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Earl Middleton, M.Div.I’m a spiritual child of the health and prosperity gospel. Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Oral Roberts, Fred Price, and their theological disciples were my earliest teachers in the faith. So, naturally I embraced the biblical truths that God wants His children healthy, wealthy, and wise early in my walk with Jesus. But after 33 years of walking with the Lord and pursuing the prosperity I believed was mine by birthright I’ve matured to a more complete understanding of God’s will for His people.
How did this happen? Simply. In a period of retreat I read the bible unfiltered by any particular perspective or tradition and finally saw that chasing wealth and prosperity is not a biblical goal but is actually a hindrance to the spirit led life!
If we’re seeking to be rich we’re violating the New Testament principles that both Jesus and Paul taught: don’t chase wealth, that’s what the gentile do because they don’t know any better. Chase God’s rule in your life and everything you need will be added to you. Those who seek to be rich pierce themselves through with many sorrows. Name one biblical hero who sought riches and obtained them. None of the bible’s heroes were chasing or motivated by money. Not Abraham, nor Solomon, nor Job, nor any of the apostles. The only people who chased money in the bible were evil.
The bible teaches prosperity as a by product, not a pursuit, of godly living. If we chase it in God’s name we dishonor Him and invite evil and sorrow into our life. The blessing of The Lord makes rich without sorrow. People who want to and do make a difference often gain wealth as a by product of making that difference. As is always the case with God, the motivation behind an action defines the action; and money motivation is a lower causation in the kingdom. God’s blessing comes when the motivation is in line with His will and spirit.
One definition of prosperity would be to be the head and not the tail in whatever socio-economic class one finds oneself to be in. It doesn’t necessarily require class change.
Riches are defined by social class, wealth is defined by interior resources. Wealth depends on what’s going on inside of me, riches depend on what’s happening around me. God wants His children to be wealthy, but not necessarily rich. Pursuing either brings sorrow, because we can’t pursue God and money. Don’t chase riches, or wealth. Chase the kingdom, God’s rule in your life.

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