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This series is all about living in God Privilege. We’re learning how to live in the promises of God.
The promises of God are vast. They are huge. They’re endless. In this series, we are going to focus on three of them: wealth, health, and protection.
We started last week with wealth and this is going to take several weeks because if there is any one subject that the church fights about the most, it is money.
Most of the time, when pastors talk about money, all they talk about is generosity. And it is important to talk about because that’s how God’s financial system works.
But we’re going to talk about more than generosity. I’m teaching you how to see money from God’s perspective.
This is not only going to cause you to prosper; it’s going to set you free from things that have been holding you back from fulfilling what God has called you to do.
God wants you to prosper. I’ll prove it in scripture, but first, let me give you my definition of godly prosperity:
Godly Prosperity – More than enough for my family plus an overflow to accomplish everything God asks me to do.
Now, let me show you in scripture:
II Corinthians 9:8 NKJV – God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
Not only do you always have sufficiency in the necessities of life, but you have an abundance for every good work! You have way more than you need to take care of yourself so that you have the extra needed to help others.
That’s how you know if you are living in the promises of God. If this scripture doesn’t describe your life, then listen closely over the next few weeks so you can make some adjustments.
Why Christians Struggle with Prosperity
I heard a story the other day, a true story, about a man who went to meet with his Jewish accountant. After discussing his taxes, he said, “I assume you have both Christian and Jewish clients, right?”
The accountant said, “Yes, of course.” The man continued, “Tell me honestly, who is more prosperous? Who has the larger financial statements? Jews or Christians?”
The accountant chuckled and said, “My Jewish clients are much more prosperous. They tend to have about ten times more wealth than my Christian clients.”
The man then proceeded to ask his accountant, “Being Jewish yourself, why do you think this is?”
The accountant picked up a Bible and said, “Christians tend to live out of the back of the book, the New Testament. Jews tend to live out of the front of the book, the Old Testament.
Christians discount the principles in the Old Testament, yet that is where you find the wisdom you need to prosper.”
In other words, Christians are only looking for New Testament miracles in their finances, whereas Jews are living by the wisdom of the Old Testament in their finances.
Wisdom and Faith
Imagine if the two were brought together. We don’t have to have one or the other. We can live by the wisdom in the Old Covenant while living in the miracles of the New Covenant.
Being a Christian, you’ve heard a lot about believing God for financial miracles, sowing seed, and expecting a return. All of that is accurate. But, you need wisdom combined with your faith to live in godly prosperity.
Prosperity has been God’s idea from the very beginning. He wants you to have more than enough for your family plus an overflow to accomplish everything He asks you to do.
Say this: God wants ME to prosper.
He really does. I understand that you may not believe it just yet. That’s why I am going to keep saying it until you do. God wants you to prosper. He wants you to have more than enough.
Satan does not want you to prosper. So, everything in your life that has caused you to believe that God wants you to be poor, that was all the work of the devil. He’s been stealing from you.
Last week I explained how one of the ways he does this is through culture. Cause you know, culture is his favorite weapon.
In school, kids are indoctrinated to believe that business and profit are bad. Then we watch movie after movie after TV show that portrays the business CEO as a jerk who takes advantage of all the employees and earns his fortune in illegal activity.
Our government fusses at those who build a profitable business and then tries to steal it from them through bogus regulations and taxes and fees.
Employees get together and fuss about the business owner driving a nice car, living in a nice house, and supposedly not even working because he is never in his office.
Satan has done a good job making us hate business and profit. But the reality is, wealth primarily comes to those who do a tremendous job serving others.
Sure, some people get rich by lying and cheating, and taking advantage of others. But it is more rare than you think because it always catches up to them.
Night at the Museum
This past Thursday, Beth and I went to tour the Phillips 66 museum in Bartlesville. It was inspiring to learn how brothers Frank and L.E. Phillips built that massive business.
Guess what I found out? They didn’t become wealthy by taking advantage of others. They became wealthy by contributing greatly to society.
