Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.” I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!” But if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress. With that in mind, as we lay the foundation for the year, I told you that I would discuss “Leveling Up” in five areas:
We have covered the first one thus far. As we get into the second, leveling up financially, I will break this down into the following five topics:
1. Soul Prosperity & the Answer to Poverty
2. Tithes and Offerings
3. Sowing into Ministry
4. Giving to the Poor
5. The Purpose of Prosperity
Today we will cover the first one. Let’s get into it.
So what does this mean for you today? To answer this question, I will break up the message into two parts.
Part 1: What does it mean to prosper in your soul?
(3 John 2, AMP)
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.
In this scripture, the Apostle John is praying for his friend Gaius. John spent years with Jesus while He was on the earth, and He spent countless time with the Father after Jesus’ departure. John had the heart of God. He knew how to pray in accordance with the will of the Father. He prayed that God would prosper and bring divine health to Gaius. However, interestingly enough, John connected what God would do in Gaius’ life, wealth and health-wise, to Gaius’ soul. John said that Gaius would prosper and be in good physical health to the same degree as his soul was prospering. The key is the connection between his soul prosperity and his total life prosperity.
Pastor Bill Winston said, “Inside every one of us is an image I call an “invisible fence,” which dictates how far we can go and what we see ourselves doing and being. It is an invisible wall between you and God, holding you back, and keeping you from stepping out and doing what seems impossible. If you attempt to go outside this fence, your subconscious mind brings you back.”
Your soul contains your mind (the way you think), emotions (the way you feel), and will (the way you make decisions). Your soul was NOT changed the day you were Born-again. Your spirit WAS changed INSTANTLY the moment you made Jesus the Lord of your life, your soul IS BEING changed PROGRESSIVELY as you learn and apply God’s Word, and your body WILL BE changed EVENTUALLY when you get a glorified body and you are with the Lord forever. So, for now, your focus must be aligning your soul with God. You must learn how to think, feel, and make decisions like God would if He were living through you on this planet. Because guess what? He is! One of the areas where your soul must be changed is in the area of finances.
Here are some thoughts about this:
1. You will never experience Godly prosperity (which is not just limited to finances), until you become prosperous in your soul. If your thinking and God’s thinking about a given topic are not in alignment, then you will never maximize that area of your life until you renew your mind.
2. Right thinking produces right living. Divine success begins on the inside. The measure of success you experience in life will come as a result of the measure of divine success within your soul.
3. You will never routinely go beyond your level of thinking. You may venture out from time to time, but you will eventually return to your level of thinking. This is why you must learn to think and see yourself as God does.
4. To maximize your divine purpose and potential in life, to become the man/woman God has called you to be, you must SEE yourself as that person first. This is why it is important to develop a prosperous soul.
5. The prosperous soul believes in God’s limitless dreams and relies on God’s limitless power. It is God’s ability to accomplish the seemingly impossible that will propel you beyond the limits of your humanity. Human ability is limited at its best. You cannot accomplish God’s will for your life based solely upon your own power.
6. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are succeeding on your own. Many times believers get confused, thinking they are accomplishing things without the grace of God. Grace can be described as God adding His super to your natural, causing the supernatural to occur in your life. James said, “Every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17). Make it a habit to acknowledge God’s blessing and thank Him for His grace.
7. The prosperous soul loves God, not money. If you give God first-place in your life, He will see to it that you receive all the resources you need to accomplish His will in the earth. But it is dangerous for a Christian to put material prosperity ahead of his or her spiritual maturity. Paul warned, “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows” (1 Tim 6:9,10 NLT).
8. Paul went on to say, “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. (1 Tim 6:17,18 NLT). Notice the Bible does not say money is bad. The problem comes when people have a wrong relationship with money. Paul teaches us to trust God (not money), to be generous, and to use the resources God places in our hands to DO GOOD WORKS in this world.
9. You need resources to do what God has called you to do. Solomon said, “money answers all things.” (Ecc 10:19). Having money is not bad. It’s bad when money has you! Money makes for an excellent servant but a poor master. Please see money the way God does.
Part 2: What was Jesus’ answer to poverty?
The real answer to poverty is NOT money. The answer to poverty is the Word of God. It is developing a prosperous soul!
In Luke 7 John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, found himself in jail and he was upset that Jesus was not coming to get him. He sent his disciples to go and ask His cousin this question: “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” This is obviously a question birthed out of frustration, because John knew who Jesus was. But let’s look at Jesus’ response. Jesus said, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” Did you see it? Look again.
Jesus always ministered the answers to life’s problems. What did Jesus minister to the blind? The ability to see.
What did Jesus minister to the lame? The ability to walk.
What did Jesus minister to lepers? Clean skin.
What did Jesus minister to the deaf? The ability to hear. What did Jesus minister to the dead? Resurrection/life.
Lastly, what did Jesus minister to the poor? Your first response is probably to think it was money. But Jesus never gave the poor money. He ministered to their needs, but He did not give them money. Jesus gave them the WORD! He said, “The Good News is being preached to the poor”, not money!
You see, you can give a poor person money or meet their immediate need, but if you don’t change their heart and mind, they will need the same hand out the next day. Jesus’ answer to poverty is the Word. If we can get the Word down inside a person, then they will find their divine purpose and their purpose will lead them out of poverty.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I know it is Your will that I prosper. I was not born to fail. I was born to succeed. However, my success can only be found in Your divine purpose for my life. I make a concerted effort to submit to the process of mind-renewal. It is my intention to purposely change the way I think to line up with Your thinking. I see myself the way You see me. I think of my future the way You do. I align my plans with Your purpose. I take every limit off because You are a limitless God. Once I factor You in, I can factor out every limit, because there is nothing You cannot do. I pursue success in life by pursuing You, and the success I experience is total life prosperity. I don’t pursue money or things, I pursue You, and when I do, You see to it that everything I need pursues me! I am confident that I will accomplish Your divine purpose for my life because I am not relying on myself, my ability, or my strength. My confidence is in You, Your dedication to me, and Your grace. Living this way, I LEVEL UP in 2021, and I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!