Some people have the idea that to prosper financially is a curse. Others believe that if God were to bless them, He would do it by making them poor. I want us to determine from God's Word whether prosperity is a blessing or a curse. Once we do that, we can further establish the direction God wants us to take in the financial realm.

Our scriptural basis is Deuteronomy 30:19,20:

"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Than you mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them,"

This promise applies to the New Testament believer because the covenant was made with Abraham and his seed. Galatians, chapter three tells us that if we are Christ's, we are Abraham's seed.

Notice that we are the ones who must choose. God will not make the decision for us. If we don't choose life, cursing will automatically come on us. It will be our fault, not God's.

The Curse of the Law
Since we must choose, we need to know if prosperity is a blessing or a curse. Deuteronomy 28:15 says,

"It shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee."

He is about to list some curses, not blessings.

"Cursed shall thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store."

Your basket and store point directly to the area of finances, or lack of them.

Verse 18: "Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of the kine, and the flocks of thy sheep." Fruit is born or brought into being. Fruit is increase. This verse is talking about family increase as well as material assets flourishing.

To curse the increase means that there will not be any increase. Note that the purpose of the cursed increase was not to teach a spiritual lesson - it was to destroy! This chapter says that the curse comes to destroy until you perish. That's certainly no blessing.

Notice the verse 20, "The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke." The verb tense in the original Hebrew indicates that God actually has nothing to do with sending these. These Hebrew verbs are permissive. God will allow these things to come. Once He has delegated authority, He can't do anything else but permit them. Those who have dominion over the destruction and the curse are responsible fore exercising that dominion.

God is not protecting us from the devil. As far as He is concerned, Satan has been defeated and the body of Christ has been given authority over the Evil One. This is true concerning finances as well. Poverty is a curse and the Bible says that we have been redeemed from it.

Let's continue with verse 31: "Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass (or, in today's terms, "thy car") shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them."

To lose everything - your job, your assets and your possessions without any way to get them back is a curse.

Verse 32: "Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long: and there shall be no might in thine hand. The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed always."

Our society is seeing glimpses of this. The news is flooded with reports of children who are kidnapped or reported missing. The parents are almost helpless to do anything about it, that is, if they don't know the power of God. The grief over the loss of children is in the same class as the loss of labor and income. This is not a blessing; it's a curse.

The Wealth of Solomon
The Book of Proverbs says more about wealth and riches that any other book in the Bible. No one has ever surpassed Solomon, who wrote Proverbs, in real goods. He was the wealthiest man who ever lived.

Let's see what Solomon said concerning prosperity. Proverbs 6:6-11:

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 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.

Notice that Solomon used the ant as an example. Are ants poverty-stricken? No! They are hard workers. The more you put into something, the more you will get out of it.

Also, pay attention to how he refers to poverty as a traveling armed robber. Who does the Bible say goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour? The devil. That roar is his arm - his weapon.

In the past, Satan has made us back off from him because his roar convinced us that he could really bite. But, that's not true. Jesus pulled his teeth! The Captain of our salvation disarmed the adversary through His substitutionary sacrifice at Calvary. Thank God, Jesus took his armor away from him and then armed the body of Christ from head to toe so that we could stop the devil.

Poverty destroys. It goes around like an armed robber. God calls lack a curse, and there is no way it could ever be a blessing.

Jesus came to minister to the poor. Why? To make them more poor? Of course not. The Bible said that He became poor that we might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). He bore the curse of poverty in order to get us out of it, not to leave us in it.

The Blessing of Abraham
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" (Gal. 3:13-14).

Remember, God has given us a choice. Let's go back to the Deuteronomy, chapter 28, and see what a blessing is so that we will know what to choose.

Verse one and two: "And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee."

Look at verse four: "Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep."

Obviously, increase is blessing.

Verse eight: "The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."

God wants to increase His people. Psalm 35:27 says that He has pleasure in the prosperity of His servants.

Why Does God Prosper Us?
Now that we have established the fact that prosperity is a blessing, we must know why God wants us to flourish in the financial realm.

Genesis 39:2,3 says that the Lord was with Joseph and that God made all he did to prosper. The New Testament application is Philippians 4:19. It says that the Father will meet our needs according to His riches in glory.

Why is God going to be with us and cause all that we do to prosper? Deuteronomy 8:18 has the answer:

"But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."

The power to get wealth comes from God. He gives it in order to establish His covenant. The purpose for abundance is to preach the gospel, feed the poor and meet the needs of others.

Proverbs 28:8 says, "He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor." That's for us, the body of Christ! We should be able to get together and buy a load of grain and feed a multitude with it. That's the reason for wealth and prosperity.

God increases us so that we may increase our production in the Word. That's what we are here for - to establish God's covenant. God doesn't prosper us financially just so that we can be more comfortable. He doesn't heal us so that we can watch more television without pain in our bodies.

Wealth is not to provide more conveniences and luxuries. Without the Word directing our lives, that is exactly what will happen. This has been a major problem in the body of Christ as prosperity has been preached. A great number in the body use the increase of God just to become more comfortable. I've been guilty of it myself, but thank God I've repented.

I believe the body of Christ is beginning to wake up. We're beginning to use our increase to win the world instead of increasing our own goods. God wants you to prosper, not just to put food on your table but also to reach out and help provide food for someone else. Prosperity enables you to be about your Father's business - meeting the needs of others, spirit, soul and body.

If you give, it will be given to you. As you seek first the kingdom of God - to reach out to others as Jesus reached out - God will supernaturally meet your needs.

Change your image today. Begin to see yourself as the one giving to supply the needs of mankind. A prosperous man is one who helps to establish God's covenant and understands that his needs will be taken care of. He takes his eyes off of himself and puts them on others. His reason for working is to have so that he can give to those who are in need (Eph. 4:28).

Prosperity is a blessing for the world. Walk in that revelation today! You are the giver. Choose life and blessing, and see the miraculous take place right in your own home!

Excerpt permission granted by
Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc.
aka:  Kenneth Copeland Ministries