The Scripture records God prospered His servants and people from Genesis to Revelation. God is not against prosperity, He’s against abuse. That said, here are 4 things we can do to inhibit His financial blessings:
Unwilling To Work
1 Tim 5:18 – “A worker is worthy of His wages.”
Proverbs 21:25 – “The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, for his hands refuse to work.”
2 Thess 3:7-11 - “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.”
Sometimes the answer is simple: Get a job. Ministers, the same applies. If over a period of time, God isn’t meeting our needs, we should work. Paul was a tentmaker part of his life. There was a time He left that to go “full-time” by faith. But he certainly didn’t prostitute the gifts of the Spirit for a fee to pay for it. God has mercy, but He cannot be pleased with charging for prophecy on the internet. That’s scary, way-of-Balaam stuff!
Being stingy with possessions and money. Failing to sow when God (not man) leads. Failing to meet the needs of others when capable of doing so.
2 Cor 9:6-7 – “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Poor Money Management
Proverbs 12:11 – “He who rolls his land will have plenty of bread, but he who engages in vain pursuits lacks sense.”
Sometimes, it’s not a season of testing. Sometimes, it’s that we are poor stewards of what He provides. Instead of paying necessities with what He gives, we buy unnecessary things first. Maybe it’s the latest iPhone, computer or some other tech gadget. Perhaps it’s a new summer or winter wardrobe. God is not against us having these things, but do we purchase them out of order? Should we have paid the light bill, the grocery bill, or our travel expenses first?
If so, we wouldn’t complain or take to seeking people for money. God would provide all we need as promised.
Failing To Judge The Season
Are we willing to admit that we could have missed God? That’s the test. If God TRULY plans it, He provides for it without worldly means of begging, manipulation, and “won’t ya help me?” Fleshly fundraising shows the world that we trust God for the etherial, but not the practical. It reveals Him as limited, and provides all the more temptation for them to believe we are charlatans and fakes.
In short, if we can’t trust Him to pay for our gas to get there, He probably didn’t tell us to get there.
But what if some people get touched along the way? Of course, God’s grace always meets needs (to a degree), but if the decision brings a weight of crushing debt in the process, it likely wasn’t God’s perfect will. The Lord is kind, but we need to be man and woman enough to admit when we missed Him and grow from it.
Too often we run ahead of God, get ourselves in a mess, and then ask everyone else to bail us out. When it is Him, the Scripture says He adds no trouble to it. That certainly would apply to finances as well. We must wait on the Lord to open true doors.
Phil 4:6 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Matt 6:33 – “Keep seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these material things will then be added unto you.”
[Disclaimer: Sometimes there are seasons of testing our faith. Abundance may be withheld for a time, or a need up until the last possible moment so that we’d learn to rely on our Father for everything.]