P12 Command #14 - Prosper
3 John 2 (AMP) Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually].
We don’t want to be successful in one area of our lives, while failing in every other area. The message is NOT just “God is going to help you cope.” That’s not what this Scripture is showing us!
WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL DEFINITION OF PROSPERITY?
Prosper: to know God and fulfill His purpose for our lives, to grant a successful journey, to lead by a direct and easy way, to succeed in reaching; to succeed in business affairs.
1. GOD WANTS US TO PROSPER AND BE HEALTHY IN EVERY WAY.
Let’s take a look at the Greek definition of the word Health:
Health: (hygiaino) means to be free from injury, damage, defect, disease, in good condition; healthy; robust: to be well, to be in good health, be well (in body); financially strong, secure, or reliable.
We need to expect God’s blessing AND work with the expectation of success.
A. PROSPERING IN EVERY WAY REQUIRES WORK
You will PROSPER in EVERY AREA that you’re working! Any area that you neglect will NOT prosper.
Question: How do you feed your spirit and work toward prospering?
Hanging around people who stretch you
Will someone please read Luke 15:11-14?
Luke 15:11-14 (NLT) To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. 13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.
The prodigal son is an example of someone who convinced himself to run from the table that he was supposed to be at. We need to be careful about how we talk to ourselves. Be careful of what you convince yourself is true. Don’t allow dumb “self-talk” in your life.
Question: What is an example of “dumb self-talk”?
He left to a foreign land so that he would not be held accountable. He didn’t want to be around people who stretched him. He squandered everything and then found himself in a famine before he finally came to his senses.
Luke 15:20, 22 (NLT) 20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.. 22 (but) his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.
When he finally returned home, everything was restored. If you will just follow the Lord, you will be alright.
B. PROSPERING IN EVERY WAY REQUIRES DOING WHAT’S RIGHT AND MAKING ADJUSTMENTS (CHANGING).
James 4:17 (NLT) – Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
When you know better, you should be doing better. Shortcuts will cost you.
Question: What’s the hardest part of change?
Getting out of denial that you need to change
When you want to do right, you have to let go of your pride.
No matter where we are in life, we will always have an area that we need to grow in, and even be corrected in. Without correction, there is no growth. Correction is important.
Question: Why is correction so important?
Don’t hide what needs to be corrected.
Don’t fight correction, otherwise you’ll no longer be given correction.
Jesus warned us not to waste our breath on people who are closed to correction.
Matthew 7:6 (NLT) “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
Question: Are you open to correction? Who are you allowing to correct you?
C. PROSPERING IN EVERY WAY REQUIRES MATCHING OUR DESTINATION TO GOD’S DESTINATION.
Every journey has a destination. We have to match our destination with God’s destination.
Jesus’ destination was the Cross. Peter tried to keep him from the Cross. Jesus rebuked him, because Peter (under the influence of the devil) was trying to keep him from his destination.
Mark 8:33 (NIV) – But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
NOTE: The enemy will use those closest to you to get you off track. The enemy will always speak to you with a voice that sounds familiar to you or like you.
2. ONLY THROUGH GOD CAN WE PROSPER IN EVERY WAY.
Deuteronomy 8:18 (NLT) Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.
God is the one who gives us the power to prosper. He enables us to be fulfilled. He empowers us to find rest for our souls.
Proverbs 4:13 (NLT) Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.
Question: How do we “let go” of God’s instructions?
By not applying God’s Word.
INSTRUCTION FOR LEADERS: Don’t be hypocritical by asking your people to apply a word that you won’t and/or aren’t applying to your own life.
You will never prosper without integrity.
Question: How do we know we’re growing?
Our conversations will change. Our words will change. The way we talk will change.
Question: What is the most important way we can prosper?
Christ is the goal. Be careful that you are not using GOD to get your “god.”
Philippians 4:13 (TPT) And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.
With Christ as the goal, we can succeed in every way and conquer every difficulty.
3. OUR SPIRITUAL PROSPERITY WILL DETERMINE OUR LIFE PROSPERITY.
Seeking God always works.
1 Kings 2:3 (NIV) And observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.
God wants us to honor and obey Him in all that we DO.
It’s the DOING that is important. Prosperity is released in “doing” not just in thinking.
If we try to do something that God has not called us to do, it won’t prosper. If we try to do something He has called us to do in our own way, it won’t prosper.
Doing what God calls us to do, the way He has called us to do it, is the only way to prosperity.
Proverbs 16:3 (AMP) Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him], And your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance].