Never try to build a house without first laying a foundation.
I don’t care how eager you are to get it finished, how excited you are about filling it with furniture and decorating it all just right—take the time to put down a solid foundation first. If you don’t, that house will be so unstable it will soon come tumbling down.
That’s simple advice, isn’t it? Everyone with any sense at all knows it. Yet in the spiritual realm, people make that mistake all the time. They see a blessing God has promised them in His Word, and they are so eager to have it, they ignore the foundational basics of godly living and pursue just that one thing.
That’s especially true in the area of prosperity. Often, people are so desperate for a quick financial fix, they just pull a few prosperity promises out of the Bible and try to believe them—without allowing God to change anything else in their lives. Of course, it doesn’t work and those people end up disappointed. Sometimes they even come to the conclusion that it wasn’t God’s will for them to prosper after all.
But I can tell you today, from the Word of God and from personal experience: It is definitely God’s will for all of His children to prosper!
That’s why He inspired the Apostle John to write, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (III John 1).
Notice there, however, that John didn’t just say, “I want you to prosper.” He said, “I want you to prosper as your soul prospers.” He tied financial prosperity to the prosperity of our mind, will and emotions.
God’s plan is for us to grow financially as we grow spiritually. He knows it is dangerous to put great wealth into the hands of someone who is too spiritually immature to handle it. You can see dramatic evidence of that fact in the lives of people who have acquired financial riches through this world’s system, apart from God. In most cases, such riches just help people to die younger and in more misery than they would have if they’d been poorer.
That’s because they use their wealth to sin in greater measure. They use it to buy all the cocaine they want and drink all the alcohol they want. They use it to pay for an immoral lifestyle that eventually destroys them.
The wages of sin is death. That is an inescapable fact. So, when people get money and use it to sin, it does them more harm than good. As Proverbs 1:32 says, “…the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.”
#1 Seek First Things First
You see, the foundation of prosperity is a continual lifestyle built on the Word of God. It is doing whatever God tells you to do, thinking whatever He tells you to think, and saying whatever He tells you to say.
Godly prosperity is the result of putting God’s Word—all of it, not just the parts about financial prosperity—first place in your life. It comes when you apply His principles on a continual basis—not just because you want money, but because Jesus is your Lord and you want to follow Him. It comes when you start obeying the instructions Jesus gave us in Matthew 6:
#2 Become a Candidate for Increase
The primary commandment Jesus gave us, for example, is to “love one another” (John 15:12). To the casual observer that commandment may seem to have nothing to do with money, yet to have true prosperity love must be the guiding force of your life. You must be quick to apply scriptural principles for living like these found in I Peter 3:
Think of it this way. Every right action you take, every godly decision you make, every time you go love’s way instead of the selfish way, you’re putting another block on your foundation of prosperity.
#3 Build the Whole House
Many people who have lived godly lives have failed to build the whole house so they’ve missed out on God’s financial blessings. Although they’ve continually applied the principles of God’s Word and become prime candidates for great prosperity, they’ve unwittingly passed it by because religious tradition has taught them that God wants them in poverty. Christians like that have great wealth in their spiritual bank account, but because they don’t realize it’s there, they never tap into it!