I don't think it's wrong for anyone to live comfortably and even have luxuries if the provisions afforded came from honest income yet I've never been a proponent of so-called "prosperity" preaching. When I see the word of God turned upside down just to enrich the coffers of those who are proclaiming it while they live in wealth so ostentatious their dogs live better than most children, I am sickened.
This is what I believe: Serving God, being His child and loving Him for Who He is, is what God deserves from me. I am not serving Him because of what He can do for me. I don't tithe for what I will receive in return but that's the way some are leading others to think. Another thing that is popular nowadays is to tell people they should forgive because holding unforgiveness in their heart hurts them.
But I don't forgive others because I am told it is good for me and will help me "heal." We forgive because we serve a loving God who forgave us of our sins and expects us to forgive others so we will be like Him. Jesus taught us to pray by saying: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
I am not saying serving God does not have benefits. It does but that's not the REASON I serve Him. Some are concentrating on the giving, forgiving and serving because they have been taught that if they do these things, they will be reaping great gifts from God and go to heaven one day too. They're obeying because of what they hope to reap not because the One who deserves their obedience asks them to take up their cross and follow Him.
Also, I have come to dislike the term "seed faith." I believe this Biblical principal has become so distorted from how God originally intended that the words seed faith have taken on a new meaning. My faith in God is not a seed I plant so I will get something else. I am not concentrating on some work I've done to get me what I want. I'm to plant my garden and take care of it and wait on God. God gives the increase because He is a loving, caring and great God not because I planted and have the right to expect it.
Many seed faith ministries focus on the reaping. How many of those have we seen where someone bragged about getting a new car or a lot of money because they planted a seed? Yes, they mention God as though He's a heavenly magician at our command if we do the right thing or speak the right incantation. But how does this give God glory? God is not a puppet I demand something from because of my righteous undertaking.
Of course, I understand the scriptures speak about prosperity. Jesus said He came to give us life more abundant. But I also understand that Paul said he learned to be abased and to abound. People are in prisons all over this world because of their commitment to Jesus. Where are the televangelists spouting the scriptures that tell how to be abased? That message is not quite as popular. That message does not cause the big checks to roll in.
Another popular thing people want to hear and the television evangelists oblige them by saying is that their miracle is on the way.
Should I believe my miracle is on the way? I have seen times in my life when a miracle was what I thought I needed and I prayed for that miracle. I've also seen great moves of God in my life but there are times I prayed for a miracle when I did not receive one--at least one I could recognize as such. And isn't that one of the dangers of expecting a miracle? Maybe God is working on a way to answer a prayer that requires my patience, my growth as a Christian and my obedience to Him. But I'd rather have a miracle, wouldn't I? That's probably one real good reason my faith should be in God and not in the miraculous.
Am I promised a miracle? Is Jesus supposed to give me a miracle? If I send money am I more likely to deserve a miracle? Can I speak a miracle into existence? No, no, no, and no.
I've prayed for miracles. I believe I've seen some too but if I never see another one, God is worthy of my worship.
Worshipping Jesus and living for the King of Kings is not something we need to do because the result will be prosperity, joy and peace or even a miracle. Yes, these are wonderful things! Yes, I want joy and peace and I believe I have them abundantly. Praise God! I write songs about being blessed. One of my favorite songs I've written has lyrics that tell about not being surprised when blessings fall because I have learned God loves to reward His children. So, I do believe God blesses His people and I actually do expect to be blessed but that is not the reason I serve my Savior.
And yes, it would be great to be prosperous in more areas of my life but none of these things has anything to do with the reason I serve God either.
Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior because all things were created by Him and He deserves everything I am so I have committed myself to Him. He died in my place so I would be spared the wages of my sin which is death. I love Him for these things. I love Him for His purity and holiness and for being Who He Is. He's wonderful!
Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and I am a horrid mess of sin without Him. I trust in His goodness and love to do right by me. I do not expect it because I put a certain amount of dollars in the offering plate. I do not expect it because I support missions or send money to a certain man or woman on television or copy and paste sweet little sayings on Facebook.
If I receive anything from Jesus it is not because I planted some kind of seed. It will be because He is merciful. It will be because He loves me and will work things to my good because I am His child.
My heart is fixed on Jesus. And if I end up in prison because of my love for Him or I have to suffer abuse because of my love for Him, He is worth it and worthy of it.
My journey on Earth should not be about how to fulfill the scarred, selfish, prideful and stubborn desires of Regina Russell but should be about my obedience to Jesus Christ the Lord who has given me a new heart and promises to give me the desires of it.