Friday, 8 May 2020

The Issue With Financial Prosperity

The Christian life starts from, "It is finished!" But sadly, most of what we preach do not start from that finished work. We talk about holiness as if it is something out there that we must get. We talk about various Christian things as if they are not in our reach, or as if we have to struggle and struggle before getting them. The prosperity preaching has also taken that approach. No, we must start all things Christian with, "it is finished", otherwise it is not Christian at all.

Yes, it is finished, Christ is our prosperity. We don't need to pursue any other prosperity other than Christ, he is all the prosperity that we need. I wrote a post titled; Christ Is Our Wealth. You can go read the post in order to understand what I would be saying here. This wealth that Christ is unto us is first of all a spiritual reality, and then a mental deposition, as it finds expression in our attitudes and life. We no longer live life with that poverty mentality, that mentality of slavery and affliction.

"He has rescued us completely from the tyrannical rule of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom realm of his beloved Son." (Col 1:13).

We are no longer slaves to poverty, for we have been transferred from the land of our affliction (the kingdom of darkness) to the kingdom of God. No longer are we under any affliction of the devil, for salvation has been given unto us. It is time we start thinking like free people, a people who are heir of the kingdom of God. Yes, all of God's kingdom is ours, including the earth and its fullness. This revelation causes us to break into the spiritual reality of our dominion over the earth and its fullness.

"For the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” (1Cor 10:26).

"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus," (Eph 2:6).

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." (Eph 1:18-21).

I can go on and on, quoting scriptures the reveals that we are now in Christ seated in heaven above every authority, power, dominion, and everything in heaven and on earth. All things have been placed under our authority in Christ and we are to exercise dominion over them. Everything that belongs to God is now our, for we are seated on that throne with Him—in fact, we are seated at His right hand, the hand of power. When you are awakened to such spiritual reality you could command bread and fishes to multiple, you could pick money out of a fish mouth, you could command resources to come out of nowhere. That is dominion! When something is under your dominion it must obey you whether it like it or not. All the resources, all the fullness of the earth is under your dominion in Christ. So with or without money you can make things happen. It is the world that needs to depend on money, we don't. We rather depend on the dominion we have in Christ, and we use that dominion to command resources.

So it starts from coming to see that you have this dominion. And then you press till you break into that spiritual reality. Now, once you are operating in the spiritual reality of that dominion, you must understand that with great power comes great responsibility. This power is not meant to be used to satisfy your lust. This power is meant to be wield by mature sons. Yes, sons who have transcended the flesh, the earth, and all the lust that comes with it.

These sons have the nature of the Son (Jesus), they are meek, lowly and humble. They are not extravagant and flamboyant people. These sons are on earth for a mission, and they would use all their dominion and the resources it commands to fulfil that purpose. No, they are not on earth to enjoy themselves, neither are they on earth simply to show off wealth. The sons are very focused, they are not distracted and drawn away by lust. They are here with a mission, and everything they are doing is focused on that mission.

"And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”" (Luk 2:49).

So because of this humble nature of the sons, they do not always have large bank accounts and a lot of properties in their names. All that is not necessary, they are focused on the business of the Father. A son would only have large bank accounts if it is part of the "Father's business" that he is currently occupied with. Yes, there is a part in the work of the ministry that requires one to have large amounts of money stored up someone.

For example, one that the Father desire to used to help the poor and needy. Such a son would need to have money available with him at all time, in case he is walking in the streets and all of a sudden God speaks to him, "turn over here and look at that person, she has been praying to me for some money, and you as my instrument would I use to give the exact amount she asked for". And then the son reaches to the lady and hand her the money, or promise her the money. Then she is like, "how did you know I just asked God for this exact amount and I am in a desperate situation". The son would answer, "the Father loves you and hears your prayers. It is his good will that he bless you through me".

I recently wrote a post about how the sons are meant to represent God on earth and to be instrument through which God would answer a lot of people's prayer. The post is titled The Life Of The Sons; Representing The Father. And there are sons that are called to special ministries that requires a lot of funds. Such sons can have very large bank accounts—money stored up for the projects they are to work on. Apart from those special ministries, sons do not necessarily need to have extravagant large amounts of money stored up somewhere. Even those that are given such ministry still needs to live humble and simple, for that is the nature of the Son. However, every son must live to exercise dominion over resources.

"Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" (Matt 7:9-11).

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." (1Tim 6:17).

Sons should not live in lack, we are all meant to enjoy financial sufficiency. No Father can bear to see his children suffering any kind of lack. And if fallen men can be so loving, how much more the God who is love personified. Financial sufficiency is different from financial prosperity. Financial prosperity means you will grow exponentially in your finances, and become very wealthy (at least, that is how those that preach it defines it). This cannot be true for everyone, it is only for those whose ministry involves having a lot of finances, or for some others that God chooses to bless that way. We can't all be wealthy in that sense. But the body of Christ can be wealthy, and we can lean on each other and also have God meet all of our needs. Financial sufficiency means you will have all your needs met, and you will not live in lack.

"I once was young and now am old, yet never have I seen the righteous abandoned or their children begging for bread." (Psa 37:25).

Lack and poverty are symptoms of death and darkness. But through salvation we have been delivered from all that. If you are still suffering such, it means you have not come into the fullness of your salvation. You need to keep growing in this salvation till you come to the fullness. And growing in this salvation includes growing into the fullness of God’s nature.

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Phil 2:12-13).