Way back in the early 1900s, they risked everything to find oil so they could produce what you need to run your car. Then they produced natural gas to heat your house and cook your food.
They could have stopped there, but they didn’t. The brothers worked hard to learn how to produce jet fuel to power World War II aircraft. They continued to innovate from there, learning how to produce many of the plastics we use today.
Think of all the value the Phillips brothers added to society. And what was their reward? Wealth.
How Wealth Comes
Jewish people understand this. That’s why they are ten times more wealthy than Christians. Here’s how Rabbi Daniel Lapin explains it:
“Deep within traditional Jewish culture lies the conviction that the only real way to achieve wealth is to attend diligently to the needs of others.” -Rabbi Daniel Lapin
In other words, the amount of money you earn is in relation to the amount of value you add to those around you.
So, let me give you a tip. If you want to increase your income, it starts at home. You have to invest your own time and money into developing skills that will add more value to those you are working for.
In my early twenties, I managed to work up the courage to apply for a job I was not qualified for. I went into that interview trembling and walked out 100% sure I did not get the job.
I got a call from the recruiter just a few days later. Then, I picked up the phone ready to hear the bad news and she said, “Kade, they want to hire you. Are you still up for it?” After pausing in shock, I said, “Uh… okay. Yeah. Sounds good.”
That day, I became the business manager for a baptist church in Tulsa and was now responsible for managing a budget of over a million dollars.
Clearly, the only reason I was hired was because of some supernatural favor from God that was with me in the room the day I was interviewed. Because trust me, I was not impressive.
I had no accounting degree or formal education in business. And the person I was replacing had both. Thankfully, she was able to stick around a few weeks and train me, but man was I intimidated by her credentials.
A Surprising Discovery
I became very confused during my training when I learned that I was more skilled in accounting than she was. I figured I must be wrong. She had the credentials, I didn’t.
What I did have was the school of hard knocks. I had invested years into studying accounting principles online and applying them to our small church and my small business.
I wasn’t getting paid to do these things, I just have a passion for excellence and doing things right. So, I became the master of using Google to figure things out.
But she had a formal education. So, I was convinced that she must know more than me. What I learned is that knowledge is only valuable when you put action to it and learn how to use it.
She went to school, but she didn’t put in the effort to put her knowledge to the test. She heard the right things, but she never practiced them, so she found herself in a mess.
Y’all, she didn’t even have things filed correctly. We spent most of my training time searching for documents that should have been really easy to find.
I’m not saying she was a bad person, don’t hear me wrong. What I do want you to hear is that going to college and getting a degree does not automatically make you more valuable to those around you.
The Idol of the Great College Degree
We’ve become a culture that worships the almighty college degree. And Satan has used this idol we’ve been worshiping as a way to trip us up.
Now, most colleges are more concerned with indoctrinating students with woke ideologies than they are training them to be more valuable to society. It’s a shame.
For the record, I am not a hater of higher education. But I do hate that we’ve made it an idol. Most parents think it’s more important to send their kids to college than to train them how to follow God’s plan for their life, rather it is college or not.
Sorry, that was a bit of a rabbit trail. But you need to know.
It took me several months to find and correct all the accounting mistakes my predecessor had made during her time working for the church. I also had to redo the entire filing system.
The first few months were tough. I would work really hard and then go home and research my brains out just to make sure I was doing everything correctly.
After all of this, I still discredited my skills because I didn’t have that formal education. I was just sure at some point they were going to realize this and fire me.
Then it came time for my annual review. I figured this would be the day they told me everything I was doing wrong and send me down the road.
There I sat across from my boss, nervous as all get-out, and he said, “Kade, you do an incredible job here. We’re so thankful for you. Is there anything you need from us?”
That was it. No reprimand. They weren’t disappointed. They were thankful. Actually, they were so thankful that they gave me a $9 per hour raise that day.
I didn’t even think I deserved a raise, but I learned a valuable lesson that day:
The amount of money you earn is in relation to the amount of value you add to the business you are working for.
