Did God really say He would make me rich if I obeyed him?
Yes … yes he did.
Here is what God said: “When you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes[a] and have compassion on you. He will make you more prosperous. The Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 30: 1-10 (abbreviated)
Seems clear enough, right? Except we all know God-loving, church-going, on-their-knees-praying Christians who have lost homes, jobs, savings … everything. So what gives? Did God lie?
God cannot lie. (Numbers 23:19)
Which means His word is true.
But our understanding of what it means to prosper is often much different than God’s. In His eyes success may mean that your faithfulness to him in tough times is a successful testimony that draws others to Him. Your prayers for financial relief may result in an abundance of His presence.
I know, I know. To some this sounds like a cop-out. But consider this: our greatest character growth does not come during times of prosperity but poverty. When drought comes, roots reach down deep. When hunger strikes, every crumb is treasured. When we are severely tested, our hearts reveal what we truly believe.
Which would you rather have? Wealth and ease? Or peace of mind knowing those you love are living with the Lord in good times and bad? Consider what you truly treasure. If your heart’s desire aligns with God’s, then you can expect him to prosper you in those areas.
Consider this: John Bunyan’s allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress was written during Bunyan’s twelve-year imprisonment for refusing to denounce Christ. Do you think Bunyan felt prosperous in prison? The Pilgrim’s Progress remains the book for which Bunyan is best remembered.
So there’s that.