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Prosperity or Poverty: Does God Want You Wealthy or Poor?

Most Christians face confusion about the role of money in our lives. Some feel it’s wrong to be rich. After all, didn’t Jesus say it’s impossible for a rich man to enter God’s kingdom? Didn’t he also say the poor are blessed? Isn’t money the root of all evil? On the other hand, many believe that God wants us all to be successful and wealthy. John prayed that above all things we would prosper and be in health. Weren’t Solomon and many other biblical figures fabulously wealthy? And what about the scriptures that show us how to prosper and succeed in all we do?

 Personally, I have a fabulous mission statement - one that requires a lot of money to achieve - and I prefer not to depend on donations or loans to accomplish this. Therefore, I must earn a great deal of money if I’m to fulfill my mission. But to do that, I first had to resolve my outlook on money. How could I seek the Lord for wealth if I am double minded about money?

 Let’s consider some scriptures that seem to condemn wealth. First, it’s not impossible for the wealthy to enter God’s kingdom, just more difficult. Jesus loved hyperbole. His metaphor that it’s more difficult for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter God’s kingdom is a case in point. But it’s not what you may think. Actually, the Needle’s Eye was a small city gate that stayed open all night to allow people to come and go while the large city gates were locked. A person could enter it but not an army. A camel could only get through it they removed its cargo and it crawled through on its knees. This is a perfect simile for our possessions. We must hold them lightly. Everything we own belongs to God. There are times when we must divest ourselves of everything to go where He leads us. I’ve had to do this four times in my life - forsaking all to follow Him. The first three times I got back much more than I gave up. The fourth time is still in process.

 Jesus did say the poor are blessed but he never said they had to stay poor. Whether their poverty is material, spiritual or both, their real blessing is found in the fact that poverty opens them to seek and find God’s kingdom. Once they seek His kingdom first, all they need is given to them. Finally, money isn’t the root of all evil but the love of it leads to all kinds of evil and heartbreak. Money is just a tool, one that can be used to advance God’s kingdom or one that can be abused to merely feather our own bed. We might better realize that selfishness is truly the root of all evil.  

 If God didn’t want us to prosper He never would told us how to. When God offered King Solomon a blank check - an opportunity to ask God for anything - he asked the Lord for wisdom so he could rule God’s people righteously. With that wisdom he amassed incredible wealth, becoming perhaps the richest man in history. He then penned Proverbs and other wisdom literature that shows us, among other great things, how to attain prosperity. It comes, he said, from seeking wisdom above everything else.

 Proverbs chapters 3 and 8 have a lot to say about this. Their emphasis on abundance shouldn’t surprise us. The whole earth is full of abundance. One seed can easily yield a plant that produces 100 seeds. It’s said there is enough atomic energy in a handful of clay to light an entire city. God plentifully feeds the birds and wild beasts and clothes the flowers with more gorgeous raiment than anything you can buy in a store. He will care for you too – abundantly – if you seek first His kingdom, honor him with your tithes and offerings, and care for the poor and needy. But it all starts with belief. Faith is the currency of God’s kingdom. Jesus said whatever you believe has already been done for you.

 Realistically, like the Apostle Paul, you will probably have times when you abound and times when you are abased, but if you follow the Lord, you will never suffer lack. With Him as your Shepherd, you shall not want. Goodness, mercy and divine provision will follow you all the days of your life.

 If you need prosperity to accomplish what He wants for your life, search the scriptures for wisdom on how to attain it. Then do what He says, and deal with any lingering unbelief in your heart. Thus you will no doubt have everything you need and most of what you want. God is truly the giver of every good and perfect gift, and if He spared not His Son, how will he all the more freely give you all good things to enjoy.




Ken Unger is President of and founder of, where you can learn more about him and his transformative ministry. click here ,
 "Ken's new book, The Ultimate Breakthrough, goes beyond self help to self healing. You can preview it at  The Ultimate Breakthrough "
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