Prosperity is God’s plan for His people.
There has never been a doubt in my mind about this.
But, there was one time in my life. . .where I bought into the argument that if prosperity was right . . . why are there so many poor people in third world countries.
Then I came to understand that most of those countries have a heritage of voodoo, pagan or occult practices.
Heritage makes a difference. When good seed is sown … even in a nation … the nation reaps the benefits. These nations were not Christian and neither do they have a legacy of faith.
When I began writing this teaching I had something totally different in mind. But, the Holy Spirit arrested my attention...and I hope the same happens with you.
Here are seven keys to a major reason some people don’t prosper.
1. Make things right with them.
Matthew 5:23-24 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:
“So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you, 24 Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift.”
An offering is in order each time we attend the House of God.
That’s not just the statement of a prosperity preacher. . .it’s the Word of God.
Exodus 34:20 in the King James Version says:
“. . . And none shall appear before me empty.”
The Living Bible translation of Exodus 34:20 says:
“. . .No one shall appear before me without a gift.”
The Message Bible of Exodus 34:20 says:
“. . . “No one is to show up in my presence empty-handed.”
One more verse. . .2 Chronicles 29:11 says:
“My sons, do not neglect your duties any longer! The Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence, to minister to him, and to lead the people in worship and present offerings to him.”
The Lord has chosen you. . .to worship him. . .and present offerings. . .there are no conditions spelled out or exceptions with this or the other passages
Trust me. . .we cannot sow too much seed into the Kingdom of God.
But, when you bring the gift to the altar, make sure things are right between you and others.
If you know there is friction between yourself and another Christian...make it right...right away!
2. Make it right with Him.
Matthew 5:24 in the New King James Version concludes by saying:
“First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for reconciled means:
“to change the mind of anyone, to be reconciled, to renew friendship with one.”
If you feel someone has done you wrong or if they feel you’ve done them wrong. . .then the scripture says you should “change their minds.”
How do we do accomplish this scriptural directive? By being the bigger person. By asking for forgiveness even if you did nothing wrong.
By repenting for the offense with a forgiving and loving approach.
It is never wrong to repent to The Father.
Acts 3:19 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:
“So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord.”
Making things right with God and man. . .has an additional benefit.
Proverbs 28:13 in The Living Bible says:
“A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.”
3. Faith will not cover unconfessed sin.
Matthew 5:25 in the New King James Version says:
“Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.”
The cries of the person you have wronged are ringing in the ears of a holy God.
My Word of Faith friends...please hear my heart...you can speak blessings over yourself until you are blue in the face...but God will not ignore your sin.
The person pleading the case of the person you have wronged is Jesus Himself, our Advocate.
Get ready for another uncomfortable truth: The Judge you are being turned over to is God Himself.
2 Corinthians 13:5 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:
“Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you—unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected?”
4. Your debt will be paid one way or another.
Matthew 5:26 in the New King James Version says:
“Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.”
There is always a price to be paid for wronging others.
Some wound others by the words they speak to a third party.
How many wells have been poisoned by those who sought the agreement of others?
If you don’t ask for forgiveness. . .you may have to deal with another consequence.
You may not be facing an actual prison with guards and tungsten steel wire fences but you may well live in mental prison bound by your deeds of the past.
5. Spread the love not the hate.
Matthew 5:43 in the New King James Version says:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’”
Jesus attacked religious thinking contained in this verse.
Scripture tells us to love our neighbor. Pharisees added "...and hate your enemy."
Matthew 5:44 in the New King James Version says:
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,”
I don’t particularly like this verse one bit.
But I am more determined than ever to obey it.
6. Treat others the way He treats us.
Matthew 5:45 in the New King James Version says:
“that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
One of the proofs of our Heavenly Family relationship is the good treatment we bestow upon others.
Jesus says our Father causes light to shine on both right and wrongdoing.
He waters just and unjust deeds guaranteeing a harvest of each.
The kind of harvest we reap is based on what we sow. Offense will always produce a bitter harvest. Whereas, forgiveness will keep on producing an everlasting harvest of truth.
7. Love those outside your circle of life.
Matthew 5:46-47 in the New King James Version says:
“For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?”
Even IRS agents appreciate other IRS agents.
If the only love we show is toward Christians what good it that?
But, considering the shabby manners of some Christians, demonstrating any love at all may be an improvement.
I can say I have always tithed and given offerings. I am a liberal soul. Doubt does not exist within me concerning financial increase.
If all that is true, why have I not always prospered? It should be clear by now but I will spell it out so there is no doubt.
I have not always been quick to move quickly toward restoration with other believers.
I have placed my gift on the altar but wrapped it in bitterness rather than faith.
Paul encourages us to wrap faith around our offerings...not strife.
If you have not prospered the way you think you should … here is an area to meditate on asking the Holy Spirit’s help you. Prosperity can be yours.