I am not a prosperity gospel teacher.
I’m not telling you that loving God won’t bring abundance (because it will), but it may not bring the monetary abundance prosperity preachers guarantee. And that’s the beauty of walking with God, your desires—and the purposes behind those desires—become transformed the closer you get to God’s heart.
This is why the last step in intentional manifestation, surrender, is so key. It’s totally handing over your desires and entrusting them to God, knowing that he’s always at work for the ultimate good.
This can be one of the hardest steps, but it’s also the most rewarding, encouraging, fulfilling, and inspiring. Watching the seed God put on your heart, maybe even as a little 5 or 6 year old, and then having that desire develop as you grew up and then coming full circle to let go of it and trust that if it’s what’s best for you, it’ll happen.
The beauty of surrender is that you don’t have to know what to do anymore. You’ve finally reached the christian equivalent of “enlightenment”—non-attachment, allowing yourself to be an empty vessel, knowing that you’re one part of a collective whole, “less of me, more of you.” It’s a complete identity and perspective shift.
Prosperity teachers sell the idea that if you give enough money, God will give you that money back x10. He might, but he also might not. They teach that if you give to their ministry, you’re doing the will of God. You might be, but I have a hunch God might want you to put that money elsewhere. They tell you that you’re meant to be wealthy and healthy and that your faith is in direct correlation to your wealth.
Here’s why some people think this is what I teach: I feel I was taught the exact opposite of these things growing up and I’m trying to find the center. So to someone who still might think it’s “unspiritual” to want financial gain (regardless of the reason why), or that it’s “worldly” to ask God for your big dreams to come true (unless that dream is to be a missionary), or that it’s better to stuff your desires deep under the surface and instead only focus on the “spiritual” ones (which creates a volcano just waiting to erupt)...yeah, they might think I’m a prosperity teacher.
What I’m really here to do is encourage you to dream big. Unashamed, incredibly honest, this-terrifies-me-to-vocalize, kind of dreaming.
I grew up thinking there was one path to success: academics (learned that from my father). One path to fulfillment: giving and serving others (from my Sunday school teachers). One path to the life that would please God: being in the full-time ministry (from other full-time ministers).
I wouldn’t say any of these things were explicitly said, but I picked it up somewhere and have found that a lot of people who grew up in the type of church I did feel similarly.
The reasons behind a lot of those are...vast. And they come with the best of intentions and from their own histories and programming.
But I feel it’s important to assess. I’m not telling people they need to change the way they live (unless they want to). I’m not telling people they need to have bigger dreams (unless they feel called to that). I’m not telling people to make more money (unless they believe that’s God’s desire for them).
I’m here to tell people to be really, really, really conscious of why they believe what they do. To be aware of what they do believe, ask themselves if it’s what they think God wants them to think, look out the scriptures that have been used to to proof-text (which is how most sermons are constructed), and to study it out for themselves. Take stock of the life they’ve created and weigh it against the life they think they could be living...if they just asked for it.
Belief does not guarantee the life of your dreams. Faith will never “force” God to give you something outside of his will. Desires are not your “fate”. But maybe we do need a little more belief that life of our dreams is out there. Maybe we need a little more faith that God can give us something that we want. Maybe we need to look at what our desires actually are.
Maybe it’s time to grow up and start feeding ourselves some solid food.
Because letting other peoples’ interpretations lead you to a life that you feel conflicted about, uncertain of, out of alignment with, does not bring God glory.
It’s time to take responsibility for yourself, your mind, and your life. Pretty soon you’ll see they’re undeniably interconnected.