I could also title this post "The Real Prosperity Gospel."
In the Lord's Prayer, we pray for our Father's name to be glorified, and for his kingdom to come on this earth as it is in heaven. The next thing we pray for is for our daily provisions. This prayer is counter to the way those in the kingdom of this world operate, and unfortunately contrary to the way many Christians live their lives as well.
I believe that the teaching that God wants everyone to be wealthy and healthy and have success in everything they do doesn't go far enough. I know that sounds strange. Hear me out. Those who teach what is known as the prosperity gospel put their followers eyes on the things of this earth, on things that will not last. A new car? It will rust and quit running. A big house? It will crumble. (Especially with the way they're building houses these days) Lots of money in the bank? All gone someday. Success in business, etc.? Eventually your business will close. Fame? Most of us will be forgotten eventually.
Why do we spend so much energy playing in the mud in the ghetto when we have the offer of a trip to the beach? We have a Father who owns everything. His kingdom is forever, and is full of unimaginable riches. We are told in Scripture that we are fellow heirs of all things with Jesus. We have the righteousness of Christ. We have his Spirit in us. We have the expectation of glory, in fact, Romans 8 tells us that we are already glorified. It just doesn't show completely yet. Our Father gives us good gifts.
Praying for our daily needs means we realize our dependence on God. We put ourselves in his hands and humbly ask rather than demand. A child who loves his father doesn't go to him and demand things, unless that child is spoiled. A child who loves and is loved by her father knows that all she has to do is ask and her father can be trusted to provide for her. She also knows that her father will do what is best and not give her anything that is not good for her. In the same way, we trust that our Father will not give us a stone when we ask for bread, but knows exactly what is best for us, and will give us exactly what we need. Many times, God goes far beyond just what we need. We can simply trust Abba to do exactly what is best for us.
One of the things God has taught me through the years is that it is far better for me to simply put my needs and desires in his loving hands. It doesn't depend on how well I've been praying or on how much faith I have. It simply depends on what my Papa, who loves me with a perfect love, knows is the best thing for me. As his love fills me more and more, Jesus' words become more real. To paraphrase, seek first and foremost the kingdom of God and you will get that. The rest is just gravy.
Rest in who you are in Christ and that will bring the contentment that is able to humbly ask the Father for each day's needs, knowing that it's all taken care of. The Psalmist tells us that the Lord is our shepherd, and that we will never lack. While we may not have everything we want, we will have everything we need. Along with that we have Jesus, and with him all the blessings of the new heaven and new earth which will last far longer than anything we can hope to have on this earth.
From my opportunity to teach in our gathering this morning:
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