We must keep working on our salvation, growing into its fullness. We must grow into the fullness of who we are as sons. And sons are seated in heaven above all things, they exercise dominion over all of God's creation because they are heir of God. I have mentioned that the sons are on a mission on earth, everything they do here on earth is for the purpose of that mission. These sons are ready to do anything for the sake of the mission, even if it include suffering affliction—I do not mean affliction of devil, but affliction of the work.

Affliction can be in different form. Jesus suffered the affliction of the cross in order to fulfill his mission. The Apostles suffered the affliction of persecution in the process of fulfilling their mission. So the mission may involve going through one affliction or the other. You can think of it this way; we are like secret agents or spies on a mission. You know how spies and agents often go under cover?

The cover may involve being a wealthy man who is out to buy some merchandise or some weapon. Throughout the time of being in this cover the agent may live like a wealthy man. However, an agent can also take the cover of a beggar on the street, and he would have to live that life until he had completed that part of the mission. Just as agents are placed in strategic place, under special cover. Sons can also be placed in strategic places and made to assume certain humble state.

"I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound." (Phil 4:12).
You might need to read these posts:
"I Can Do All Things..." (1); The Low
"I Can Do All Things..." (2); The High 

However, we should never allow ourselves suffer beyond that which God permits. We must always remain in God's will and not over do things. We are called to walk with God, not ahead of God, or behind him. We are to move when he moves and stop when he stops. Don't allow the devil delay your moving when the Father is moving. And don't allow the devil delay or prolong your stopping beyond God's stop. Always remain with the Father, work hand in hand with him on this mission to fulfill his eternal purpose.

Now, apart from that special mission that requires it, no Christian should be in lack. You shouldn't allow the devil have a hold in your life and keep you in lack or poverty. Only the Lord should have a hold in our life, and only the Father's will should find fulfillment in our lives.

Notes concerning financial prosperity as preached in the church today:

Firstly we must understand that Christianity is mostly about discovering. We are on this path of discovering God and his fullness. Scripture tells us that we are heir of God, but to what measures is our inheritance? How much of God have we been given? And how do we access these fullness? These are the things we are learning and discovering.

As sons of God we have the same word of authority. The same way God spoke, "Let there be light" and light came to be (Gen 1:3). We have this same ability to call things out of nothing. These are the inheritance that we have in Christ. And yes, at some point in the history of Christian we discovered that this inheritance is ours. This was around the same time we discovered that the gifts of the Spirit and the power of God is our inheritance.

Now, put in mind that for over a century the body of Christ have been mostly powerless. There was hardly any gifts of the Spirit, miracle, or the power of God in demonstration. It was so scarce that most of us came to believe God has done away with all that. We thought God had stopped miracle from happening, and we have no choice but to accept things that way. But then the body of Christ began to make these discovery. We discovered that we are heir of God and we have access to his fullness. And then we began to teach each other these truths.

That was how financial prosperity teaching started. No, it didn't started as greed, do not be deceive. It is the devil that usually comes to corrupt what God started. This world didn't started evil, it was the devil that came to corrupt it, that is what he does. It would be wrong to say the world was created evil, just because of all this evil we see us today. When I was a kid, because we were told that everything bad is of the devil and everything good is of God, we would often wonder if it was the devil that created mosquitos.

As little children in Africa, we were often tormented with mosquito bites. As such we were convinced that the devil created mosquitos. But that is childish thinking, the devil doesn't create anything, he only corrupts that which God has created. It is childish to think that it was the devil who created the prosperity gospels. No, it didn't started that way, it started from the heart of godly men who were after discovering the fullness of our inheritance.

Yes, the claim-it-and-have-it gospel started as a desire to access that part of our inheritance where we have the same word of authority that God has. That ability to call things out of nothing. As heir of God we have dominion over all things.

“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts." (Hag 2:8).

"For the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” (1Cor 10:26).

" . . . whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you . . ." (1 Cor 3:22).

That is our inheritance; everything that belongs to God now belongs to us. The whole earth and everything in it, is all ours. They all lies under our authority and we are meant to exercise this authority. God has given us a throne by his right hand. He wants us to sit with him and rule with him. And ruling involves exercising authority. The claim-it-and-have-it gospel started as a message to teach believers how to exercise their authority. Yes, it got corrupted because most of us believers are largely not dead to the flesh. Christians became obsessed with the power to command any and every material thing their eyes lust for—this was not meant to be so.

This authority is meant to be used to fulfill God's purpose, not to satisfy our fleshly desire. We see this kind of thing happening in everything that God has given us. The one that the Lord gives discipline, he uses that discipline to be hypocritical, putting down the little ones that are trying to grow. Those that the Lord give gifts of the Spirit they begin to use it for their own selfish ends. It happens with everything of God, and not just the power to command earthly resources. It would be foolish to abandon all the things of God just because some people allowed their flesh to turn that thing into a cause of corruption in their lives.

As long as the flesh is not dead, it would always try to corrupt that which God has given us. This is why we must preach the full gospel, rather than a one-sided gospel. It is not enough to teach believers how to use their authority in Christ, you must also teach them how to remain dead to the flesh in Christ. Yet still, it would be foolishness to say, "Let's just do away with all that financial stuff and focus on dying to self alone". No, we must claim our inheritance. What is ours is ours, and we cannot leave it for the devil.

The devil is not the one seated above all things, and given authority over the whole earth and its fullness. No, we are the one given such authority. God was angry with the children of Israel when they did not fully possess the land that was given to them. God would also be angry with us if we refuse to possess the fullness of our inheritance. No, we cannot leave anything for the devil. It is all ours and we would take it. We would fight this corruption and overcome it, and we would be the sons that we are called to be.

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