“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
Our relentless search for success and prosperity
I have worn myself out to my deepest parts trying to figure out how to succeed in life and become prosperous. I have read many books and tried various activities. I have tried starting small businesses, tried selling stuff, tried the lottery, and even recited interesting phrases that promised abundance. Of course, this was before I learned that God is the solution.
Many of us are struggling to keep afloat in our damaged economy. Many of us have turned to credit and have accrued much debt in hopes of finding happiness. But all this leads to more misery. It seems the more overtime we try to work, the bigger our expenses get. Anytime a bit of money comes in, it seems like something breaks and uses that money and more. It’s a never-ending battle for peaceful and abundant living.
The Lord has been challenging me to surrender everything to Him in this area of finances, success, and abundance. Four years prior to writing this article, I was laid off from a 6-figure income. One day there was work and abundance and plenty; the next day, nothing.
In the time since, I have been on a road of learning to trust God for all that we have and need. My wife was still working, but we have been in over our heads. Why not just find another job, you ask? I tried. I tried many times and I tried many things. I eventually came to the understanding that God wanted to teach me some stuff. First, He wanted me to give up on my love for money, and second, He wanted me to learn to trust Him as my provider.
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God will put the pressure on us to teach us and test us
Through these four years, I have come to understand that God is always there. Struggles happen, things break, nothing makes logical sense, and God seems silent; almost, distant. But we know He is right here with us.
My wife and I have been faithful tithers for the entire twenty-plus years of our marriage. Regardless of our situations or levels of income, we gave at least ten percent. She was the responsible one and I was, well, the opposite. I trusted her to tithe on everything, and sometimes I didn’t even want to because we weren’t getting blessed.
Clearly, I had the wrong idea of tithing. Within the last four years of this financial dessert I’ve been in, I have developed a clear understanding of just how faithful God was to provide for us for all these years that we’ve been tithing. Especially, over the last four years that we’ve been reduced to a one-income family, we see God providing in ways we can’t explain.
What I can say is that, on our paper monthly budget, we are very short. This is where it doesn’t make sense. Somehow, each month we have all that we need, every bill is paid, and even every debt payment is made. We have learned not to question this as a mystery, but to see it as God’s loving hand of provision for us. Even while God is teaching me to give up money as my master and turn to Him, He is still faithfully providing.
Do I believe He would do this if we weren’t obedient to give Him our ten-percent tithe? No. I believe if we were stingy with the money that comes to us, that God would close His hand of provision in our household.
God will make good on His promises to us
The Word of God, the bible, is our book of instruction. In the opening Scriptures above, Joshua was taking the reigns from Moses as he was about to lead the people into the promised land. God was giving him encouragement that he would be successful in everything ahead of him if he would read and meditate on the Word of God.
God is telling us the same thing in our lives. No matter what we are facing, no matter how bad it seems, God is promising in this Scripture to provide for us and lead us into victory and success if we will surrender to Him and His Word. This isn’t something to take lightly. God is a God who keeps His word. He cannot lie. If God say’s He will do something, we can rest assured that it is true.
The issues we face with God not providing or coming good on His promises are not because God can’t live up to what He say’s, but instead, this may be that He is waiting for us to grow and mature in our faith and obedience to Him.
Joshua was told to “obey all the instructions” he was given, to not deviate from them either to the right or left. He was told to study the book, to meditate on the word day and night, and to obey all that is written in it. So, if you are trusting God for a miracle of some sort, or waiting on God to come good on a promise, are you sure you have done all that was required of you?
I wrestled with God on this, many times, during the past four years. Every time I tried, He showed me one more thing I was doing that was displeasing to Him. Was I studying His Word and meditating on it day and night? No. Was I sticking exactly to the path He was laying out before me? No.
God is a faithful God who cannot lie. What if we would live to His standard and walk in obedience to Him? What would our lives look like then?
