The Definition of Prosperity

mouse and foodIn many tangible ways, we had a tough year. From the outside looking in, our circumstances didn’t appear very prosperous. Who would have desired the financial challenges we were walking through and intentionally follow into such an apparently uncertain method of provision? Where was the prosperity that the guys on television talk about?

It was there, trust me. Although the bank account wasn’t always what we would have chosen as evidence of His provision, the provision was always sufficient. Since He is abundant and prosperous, how could we reconcile the scarcity of money with the provision of the Kingdom? It’s all about definitions and perspectives.

If any of us were to take a quiz on what it means to be prosperous, most of us would tie money into our definitions. We might quantify the amount of money we have in savings or the provision of future events such as college or retirement. Is that really how the Creator of the universe would limit His view of abundance and prosperity?

Jesus made it clear that it is all about the heart. He commended the rich young ruler regarding his following of the religious rules and then challenged him at a heart level regarding how he (the ruler) viewed his possessions. Jesus knew the rich ruler’s heart and wanted the young man to experience true freedom and true prosperity. As such, Jesus invited him into a life of more than enough but showed him that the life he was being invited into was nothing about the stuff that he had.

In the past year, we have had the opportunity to know the faithfulness of God at a heart level. As things would get tight, we would have to decide what we believed. If the bank account was low, did that mean that God had abandoned us or did it mean that our definition of prosperity was being shaped? All the bills were paid although the timing of income was stressful. Through it all, our certainty of His provision grew and our perspective of His abundant love and purposes for us were clarified. Our heart matured through the apparent scarcity and we never missed a meal along the way.

Don’t be afraid of the invitations God extends to you as you seek your Kingdom call. Don’t allow the call that takes you deeper into your eternal purpose to be confused with the American dream. I can’t guarantee you that your “yes” to His call will always result in comfortable circumstances. I can say with great confidence that discomfort is an incredible mechanism for becoming a vessel shaped to handle and carry abundance.

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