Of all the things I love about God (and there are a lot of them) one of my favorites is this: He always has a plan. He doesn’t just wait for things to happen and then decide what to do. He always knows what’s coming and makes preparations in advance.
That’s especially true when it comes to His children.
He knew us, loved us and chose us to be His own “before the foundation of the world” (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1:4). He designed a plan and a destiny for each one of us, and provided in advance every good thing we could ever need or desire.
Ephesians 2:10, The Amplified Bible, confirms this. It says: “We are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”
Obviously, there’s nothing haphazard about God’s preparations for His children! He never looked down at someone the day they got born again and said, “Oh, I didn’t realize that person was going to get saved. I guess I’d better figure out real quick where I’m going to put them and what I want them to do.”
No, God has been preparing for every one of us for a long, long time—and everything He’s prepared for us is good because that’s just how He is.
You can see that by looking at what He did for Adam and Eve. Before they were ever created He prepared an entire universe for them to enjoy. He provided a place for them that was so beautiful and filled with abundance that by God’s own standards—which must be pretty high considering the fact that the streets of heaven are paved with gold—it qualified as “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Of course as we all know, Adam and Eve sinned and messed up that goodness. They disobeyed God and allowed the devil to steal God’s BLESSING not only from them but from all mankind. But even then, God’s nature and plan didn’t change.
He knew what they were going to do before they did it and He’d already prepared for it. He’d already planned to send Jesus, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8), to pay the price for sin, defeat the devil, restore THE BLESSING and open the door for each one of us to move right back into our very own “wealthy place” (Psalm 66:12).
I’m telling you, God is a good God!
The Bible declares it from Genesis to Revelation. It tells us time and again that He takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servants (Psalm 35:27). “His tender mercies are over all His works…. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing” (Psalm 145:9, 16, New King James Version).
“Oh how great is thy goodness,” the Scriptures exclaim, “which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee…. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (Psalm 31:19; 1 Corinthians 2:9).
Position Yourself to Receive
Well, someone might think, if God has that much goodness prepared for me, why haven’t I been experiencing it in my life?
Because you can only experience as much as you have the capacity to receive.
The Lord drove this fact home to me some years ago while I was watching (of all things!) the Super Bowl. In the last moments of the game, the quarterback stepped back to throw the game-winning pass. As he scanned the field looking for an open receiver, God spoke to my heart.
Reminding me of 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him,” the Lord told me that He is always searching for someone who has the capacity to receive the good things He has prepared for them. Much like the quarterback in that football game, He is always looking for a receiver!
What is it, exactly, that determines our capacity to receive?
The first determining factor is how much we know about God. Although it’s sad to say, many Christians don’t really know very much. They may have heard a few Bible verses. They may have been taught a lot of religious tradition. They may have even gone to church for years. But they don’t understand that God’s will for them is always and only good. They don’t know that He wants them healed, prosperous and BLESSED in every way, because they’ve never spent enough time in His Word to find out.
This is a big problem! Because faith is the avenue through which we receive everything from God, and faith comes by hearing His Word (Romans 10:17), if we don’t know what the Word says about the good things God has stored up for us, our capacity to receive them will be hindered.
I can vouch for this from personal experience. I remember what life was like for Ken and me before we heard and believed God’s Word. It was pathetic! We just accepted whatever bad things came along. If we started feeling sick, we put on our pajamas, jumped into bed and said, “Hey, I’m sick.” If things went wrong financially (and they often did) we just let poverty push us into a place where we couldn’t pay our bills.
We were living in a whole different world back then than we do now. Our entire reality was based on the natural realm, so we were continually subject to all the negative things the devil was doing. These days, however, we live in a higher realm. We live in the kingdom of God!
What’s more, over the past 47 years we’ve learned a lot about how to operate in that Kingdom. For one thing, we’ve learned that to connect with God’s good plans for our lives we have to do things His way. Instead of coming up with our own plans and running around trying to get stuff for ourselves, we have to obey the instructions Jesus gave in Matthew 6:31-33, AMP:
Do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all. But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things will be given to you besides.
Choose to Walk in Wisdom
Notice that according to those verses, unbelievers have to go after their own provisions. They have to seek to add things to themselves because they don’t have a heavenly Father to take care of them. But as believers you and I are in a totally different position. We don’t have to live according to the dog-eat-dog system of this world. We don’t have to fend for ourselves. We have a Father who can and will provide everything we could ever need or desire. He’ll add more to us than we could ever get on our own. We just have to keep the door open for Him to do it by seeking Him first and putting His Word first place in our lives.
