Put Your ‘Delights’ in the Right Place

by Lester Young

One of the most common gripes I hear from people (most notably other Christians) about the ‘prosperity’ gospel is that “money is their focus!”  Let’s start things off by making one very important point: there’s no such thing as a prosperity gospel.  There is only one Gospel, and that’s the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  As Paul stated in Galatians 1:8 and 9, “If any [man or even an angel from heaven] preaches any other gospel than [the one] he’s preached [to us], let him be cursed.”  Fortunately for us, prosperity just so happens to be one of the benefits of that Gospel, whether you like it or not – just like the new birth, redemption from all of our sins, healing for the physical body and supernatural protection (Psalms 91 and 103; John 3:3-7; Hebrews 9:15; 1 Peter 2:24).

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Now, to be fair, I do understand some of those concerns.  We all know of people, Christians and non-Christians, famous and non-famous (or is that infamous?), who have allowed money – or, perhaps more accurately, allowed the things which money can buy and bring – to destroy them in a very public way. Yes, God’s Word clearly declares, “The prosperity of fools will destroy them” (Proverbs 1:32).  But, we must be sure to understand just what that proverb is telling us: it is by no means an indictment of prosperity – it’s an indictment of being a fool!

The Bible is replete (in both Old and New Testaments) with examples and promises of God-given prosperity and riches among His people – so much so that there’s absolutely no need to go into them here.  If wealth itself were bad, then God would be wrong in giving it out.  And, that’s in stark contrast to James 1:17: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…from the Father.”

Prosperity is and certainly should be taught because it’s a promise from God; it’s a part of both the Old and New Covenants.  Have you ever noticed how extraordinarily difficult it is to feed or give alms to the poor when you don’t have anything yourself?  Wealth is not only for living an enjoyable life (though that’s certainly a part of it – and I’m sure that little tidbit will also rub some folks the wrong way; but 1 Timothy 6:17 clearly says that [God] gives us all things richly to enjoy); it’s also to bless and help others less fortunate, to be able to give generously toward every good work and charitable endeavor (2 Corinthians 9:8-11; Ephesians 2:10).

The devil has duped people (especially the Church) into thinking that having money somehow makes them less “spiritual” and will keep them from living a godly life.  In other words, he’s tricked them into being afraid of having money; and he’s done so in order to keep control of as much money (and, thereby, control of people, too) as he possibly can himself (Luke 4:6).  Now, no doubt, focusing on riches simply for the sake of getting rich is just plain covetousness, and that’s nothing more than ‘idolatry’ by a slightly less imposing and frightful name (Colossians 3:5).  But, again, it’s not the money that’s bad; it’s being a boob with it.

So, how do you keep from being foolish about money?  The same way you keep from being foolish about anything else, regardless of what it is.  Get God’s wisdom about it – after all, it’s the most important thing you can have (Proverbs 4:7).  Heed Jesus’ words to “Seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness (that is, His way of doing things and being ‘right’).  Instead of placing your entire focus on Psalm 112:3 (“Wealth and riches [shall be] in [your] house”), focus the vast majority of your attention and energy on the first verse of that psalm: “Blessed is the man that [reveres] the LORD, that delights greatly in His commandments.”  Place your desire and your will on doing God’s perfect will for your life, and don’t concern yourself so much about verse 3.  As it says, the person who does that is already blessed!

When you keep verse 3 in its rightful place under verse 1, the implication becomes quite clear: just like in our Lord’s teaching to seek first the Kingdom, all the other stuff – the wealth and the riches in your house – will be given to you.  It’s a promise from God, so receive it by faith.  When you do that, you pretty much won’t be able to stop it (Deuteronomy 28:2) – unless, of course, you just don’t want it.

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6 Comments to “Put Your ‘Delights’ in the Right Place”

  1. Great reminder, Lester. It’s written all over God’s word, that He delights in our prosperity, e.g. Psalm 35:27, and in 3 John:2, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper, and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” And yes, we must have our priorities straight, and our delight must be first and foremost set on the Lord. There is indeed the danger of falling on the ditches on both sides. One extreme is to be of the mindset that God wants to hold us down and not bless us financially, that somehow it is not His will for us to prosper financially. This is contrary to what His word says.

    • God wants for His children all the peace (and everything that word encompasses) that we want for our own kids – after all, we got those feelings and desires from Him. And, as long as we do it His way – which is, by far, a better way than ours – we’ll have every blessing that He’s promised us. And if He didn’t want us to have it, He wouldn’t have promised it! As always, thanks, Dee!

  2. Amen to that! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Wonderful blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on
    everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Cheers!

    • Thank you very much, JJ.

      Well, I would suggest you write about things you know about and have an interest in…that way your passion for the subject will automatically show through. And, just keep on writing.
      Wordpress (or any free platform) is going to limit you somewhat, but only in design layout and web scripts and stuff like that. If none of those things are very pressing to you at the moment – i.e., your writing is your only focus right now – then a free platform will be just fine. And letting the free platform host your site will make it easier for other platform hostees to find your site.
      Just jump in and start writing, JJ; you’ll learn as you go…just like all the rest of us. I look forward to reading your work. God bless you!!

      Lester

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