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Over the years, I've heard many reactions to the prosperity message. Yet no matter where I go, I encounter a couple of common questions and comments about prosperity. Maybe you've wondered about the answers to these questions, too. If you have, I'm glad to share my views on them. I hope they'll help shed some light on this controversial subject.

"But Brother Jesse, Doesn't God Only Prosper Us Spiritually?"
This is an issue that has confused so many people. You've got one preacher over here reading a Scripture and proclaiming it as the "proof" that God hates money. And you have another preacher over there reading another Scripture that he says is "proof" that God does not hate money! Interpretation! Interpretation! Interpretation!

If you don't really know God...if you don't know His true nature...if you've been taught something contrary to His true nature all your life, you might end up deceived by the lies Satan has started about earthly prosperity. And you just might end up believing some guy who hinges his whole anti-prosperity message on one verse that he's taken out of context and altered to fit his agenda. That's why you will find that I make many Scripture references. I don't want you to just read Ephesians 3:20. I want you to read dozens of Scriptures about The God of Too Much!

You know, the Bible doesn't say anything about God wanting you to prosper in only one area of your life, even if that area is the most important one. Yes, your spiritual prospering should be first and foremost. In my opinion, prosperity's true definition is the peace of God that passes all understanding. Without peace, prosperity doesn't matter. Without peace, nothing really matters. When you trust in the One who is backing you, you'll be able to move forward in life without worry. That's peace. Spiritual prosperity is definitely the most important thing because without it you have no real concept about what finances are really for.

Without spiritual prosperity, financial prosperity is just a nice car, nice clothes and a nice house. And what does that mean to anybody else but you and your family? Sure, you look great from the outside. But after you have what you've always wanted, what then?

That self-centered "bless my four and no more" attitude does not come from God. He is a generous God whose love for others outweighs anything else. And if we really know God, His spirit will rub off on us and we'll end up acting the same way! We'll be generous and loving, ready to bless others with our blessing! Now, that's prosperity!

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:3)

"Why Is That Guy Prospering? I Know He Doesn't Know God!"
For people who aren't already prospering in the world, spiritual prosperity will be the key to obtaining earthly prosperity. I've heard many people who get aggravated about their situations. They look down the road at their neighbor and say, "Brother Jesse, that guy down the block is prospering like crazy and I know he doesn't know God!" That's right. You hit it on the nose. The guy doesn't know God. He may not even be saved.

Consequently, he's doing everything in his own strength. And he may be very successful at what he does. He may have learned how to go out into the world and produce wealth. But the rules for you don't apply for him. He's going to hell.

You are going to heaven. Big difference. He's working under natural law and, although he is becoming successful at it, there is no peace without Jesus and so it will amount to nothing in the end. He is not prospering spiritually, physically and financially. He only has the financial prosperity, and without the Lord he'll have a hard time making it last for very long.

You, on the other hand, have the ability to work under supernatural law, which is not only more effective in gaining financial prosperity than natural law alone but also helps you to prosper in all the other ways God wants you to!

You see, in this world you may be a good businessman and become wealthy. Many unsaved wealthy people practice godly principles and succeed. Sometimes they don't even know they are God's principles because someone has written a book for financial success that is really just a compilation of godly principles in everyday language! God's principles for wealth will work for anybody who applies them, saved or unsaved.

But once you come to the saving knowledge of Jesus, you have the opportunity to gain all that God has for you, spiritually, physically and financially. You can work under supernatural law. Jesus paid the price so that you could have it all! That guy prospering according to natural law can't get it all no matter how hard he tries. Because without God there is no healing, no peace, no real joy, no true prosperity.

You have the opportunity to experience a full and complete life in God! Prosperity in every area is what God intended! He has plenty and He's ready to pour out a blessing you don't have room enough to contain! Are you in agreement with that? If you are, then you are a candidate for too much! The question you want too much? And if you don't...why?

"But I Don't Need Much to Be Happy, Brother Jesse"
Chances are, if you find yourself saying this every time somebody talks about prosperity, then you just might not be as selfless as you think you are. Many people who say this kind of thing think they're being humble and content in doing so. I hate to break this to you, but the truth is that you probably don't have God's perspective on prosperity. Now, don't get mad at me! It's His idea, not mine!

