Did I grab anyone's attention with this title? I'm afraid this isn't what I have flowing into my bank account (not yet), but I wish that it was. I'm freely admitting, after having battled with the prosperity concept for years, that I wish I was wealthy.
I've known many Christians who feel too "humble" to pray for wealth. We've clung to such Scriptures as 1Titus 6:10 (the love of money is the root of all evil), Matthew 6:24 (You cannot serve both God and Money), and 1Peter 5:2 (Be not greedy for money but eager to serve.) We've felt that we glorify God best by being content with what we have. After all, that's what Paul the Apostle tells us to do in Philippians 4: 12-13. I've bought into an ascetic sort of notion that I should be happy in my poverty because a desire for more would be showing greed, which God would not be happy with. I've even spoken of my humble circumstances to others with a sort of spiritual pride. You know, the "We can't afford it but look how we're eking out on what God provides us,' sort of thing. Or "Look at all we're doing without! I'll bet so-&-so would be fuming if they had to live on OUR income!"
But as I continued writing and publishing, I could not deny that I certainly WOULD like to increase my cashflow. It'd be GREAT to be able to re-print "Picking up the Pieces" already instead of needing to wait "until we have the money!" I have an idea that that day is like the proverbial "tomorrow." It never comes. But I WANT it to come! It is wonderful when poor folk pray and God comes through at the 11th hour with sudden help from an unexpected source. But I couldn't help thinking it'd be even more wonderful if we didn't need to rely on this sort of miracle. I love to imagine that we run such a blessed and flourishing concern that we're able to print books whenever we felt like it. I'm sure that writing is God's calling on my life, but if I'm halted because of finances, His plans are thwarted.
At first I whispered, "I want to be wealthy enough to do this well," wondering if it was OK. Is increasing my wealth really something I should be praying for? I feel that the answer is a definite YES. To begin with, I know you've all heard about the horrific bushfires which have ravaged our state of Victoria these past few weeks. Watching the faces on the News of victims whose loved-ones have been burned to death is more than I can stand. And there is an appeal going around for money to be able to support bushfire victims. They're saying, "Come on South Aussies, we know the Vics would get behind us if the situation was reversed." And how I'd love to be in the position to donate thousands and thousands to this appeal out of our abundance. But we're not. That's when it hit me that having a cash base for good works is not worldly at all. It is a God-given blessing to enable us to bless others.
Maybe we cling to those Scriptures I mentioned without really getting the point of them. It's the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money itself. God doesn't want us to become attached to it at the cost of giving up our reliance on Him, but He does bless it with it to be used for great purposes. We forget that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David and Solomon, to name a few, were all blessed with abundance as a sign of God's favour. Why did He do it? Because He knew they'd be good stewards.
Deuteronomy 8:18 is a verse that we shouldn't forget. "Remember the Lord your God for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth and so confirms His covenant which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today." Speaking of covenenants, we mustn't forget that Jesus died to deliver us from sin, disease AND poverty. "He became poor so that we might become rich" might not be talking just about the airy-fairy, inner-soul sort of richness so many of us think.
I've been praying for ways to promote Apple Leaf Books, and came up with an Apple Leaf Club. You'll see the details in my toolbar soon. I'll finish off with a quote which I think very apt.
If you want to help the poor, don't be one of them!