Riches and Wealth
This is such a controversial subject. Here’s an insight that is worth considering if you are in a dilemma about wealth, prosperity and “pursuit of happiness” in what the world can offer.
Let’s keep things simple, basic, and to the point. First of all, recognizing that “the good life” as described in the Bible is from a spiritual standpoint. The Bible is a spiritual book to help us live in the invisible Kingdom. The Bible says, Flesh and Blood cannot enter the Kingdom, so neither can substance. Let me explain.
I had often wondered why some people are blessed with money, and others are not. But I can tell you what prosperity; wealth and riches are in the sight of God. And I believe that’s what we are to go after.
I Timothy Chapter 6 goes into what the riches really are. Let’s look at verse 5b “…supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself. V6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.”
This scripture looks really clear to me, that “wanting” riches of this world is not godly. But rather godliness with contentment with what we have is great gain.
So to me, being at peace with what we have, not focusing on what the world has to offer is how we become rich.
The Bible talks clearly about wisdom and understanding being far greater than rubies and gold. It talks of the “attributes” of God being the wealth we are to seek after, not the earthly riches which we cannot take with us to the life ever after.
Verse 9 “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
It’s not that we can’t be rich, it’s that it causes many to stumble who are rich. And we know that many of those in Hollywood who are rich have said that they realized that riches can’t bring them peace. And riches also keep them away from seeking God because they don’t think they need Him. So there can be a stumbling block when being rich and especially seeking to be rich.
V 11, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and has professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
This is what “great gain” is all about. This is what is priceless! The attributes of God. And the ultimate richness is eternal life!
The Bible tells us to seek those things that are above, not of things on the earth where moth and rust corrupt and where thieves break through and steel. It says to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust don’t corrupt and where thieves don’t break in a steal, for where our treasure is, there are heart is also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
V14, “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
It is clear to me that when we seek the riches and good things of this world, we are actually being disobedient to the word! When we “seek those things above” we are keeping His commandment. We may be causing our own demise and poverty. Because if we “seek first the Kingdom” God will give us what we need to live a life pleasing to Him and us.
V17 talks of those who are rich, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.”
This tells me that rich people have a tendency to become high-minded and forget that it was God who blessed them with the riches in the first place. He wants to give us richly all things to enjoy. But when He does, He wants us to be able to use it for others too, not just keep it for ourselves, which most rich people do. I think the part that says, “ready to distribute” may be hard for some to grasp. Perhaps they won’t want to listen to God, He may say to sell it all and give it to the poor. Hmmmm… isn’t that what Jesus asked the rich young ruler to do but he couldn’t because he had great wealth?
It’s not that we can’t be rich of the things of this world, it’s all a heart condition. I know that God will provide all I need, and He has certainly blessed me with more, yet with that more I give it away! If rich people did this, they wouldn’t be living in extravagant homes that look like museums, they would live modestly, share what they have and give away a whole lot more. I also believe this world would be a lot happier with more “richer” people besides.
This is a point of view God is using to help me to be more content with what I have and not “hoping” to be wealthy some day. Because truthfully, I am wealthy. I have the wealth that counts. I can’t always say why people prosper more than others, that’s not mine to decide. But what we do have, we need to be content with without comparing ourselves to others. Especially when we “think” other’s don’t deserve it.
Then the final outcome of all this is the great prize – that of salvation. Throughout this scripture it talks of trusting God and gaining eternal life. Truly, those are the two main things we are to keep our minds on. So many scriptures talks about keeping our eyes looking up for the return of Jesus. Press on toward the final prize, which is eternal life. I realized that to be rich is to have my eyes focused on the “real” prize, the real wealth, the real riches, and that is having eternal life. “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul, or what shall he give in exchange for his soul?” When we have eternal life, we have the most richest gift of all.
Yes, it’s that simple. And if you are then thinking, “what about being prosperous now?” I can tell you truthfully, “If you seek those things above as I just shared, you will have what you need, and perhaps more to give away while on this planet.” But if you seek after those riches (and God knows your heart), you will never attain them, and if you do, they will ensnare you because you gained them with wrong motives.
If you want to cut free from the “desire” for wealth, yet able to receive all that God wants to give you a heirs to His Kingdom, the pray this prayer:
“Father In Heaven, help me to focus on what the true riches are. I don’t want to be deceived, I only want to seek what you want me to seek. Help me to let go what I think will make me happy, what I think I need to make it through another day. You are all I need. You are my “exceeding great reward” as spoken in Genesis. I am having a hard time accepting that Lord, help me to accept that Lord and get my focus on things above not on things on this earth. I confess my sin of “want” and “wrong desires” to bless my flesh. Help me to understand that prosperity is not a sign of doing well in the Kingdom. Godliness I have discovered is contentment with what I have. I want only those things that you want for me, truth, peach, longsuffering, kindness, and Love. I want a revelation on those as being riches, and that whatever I need to live on this earth, you will provide. Let me not fear that I will be in lack, because you are my God and will not suffer me to be in want. For you Lord, are my Shepherd, I shall not want. I will trust and not be afraid. Help me to believe and trust you more Lord in the area of provision and having a cup that runneth over. Let me understand what the “runneth over” stuff for me is and help me be content with what I have now. And whatever I do get in abundance, I distribute to others to bless them. Thank you for helping me see the truth in my heart. Thank you for setting me free from bondage of wrong thoughts toward wealth. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.”