I've heard a friend of mine, a very popular minister, repeat a saying that I think sums it all up pretty well. She says, "Poverty won't keep you from going to heaven, but it just might keep someone else from going to heaven." Now that is a powerful statement! It shows you that someone else's life may depend on whether or not you prosper! Lives depend on whether you sow your prosperity into furthering the kingdom of God.

The bottom line is this: financing the kingdom of God takes money. Sending preachers all over the world with the Gospel takes money. Purchasing airtime that will enable the Gospel to be televised worldwide takes money. Printing Bibles in different languages takes money. Putting out Christian magazines, books, tapes and videos takes money. Building churches and housing missionaries in foreign countries takes money. Obeying the Scripture's command to go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15) takes money!

Every Christian has been given the responsibility of spreading the Good News throughout this earth. That means that either you go, or you send somebody who is called by God to go.

So, yes, you can be happy and content with little. Just because you're prospering doesn't mean you have to live extravagantly if you don't want to. If you want a small house, God doesn't mind. Enjoy your little place. Be happy! Just make sure you bless others, too. If you want a large house, God doesn't have a problem with that either. Build yourself a big one and don't wrestle with guilt. Enjoy what God has given you! Be happy! Just make sure that you bless others, too.

You've got to understand that God is not as interested in what you have as other people might be! That could be a revelation to you if you've been struggling with guilt. Remind yourself that God doesn't mind you having things, just as long as things don't have you.

The Love of Money
It is the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money itself (1 Tim. 6:10). And there are many people out there who have a fierce love of money who don't have much of it in the bank. People always think it's the rich guy who loves money. But how many average or lower income people do you know who absolutely love money? How many of them talk incessantly about it? How many go on and on about what they'd do if they had it? I'd venture to say millions. They come from all walks of life and all tax brackets.

Hey, we all like money. It puts food on the table. On top of that, it sends the Gospel to the four corners of the earth. But money isn't the most important thing in life. People are. Money is just a means to bless more people with the goodness of God. God doesn't have a problem with material things. He's filled His home in heaven with beautiful things, so that itself should tell you He likes nice stuff! But His priorities are in order: He cares more about people than houses and chariots. And so should you.

Don't Get Caught Not Believing in Prosperity!
It just makes sense. If you've got more, then you've got more to give. By accepting that it is God's will that you prosper and by using the principles in His Word to obtain prosperity, you will have more to sow into different outreaches who are establishing God's covenant throughout the earth. There is nothing fleshly about giving or spreading the Gospel. It is what money is for!

If you deliberately choose not to put His principles for prosperity to work in your life, you can consider yourself just plain selfish. Why? Because you will deprive someone of the opportunity of hearing about Jesus! And you'll deprive yourself of the rewards in heaven. So, don't get caught not believing in prosperity. It could mean life or death to someone else.

If you're financially satisfied, don't stop implementing God's principles for giving in your life. Use the ideas He's given you to create wealth anyway. Do it with the intention of blessing others! Meanwhile, God will pour out more blessings to you. And if you don't want them, sow them!

On the other hand, if you aren't where you want to be financially, He'll supply all your needs and wants because you will be fulfilling His needs and wants, which are souls and more souls! Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33, Luke 12:31). In other words, "Put Me first. Win souls for My kingdom, and I'll bless you with all those earthly things that you want." This is God's way. And you can't go wrong with God!

Thinking God's Way
If you think of prosperity in terms of how much you can give instead of how much you can heap up, then you have God's perspective on prosperity. If you can think of prosperity in terms of souls, then you have God's perspective on prosperity. You're thinking like He thinks!

So maybe you've heard all your life that prosperity is in terms of your spiritual life only. And maybe you have a hard time believing otherwise. If this is the case, then you are going to have to re-condition your mind to think otherwise. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom. 12:2)

Remember, just because you grew up thinking one way doesn't mean it's the right way. How many people were taught that the earth was flat before Christopher Columbus proved otherwise? I was taught so much trash that it took lots of prayer, Bible reading and good teaching to get me into line with the Word! Who knows? It might take the same for you. I can almost guarantee that it will. But once you get to really know God and grasp His perspective on prosperity, there won't be a person on earth who will be able to steal it from you!

Source: God Is Not Enough, He's Too Much! by Jesse Duplantis
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Jesse Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Jesse Duplantis is a dynamic evangelist who has traveled throughout the world since 1978 preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has its International Headquarters in America and additional offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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