are free. When one of us receives revelation in one area, why we are so quick to get puffed up about it and proceed to first become an “expert” in the area and second to judge anyone who in our eyes falls short?
Because we have forgotten that every good and perfect gift comes from heaven and not from ourselves.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.4
I recently finished reading the book, Authority in Prayer: Praying with Power and Purpose, by Dutch Sheets. It was a gift from some dear friends who had been so blessed by the book they were compelled to pass the blessing on to others. One of the things I came away from the reading was the importance of speaking the Word over situations in my life that aren’t “right.” Maybe it is an illness, or a need for wisdom, or perhaps a grave financial issue, or a problem with weight loss. It doesn’t matter with God. He has promised me all things pertaining to life and godliness, not just godliness.
Satan does not want us to grasp the importance of this truth. He would much rather we succumb to defeat. After all, he is the one who whispers those lies we fall for, lies that go something like these:
“You will never amount to anything in life.”
“You are such a loser!”
“If God loved you, why did he let _____ die?”
“Your father died at 57, your grandfather died at 57, you will die at 57.”
“You have always had a weight problem.You will never get it off.”
“Why can’t you ever do anything right?”
“You can’t handle money, you never have and you never will.”
“You are such a freak – you will never have any friends.”
Have you heard any of these whispered in your ears?
He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.5
I recognize we are a society of the “quick fix.” If a perceived problem is not rectified quickly, we rush to judgment and assume the problem lies with the person involved. Now while that may be true some of the time, it does not take into account the full picture. We are in a war, whether we know it or not, a war for our minds, hearts, and souls.
In my own personal life, I have found this to be true, particularly concerning the writing of books. Many people have the mistaken notion that an excellent book is not difficult to write and that if you are taking a long time, it is because you either are lazy or don’t have what it takes. They base their faulty judgment on incomplete knowledge. They haven’t a clue what it takes to write well. If I were to take a poll on how many have started writing a book, the percentages would be staggering when compared to those who actually finished.
So back on the book by Sheets. I have decided to put into action some of the applications he exampled in this publication. And I am implementing some of his recommendations. It is not that I haven’t spoken the Word over my life before, but that I gave up too soon. I don’t care if I feel foolish. It doesn’t really matter how I feel, anyway.
All that matters is obedience motivated from a heart that loves God and desires to put Him first in all things.
So be encouraged to fight the good fight in those areas of your life where you lack, my friend. The battle has already been won. Have faith in God and speak to your mountain.
The seventh angel then blew [his] trumpet, and there were mighty voices in heaven, shouting, The dominion (kingdom, sovereignty, rule) of the world has now come into the possession and become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (the Messiah), and He shall reign forever and ever (for the eternities of the eternities)!6
But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.7
Read: 1 Timothy 6:1-16; Luke 6:45; 2 Peter 1:2-4; James 1:16-18; John 8:44; Revelation 11:15; 2 Corinthians 10; Mark 11:22-24. Journal your private thoughts.
Father God, thank you for providing me all that I need for life and godliness. Thank you that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in You for the pulling down of strongholds and everything high that would exalt itself against the knowledge of You.8 Grant me wisdom to know how to walk in this, for Jesus’ sake, and the kingdom’s, amen.
1Luke 6:45. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
22 Peter 1:2-4. Bold emphasis mine. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
4James 1:16-18. Bold emphasis mine. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
5John 8:44b. Parenthetical insert mine. THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. www.biblica.com
6Revelation 11:15. Bold emphasis mine. Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org
71 Timothy 6:11-16. Bold emphasis mine. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
8See 2 Corinthians 10.
Copyright © 2011, Érin Elise