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August 2018 - Prosperity: Satan's Lie You Can Find God IN This World

Prosperity – Satan’s Lie You Can Find God IN This World, or The Worship of Mammon

                In this section of Jonathan Fisk’s book “Broken”, he defines prosperity as:  “The belief that the way God feels about you is measured by how good your life is right now.  Prosperity, then, is nothing more than worship of health, wealth, and wellness.”  

Certainly we are familiar with the old health, wealth, success religion that has been around.  The idea is that since you are children of the King, you are royalty and should have the best that this world offers; That God wants to bless you with material wealth IF you have faith enough.  And if you do not have health, wealth and prosperity, then it is because YOU do not have enough faith, etc.  Now we may feel that because we are aware of this false teaching we are less susceptible to it – more on guard.  Yet it is far more prevalent than we may think, and we are more vulnerable to it than we may think.  And it is nothing new.

                In Jesus day it was the common thought/understanding that if you were wealthy then you were obviously blessed by God – thus why the disciples were utterly stunned when Jesus stated how hard it was for a rich man to enter into heaven (easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man entering heaven).  If you were poor, or sick or afflicted in some way, it might even show that you were perhaps under God’s judgment – that you were steeped in sin (the Pharisees view of the man born blind). 

Pastor Fisk covers many different philosophies and false teachings in this section that have come and gone with the same basic idea that success equals blessed.  That if things are going well for you (or your congregation) then obviously God is “smiling” upon you, blessing your efforts, and if not, well you better do something to fix it and get it right.  And many Christians and congregations can struggle with this understanding, wondering whether God truly loves them or not.

 In contrast, Fisk writes: Against this sandy land where storms will come and blow, authentic  Christianity stands firm as a house built on bedrock this world and all its decay, rot, and anti-prosperity cannot touch it because it cannot touch Jesus.   Jesus Christ is risen, and He is the treasure kept in heaven for you. This Good News of the Gospel is the promise that God does not expect you to find abundance (or even happiness) in this dying world. Christian contentment is knowing that both to be brought low and to abound are godly for the sake of Christ, for the sake of His cross, and for the sake of His atoning blood. Both to face hunger and to face plenty will harm the body eventually, but neither of them can touch the soul kept safe in Christ. Christianity has never budged from this truth because Christianity is not about this world.

More than this it is the special blessing of Christianity when, for the sake of the name of Christ, one endures weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities over and above the normal trials and pains of human life on a sinful planet (1 Peter 2:20). Christian faith is the belief that all your sicknesses, poverties, and catastrophes are only the tip of the iceberg, reflecting the much deeper problem you carry buried beneath your skin-deep appearance: your Sin. Through all of it, the only thing God requires you to feel is a repentant awareness of needing to be saved from it.

                Finally, Fisk adds:  Do you want to find God now? Do you want to know how He feels about you now? Do you want an answer untouched by the sands of time and undiminished by our greedy attempts to build heaven out of this halfway hell? Then believe His words: I baptize you (1 Peter 3:21). Take, eat. Take, drink. I am here (1 Corinthians 10:16). I am the Word made flesh (John  6:55). I am the source of living water (John 4:10). I am the bread from heaven (John 6:51). I am your root, your portal, your rebirth (John 15:1; 10:9; 11:25). That is how God feels about you. Buried and raised with Jesus, where He has said you are buried and raised with Him, the Father now believes you are Jesus. Better, He promises it (Galatians 4:28). Even though the entire world is ranting and raving that right now you sure don't look like God's Son, that you are weak, flawed, mortal, and broken, against all of these fanatical lies God your Father has lifted up the cross of Jesus.  There this world is inverted on its cursed, decaying head. There death is life. There weakness is strength. There affliction is prosperity.

 

"I thirst!" the Creator of water said (John 19:28), and with those words He mocked Prosperity. "Man shall not live by bread alone," He laughed (Matthew 4:4). "I have food to eat that you do not know about" (John 4:32). A few weeks later He was chilling on the shores of Galilee grilling fish (John

21:9). Shortly after that He ascended to the right hand of God, leaving His apostles the commission not to conquer the world, but to preach that He already had (1 John 2:14).

                No matter how big you build your barns, you can only eat your bread today. The secret of Christian contentment is that tomorrow we do not eat here at all. Tomorrow we dine in paradise.

                That’s having eternal perspective.   This world will not last.  We do not find God in or of this world.  Rather, “in this world, Jesus sends His Word to find you.”

Pastor

 

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