I’m no expert on the world’s economy, but judging by the reports I hear on the news it has a lot of problems. It’s always being plagued with some kind of downturn. It’s perpetually in danger of recession or depression.
I’m glad you and I are dependent on heaven’s economy. I’m a citizen of heaven—and heaven’s economy is doing just fine!
It doesn’t go up and down with the stock market. It isn’t dependent on the consumer price index or the gross domestic product. It’s dependent on God, and He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. His resources never run out and He never tires of pouring them out on His people.
God always has been, and always will be, the God of abundance. He’s never skimped on anything. Ever since the Garden of Eden, He’s shown Himself to be a generous Father. When He created Adam and Eve, He didn’t just give them barely enough to get by; He gave them plenty of everything good. Then He BLESSED them and told them to multiply and increase even more!
He’s still doing the same for us, as His people, today. He’s still saying to us, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 1:2).
Ken and I can testify to this from experience: There’s nothing stingy about the Lord! When we first started learning how to receive from Him, we were in very bad financial condition. We needed everything. We lived in a little rent house down by the river in Tulsa, Okla., and though we were grateful to have it, it was in such pitiful shape I didn’t unpack for two weeks after we moved in.
For me, having a nice house was high on my list of priorities, so when I found out God wanted to prosper us, a house was the first thing I started believing for. Ken, on the other hand, began by believing for an airplane. (Houses are important to women. Airplanes are important to men. Ken is a pilot, so as far as he was concerned, he could live in an airplane!)
That was back in 1967, and I don’t remember what the world economy was doing in those days. But I can tell you this: The Copeland economy was looking up. The Lord began to increase us, and after a while, we not only had a nice home and an airplane for our ministry, but much more as well.
Now, some 48 years later, I can say that everything we’ve believed for we’ve received. It didn’t all come overnight, but over time. As we kept standing in faith and let patience have her perfect work, all the things we asked God to give us manifested. Better yet, we kept increasing all the time. Because God is a good God, He just keeps on BLESSING us.
He’ll do the same for you. No matter how long you’ve been walking with Him or how good things get, He’ll keep giving you more in every area of life. He won’t say, “OK, you have enough now. You have a car, a house and a job, so don’t ask Me for anything else.”
No, your parents might have said that kind of thing when you were a kid. People might say such things. If they hear you talking about believing for a new car, they might say, “You don’t need a new car. Your old car still runs.” But that’s not how God thinks. For Him it’s not about need. It’s about BLESSING—and His BLESSING always brings increase!
Which One Will You Choose?
As much as God desires to increase us, however, He can’t just pour out prosperity on us indiscriminately. If He gives us more than we’re ready to handle, it could harm us. That’s why He prospers us as our “soul prospers.”
“Well,” you might say, “how does our soul prosper?”
According to 3 John 1:4, it prospers when we “walk in truth” by living according to the Word of God.
Jesus talked about this in John 17:16-17. As He was praying for His disciples, He said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Those verses actually apply to all of us as believers. The truth of God’s Word sanctifies us by separating us from the ways of the world. Such separation is vital because, just like those first 12 disciples, we don’t belong to this world anymore. Although we live in it, we’re not of it.
That means we’re not supposed to act like the world anymore. We’re not supposed to think and talk like the world. We’re supposed to act, think and talk like who we really are—citizens of heaven!
We learn to do this by renewing our minds with God’s Word. As we conform our lives to that Word, we find we can do what we couldn’t do before we were born again. We can live in victory. We can live healed. We can prosper supernaturally.
When we do things God’s way, He is free to move in our lives, BLESS us and do us good. So the more we obey His Word, the more prosperous our lives become.
This is how it’s always been. Increase has always come through faith and obedience! From the Garden of Eden to the Israelites, all the way through the Bible, God consistently set before His people THE BLESSING and the curse. They had the freedom to choose one or the other.
Since THE BLESSING includes everything good and the curse includes everything bad, making the right choice looks like a no-brainer. But there’s one hitch. The curse, although it’s hard to live with, is easy to come by. We don’t have to do anything to get it. We can laze along and just do what everyone else in the world is doing.
Choosing THE BLESSING, however, takes more effort. We can’t live in THE BLESSING and just go with the world’s flow. We have to do things God’s way.
That’s OK, though, because God’s “commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). What He tells us to do is for our own good. He wants us to do things His way because His way works. It keeps us walking in THE BLESSING.
