The question has often been asked by people of God as to whether God wants us rich or not. I believe that the answer we give ourselves to this important question determines how our lives are influenced financially. First, what does it mean to be rich? In this context, it means to have God’s power and favour to meet any need. It means that God will meet any need we have, including spiritual, physical and material needs.
We enjoy complete prosperity or abundance when we have all our needs and not just some of them met. Being rich does not mean accumulation of material things or living an extravagant life. Philippians 4:19, which we often quote, has a wonderful promise of God supplying all our needs. There are many kinds of needs and this promise has not excluded any of them. In fact, it is like a blank cheque given to us to fill the amount of cash ourselves.
If you have your financial and physical needs satisfied but your spiritual need of salvation is not covered, then you are poor. Matthew 16:26 asks, “For what is man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” What of a man who has acquired millions of naira but dying of a terminal disease? At that point, the millions are of no use to him because his needs are not fully met. He is actually poorer than a man living from hand to mouth but has his good health. On the other hand, a healthy man who is saved and yet homeless and starving is not rich either.
God does not just promise to meet some of our needs but all our needs. What are your own needs? Just believe God’s promise to meet those needs, as long as you satisfy the conditions because most of God’s promises are conditional. They are not free-for-all.
There is another truth about having our needs met. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Those things to be added include food, drinks, clothes, houses, cars, and any other things you actually need and not your wants. God wants us to focus on His will for our lives. If we take care of God’s business, He will take care of our business. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” We can expect to have our desires met as long as our first desire is to please God.
Secret of Riches
The big question is how are Christians redeemed from poverty? One verse of the Scripture makes it very clear. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
It is vital that Christians understand and believe this message of prosperity. Understanding, believing and acting on this Scripture will make tremendous transformation in our lives. It is necessary to explain the context of this verse. Apostle Paul was talking about giving to the poor Christians in Jerusalem undergoing persecution and he was raising funds to support them. So, Paul was talking of the financially poor and not spiritually or physically poor Christians, as may be wrongly interpreted.
Therefore, with the above understanding, we must believe that God included prosperity in His redemption plan. It means that prosperity was included in the work on the Cross. On the Cross of the Calvary Jesus took away our poverty which was due to our sin. Poverty is a product of sin which Jesus took upon Himself. Deut. 28:47, 48(NKJ) says, “Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you.”
Christ took on these curses because on the cross he was hungry, thirsty, and naked. In John 19:28, He cried out, “I am thirsty”. The soldiers stripped him of his clothes and He was naked. Therefore, we should not suffer the curse of poverty again.
As earlier said, this promise is conditional. The promise is actually for those who have received Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord and believe that He is the Son of God. It is not for those who merely confess Jesus is Lord because mere confession is not enough. You must believe in your heart.