It’s a strange thing, walking a Christian path.
There’s a lot to learn walking in this world. We have to walk within the Spirit even when things are going less than smoothly. Learning God’s definitions and re-writing our understanding as our eyes are opened to His understanding.
That’s what Paul was talking about when he wrote about allowing our minds to be renewed and us being transformed by it.
But transformation is a complicated and often painful experience. Redefining our understanding of the words we so commonly use requires a real transformation in our lives and hearts.
The hardest lessons come when we are challenged at the essence of our being. Concepts promised in Scripture, especially Health and Prosperity, are not what the World would have us understand. OK, Health maybe is more straightforward. The word scripture uses specifically refers to healing and health of our physical bodies, not a mere spiritual expression. The expression needs to begin in the Spirit though. In order to receive health we need to accept it on a Spiritual level. It’s not as straightforward as it sounds. The first time I received a physical healing in my body I was in a space where I expected to receive something. I was at a communion rail, being given the representation of Christ’s Body. The Minister, Paul, handed me the bread and then laid his hand on my head. I didn’t think anything of it at the time and went back to my seat.
But rewind 12 hours. I’d been out the previous night and had a bad fall. My ankle was badly swollen and discoloured and I couldn’t put weight on it. I decided to go to the hospital for x-rays etc but I was the only tenor in the choir, so I decided I’d go to church first. I’d waited 12 hours already, so a couple more wouldn’t do any more damage.
The key is, I didn’t go on my way to the hospital as a last resort. I wasn’t going to try to avoid a trip to the emergency room, rather I just wanted to do my “bit” then get fixed. But I did expect to receive from God during the service. It’s why I went.
Now at the time I didn’t know about healing, so I’d never been taught that healing had stopped. I didn’t have to overcome those thoughts at that point. Paul prayed for me, laid his hand on my head and moved on. I took a sip of wine (Church of England protocol) and went back to my seat. When I got back, the choirmaster pointed out I’d left my crutch at the altar rail. I realised I was pain free, retrieved the stick (to get it out of the way) and then looked at my leg. The swelling had gone completely. The discolouration was still there, but there was no pain at all. I told Paul about it and he asked me to give the testimony at the evening service, which I did. The discolouration was still there, so I could show where the injury had been as part of the testimony I think, but I ran up and down the aisle, hopping on the discoloured foot and able to give Glory to what God had done that morning.
As time went on, I started to hear about healings that had not been received instantly, and my ability to receive instantly began to falter. I’d moved into the World definition, and learning to redefine back to God’s way has been a process I’ve been walking for many years now. I believe in my heart, but my head gets in the way.
The same is true of Prosperity.
In Genesis 39:2, “But the Lord was with Joseph, and he [though a slave] was a successful and prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.” (Amplified) we can see it’s not his possessions that make Joseph prosperous, but rather that God is with him.
That is a major paradigm shift from today’s society understanding of the word where wealth and prosperity are used interchangeably. The World does not differentiate, but God does. First is God’s prosperity, which can manifest in physical wealth. But if we look at Joseph’s life a bit further, we see that even in Prosperity by God’s definition, the physical circumstances of a prosperous man can deteriorate. Joseph is declared by God to be prosperous while a slave. Then he is taken from that position and becomes an imprisoned slave. It would be a long time after that before the Prosperity manifested in financial terms.
We get lost sometimes in the definitions we’ve been indoctrinated with. It’s easy to forget the power to part the Red Sea is still there, it’s just not been needed for a while. The same authority that ordered a fish to collect a coin from the bottom of the Sea of Galilee for Peter to find still operates today. We just don’t know how to receive it all the time.
When we confuse material goods with Prosperity then the loss of those things distresses us. We lose hope when we lose “income” because we’ve take our eyes off God as our provider rather than the job, or business, or trust fund. I’ve been self employed, employed and unemployed in the last 4 years. But although I’ve been financially “broke” I’ve never doubted that God makes me Prosperous. I just keep reading Genesis 39 over and over to remind myself that any financial strain we’re under is temporary in this life. And we need to remember that. Jesus said if we give up anything for His sake we would receive it back in this world and more in the world to come. (See Matthew 19)
So we need to shake off the definitions of this system, and return to God’s. Turn back in our heart and mind, and we will receive.