"Last year Bill Johnson did a four week sermon series on prosperity with a purpose, and shared some excellent principles. I have wrestled in many ways with investing and prosperity principles. Like many of my brothers and sisters online here, I have received prophetic words, revelation, and calling into the mountain of business and finances for the Kingdom of God. I have experienced frustration, loss, gain, and emotional turmoil. I've experienced the ambush of the Josephs. My hope is that these nuggets of wisdom will be a blessing to you.
Nowhere in Scripture are we instructed to seek to be rich, in fact Proverbs says the opposite. Seeking and stewardship are two separate things. We are told to seek the Kingdom of God, His righteousness, seek God, and seek wisdom and understanding, but not riches. What happens is when we seek what we are instructed to seek, we prosper. The challenge then becomes stewardship of the prosperity, rather than allowing the riches to become the thing we are seeking. I have found this task to be more challenging than I ever imagined, but God! A good question I am asking myself now, how much time am I spending looking at the markets, portfolios, business information, compared to the time seeking His Kingdom, His righteousness, wisdom and understanding?
Through this process my prayers have changed. I have found I Timothy 6:3-10 to be of utmost importance for all of us called to steward wealth. "If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain... "
I have been asking God for godliness with contentment now. One year I earn more in my job, the next year I earn less, will I be content with what God has provided? I find a test in all of this, will I choose peace and contentment as more important than financial gain? Will I truly trust in the Lord and wait on Him?
I wrestle with having patience, having dreams I want to see the Lord fulfill, and as yet unfulfilled. Not wanting to be in the crucible of refining, yet in meditation in His Word seeing the necessity of the refining, otherwise the wealth could destroy me and my family. It is simple to see, looking at the record of lottery winners, over 90% of whom have destroyed lives, marriages, and families. Will I be different? Will I be able to seek what I am supposed to seek, and steward what I am supposed to steward?
Bill Johnson added another important revelation: It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22) I ask myself this question now, when I have gained, was there sorrow with it? Was there any accompanying loss or sorrow? Was it truly God's blessing? If I listened to someone else's revelation and followed it in the market and lost, what was my reaction? Anger? Frustration? If someone else succeeded and I wasn't in that investment am I envious or jealous? If I share counsel or advice with someone do they receive it well? Do I handle it well if they don't receive it? Can I simply love and pray, blessing my brother or sister and asking God to help them grow and mature in seeking and stewardship? Asking God to help me hear Him more clearly, to be content.
My goal here is not to discourage anyone who has this calling in their lives, but to encourage you. We need to be molded, shaped, refined, to steward what God wants to transfer. If we are not, it can destroy us. I pray that the Lord develop godliness with contentment in you. What is the place of contentment? I Timothy 6:8, “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.”
Grow to be content, there are many wicked behaviors associated with godliness as a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. I have fallen in this area more times than I care to count. Lord, please mold us in the image of Jesus, in godliness with contentment.