Matthew 6:33 puts it this way: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Get Rid of That Mangy Dog
Much can be said about what it means to seek first the kingdom of God, but the first thing that comes to my mind is this: If we’re truly seeking God first, we will give His Word priority in our lives. We won’t just read our Bible once a week in church on Sunday. We’ll read and meditate on God’s Word every day.
“But Gloria,” someone might say, “I just don’t have time to do that!”
Then you’re going to be in deep trouble because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17, New King James Version). If you don’t listen to the Word, you won’t have any faith. If you don’t have any faith, you won’t be able to believe for and receive the prosperous life God has stored up for you.
You also won’t have the strength to resist Satan. When he starts telling you you’re going to get laid off your job and go bankrupt, you’ll just fall apart. You’ll start wringing your hands in fear, worrying about how you’re going to survive.
Such behavior is typical for someone in the world. But as a believer, you’re not supposed to engage in it. Jesus made that very clear, He said: “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (Matthew 6:31-32, New King James Version).
As a citizen of heaven, you don’t receive things by worry and anxiety. That will bring you nothing but more trouble. What you want to do, when you find yourself under financial pressure and you need money to manifest supernaturally, is believe the Word and resist the devil.
How do you resist him?
Use the Word of God to exercise your authority over him. Tell him in no uncertain terms exactly what the Bible says about your situation. Say, “Devil, I rebuke you in Jesus’ Name. You will not put lack on me! My God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. He is my Shepherd and I shall not want.”
Don’t be nice about it, either. Think about how you’d talk to a mangy, old dog that got into your house. You wouldn’t say, “Oh, look. There’s a scroungy dog. He’s dirty. He has fleas and he’s lying right in the middle of my bed. What am I going to do? I guess I’ll have to call the church and ask them to pray.”
No! You’d get after that dog and give him what for. You’d take a stick to him and chase him off your bed and out of your house!
That’s how you should treat the devil. Don’t give him any place!
DON’T GIVE HIM YOUR WORDS BY SAYING NEGATIVE THINGS.
KEEP SAYING WHAT GOD SAYS UNTIL THE DEVIL CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE AND RUNS FOR COVER.
A Financial Partnership With God
Another thing you’ll want to do to seek first the kingdom of God—or, as The Amplified Bible puts it in Matthew 6:33, to seek first “His way of doing and being right”—is tithe. Tithing is a very important element of supernatural prosperity. It’s one of the things that separates us, as believers, from the world.
Worldly people think tithing is crazy. They say, “You can’t increase by giving money away. That’s the worst thing you can do in the middle of a bad economy!” But as citizens of heaven, we know better. We understand that the best thing we can do for our finances is let God get involved in them. We aren’t giving our money away. We are giving it to God! He can do more with it than we ever could on our own.
What’s more, all it takes to open the door to Him is 10 percent of our income. That’s all God asks. We get to keep the other 90 percent—which is more than fair since, without God, we wouldn’t have anything at all.
The way I see it, tithing is a privilege! It’s an act of faith that ties us, as believers, securely into heaven’s economy. It puts us in financial partnership with God so that no matter what comes down the pike—recessions, depressions or whatever—nothing can stop us from prospering!
Here’s something else exciting. Although we give our tithes and offerings to the work of God on earth, Hebrews 7:8 says that Jesus actually receives them in heaven.
I’m telling you, tithers are BLESSED! So don’t pass up the opportunity. Honor God with your tithe!
Love Is Not Optional
The third thing you’ll want to do to live a prosperous life is walk in love. Why? Because in the Bible, God said this is our commandment, “That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (1 John 3:23).
That means, for those of us who are citizens of heaven, love isn’t optional. It’s mandatory. We can’t live like God intends without it.
For one thing, “faith worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6), so without love your faith won’t function—and you need your faith all the time! Because the devil knows this, one of the ways he’ll try to stop your faith and keep you from prospering is by getting you off your love walk. He’ll use someone who’s acting ugly to try to provoke you into getting into strife.
But don’t let him do it. Strife is bad. “Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16). So do whatever it takes to stay out of strife.
“But that’s hard,” you might say. “Some people just irritate me!”
Well, you probably irritate them too. So forgive them and walk in love toward them anyway. Rather than fuming about how they’ve done you wrong, meditate on what
1 Corinthians 13 says:
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails… (verses 4-5, 7-8, AMP).
Remember, faith works by love!
The love of God is powerful! Even when the whole world seems to be falling apart around you, the love of God working in you and flowing through you toward others will never fail. So stick with love, stick with the Word and keep tithing.
In other words, seek first the kingdom of God. Then, regardless of what happens to the world’s economy, you can enjoy a prosperous life!