God wants us to have a proper understanding of abundance and prosperity
God is a God of provision. He knows that we have needs. There are examples in the bible where God blessed certain individuals with an abundance of money, but this isn’t necessarily the norm.
God knows our exact needs. First, He looks at our heart condition to see what our attitude towards money is. If we aren’t a good steward of what He gives, we can’t expect Him to give us more. The parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30 tells us that the person who was not a good steward of what was entrusted to him had everything taken away.
We might feel like we are living in lack, and we might be frustrated that God isn’t giving us more. But we need to search ourselves and look for clues as to what God is doing in us. For me, I was a terrible steward of everything. I didn’t maintain our vehicles, our homes, my relationships, and especially, our finances. So, naturally, when God pulled back and put the pressure on me, I cried out; “Why God do you not care about me and my family; why won’t you give us the money we need?”
Of course, now, I have learned that God does care, and this is exactly why He put the pressure on us. He could see that we were on the wrong path, and against His warnings, we kept going. By Him stepping in to work on me, we are now oriented in the right direction and on the right path.
God will correct us and discipline us like a good father does. He see’s the danger ahead that we don’t see. This includes a corrupted heart condition. God knows our potential and our future, so He will step in to bring us back to the right path.
What I have learned through the correction I have been enduring is that I have been living abundantly all along; even without money. I have been chasing money, but in reality, God has richly blessed me with health, with a wife and children, with a home, with a beautiful country, and with freedom. I can literally go on, and on, and on, with this. When we start telling God what we are thankful for, He will keep showing us how we are already blessed, even when in financial lack.
“Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do”
The verse ends by telling Joshua that if he does these things, and in the way that it was laid out for him, only then would he prosper and be successful.
God doesn’t want us to read His Word to get a blessing. God wants us to read His Word to get to know Him. God longs for a meaningful relationship with each one of us. He wants for none of us to perish. He gave us free will to make our own choices of who to follow because He wants to spend an eternity with people who “choose” to be friends with Him.
Reading God’s book of instruction will teach us and tell us how to live according to God’s standard. Gaining this knowledge doesn’t improve our relationship with Him because we become more intelligent; it improves our relationship with Him because we learn through the countless examples that He is a loving God, a faithful God, a God of Justice, a God of grace, and a God of mercy. We learn that we can count on Him to be there for us in a time of need, just like a true friend.
But what if we do develop a meaningful relationship with God; one where we also strive to live up to His standard and to be obedient as possible? Well, the Scripture tells us; “Then you will be successful in everything you do.”
Related: How Can I Get Closer To God?
I can’t promise what God has planned for you and your future; especially, financially. What I can say is that when you focus on God and give God all your problems, He will give you peace in your heart that will allow you to remain joyful in hard times. The more that I listen to praise and worship music and offer worship to the Lord, the more peace He is giving me about our finances and future.
Each day, I just keep doing what God is calling me to do, and I offer God all that I have and all that I am. Being brought to my financial knees has allowed me to connect with God on such a deeper level where I’m not seeking money anymore, but God. I don’t wake up wondering how I will make money; I wake up wondering how I can improve my relationship with God through bible reading, praying, and worshiping Him in song and praise. I surrendered to God and He changed me.
I wrote this article because I know that there are other believers out there struggling to make ends meet. Nowhere in the bible does it tell us that God will deliver us from our financial problems and pour on the money. But He does tell us countless times to put our trust and hope in Him, to focus on Him, to live according to His standards, and that He will uphold us with His Righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
We are told that we will have struggles in this world (John 16:33) and we have been told to store up treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-20). We can’t be sure that we will experience lasting and balanced earthly wealth, but we can be sure that living only for the Lord, being of service to the Lord, being an example for the Lord, and being generous on behalf of the Lord will all result in a rich blessing in Heaven; a blessing that will last forever where nothing can reduce it or destroy it.
God wants us to focus on being good stewards of “all” that He gives us.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, click the image below to fill out a private prayer request. My wife and I would love to pray for you.