Prosper in everything
abundance advance the ladder Jan 17, 2017
Somewhere, we bought the line that poverty is noble, that sickness is a blessing, and that Heaven is when things really start happening in our favor. Yet, a quick look at the Father of our faith shows us something radically different...
In fact, Paul writes that one of the reasons Christ redeemed us was "so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles..." (see Galatians 3:13-14).
Health + vitality = wellness
Abraham's story begins in Genesis 12:14, when he is 75 years old! So, this concept may help some of you who feel like the best years are in the past, that there's not enough time in your life-calendar remaining to do something that matters. His life didn't start until well after most people retire.
Early in his story, we see his grown nephew, Lot, get "kidnapped." So, Abraham does what any 75-plus year old guy would do- he goes to war and actually defeats five kings (Genesis 14:14)!
(I know- 75 year old guys don't pick fights, right?)
We learn from the story that he has two children in his old age (Isaac, the son of the promise is born in Genesis 21:1f.). We read a few chapters before this that Abraham had already turned 99 (see Genesis 17:1f.) and Sarah and already turned 90 (17:17). (In other words, her health renewed, too.)
Oddly enough, Sarah was taken into a harem twice- by two separate kings. Pharaoh thought she was beautful and asked Abraham about her. He said she was his sister- for fear he would be killed (Genesis 12:10f.). Later, Abimelech did the same thing (Genesis 20:1).
Now, I ask you, how many women in their 60s and 70s are being taken into harems? How many are posing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit mag? You see what I'm getting out...? Something, health and vitality were part of the redemptive work God did in this lives...
Financial provision + riches = abundance
Yet there was more than just health to what they experienced. We read in Genesis 13:2 that "Abraham was rich..."
The Bible tells us that when he raided the five kings, he brought back so many goods that he even blessed the King of Salem (Genesis 14:14, 14:18). Every potential setback actually empowered him to even more greatness!
Here's the amazing part of this blessing- God continues blessing him even when he messed up- bad! (See Genesis 12:16 & 20:14). In both instances when Abraham passed Sarah as his sister, the rulers who took her gave him an abundance of money, livestock, and other possessions.
One of them was even hit with a plague before sending her back to Abraham. Plus, he insisted Abraham keep all of the goods he had given him.
Think about that: Abraham deceives. He sins. Yet someone else is punished and Abraham is given more blessing.
It sounds like "Gospel 101" doesn't it? That is...
* We sin + someone else is punished = we are blessed!
Throughout his life, he's continually give more and more abundance...
Spiritual fervor = purpose
Let's be honest. We know about this final area, purpose. Abraham has a unique calling, a greater part he is playing in a story grander than himself.
We understand that Abraham is the Father of our faith. The problem is that we've strictly spiritualized what he achieved- and we've relegated the blessing our forefather passes to us to the life hereafter- to Heaven.
It's important to realize that his offspring caught the physical blessing- in their lifetime. They, too, experienced wellness (health), abundance (radical provision), and purpose... now!
For instance, we read that Isaac actually sowed during the year of a famine and reaped 100-fold (see Genesis 26:1, Genesis 26:12). Apparently, everyone else experienced the famine. This means the blessing overtook him at a time when it seemed impossible!
(He also picked up Abraham's bad traits- as we tend to do from parents. He actually passed his wife as his "sister," also, for fear of his life in Genesis 26:6. Yet, even in that, God blessed him. Go figure...)
I fully expect to see Isaac in Heaven. That's not the issue. The issue is that Abraham's blessing "caught" him in this life- and in the next one. He experienced the presence and power of the Kingdom of God now. In this life. As a person walking this planet.
Paul is clear that "the promises were made to Abraham and his offspring" (Galatians 3:16). And, that you "are an heir through God" (Galatians 4:7). That is, this blessing is- these blessings are- for you!
The Scripture couldn't be clearer: If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29 ESV).
Perhaps that's why we read things like-
* "He who did not withhold His Son... how will He not freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)
* "You... are enriched in everything" (2 Corinthians 9:11).
* "He became poor, so you could become rich..." (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Maybe this is why John prayed for his Church that they would "prosper in all things... and be in good health, just as your soul prospers" (see 3 John 2).
The video clip above comes from Session of 1 of www.TheLadder.info