By Gloria Copeland
Imagine for a moment you belonged to the wealthiest family on earth. Imagine your parents were the Rockefeller, for instance, and that you’d grown up surrounded by limitless abundance and extravagant riches. Think about what your financial perspective would be!
You’d always expect to have plenty of money. You’d think in terms of abundance, not lack. You’d never expect to have to go without or wonder how you’re going to afford a new car. You’d have all the cars and planes and boats and whatever else you wanted.
Having never known anything but wealth, your attitude would be, Hey, this is just the way it is in my family. We are very, very rich.
That’s the attitude you should have as a believer!
Although in the natural your last name may not be Rockefeller, you’ve been born into the wealthiest family there is. You’ve been born again into God’s spiritual family, and it’s just as real as any natural family, only it’s richer and more powerful.
No other family even comes close to God’s Family!
He owns the whole earth and all of its fullness (Psalm 24:1). He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). All the silver and gold in the whole world belong to Him. All the buried treasures and hidden riches are His and He knows where they all are (Isaiah 45:3).
Our Father is a Rich, Rich God! He Created all the wealth on this entire planet and put it here for His Family to enjoy. In other words, He put it here for us!
“Well,” someone might say, “I think that’s an extreme point of view. It’s just an idea you prosperity preachers came up with.
No, we didn’t come up with it. Our Good and Gracious God came up with it. Prosperity has always been God’s Plan for His people. All through the Scriptures as long as His sons and daughters would obey Him they walked in superabundance.
Think about how wealthy Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. Until they decided to disobey God and do things their own way, they had everything good they could possibly desire.
Think about how prosperous Abraham was. He believed God, did what He said and wound up wealthier than the kings of nations. He walked faithfully in his covenant with God and became “very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold” (Genesis 13:2).
The same was true with the Israelites.
Even though they lived under the Old Covenant when they obeyed God, they had every need met. They were the head and not the tail. They had victory everywhere they went. They had a surplus of prosperity, and THE BLESSING of Abraham was manifested in their lives.
Now we, as believers, are Abraham’s seed (Galatians 3:29) and that same BLESSING has come on us. It’s just as powerful as it ever was, and we can walk in it more easily than the Israelites did because we have a better covenant: We’ve been made the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We have His Spirit inside us, and He’s given us a heart to obey Him.
All that’s left now is for us to learn how to cooperate with Him. We just need to look in the Word and find out how to do things His way so we can live according to His laws of abundance.
DON’T FATTEN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT BY STARVING YOUR SOUL
God’s laws of abundance are wonderful! They’re as dependable as the law of gravity. They work the same way all the time, and anyone in the family who walks in them can live a superabundantly prosperous life. Believers who don’t walk in those laws, on the other hand, will live far below their financial privileges. They’ll just have to try to get by in the natural the best they can. God won’t be able to do much for them financially because, even though they’re His Children, where money is concerned they still believe and operate much like unbelievers.
When they get in a financial bind, they worry and fret and try to figure out ways to get more money. When they want things they can’t afford, they get frustrated and rack up more debt. If their bank account isn’t as big as they want, they cut back on their giving and hoard up every cent of their income they possibly can.
From the world’s perspective those sound like normal things to do. But it’s not the way God’s Family operates. We don’t go after money and material things. We go after God, and things come to us. That’s the foundational law of supernatural abundance. It’s what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:33. He said: “Seek (aim at and strive after) first of all [God’s] kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides” (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition). Talk about a great way to prosper! That’s the best way to do it—by living for God and putting His Word first place in our lives.
There’s no downside to that way of prospering like there is to the world’s way. When people get wealthy the world’s way, they end up like the rich man in Luke 12. Remember him? He amassed a great fortune by his own fleshly efforts. Then he stored it up, fully intending to spend it on himself. But because he never paid any attention to God, in the end his wealth didn’t do him any good. He wound up dying before he could enjoy it. (See verses 16-20.)
That’s not an example we want to follow. Jesus said people who lay up treasure for themselves but are not rich toward God are fools! Their bank account gets fat but in the end their soul ends up starving. The only answer they have is money and it won’t get them into heaven. It won’t heal them of a terminal disease. It won’t break the power of the addictions that have enslaved them.
