There’s a lot of negative stuff been bandied about regarding Christians and money. More experienced people than me have argued this subject and been put down for it. Less experienced have as well.
Young ministers are gently told by their listeners that they will learn the facts with experience. Older teachers are accused of being led astray by pride or greed or envy.
But scripture tells us there is a purpose to prosperity.
A purpose devised by God himself – to establish His Covenant with His People. “Establish” may be better interpreted as “prove”. Proof to the people who didn’t know Him. Proof to the Faithful of his goodness and provision.
“But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day” Deuteronomy 8:18 (Amplified)
Given this statement, what makes us think financial prosperity is bad? Yes, there are many corrupt people who are wealthy, but wealth and prosperity are not the same thing. Wealthy men can be owned completely by a spirit of Poverty. They are so money-focussed that they will do anything and everything to hold onto that money. Their drive is to preserve and gather for themselves.
A Prosperous man, conversely, gives. As a result, God places wealth into his hands for redistribution. He becomes a reservoir into which God pours a harvest of resources; financial, physical, whatever the area in which he is blessed. Sometimes it’s time. Sometimes it’s money. It may even be compassion. He prospers in all areas as a means of confirming the presence of God in his life.
Abraham knew God. Joseph knew God. David knew God. Their prosperity was in multiple areas. They walked with God. They used their relationship with God to draw others to God. Abraham became an entire nation. Joseph saved the greatest civilisation of the day. David gave the largest individual share to build the Temple completed by Solomon. Their prosperity, whilst ultimately financial in manifestation, was an expression of God’s presence and Covenant with them in their lives.
Somehow having money has become synonomous with being Godless. Whilst worshipping finances and seeking them for their own sake is clearly opposed to everything the Bible teaches, having financial wealth in and of itself is no more inherently evil than having nothing. Both cause issues for a believer’s life. Excess is not what God wants for us, but neither is lack.
Each believer must walk his path with God. We need finances to share the Gospel, and we need clothes and food to live. God knows this, and His prosperity manifests in our lives how we need it in order to demonstrate His covenant with us. He gives us power to create wealth, and allows us to ask so we may receive, but the asking must not be from selfish intentions, but simply and in faith – inspired by Him to do His work.