A fierce battle is raging today over the Bible’s teachings about prosperity. Many well-meaning Christians have accepted the lie that God takes pleasure in giving them financial lack instead of abundance.
Those who criticize the Lord’s offer of financial blessings typically attack two important principles found in Scripture:
- God’s desire to bless His children with material things in this present life
- His prescribed methods for blessing His people
Like a hand in a glove, both of these must work together if God’s prosperity is to be released in our lives. It does little good to believe in the Lord’s desire to bless us if we don’t know and obey His instructions for how to receive those blessings.
Yet many Christians stumble over the very first step, because they’re not really convinced of their Heavenly Father’s intention to bless them. In contrast, look at what Scripture says about Abraham’s walk of faith:
He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform (Romans 4:20-21).
Could this statement be made of you as well? Are you “fully convinced” the Lord is willing and able to bless you?
In order to receive God’s abundance, James warns that we must…
…ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:6-8).
The Lord wants us to get rid of any double-mindedness regarding His desire and ability to prosper us. We can bring Him our needs with full assurance of faith, without doubting.
Obeying God’s Instructions
When you were a kid, did you ever receive a great toy for Christmas, only to find that it didn’t seem to work? Perhaps you hurriedly yanked off the wrapping paper, ripped open the package, and pushed the start button—but with absolutely no response.
“What’s wrong with it?” you wondered. “Is my new toy broken already?”
In all likelihood, your nifty new Christmas present failed to work for one basic reason: You failed to read and follow the instructions!
In the same way, although it’s exciting to hear about God’s promises for a life of abundance, many Believers find themselves disappointed when they don’t immediately receive their eagerly anticipated prosperity. Typically, they blame God for not being true to His Word, but the real problem is much simpler: They didn’t take time to learn and follow His instructions!
Friend, never forget:
Although God’s love for you is unconditional, His promises nearly always are tied to conditions you must follow in order to receive the desired blessing.
Is there a promise in God’s Word you claimed, without receiving the desired result? Then I encourage you to go back and look at the context of the Scripture passage again. What condition or instruction did the Lord include with His promise?
Throughout the Bible, you’ll find God saying, “I’ll do this…if you’ll do that.” Ask Him to show you any ways you’ve missed the mark in doing your part to receive His provision.
God’s Prescribed Methods
Even after becoming convinced of God’s desire to bless them, many people still fail to actually receive the anticipated blessings. Often we expect God’s provision to automatically and immediately fall from the sky, just because we’ve prayed and believed.
While it’s certainly possible for the Lord to supernaturally provide for us by dropping manna, quail, or some other provision out of the sky, this is seldom how He chooses to work. Rather, He works through established principles of abundance, which He has set forth in His Word.
For example, one of God’s primary methods of blessing His people is through the principle of Seedtime and Harvest, which is a very simple concept:
Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).
He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:6).
The principle of Seedtime and Harvest is not only found throughout Scripture, but it’s also an established law of nature. What farmer would expect to harvest a crop if he hasn’t first planted any seeds?
Yet many of us try to claim God’s amazing Covenant Blessings, even when we’re not faithfully sowing seeds into His Kingdom! Once our seeds are sown, He is able to bless and multiply them. But it’s impossible for a harvest to start until something is sown!
God’s Appointed Times
Some of the Lord’s most incredible spiritual blessings are offered to us through the Biblical feasts ordained in Exodus 23 and Leviticus 23. These passages describe three Holy Convocations…“Appointed Times”…seasons when God wants to meet with His people and bless our lives in miraculous ways.
Referring to these three feasts—Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles—Deuteronomy 16:16 says, “None shall appear before the Lord empty-handed.” Yes, God put conditions on His promises, and He decreed that these three appointed feasts are to be celebrated perpetually throughout all generations…FOREVER (Leviticus 23:41).
These aren’t just Israel’s feasts or the Church’s feasts—they’re the Lord’s feasts!
His instructions about the feasts aren’t tied to an old or a new Covenant. He simply tells us emphatically: “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year” (Exodus 23:14). This was a direct and insistent command!
Jesus celebrated the feasts. The disciples celebrated the feasts. The apostle Paul celebrated the feasts. The early Church celebrated the feasts. So it’s misguided to think these feasts are irrelevant to Believers today.
Let me be clear: Celebrating these Appointed Times has NOTHING to do with our salvation, but it has a LOT to do with releasing God’s Covenant Blessings in our lives!
Each one of us needs God’s supernatural…
- Restoration of anything the enemy has stolen
These are just a few of the Covenant Promises God made to His children in Exodus 23…if they would obey Him in all He asked.
Think about it. Israel never had a big army compared to the armies of their enemies. But they weren’t depending on the size of their army—they were depending on the size of their GOD and His PROMISES to deliver them!
God was faithful to His Word. He supernaturally provided for them in the wilderness. He gave them food and water, and even kept their shoes from wearing out. Israel lived under a canopy of God’s Covenant Promises to give them supernatural abundance and blessing—the same provision we need in our lives today!
The Israelites KNEW that if they obeyed the Lord…kept His commandments…and came before Him with their tithes and special offerings, they could depend on God to keep His promises to bless them.
Of course, Scripture is clear that the Lord is the rightful Owner of everything in Heaven and on earth (Psalm 24:1, 1 Chronicles 29:11). But there’s something very special about the offerings God commanded them to bring during these feasts. He said they were to be in addition to their tithes, pledges, and vows (Leviticus 23:37-38).
It’s tragic that many Christians are being robbed of God’s intended blessings because they think the Old Covenant promises don’t apply to them anymore. God still promises that if we obey Him, He will protect us, guide us, provide for us, heal us, and keep us!
So take a step of faith and obedience…come before God to honor Him with your worship…prepare Him a special offering…then trust that your amazing season of miracles and blessings is at hand!
Your friend and partner to reach the Lost,
P.S. I want you to have a copy of my brand-new book, PURSUING HIS PRESENCE. I’m so excited about this powerful resource to help you gain new intimacy with God. Click on the link below for all the details!
David Cerullo is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Inspiration Ministries, located in Indian Land, South Carolina – a ministry dedicated to impacting people for Christ worldwide through media. The son of international evangelist Morris Cerullo, David took a less traditional approach to ministry, graduating from Oral Roberts University with a degree in business administration and management. He has authored over 20 books, and operates a global media ministry that powerfully impacts the world for Christ. More from David on Inspiration.org.