I felt led of the Spirit to clarify this term which is used both by those who accept and those who oppose the doctrine of divine prosperity, often with little precision in what is meant by it by either side.
The pro-prosperity side tends to say that God is not the Author of failure and that God rewards those who obey Him this side of heaven, especially those who are generous with their wealth, no matter how large or small. Nay-sayers proclaim that divine prosperity is a heretical conflation of cherry-picked Scripture verses with the American Dream and that divine blessing does not automatically equate to financial wealth.
Much of the disagreement really depends upon how you define the word “success” which — naturally enough when exploring the Scriptures — is distinctly different from our earthly preconceptions and that of popular culture.
So let’s take a good hard look at how God defines success in His Word and see how/if that translates into financial prosperity. In other words, let’s discover if there is truly an intersection between godly success and earthly.
Continue reading “Divine Prosperity: Heresy or What? #5:
What is Success?”
A recent trend I’ve seen which greatly disturbs me — even angers me, at times — is a tendency for Christian believers to divide themselves from one other according to their pet doctrines. This is much like the old East-Indian parable of the blind men and the elephant:
Five blind men heard an elephant had been brought into town and none of them knew anything about the animals. They agreed that since they couldn’t see, they needed to go to the elephant and determine its characteristics by touch.
The first man encountered the elephant’s trunk and observed the elephant was like a drain pipe. The second man touched the elephant’s ear and determined an elephant was much like a fan. The third man found the animal’s tail and thought an elephant resembled a rope. Another of his partners bumped into the elephant’s leg and immediately concluded that the elephant was like a tree. The final blind man sat on the elephant’s back and decided that an elephant is rather like a throne.
They then had a huge argument over what elephants were like, each thinking his comrades were wrong when, in reality, all of them were right.
Now admittedly, this parable is used by Hindu’s to teach moral relativism, but there is an alternate interpretation to the story: only the immature will be so unteachable that they divide themselves from their brothers and sisters over topics where they do not have all the facts.
This appears to be the state of the Body of Christ at this moment in history.
In my mind’s eye, I can see Satan nodding with a satisfied smirk on his face because we are so busy fighting one another that we are neglecting fighting him, our only true enemy (Ephesians 6:12). With that same eye, I can see Jesus shaking His head in sorrow. His words that the world would know us by our love for one another have somehow gotten lost in our priorities.
Continue reading “Of Blind Men & Elephants”
There is a very short list of the items we’re supposed to be majoring in as Christians. This is God’s order of priorities established from the foundations of the world. Everything else can be neatly summed up under one of these four:
- Submit to God.
- Love one another.
- Control our flesh.
- Resist the devil.
Simple isn’t it? But as one of my favorite proverbs goes, “The important things are always simple. The simple things are always hard.” As a result, we bozo human beings have an unfortunate drive to mess these items up in both order and content. Our sinful flesh nature’s take on this list is as follows:
- Resist God.
- Love our flesh.
- Submit to the devil.
- Control one another.
And no one is immune to this tendency to hash this list up — we’re all in the same boat. It’s just that some of us are farther down the road to overcoming this than others due to a greater quantity of time, teaching, prayer, divine correction, and revelation of Who God is and of the grace that He freely makes available to us. In other words, experience with God.
Continue reading “Who’s In Charge?
The Cosmic Battle For Control”