Parents, I have a question for you: Would you ever tell your children to do something that you knew would bring them disastrous results?
I don’t think that you would. You kids may kick and scream and throw a tantrum when you tell them to do something that they don’t want to do, and in that moment they may think that what you’re asking is awful. But of course, it’s not really awful. You give your kids rules and instructions to keep them safe, to teach them and to give them values that will help make them successful adults.
The same thing is true of our Heavenly Father. We serve a good God who loves to give us good gifts. One of those gifts is prosperity. God loves to see His children prosper financially. But in order to do that, we have to follow the rules that He sets for us.
In the last article in this series, we said that prosperity is a fruit of righteousness. Today, we’re going to dig a little bit deeper into that concept, and find that a lot of our prosperity has to do with our obedience to God. Obedience brings a blessing.
I love the way that Psalm 128:1-2 explains this principle:
Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
In this passage, we have the promise that we will be blessed when we fear God and obey His commandments. It tells us that we will enjoy blessing and prosperity when we do things God’s way. Why is this? Because God’s desire is always to bless and prosper us — He is a good father!
All too often, we humans see God as a vindictive master of the universe, who gives us impossible rules in order to spoil our fun and keep us in perpetual subjugation. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just like you give your kids rules and instructions to help keep them safe and prepare them for success in life, God does the same thing with us. When He tells us to stay away from something, He does so because the matter in question is a path that leads to disaster. When He instructs us to do something difficult, He does so because He knows that doing that thing will lead us to a blessing.
When we understand that God always wants to bless us and to see us prosper, then we can look at His laws in a new light. And we can look at our financial lives in that same light: Financial success isn’t a matter of random chance. God wants you to win with money; for that to happen, though, you’re going to have to do things His way.
There’s one other important thing to note here: God’s wants us to prosper by means of our hard work. The verse tells us, “You will eat the fruit of your labor.” God wants us to be successful, yes, but He intends for that success to come from our labor. We can’t expect financial blessing just because we live good lives, or just because we have the faith to believe God for riches. God would much rather see us work hard and obey Him than to see us pray for money every day, hoping that He will give us prosperity.
After all, He has already given us the path to prosperity. It’s up to us as His children to follow the path that He has set out, and to trust that our Father will lead us to spacious places.
Photo by Johnny Hughes. Used under Creative Commons License.