Let me start by saying: Money comes into our lives to fulfill a purpose.
The mistake we make is by thinking money is all about us, that is, for our enjoyment and benefit. Money is spiritual, money is power and it is given to those who have said yes to a specific assignment here on earth.
Those who just see money as a way to go on vacations, live in a nice house or impress their friends are those who lack money or lose money quickly. This is because their purpose for wealth isn’t tied to any higher spiritual cause and for that reason, there is no backing.
Let’s take a look at this anecdote from the life of King Solomon.
“I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure and gratification; so enjoy yourself and have a good time.” But behold, this too was vanity (futility, meaninglessness). I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to gratify myself with wine while [at the same time] having my mind remain steady and guide me wisely; and how to take control of foolishness, until I could see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives. I made gardens and orchards for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made pools of water for myself from which to water the forest and make the trees bud. I bought male and female slaves and had slaves born in my house. I also possessed herds and flocks larger than any who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male singers and female singers, and the delights and pleasures of men—many concubines. So I became great and excelled more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also remained with me. Whatever my eyes looked at with desire I did not refuse them. I did not withhold from my heart any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor; and this was my reward for all my labor. Then I considered all which my hands had done and labored to do, and behold, all was vanity and chasing after the wind and there was no profit (nothing of lasting value) under the sun.”Ecclesiastes 2:1-3, 5-11 AMP
When Solomon was blessed, he explored all the options of a rich man, and push the limits of luxurious living, he had more houses, wives and possessions that any person who has ever lived even to this modern day. So one would ask: Why was he wealthy? The answer is simple: because he had made a covenant with God. His wealth wasn’t for what he did after, for the more he did the things he did as chronicled in the book of Ecclesiastes, the more meaningless he felt. His wealth was for the covenant (Deuteronomy 8:18).
But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.Deuteronomy 8:18
He asked for wisdom to govern God’s very own people, imagine that! He asked for wisdom to govern the very people that God had delivered from Egypt years before; the very people who had experienced many of the miracles in the Old Testament. God cared about His people and therefore asking for wisdom to rule them provoked God so much that He added immeasurable wealth.
When we are asking God for money, is it simply for ourselves, our enjoyment or do we have God’s heart and His people on our minds?
Let’s take a look at this exchange between Solomon and God:
The most important of these places of worship was at Gibeon, so the king went there and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings. That night the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
Solomon replied, “You showed great and faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued to show this great and faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne.
“Now, O LORD my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”
Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem and stood before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, where he sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. Then he invited all his officials to a great banquet.1 Kings 3:4-15
Do you have a covenant with God. Why do you want to be wealthy? Why should your business flourish? Who are you making your covenant with? Solomon needed wisdom to do God’s work, and the Lord added great wealth.
The quest for wealth and struggles with poverty comes with great temptation, some of which push people to trade their souls for an end of financial hardship. But as Jesus said:
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?Matthew 16:26
God understands our need for money, our bills, hunger and so forth. But one thing He wants us to bear in mind is the purpose of wealth. Wealth from God comes for a divine purpose and not simply for our “enjoyment”. Enjoyment is the by product. God has no problem blessing His people as long as they understand the value of wealth and are ready to be good stewards (Matthew 25:14–30, Luke 19:11–27). Simply put, God has investments on this earth and needs people to run these investments for Him. He can only trust people who won’t waste it all on lavish living or selfish spending, but those who will put the needs of others before theirs, people who have the heart of God and will be willing to do as He commands.
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.Matthew 19:29
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.Matthew 6:33
In conclusion our goal as Children of God is to seek first the Kingdom of God. To align ourselves with God’s agenda upon this earth and to commit our ways to Him, only then can He help us prosper. Because prosperity without a focus on our divine purpose would lead to pain and a life without peace as we can see in the book of Ecclesiastes.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.3 John 1:2
Lastly in 3 John 1:2, God didn’t just say I wish above all things that you will prosper [materially or financially] but also that you will be in good health as your soul prospers. Good health and soundness of mind/peace comes with divine prosperity, for the Lord needs you to be of good health and mental soundness to be a steward of His money and to finance His kingdom work.