Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Soul of Prosperity

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
(Psalm 1:2-3)
True prosperity does not come from outside us. It arises from within. It begins as delight in the Lord and in His ways, His instruction (torah, the Hebrew word for “law” can just as well be translated as “instruction”). That is, it starts as an attitude, an orientation of the heart. It grows and develops by giving diligent attention to the Lord and His instruction. In other words, it is a matter of the soul, the inner being.

God is big on that. Indeed, He promised that He would make a new covenant with us in which He would internalize His ways in our hearts.
Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah … I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Jeremiah 31:31, 33)
More than that, He promised He would give us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, so that we would not only be able to understand His ways but also to do them.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
God has fulfilled His promise. He has cut a new covenant with us in the blood of Jesus the Messiah. At the Cross, Jesus defeated all the powers that stand against us. At the Last Supper, He took the cup of wine and said, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Then at Pentecost, fifty days after the Resurrection, God put His Spirit within us, to enable us to fulfill all that is required and do what is right. All who receive the Lord Jesus receive the Spirit of God. That now changes everything, for Paul tells us,
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
What the law engraved on tablets of stone could not accomplish in us, because it was external to us, the Holy Spirit dwelling within us can. As we yield to Him, He brings forth this fruit in our lives. This positions us to live in divine prosperity in all things. The Apostle John’s prayer for Gaius in 3 John 2 shows that this is the desire of God for everyone of us:
Beloved, I prayer that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
When we are out of joint with God, we are out of joint with ourselves, with others and with creation as well. But as we turn to Him, we come into proper alignment. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). The kingdom of God is His rule and reign; His righteousness is the rightness of His way of doing and being. When this becomes our priority, everything else will be taken care of itself. This is the prosperity of soul that prepares us for prosperity in all things.

Prosperity of soul is the soul of prosperity.