This idea that God wants everyone to be wealthy? ... I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty. — Rick Warren
In the 2006 article titled “Does God Want You to Be Rich?” TIME magazine conducted a survey. The poll found that 61% of participating Christians believed God wanted them to be prosperous, and 31% agree that if they gave money to God, God would give them more money.
I know many of you grew up with this teaching: Obey God and you’ll always be economically secure.
You can even show me passages in the Old Testament to back up this truth. Except we don’t live under the Old Testament system anymore.
After Egypt, the Israelites lived in an agrarian society. God brought them into the Promised Land and gave them everything that would normally require a loan. Need a house? Here is one that is furnished. Water? Have some wells you didn’t dig. Sustenance and commerce? Take a look at the olive groves and vineyards you didn’t plant but are yours. There was a stipulation though.
“The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God so that we might always prosper and be kept alive… ” (Deuteronomy 6:24)
Obedience = prosperity if you lived in Old Testament times and if you kept the rules.
We are not Israel. We don’t live in an agrarian society in a land where furnished homes, dug wells, and free vineyards were given to us. Neither do we live under the law where obedience = blessing. Instead, we live under the grace of the new covenant. We are accepted. We don’t have to perform. If we disobey, there is grace.
The covenant of grace isn’t tied to our dwelling within the Holy Land. The covenant of grace means we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
So, the good news is that God no longer promises material blessings if you follow Him. The bad news is that God no longer promises material blessings if you follow Him.
He does promise to indwell you and encourage you from the inside out.
Is that enough?
Father, I thank You for the undeserved gift of Your Son and Spirit. My human mind can comprehend only a fraction of the blessings Your indwelling brings to my life. I walk with You in this truth: You are more than enough. Amen.