First of all I want to say I am not putting anyone down, or coming against anyone or any ministry. I am just saying what I feel in my spirit, and preaching to myself as well.
Jumping right in – What I feel for 2018 is that we need to take our focus off of the prosperity thinking, and focus on God’s will for our lives. What He wants, not necessarily what we want. When Jesus said for us to put the Kingdom of God first and all His righteousness (Mat. 6:33), that “these would be added”, didn’t mean for us to focus on the “these”. Focus so much that we almost try to manipulate this to fit our desires. We think we can fool God to get what we want by pretending to put Him first, but with or without knowing it, all we are doing is pushing to get the “these”, and not focusing on the One who provides them. All we are doing in our prayer life is just putting in time with our “these” on our agenda, and not spending quality time with Him. Kinda like people who only call you when they need something; who all of sudden become your best friend and focus of attention, showing interest in your life to get something in return.
Every year we hear “this is my year” like God owes us because we made it through the last year. But what if our trial last another year and instead of seeking and drawing closer to Him, all our focus is on us and our prosperity desires? What if His prosperity is not monetary, but health, protection, favor for an unsaved loved one, or for Him to reveal some of the mysteries of the Kingdom to us? That’s right. Us. Not through the preacher’s new revelation that just went viral that we just discovered, and because we liked it and it felt good we claimed it. It’s like everyone expects to hear “our year” messages, and preachers feel obligated to preach them, and some without really seeking God first on the matter.
I believe this is the year to get closer to God. To find our deserted island of Patmos. To attend the church of “I John” as was said in Rev. 1:9-10. That we can be “in the spirit on the Lord’s Day” and hear Him in our isolation, not in a packed church or watching/reading social media churches, but in our prayer room. Solitude is good, and I’m not saying at all to forsake the assembling of ourselves.
So to close, we can’t be the army God wants us to be in this season when all we are chasing is prosperity. Yes, God may want us blessed, but let’s quit acting like He’s some kind of banker, and if we plead our needs, He’ll give us the finances based on that. Like, if we give a small or large deposit (offering), He’s obligated to give it back with super-inflated interest. He already knows our needs before we even ask and will supply them, so our focus should be on knowing Him, not using Him. Yes, we need to get ahead in our finances. Yes, we need to get out of the slave debts we owe. Be lenders and not borrowers. But that shouldn’t be our main focus and I know it’s hard to do when bills are staring us down, but our main focus should be Him. We should be seeking Him in 2018, and all the time for that matter. In essence, every year is our year.
■ Curious what your thoughts are?
Elder Steve Smith