Why is His Word so vital?
Because His Word is His wisdom, and His wisdom teaches us His way of doing and being right. It teaches us how to live in the place of BLESSING—the wealthy place He has provided for us.
The degree of God’s wisdom you and I walk in determines how much of His goodness we have the capacity to receive—and we’re the ones who decide how much of that wisdom we’re going to receive. God has made it readily available to us through His Word and His Holy Spirit, but He won’t force it on us. He’s not a dictator who compels people to do things His way. He simply offers Himself and His wisdom to us and then lets us choose what we’re going to do.
If we’ll choose to seek Him with all our heart and do what He teaches us in His Word, we’ll see His promises fulfilled in our lives. We’ll be the head and not the tail, BLESSED coming in and going out, BLESSED in the city and in the field. We’ll walk in honor, riches, glory, healing and prosperity.
I’m not saying all those things will manifest in our lives overnight. But if we get on God’s plan and stay there we’ll always be increasing.
That’s what happened to Joshua in the Old Testament. Have you ever read about him? He’s the leader who took the Israelites into the Promised Land. God told him at the beginning of the journey that if he would keep God’s Word in his heart and in his mouth, and obey it, he’d be able to “deal wisely and have good success” and “little by little” he and the Israelites would take possession of the whole land (Joshua 1:8; Deuteronomy 7:22, AMP).
Sure enough, Joshua followed those instructions. He did everything God told him to do and God did everything He said He would do. They were a perfect match and produced perfect victory.
Although everything didn’t happen instantly, at the end of his life Joshua could say, “Not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord…God promised…. All have come to pass” (Joshua 23:14, AMP).
Be Steadfast in the Hard Places
One thing it’s important to know about Joshua, though, is this: He was a fighter. When he faced challenges, he didn’t throw his hands in the air and say, “I give up!” No, he pressed through the challenges and kept on believing and obeying God until he got the victory.
For us to lay hold of all the good things God has laid up for us, we have to do the same. Why? Because we have an enemy. His name is Satan. He’s come to steal, kill and destroy.
Although Jesus has already defeated him, he’ll do everything he can to discourage us from believing God. He’ll lie to us nonstop, especially when we’re confronted with contrary circumstances, and tell us God’s Word is not going to come to pass for us.
As believers, our job is to resist the devil, to “be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined]”
(1 Peter 5:9, AMP). That means we have to be steadfast in the hard places. We can’t quit when we’ve gotten a bad report and it looks like we’re not going to make it. To walk in the fullness of God’s plan for us we must continue believing and obeying God.
“But Gloria,” someone might say, “you don’t know just how bad the report I’ve gotten actually is. I’ve lost my job. I’m facing bankruptcy. It looks to me like there’s no way out.”
With God there’s always a way out, because with Him “all things are possible” (Mark 9:23). Even if you did go through bankruptcy, He could bring you out and prosper you beyond anything you ever dreamed. He could turn the whole ordeal into the biggest BLESSING you’ve ever experienced.
But to do so, He needs you to stop worrying and start fighting the good fight of faith. He needs you to say, “Hallelujah! I was looking for a job when I found that one! God must have a job for me that’s even better than my old one! I can hardly wait to find out what it is!”
That’s the attitude one of our ministry Partners chose to have some years ago when he lost his job. Instead of giving in to discouragement (which he could have done because the job he lost was a good one that paid him a lot of money), he decided to believe God and immerse himself in the Word. Every morning he’d go to a local restaurant as if he were going to his office. He’d take his Bible with him, along with Ken’s book The Laws of Prosperity, and sit there for hours, drinking coffee and building his faith to receive the great financial BLESSING God had in store for him.
As he looked to God, sought first His kingdom and His ways of doing and being right, he discovered that God truly did have a plan. He had a wealthy place already prepared for him. Eventually God made him so rich that he became the first person ever to give this ministry a million dollars.
“God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). Everyone who hears the gospel and makes Jesus Christ the Lord of his life is qualified to receive all the goodness of God. And He has something just as good prepared for you as He did for that man who became a millionaire.
So keep spending time in God’s Word. Believe what He says. Do what He tells you to do, and refuse to quit until you have the same testimony Joshua did: “All God’s promises have come to pass in my life.”
Position yourself to be a receiver because before the foundation of the world God prepared a wealthy place for you.