In the previous columns, we have discussed in detail God’s great love for us His children, and how valuable that is in a real way. We have talked about His overwhelming desire to help the believer in every area of life, and we looked at how to access His help by using our faith. Last week our focus was on the benefits of this relationship with Him.
Through Scripture, we began to identify the benefits that God wants us to have, such as peace (John 14:27), joy (John 15:11), comfort (John 14:16-18), and yes even prosperity (Psalm 35:27; 3 John v.2). The word prosperity can sometimes get folks off track from the truth of the word. Prosperity means that things are going well in every area of life (because we are connected with God), not necessarily a certain dollar amount in a bank account. However, prosperity does include being able to pay our bills and be able to give when and where and how much God directs us to give.
People can be financially wealthy, yet not prosperous, and even miserable. No one wants to be around that kind of person. There is no benefit to being rich without having peace, and joy, and good relationships, most importantly a close relationship with our loving heavenly Father. That would just be a poor man (lacking these good things) with a lot of money.
There is a good example in Numbers chapters 13 and 14 where God has promised the good land to His children, but they refused to believe it, take it, and enjoy it. They made excuses, and focused on all of the reasons that would keep them from possessing God’s best for them. They focused on the obstacles instead of the God of miracles, Who wanted them to have the best life. Joshua and Caleb are our examples because they believed God would do what He said He would do. Those two were optimistic and encouraged, and they eventually got what God had promised them because they trusted His love and character. We as believers should follow this pattern.
This kind of wonderful life, a blessed life with all the benefits, is available for every believer. Unfortunately, there is an enemy of our soul who tries diligently to steer us away from connecting with Father and following in this good path. The devil cannot take this from us, he can only convince us to either not believe it, or walk away from it. The enemy cannot make us do anything. Jesus gave us His authority over all of the ability of the enemy (Luke 9:1; 10:19), so we never have to give in to his suggestions or tricks.
The problem is we do not always recognize an attack from the enemy. Wrong religious teaching has told us that God will make us sick or keep us poor to teach us a lesson. That does not line up with Scripture, but unfortunately many heaven bound good people believe that lie. The devil is a polished liar, and he makes it sound believable. But when we know the truth, we will not believe a lie, as Jesus said in John 8:36-7. My dear brothers and sisters, do not let the enemy confuse or steer you away from the blessed life that our wonderful Father has prepared for you. Blessings!
John Pulliam is director of Choose Life Counseling Services.