Does God Want Us Rich?

Have you ever heard someone say, “Money is the root of all evil?”

I’m betting you probably have. Do you know the Bible doesn’t actually say that?  One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone quotes a Bible verse and leaves out or adds a phrase, which changes the verse’s meaning.  A great example of this is 1 Timothy 6:10.  It says:

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

Notice this verse says it’s the love of money and not money that is root of all kinds of evil.  Money in and of itself is neutral. It is neither good nor evil.  It is the hearts of people that are good or evil.  Money simply reveals and magnifies what is in a person’s heart. 

If I give a million dollars to a person who is radically in love with Jesus they would use the money to give to their church and other ministries, bless their friends and family, pay off any debt they have, and invest in their future. A good hearted person will use money for good, while a person with an evil heart would use the million dollars for sinful and illegal activity.  The money didn’t cause the evil person to do evil.  Evil was already in them.  All the money did was give them the opportunity to express what was in their heart.

Once we understand money is neutral and can be used for good or evil based on the condition of our hearts, this leads to an important question:

Does God Want Us Rich? 

Look at Psalms 35:27:

27 “Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”

God delights in the prosperity of His servant.  If we take the Bible at face value that means God wants us rich!  The caveat is God doesn’t want riches to have us.  This means we’d be willing to give when He says give, save when He says save, spend when He says spend, and leave our high paying job for a lower paying job if He said to.  A person with this kind of attitude can be trusted with great riches because they value the provider above the provision and ultimately they know God is their source.

So how do we cultivate this attitude of heart?  This comes back to our relationship with God.  Look at Philippians 4:10-12:

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Philippians is one of the most joyous books in the Bible. Ironically, the Apostle Paul wrote it while he was chained to a Roman guard in prison. He was able to write such a joyous book because his circumstances didn’t determine his condition. In this passage, he said he rejoiced because the Philippian church’s care had flourished for him again.  This is talking about financial support.  

He went on to say in verses 11-12, however, that he had learned to be content in whatever state he found himself, whether in abundance or being abased.  In context, abased meant a lack of financial provision.  Paul was content when he didn’t have all of his needs met for a season. How did he do that?  His relationship with God.  Paul had learned to rejoice in whatever state he found himself because he had learned to draw on the power of the Holy Spirit and enjoy Jesus in any situation.  

Think about it, what can the devil do to a person who he cannot get discontent no matter what he throws at them?  That person is untouchable because their circumstances don’t control them, the Holy Spirit does. 

What God did for and through Paul is available to all of us who will believe and pursue.  I’d love to give you a formula for how to get there, but I’m still on that journey myself.  What I’ve discovered is to spend time in worship, prayer, and the word everyday and be really authentic with God.  I tell Him my struggles.  I tell Him my frustrations, and disappointments.  He can handle it.  I also ask Him to do something in me by His spirit so I walk closer to Him than I currently do. I want to want Jesus more and I can’t generate the want.  It takes the Holy Spirit to generate that want in me. 

I’d encourage you to do all of the things I just described above and I believe over time you’ll find you are walking closer to Jesus.  You’ll want Him more than anything else and ironically that is when you can be trusted with financial blessing beyond measure.

Money isn’t the root of all evil. It’s our attitude toward money that produces evil. When we understand this, it helps us learn to relate to properly so God bring wealth into our lives and we use it to be a blessing and not to be destructive.  If you’d like to learn more, check out this message I recently taught at Grace Life Church.

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