Thursday, March 3, 2005

Laying Hold of Prosperity

It is quite possible for a person to prosper in their soul and yet not be experiencing prosperity in all things. We see this in John’s prayer for Gaius: “I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2).

Gaius was, apparently, very prosperous in his soul. And yet, here was John praying for him to prosper in all things (that is, material blessing and success in earthly endeavors). Gaius had soul prosperity, but still needed the prosperity of health in his body. Prosperity of soul, though necessary to sustained health and prosperity in all other things, does not make them automatic. They must be appropriated. That is, we must lay hold of them.

God has provided these things — soul prosperity, bodily health and prosperity in all things—for all His people. For He is no respecter of persons. What He desired to do for Gaius, He desires to do for you and me, as well. But we must know how to receive them as our own.

But first, let’s deal with a problemof thinking that often blocks us from receiving, the question of our worthiness. Many Christians think that they are simply unworthy to receive the blessings of the Lord. But they should not feel that way at all. If they have received the Lord Jesus Christ, then they are accounted as righteous before God, not with their own righteousness, but with the righteousness of Jesus Christ Himself. This means that when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. There is no question in His mind about our worthiness before Him, for Jesus is completely worthy. So there should be no question in our mind either, not if we are trusting in Jesus.

Now, just as the salvation of our souls is a matter of faith, not of works, so it is with our prosperity. We receive it by faith. The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. For the Word of God reveals the will of God, God’s plan and purpose for His people. As an apostle writing under divine inspiration, John, in his prayer for Gaius, reveals the heart of God for all His people — He wants us to prosper in all things and be in health. Therefore, prosperity is about what God says, and not about what we do. We do not need to somehow come up with our own prosperity. All we need to do is believe the Word of God and do what He says. Then the prosperity of God will start to show up in our lives.

Are you ready to believe God’s Word and His desire to prosper you in all things, as expressed in 3 John 2? Then begin to lay hold of that prosperity by faith. Instruct your soul, “I have the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, I am worthy of God’s blessing and prosperity. I now receive His prosperity in every area of my life.” In this way you will begin to bring your heart and mind into line with the promises of God. Then watch with expectation for you prosperity to begin to manifest.