Sunday, August 7, 2005

God’s Desire for You

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2)
This verse perfectly expresses God’s will and desire for you. It was written by the Apostle John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34), that is, He is ready to show equal favor to all who come to Him. That includes me and you.

In this verse, we see three things God desires to bring forth in your life:

1. Prosperity of soul. This is key, for out of it flows everything else. The Bible says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

2. Prosperity in all things. Not just spiritual things, not just physical things, not just financial things, and not in everything except finances — but in all things.. Listen to what the Lord says about those who delight in His Word and make it their constant meditation: “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).

3. Health. Not just healing, but health. The Greek words means wellness, soundness, wholeness. Some Christians try to make a deal with God: “Heal me of cancer, Lord, and I’ll keep the diabetes.” That misses God’s will — He wants to heal us of everything, not just some thing, so that we can walk in divine health. God has identified Himself to us as “The LORD Who Heals You” (Exodus 15:26).

Wow! Consider what this means:
  • God does not want you to be soul-sick: full of anger, envy, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, fear and doubt. Instead, He wants you to be full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control (the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23).
  • God does not want you to be broke. Poverty and lack do not come from Him. His plan for you is just the opposite — full provision and prosperity. Paul said, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8, study this passage and carefully note the financial context).
  • God does not want you to be afflicted with sickness or disease. He does not send them to punish you, teach you or humble you. In fact, they do not come from Him at all. He can certainly teach you in the midst of sickness, to help you overcome by faith, but He does not send them to you.
Now, some Christians (especially those afflicted with a religious spirit) are so blown away by these promises that they feel they have to explain them away. “Oh, that’s John’s way of greeting people. He doesn’t really mean all that.” Or, “John simply means spiritual blessing, nothing more” (as if the spiritual realm has nothing to do with the natural realm — see The Connection Between Spiritual and Natural). Or “It is just John’s wish, not God’s will.” They are not ready to give themselves fully to the abundance of God’s grace.

But the Holy Spirit does not use words lightly. Neither does John. John’s prayer is given to us precisely because it reflects the heart of God for His people. You and I might say, in a very perfunctory manner, “Hi, how are you? Hope you’re doing well,” and not really be thinking about what we’re saying. But God is not like that. He does not use words lightly — what He says, He means. He will do all that He promises, and if we are willing to believe, we shall receive it.

John much more than spiritual prosperity in mind. He covers that aspect under “just as your soul prospers.” The health he prays for is the health of the body. Prosperity in all things includes physical, financial, family, business, ministry and every other kind of prosperity — in addition to prosperity of soul. As we have already seen, prosperity in all other things is actually based upon prosperity of soul.

Of course, there are many Christians who do not experience prosperity in all things, in their bodies, or even prosperity in their souls. That is because, although God desires to bring these things forth in their lives, they are not automatic. We must receive them by faith and resist the devil. You see, it is the devil, not God, who sends sickness, lack and failure into your life. But the Bible says that, if you submit to God and resist the devil, he will flee from you (James 4:7).

You submit to God by believing His promises and obeying His Word. You resist the devil by refusing to accept sickness, lack and inner turmoil in your life. This does not mean that you deny their reality, but that you deny their right to be in your life. If you have somehow given those things a right to afflict you, you can deal with that by repenting, confessing and renouncing whatever has given the devil a place in you. God is faithful both to forgive and to cleanse you from all everything that is not right in your life (1 John 1:9). Then keep speaking the promises of God over lack, sickness and confusion. The devil will flee and the abundance of God will begin to come forth.

God’s desire is for you to prosper in all things and be in health, even as your soul prospers. So submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you, taking his afflictions with him.

Healing Scriptures and Prayers

Healing Scriptures and Prayers
by Jeff Doles

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Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.

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