Planning is important. The Bible tells us that before we start building something, we would certainly want to count the cost (Luke 14:28). Even so, planning is not everything. If you can only think up great ideas, but can never see them to completion, what good comes from the ideas?
In Proverbs, we read that good planning and hard work lead to prosperity. This means before we set out to do something, we should plan it out and use good discernment. When we have our game plan in place, then we should work hard to see it through. If we live this out, we will be prosperous.
Today, consider how you can be a better planner or how you can best follow through. Ask God to reveal any shortcuts you are attempting to take in life. Thank God for the opportunities He has provided to plan and work to glorify Him in everything.
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5 [NLT]
I will never tell you that you will be rich because you are a follower of Christ. I loathe the prosperity preaching I’ve heard time and time again. You may not be a millionaire when you accept Christ into your life. I know many Christians who live on very little income. I will still say I am rich because I refer to spiritual blessings always above monetary blessings.
I do think it is important that you understand God has always wanted you to prosper. When God created mankind, when He created the Earth and all upon it, He said, “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!” So from the very beginning, He has wanted us to prosper.
When you are having a bad day (week, month, year), there is this part of you that thinks God doesn’t want me to have these good things or God doesn’t want me to succeed. Tell those thoughts to go away. God has something better for you than those things. It might require patience. There might be a lot of waiting. But God has ALWAYS wanted you to prosper. He loves you. You are His child. A Father always wants the best for His child. Once you align your understanding of the best you can imagine with His best, you’ll realize that it is worth waiting for and you will see that He wants you to prosper. He has given it all so that you have the opportunity to prosper.
“God spoke: ‘Let us make human beings in our image, make them
reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself,
and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.’
God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God’s nature.
He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
‘Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.’”
– Genesis 1:26-28 [MSG]
We don’t understand the word prosperity as we should. We always like to define words with our own human perspective, so we see prosperity as something that helps us to prosper in a way we think it would be best to prosper. In Job 22:21-22, Eliphaz told Job to “submit to God…” and by doing this, “prosperity will come to you.” But when we read this, we consider the prosperity as something we would like to have or as something we see Job later get when God answers in the last chapter. That is not what prosperity is all about and until we understand the true meaning of prosperity, we won’t grasp the true peace of God.
We can be prosperous—we can be rich toward God—and yet not have a large bank account or own a house. We can be prosperous without having everything come very easy in our lives. It is an error to believe that because we believe in God and because we call ourselves Christians, that it means we will receive wealth and good health here on earth. At times that type of prosperity comes late in life or we will see it with the resurrection.
Eliphaz was right about many things. We should submit to God. We should accept His commands. We should have His words on our heart. But we need to consider true prosperity. Prosperity is very different from what the world considers. We also need to understand that some of the promises of God will come much later than we would think. All of His promises will come to be, but everything will occur in His timing.
“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.” – Job 22:21-22