Biblical Prosperity in Perspective 8

Developing the Capacity to Prosper, Part One

by Pastor John Hamel

We have studied the basic elements of Biblical prosperity.  We have studied the reasons for money coming into our lives.  We have also seen the basics of how to start the prosperity process. 

In this lesson we are going to study how to develop the capacity to prosper.  

Specifically, I want to say something about the subject of covetousness.  By that I mean, lusting after money and being greedy for it. 

Lots of people hear the message of prosperity and suddenly all they can think about is “money.”  They attempt to apply their faith towards the receiving of tremendous wealth immediately for “fun in the sun.”  They never stop to realize that tremendous wealth in the hands of someone who never had it before has the potential to destroy them.  They have not developed spiritual “muscle” in the area of finances and they could easily be tempted to use it wrongly.  They could be so overwhelmed by it that it would be difficult for them to hear how God wants them to use it. 

There are certain money tests you are going to have to pass before God is going to trust you with the kind of wealth that we are studying in these lessons.  The majority of Christian people are not yet qualified to handle tremendous wealth.  If Almighty God were to suddenly dump a few million dollars in the lap of an individual who has never handled more than hundreds of dollars at a time, the results could be devastating. 

You might be saying, “Not me.  Maybe someone else, but not me.  No, sir.  God can trust me.  I know I would never get off track if God were to give me a lot of money.”  Well, you are the very one I am talking to today.  If you are too prideful to accept the fact that you are as human as the rest of us, you could get into tons of trouble with tons of money. 

So stay with me and together we will develop the kind of spiritual muscle that it takes to do some heavy lifting with Kingdom finances.  God is not going to put anything that is potentially dangerous into the hands of anybody who has not been trained in that area.

There Is Going to Be Some Financial Testing First

Gasoline, electricity, drugs, weaponry, aircraft, explosives and money can all do tremendous things to improve the quality of human life.  However, each of them can also cause great harm in the hands of people who are not properly trained and properly motivated in the use of them.  

Possibly money is the most dangerous thing in the world in the hands of an untrained, improperly motivated individual.  Jesus made an interesting comment about this.

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.  If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?  If ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12)

Jesus is talking about money when He makes reference to “unrighteous mammon.”  He said that anyone who was unwilling to take the time to be proven and tested concerning money is just showing God that they are impatient, immature and reckless.  

Anyone unwilling to first be proven faithful with finances is just revealing that they will not be faithful with anything else.  It is vital that you be willing to allow the Lord to test you in the realm of finances, specifically giving and receiving. 

Anyone who is not going to be faithful to pay tithes on one hundred dollars certainly is not going to be faithful to pay tithes on one million dollars.  Anyone who believes that it is easier to pay tithes on a million dollars than on a hundred dollars is just flat deceived and does not know what they are talking about.  Anyone who is unwilling to give God $10 in tithes is going to be ten thousand times less likely to give Him $100,000 in tithes.  

I have heard people say it.  “I can’t afford to pay tithes right now.  But when God prospers me, I will.”  That is just a flat out lie.  Anyone who will not pay tithes on small amounts of money that God places into their hands is not going to have the spiritual muscle that it takes to pay tithes when God starts placing large amounts of money into their hands.  

This is why Jesus said, “…He that is unjust in the least ($10) is (or will be) unjust also in much ($100,000).” 

God promises to prosper you.  As a matter of fact, He has already begun the process by translating you from the Kingdom of Darkness and poverty, translating you into the Kingdom of Light and abundance.  He did this when you accepted Christ as your Savior. (Colossians 1:12-13)  You now live in God’s Kingdom, the Kingdom of wealth.  

However, if you are unwilling for God to prove you over time and to develop within you the capacity to handle large amounts of money, then you need to know this.  History has a very special place for you.  It is called the Guinness Book of World Records.  Most likely you will become known as the person who consumed the largest amount of macaroni and cheese over the course of one lifetime.  I am not talking about the good stuff in the blue box, either.  I am talking about the cheap stuff in the white box marked “4 for $1.”  

You will live in poverty, being forced to eat things you would prefer not to eat, if you do not allow God to test you and prove you financially.  You will never know what it is like to live debt-free, eating things you would prefer to eat, coming and going at will, as the Holy Spirit, not your impoverished circumstances lead you.  

Are you willing to prove to God that you will obey Him and serve Him with what is in your pocket this very day?  If so, He is ready and willing to begin the increase process.

“If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.  But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.” (Job 36:11-12)

Some people cannot even handle one friendly, sincere word of instruction from their Pastor, but they wrongly believe that they are mature enough to handle a few million dollars.  That is stinking thinking.  People who will not listen to their Pastor do not really care about God’s Covenant with His people.  

God establishes His Covenant through the local Church, the Pastor in particular.  Anyone who is not going to listen to God talk Covenant to them through the Pastor correcting them is not going to listen to God talk Covenant to them when it comes to money.  That is just plain old common sense.

“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love (lust) of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1Timothy 6:9-10)

Here the Apostle Paul is talking about people who want to be rich solely for the sake of being rich.  They do not care to understand why money comes.  They just want money for the sake of having money.  Baby Christians, operating in pride, swear they will stay in the faith, but once prosperity comes with the power it represents, they are driven back into sin by it.  This is because they love money only and not the Covenant it is meant to establish.  

Jesus referred to this as “the deceitfulness of riches.” (Matthew 13:22)  God does indeed give us the power to get wealth, but only once we have proven to Him, with lesser amounts, that the Covenant comes first no matter what. (Deuteronomy 8:18)

Developing the capacity to prosper is similar to lifting physical weights.  Anyone in their right mind realizes that you start out with lesser weight, gradually developing a capacity for greater weight.  

However, even in the gym there is the occasional foolish novice who insists, “Spot me 450 pounds.  I want to press 450 pounds.  I know I can do it.  I know I can.  I’ve seen it on television.”  No one in the gym is going to take responsibility for helping that fool drop 450 pounds on his twenty-seven inch chest.  

God has as much sense as any good trainer.  He is not going to allow you to be crushed by something you cannot handle; no matter how much you insist you can handle it. 

God loves you too much to allow you to be crushed and driven back into sin by something you cannot handle right now.  

However, He is saying to you, “I love you.  I want to bless you.  If you keep working with Me, I’ll bring you to the place where you can handle it.  The less time you spend boasting and talking to Me about things of which you are ignorant, the more time we can spend working out together.  I’ll have you lifting those 450 spiritual pounds sooner than you think.  But you’re going to have to make up your mind to let Me do the talking and you do the obeying.”

In part two of this lesson we will see what happened to Israel when they got their hands on a few million bucks after living in poverty for about 400 years.  It wasn’t pretty.

Be blessed … John and Barbara Hamel


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