When you seek God first, however, you prosper “as your soul prospers.” You increase financially as “you walk in the truth” (3 John 2-3, New King James Version), and the truth makes you free (John 8:32).
What exactly does it mean to walk in the truth?
It means you live a godly life: You make God’s Word your final authority and do whatever He Says to do. It means you keep His Word in your heart and in your mouth. You believe and say what He Says about you. When you’re facing financial difficulties, you don’t go around talking poverty and lack. You don’t say things like, “I just don’t see how I’m going to pay all these bills.” You put your Faith in scriptures like Philippians 4:19 and say, “My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!”
When you’re walking in truth you also put God first in your finances. You make tithing a priority. You give cheerfully to others whenever the Lord Leads, confident that the Lord will BLESS you in return because, as Galatians 6:7 says, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
A PRECIOUS POSSESSION
“But Gloria,” you might say, “I do all those things. I spend time in the Word every day. I believe and confess the Word over my finances. I tithe and give. Yet I’m still not prospering and increasing!” Then maybe you need to check up on yourself in another area. Maybe you need to see how you’re doing when it comes to being diligent. Diligence is another one of God’s foundational laws of abundance. It’s defined as “steady application to business of any kind; constant effort to accomplish what is undertaken.”
Diligence is perseverance. It’s doing wholeheartedly whatever job you’ve been given to do. It’s part of what causes you to prosper.
You might not hear as many sermons about diligence as you do about other things, but God tells us time and again in the Scriptures how valuable it is. In Proverbs, for instance, He says:
“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich” (Proverbs 10:4).
“The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor” (Proverbs 12:24, NKJV).
“Diligence is man’s precious possession” (Proverbs 12:27, NKJV).
“The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich” (Proverbs 13:4, NKJV).
“The [sluggard] will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing…. [but] the plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty” (Proverbs 20:4, 21:5, NKJV).
“How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man” (Proverbs 6:9-11).
This is just the way it is in God’s family: Sluggards don’t do well. People who sleep late every morning and spend their days lazing around don’t prosper.
God isn’t like the government. He doesn’t have programs that pay people for not working. In His system, if you want to prosper, you’re expected to work and be productive. Whether you’re a full-time mother and homemaker, a student, a business owner, or an employee, you’re expected to give it your best effort and do a good job.
What if you have a job you don’t like, or you have one that doesn’t pay very well?
Be diligent anyway! Believe God for a better job if you want, but in the meantime treat the one you have with respect. Don’t just do as little work as you can without getting fired. Be the best employee that company ever had. Show up at work every day with a smile on your face and do everything you can to be a blessing in that place.
“But you don’t understand. My job is just menial. It isn’t very important.”
Yes, it is! For one thing, it provides you with an income to tithe on and the ability to sow into the Kingdom of God. It gives you the opportunity to go to work every day thinking, I’m doing this as unto the Lord, and I’m getting seed for a harvest out of it.
For another thing, even if your job doesn’t pay very well it gives you the opportunity to be faithful. And if you’re faithful, God can increase you. He’s not limited by where you start. He can take you from the bottom rung of the ladder all the way to the top!
That’s what happened to the first two servants in the parable Jesus told in Matthew 25. They started out as slaves and ended up as rulers. You’ve probably read the story…
In the beginning, each of the servants was given the job of stewarding a certain amount of money for his master. One servant was given five talents of money; the second got two talents; and the third got one talent. Afterward, the master went on a journey and while he was away the servant who “received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money” (verses 16-18, NKJV).
What happened when the master returned? He gave the two faithful servants identical promotions! Even though they started out at different levels financially, he blessed them both equally and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (verses 21 and -23, NKJV).
The unfaithful servant, however, received a demotion. The master said to him, “You wicked and lazy servant…[at least] you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (verses 26-29, NKJV).
This is one of the key principles in God’s system of prosperity: Faithfulness brings increase. Unfaithfulness results in decrease.
God wants you to increase! He’s not just your master, like the man in the parable—He’s your loving heavenly Father. He takes delight in prospering you (Deuteronomy 30:9). So, give Him the opportunity by walking in His laws of abundance!
Put Him and His Word first place in your life and in your finances. Keep that Word in your heart and in your mouth. And when He puts something in your hands, even if it seems small, be faithful with it. Work diligently with what you’ve been given and “whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward” (Colossians 3:23-24)