I didn’t show up to that job to extract something from them. I showed up to serve, to help them accomplish their goals. Not only that, but I invested my own time at home to equip myself to serve them better.
Three years later, the Lord told me it was time to leave this job so I could focus on other things. You would have thought I killed their dog when I put in my notice.
They were willing to do anything to get me to stay. They asked, “Can we give you a raise? Do you need a more flexible schedule? What can we do to keep you here?”
I replied, “Sorry guys. The Lord has asked me to move on, so I have to. I’ll do everything I can to help transition this to the next person.”
The amount of money you earn is in relation to the amount of value you add to those around you.
Faith + Works
This is part of that wisdom I was telling you about earlier. If you don’t understand this, you show up to your job and do the bare minimum. While you’re there, you gripe with your fellow employees and tell everyone at home how much you hate it.
Then you go to God in prayer and say, “God, I’ve been believing You for prosperity for years and I’ve never seen it. I’m still struggling to get by.”
God tries to give you a response, but you don’t listen because you only know how to talk when you pray. But if you did listen, He would say, “Well, you’re sabotaging your own prosperity. I can’t get it to you because you’re too gripey.”
When it comes to believing God for provision, we want God to do all the work. We think we should just be able to ask Him for it and expect it to show up in our mailbox.
But let me remind you of something:
James 2:17 NLT – So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
You’ve probably heard this mostly in the New Kings James Version which says that faith without works is dead.
If you think you can believe God for something and then sit on your fanny while He takes care of it, you are deceiving yourself. You have to put action to your faith. When you believe something, you do things that show you believe.
This starts at the very beginning of your walk with Christ. Your faith in Christ is what saves you. And since you believe in Jesus, you follow Jesus.
The good things you do don’t save you. The good things you do are a result of your faith. You believe that Jesus paid the penalty of your sin and took your sin away, so you act like it.
When you believe God for prosperity, then you act like it. You show up to work as if you are working for God Himself because you know He is going to answer your prayer.
So let me ask you, do you have some adjustments you need to make in your attitude towards work? Because…
The amount of money you earn is in relation to the amount of value you add to those you work for.
Employee vs Employer
We tend to believe that the only ones who can prosper are business owners. If you are an employee, then you are out of luck.
There’s some truth to that, but only because those who are employees believe they are just employees. But if you can change your perspective, things are going to change.
Instead of seeing your employer as your boss, you should see them as one of your customers. The first one positions you as a wage slave. The second puts you in business.
You have your own business. It’s You, Inc. And you are offering your services to your employer, or should I say ‘customer’. Let me help you understand this with a story.
Two Friends, and a Railroad
There were two friends who met up again 20 years after they both began working for the railroad. One was working on the roadbed and was astounded when his old friend arrived in his private railcar.
As his now successful friend stepped out of the railcar, he explained: “Twenty years ago you went to work for $3.75 an hour, whereas I went to work for the railroad.”
In other words, the first friend saw himself as a wage slave and only cared about his salary. The other saw himself as being in business for himself, which allowed him to focus on his customer, the railroad.
Think of how an owner of a shoe store eagerly greets every customer walking through the door. She is truly excited that they are there and will do anything to serve them well.
Compare that to the employee who resents their boss. Your boss walks in the door, and you get aggravated the moment they ask you to do something.
The difference is that the shoe store owner thinks of herself as being in business. Her customers are not her employers, but her customers.
Who is Your Customer?
This shift in your mindset is going to change everything. Even as an employee, you are in business. And your employer is one of your customers. You should be excited to serve them when they walk in the door.
This new mindset also sets you free from staying at a job too long. Sometimes, customers are not the right fit for your business. And that’s okay, because there are more customers who need your services.
Since you are no longer a wage slave, you simply say goodbye to your current boss – your customer – and go find new customers.
Is this helping anybody?
Some of you have been dismissing the things I’ve been teaching over the past couple of weeks because you don’t own a business. So you think it doesn’t apply.
But now you know. We are all in business. And to be successful in business, we must work hard to make ourselves more valuable to those around us.
It all boils down to this:
Either you believe that others are worth being served, or you don’t.
