by Pastor Afolabi (preached in 2011)
The economy of this world is on the downward spiral, that is where the world has gotten to now. The only way we can live above this cataclysmic economy is to operate in God’s own economy.
Psalm 65:4“Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that may dwell in thy courts …” We must be content to dwell in God’s presence. The issue of money and bribery provoked the elders of Israel to reject what God had for them. Prosperity is one thing men have bastardized in these our days. The new dimension of prosperity (God’s prosperity), is applicable only to those who will operate in the dimension God has set in place. And for this to happen, there has to be a complete transformation in the way we view prosperity otherwise we will fail in God’s calling at this time.
Three men in the bible – Joseph, Joshua and Jesus were men of whom the Bible records that they were prosperous, even though the circumstances surrounding them did not relate to what we see today as prosperity.
Prosperity means different things to people today but our focus is the dimension of prosperity God that speaks about. Men define prosperity in terms of the good clothes, the property you own or the multiplicity of bank accounts you have; but real prosperity in the dimension of God, is operating in the full dimension of what God has ordained for you.
A lot of people have been suckered into what happened to Israel who rejected the leadership of the living God saying “we want it according to the way of the world.”There is prosperity of the world, which is that of Satan; but there is also the prosperity of the living God; these two are different.
It’s important to note that riches come from God alone but people can be suckered into taking riches from another source.
Genesis 39:1-3 “And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites, which had brought him down thither. And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.”
When Joseph was sold into slavery he had nothing on him, he had no possessions when he went into Potiphar’s house, except for the clothes on his body; yet the word of God says he was a prosperous man. What then does God mean by prosperity? Surely it is not what we call prosperity that God calls prosperity. We need to change our thinking on prosperity otherwise we cannot be partakers and possessors of God’s prosperity typified in the Melchizedek Anointing.
Joseph was said to be a prosperous man because God was with him. Therefore, prosperity is in the Lord being present with a man; a man in whose heart the Spirit of the Lord dwells, who follows and accepts the ways of God, is a prosperous man.
There was a purpose God had set in the life of Joseph that even while Joseph was in prison he prospered. From the writings of Josephus (The works of Josephus), Joseph was described as a man whose character stood out as one of the purest in all history. He allowed no temptation to affect his high morality; no calamity to shake his faith in God; no adversity to depress him; and no power or position to make him proud or haughty.
Joseph was a teenager and had no baggage of life put on him by the world’s definition of prosperity. Many youths today are just dreaming and thinking of the next great job they’ll get when they get out of college and all they hope and plan to achieve. Youths, hear this: “don’t put on yourself the baggage that will cut yon short from getting to destiny. Don’t get yourself cluttered with the things many older folks are asking God to cut off from their lives.” There is something greater ahead and it goes beyond prosperity the way the world defines it. Prosperity in God’s dimension and in the Melchizedek anointing has nothing to do with the things we see in the world today. For 13 years, Joseph was a slave and a prisoner, with no earthly possessions, and God considered him a prosperous man.
Prosperity can be defined as success in reaching the desired purpose of God in your life. Material things that we see and call prosperity are an outcome of the abiding favor of God in your life.
Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Joshua was just a military commander who prospered in what God had said – bring my people into the Promised Land. His prosperity had nothing to do with money or possessions, but fulfilling God’s purpose for his life. Your prayer should be “Lord, cut away the entanglements in my lack of understanding about prosperity with which I have run this Christian race so far.”
I have earlier said that the basis of prosperity is in God being with you, and God only dwells in clean, pure vessels, and in temples that received Him; He will dwell in no other.
In Christendom from this time forth, there will be a clear demarcation between those who understand and live by what God is calling for (the Melchizedek anointing); and those who are content with the leper’s anointing (just being saved from sin).
Israel was a nation God had called for a purpose. When God brought them out of Egypt He told them He was going to take them to a particular land.
Do you know your land? If you don’t, then you must cry to God “Lord what is the land You have given me?”
Deut 8: 6-9 “Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.”
Deut. 11:10 “For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs: But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.”
The land of Egypt was a land of stress and labour, yet Israel on several occasions wanted to return to Egypt. That’s the same burden many of us want to continue to carry. When the Lord says “lift up your head on high,” we are not able to float into the dimension He’s talking about because of the baggage of wrong thinking about prosperity that we are carrying with us.
There is a specific land God has given each of us.
Deut 28: 12 “The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.”
The land that Israel went into had brooks, yet God said the prosperity of the land would not come from the brooks and fountains of water present in the land, but from the rain of heaven.
When you find the land God has assigned to you and you are in alignment with His purpose, and you walk in obedience and submission to Him, He will open up His good treasure on you. The power of God is waiting to come forth on a people who will give up all, so that the Lord may be all-in-all in their lives.
Deut. 28:13, 14 “And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.”
Deut. 11:11-14 “But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.”
The above scripture talks of hills and valleys showing that there will be challenges but you will prosper in the face of challenges if you hearken to the voice of the Lord and walk in His purpose. Joseph, Joshua and the Lord Jesus faced challenges, yet they still prospered because God’s purpose prospered in their hand. They walked in obedience; they went beyond the leper’s anointing to an anointing that involves holiness. As long as your eyes are set on the prosperity of the world, the tendency is for you to complain in your heart against God saying, “Lord what did I do wrong that You have been so unfair to me?” So, change your focus, and operate in God’s economic dimension.
Our goal should be that when we face the Lord on that day, when we give the account for the works we have done, we will be able to say that we operated in the fullness of the dimension He expected us to.