Your garden path to prosperity6
August 4, 2013 by John Nicholas Prassas
Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. I’ve been too busy building garden paths, working to complete real estate and remodeling deals and contemplating prosperity.
That contemplation began on April 29th, a date I will henceforth celebrate as ‘Prosperity Day.’
Two important things happened that day.
First, I paid off the balance of a business loan that had been crushing me like a giant python for 24 straight months thanks to accelerated payments demanded by the lender.
Second, my small business bank (no relation to the python lender) changed its name to Prosperity Bank.
As I made a deposit at my newly merged and re-branded bank on that momentous day I couldn’t help but identify with their name. Finally rid of an oppressive debt, my mind filled with thoughts of prosperity as my spirit swelled with faith toward achieving it.
At the same time I realized how heavy a toll The Great Recession of ’08-’12 had taken on my soul, beating down my hopes and visions (not to mention my income), leaving parts of me desolate – like certain long-neglected areas around my home that begged for cultivation in the form of much-needed pathways.
The first path we built provided a symbolic glimmer of the revival to come. Solid flagstones set firmly in formation across a barren stretch of yard where earlier materials had broken down and disintegrated. The rumblings of vision and faith had risen from the dust – literally.
Next was a larger and even longer ignored space to tackle, an utterly bare shaded area under trees where nothing grew and we rarely ventured. The time had come to create a pea-gravel pathway from side gate to front yard, along with borders and mulch to re-establish the greater shaded area.
Faith fueled vision which formed plans which provoked determined effort and teamwork. Prosperity was taking shape in material form – from dust and discouragement to confidence and direction.
The subject of prosperity gets a bad rap among evangelical Christians who often overreact against ‘prosperity preachers’ who espouse Name-it-and-claim-it theology and promote presumption and materialism in the name of ‘faith.’
Yet God promised prosperity to Adam and Eve in the garden, to Abraham, to Joseph, to the Israelites and to believers in Christ who follow his simple commands by faith – including the call to give our first and best to God in recognition of his provision to us and the blessing that results when we choose to be generous and faithful givers rather than fearful and distrusting hoarders.
Prosperity starts with faith. We must believe it’s possible, and even promised. The Hebrew word Shalom speaks not just to ‘peace’ but to an all-inclusive state of prosperity.
A spark of faith can ignite an impoverished urchin to find a way out of squalor and into economic stability thru education, an eye for opportunity or sheer force of will. This spark can re-ignite a wounded warrior, an out-of-work executive or anyone in any situation no matter how desolate or bleak. With God all things are possible. We must believe it to see it.
I heard recently of an impoverished woman in South Chicago, a single mother of three little boys, a longtime drug abuser and brand new believer who heard a preacher’s message of faith. After the service she asked if he thought she could ever realize her dream of becoming a nurse. He pulled her away from some well-meaning women advising her against such impossible dreams and told her she could IF she made serious changes.
Twenty years later the same woman met the same preacher and reported the power of his words and of the faith they ignited. She had made changes and worked day and night to study and become a nurse and raise her boys the right way and had ultimately become head nurse at a prestigious Chicago hospital. Her boys earned football scholarships to major universities and graduated with honors, with two going on to play pro football and the third well on his way. By faith she had become prosperous.
Your path to prosperity starts with faith. Yes, you can get there. Yes, you can climb out of debt or change your direction, your environment, your health, your family or your financial condition. You’re not doomed, you’re destined. It’s possible! Believe it, then let your vision form. Then make your plans, increase your efforts and build your team.
We settle all-too-easily for poverty, in all its forms. This stems from our natural ‘orphan’ mind-set, rather than our royal adoption in Christ. (Read my book, God’s Spirit of Adoption, for more on this.)
Here’s something to remember: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that through his poverty you might become rich.” (II Cor 8:9)
Thank you Heavenly Father that you prosper us by your Spirit and grant us favor for honoring your son. Thank you Jesus for lifting us out of the mire and grafting us into the line of Abraham by faith and into his legacy of blessing, both spiritual and material. Help us to create pathways to prosperity thru faith and vision, anointed plans, effort and teamwork. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Got any related thoughts or experiences? Please comment at the bottom of the page.
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Timely message, John! Poverty is a state of mind. ”
I know what it is to be in need,” Paul wrote, “and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
“Poor” means not only needy but barren. We all have unmet needs, but we are barren only if we are unable to give birth, to bring life into a dying world.
If Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and if he is alive in us, we cannot help but give birth to purpose, truth, and life in ourselves and others. But a poverty mentality aborts that life, holds it in, causes it to be stillborn.
Like everything else in God’s kingdom, abundant living is a choice. We can take it or leave it. But we cannot deny that we have it.
Thanks for your inspirational feedback, Ron. You always multiply the message with keen insights, real faith and real life stuff, per your testimony below. We are always fending off the fear, unbelief and poverty thinking that so easily oppress us especially when facing negative circumstances. Thankfully God’s spirit is like helium lifting our heads, our vision and our hopes – when activated by just a mustard seed of faith.
Backatcha, John. I hope a million people are reading your messages!
P.S. My comment wasn’t all abstract theology. In 2000, my income spiked. The only time it’s ever happened. I brought in $130,000, about double my usual income at the time. The following year, I grossed $3,000. The former was needed (and used) to move into a new house we had just built, with nothing left over. You know how it is, they always warn you that it’ll cost you a good deal more to move in than you think. The following year, we still had four teenage mouths to fill in addition to our own. Still had monthly utility bills. Now had a mortgage. Nothing changed except the income. Even the provision was still there. Yes, we went into debt, but we’re nearly out. Thanks to Whom? And yes, since 2001, we’ve wrestled with the poverty mentality. When we overcame, we felt great. When we didn’t, not so much. But nothing else changed. Just us. God was consistent. Our provision was consistent, even if not in the eyes of the banks. It’s a choice. Full stop.
Very well put, John! Relating to this, I saw a quote on a sign at a business awhile ago that I thought was so good that I wrote it down: “Goals are dreams with deadlines.”
Thanks, April, good stuff!