If you do, then it’s no problem to clean the restroom. It’s no problem to get on your knees to help a customer try on a new pair of shoes. It’s no problem to do what your boss asks you to do.
If you don’t think much of others, then you are never going to be successful, and you’ll likely find other shortcomings in your life, too.
This is something we learned from Jesus. He taught us that the least is the greatest, and the last shall be first.
In other words, when we commit ourselves to serving others, we are not diminished as some sort of lower class citizen. No, we are elevated by God when we put others before ourselves.
What Love Is
All of this reminds me of one of the greatest tensions amongst Christians right now. We are in a season where evil has to be confronted, it has to be, and a lot of people don’t like it.
Actually, very few pastors are willing to confront the evil of abortion and homosexuality and fabricated racism and mandated vaccines and fraudualent elections and the list goes on.
We’ve become conditioned to think that exposing these things somehow violates Jesus’ commandment to love each other.
Here’s what we do agree on: Jesus commanded us to love each other. But what we don’t agree on is what love actually looks like.
Most have come to believe that love is synonymous with acceptance. To truly love people, we must accept anything they want to do or anything they want to be, even if it’s another gender.
But the love Jesus was talking about has nothing to do with acceptance. Let me show you:
John 13:34 NKJV – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
How are we supposed to love each other? As Jesus loved the disciples. To find out what love is supposed to look like, we must examine how Jesus loved the disciples.
I don’t recall Jesus being politically correct. Actually, He said some pretty harsh things. He even called one of His disciples Satan once. I mean, that’s not very nice.
I don’t recall Jesus making allowance for sin either. Instead, He would deliver them with God’s truth and power and then tell them to go and sin no more.
So, when Jesus tells us to love each other, what is He talking about?
Jesus Shows Love
During His last meal with the disciples before the crucifixion, Jesus did something very strange. He got up from the table, wrapped a towel around His waist, and filled a water basin.
I can just imagine the disciples sitting at the table in complete silence and watching Jesus with the most confused look on their faces. “What, what are you doing, Rabbi?”
Then Jesus began to wash the disciples feet, one after the other. He got to Peter, and Peter shouted, “You ain’t washing my feet!” And Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
Peter eventually gave in and Jesus completed washing the dirty feet of all twelve disciples. Imagine what the water looked like after that.
The Lesson to Learn
Jesus sat back down at the table and explained what just happened:
John 13:12-17 NLT – After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.
We just read the scripture earlier about when Jesus gave us a new commandment to love each other as He loved the disciples.
Are you surprised to know that verse comes right after this story of Jesus washing the disciples feet?
When He said to love each other as He had loved the disciples, He was talking about the example He just gave us by washing the disciples feet. In other words:
Love is not acceptance; love is serving others.
And get this. Jesus even washed Judas’ feet. We’re talking about the disciple who later betrayed Jesus by turning Him in to be crucified.
So, love is serving others even when they don’t deserve it.
Some of you thought you could get out of this because your boss is a jerk who doesn’t deserve it. Well, you’re out of luck. You have no excuses not to serve.
Now, to tie this all together with everything we’ve been talking about today, let’s keep reading what Jesus said to the disciples about foot washing:
John 13:12-17 NLT – I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.
Who’s going to bless you for serving others well? Not your boss. Not your customers, but God Himself. God will bless you for serving others well.
I’ve now shown it to you from many different angles, but this is by far the most powerful.
The amount of money you earn is in relation to the amount of value you add to those around you.
The sooner you learn to find joy and fulfillment in serving others, the sooner you will find yourself living in godly prosperity.
But let me give you a hint. Don’t serve people to get something in return. Everyone, including God, will be able to sense your ulterior motive.
Instead, serve others well because Jesus commanded you to. Help your customer put on their shoes. Clean the restroom as if God Himself were using it next. Go beyond what your boss has asked you to do and work hard to make the business successful.
Not because you are looking for anything in return, but because you are here to serve. And you know, when you commit yourself to serving others, God Himself is going to bless you.