The Bible word “prosperity” comes from a term meaning “a good journey.” True prosperity is an ever-increasing faith, a good and progressive trek to know God, and an ongoing spiritual fruitfulness of the heart. Come on now! Somebody has to have sense enough to recognize and adhere to the truth. These things have absolutely nothing to do with my bank balance, or with the amount of cash I have on hand, or with the value of the stuff I own.
The featured image that goes along with this article is a model of the course of Christian spiritual growth and development. God revealed it to me back in 1988. I call it “Jacob’s Ladder,” after the patriarch Jacob’s dream (Genesis 28:12). A truer representation is more like a progressively higher series of sine curves with dips between each curve, because between each peak there is a valley of testing. That is because, like primary and high school, at the end of each term there is a semester exam. In actual life, we call those exams “trials, tests, and tribulations.” But, this image will do for now.
Spiritual growth and development is an arduous mountain climbing expedition. We are scaling to the summit of Mount Zion, to the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14). Trying to carry along an abundance of stuff on this expedition is a no-no, a failing and possibly fatal proposition. The peak of Zion is so high that human lungs can only just barely manage to carry one’s own body weight to the top. Abundance of stuff is a true liabilty. That’s why Jesus said stuff like,
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Mark 10:25 And,
He lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God… But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Luke 6:20,24. And,
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me… For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Luke 9:23; Mark 8:36
What more could I possibly add to these words of Jesus Christ? He is our Lord, Savior, and King; except maybe one additional quote from his lips.
“And he spake a parable unto them, saying, ‘The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou FOOL, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God’… Ye cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 12:16-21 KJV; Matthew 6:24 NIV).