Exploring Abundance & Prosperity

Trust is Weird

Throughout my life, I’ve thought about trusting God the wrong way. I don’t know if anyone else thinks about it this way, but when I “choose to trust God”, I’m doing it in a “toss it at His feet and walk away” kind of way. It’s very “well, I’ve got no choice but to trust Him and give up” kind of attitude.

It’s very wrong.

Trust, I’m learning, is an active thing. Trust, to me, is hoping and believing that God will work something out, because He loves me. It’s not about it being the first option, but about it being the best one. It’s about walking with Him in trusting Him to provide, or sort a situation out, or give wisdom, or bring miracles or whatever.

Trust is about relationship. If I don’t have relationship, I can’t have confidence that He will sort something out.

And maybe that’s what I was missing before. Confidence. A strong belief that He loves me, wants to take care of me and only desires the best for me. And that out of that love He has for me I can trust Him to do what’s best AND to take care of me along the way.


Day 2 of Fast

I’m into my second day now. Not really hungry at all, which is good. I’m thinking tomorrow will be hardest. I think it’ll be a metaphor for how I feel about our life right now. I feel like there is this huge wall to get through. I am fairly certain that tomorrow I will feel the same way about eating.

I haven’t read my Bible yet this fast. I hope to later today. I really want to spend some time in Jeremiah, understanding what God is calling us to.

I feel like there is more there. More to this than just fasting. More to it than just this big blessing that is coming. I feel like there is a shift in the dynamic of our family coming. That I’ll look at life, spirituality and God completely differently. It’s a tiny bit scary, but it’s a big bit exciting.

I want to hold onto God. No matter where that takes me. No matter if I’m rich or poor, alone or with friends. I want to hold onto God. He is what matters!

I Am Worth It

I. Am. Worth it!

My whole life I’ve always been overly humble. Basically ashamed of any gift. I mean, if I worked hard for something, I didn’t mind getting rewarded for it, but any compliments, any extravagance, any real personal affection was always very, very hard to take (if not impossible).

However, I AM worth it!

Jesus died for me, and to Him it was worth it, which means I was worth him dying for.

I don’t say this to sound conceited. I’m not trying to falsely build myself up. But God said He loved me that much, and that He wanted to do this for me, so I AM worth it!

I am worth dying for, I am worth loving, I am worth blessing, I am worthy of honor. Because God made me, He made me in His image, and He has called me to a life of blessing – both for myself and for others.

I really, really want to learn this. That God’s love is MINE. And his favor is MINE. And so I am worth it. I can’t go so far as to say I “deserve” these things. I’m not sure I should go that far, but I am thankful for God’s blessings in such a way that I am actually learning to ACCEPT the blessing, and then say thank you to God for it.

I think I was missing the acceptance part before, which made the thankfulness kind of shallow. I was being thankful for something I didn’t want, and couldn’t acknowledge as a blessing.

So God, thank you!

End of Day 1 of Fast

I’m nearly done Day 1 of my 3 day fast. I’m fasting everything but liquids (and only fruit/veg/water type liquids, no tea or hot chocolate).

I felt this was really important to hit a breakthrough. Not just the fasting, but also maintaining this blog, spending more time praying and in the Bible and generally re-awakening myself to God.

I think I’m going to try and take in a chunk of Jeremiah during my fast, as my pastor loves Jeremiah.

Right now I’m feeling fairly good. Went on a walk with Alex, and realized that food is not just an incredibly big part of my life, but that it is part of my identity too. I thought to myself that I would much rather have God be that much (or more) a part of my identity than food. Sure, I’ll always love food. But I have more passion for food right now than God.

That’s a Bad Thing.

So tonight, some TV, some relaxation, some email and some reading of Jeremiah. And then some random book reading before bed. Oh, and lots and lots of vegetable juice, I’m sure.

What is Trust?

A key part of believing that God wants abundance for me is trusting him. When I was going through my crisis earlier, I realized that for me it is actually a greater act of trust to trust God in abundance than when I didn’t have enough.

I think this is because when we don’t have enough, I kind of throw up my hands and say “well God, if this is going to happen, you’re going to make it happen… I can’t do it”. It’s a little defeatist. Or something. It’s like I’m tossing it at his feet and walking away.

In some ways this is good, but I feel like in many ways it isn’t healthy. It isn’t actually trust, so much as it’s really giving up! Like I’m saying “whatever will be will be”.

However, with abundance, I can’t do that. In fact if I do that, I’m likely to have an overabundance. Like if we had 3000$ extra per month coming in, and I didn’t do anything, soon there would be 20,000$ sitting there in the bank.

No, abundance requires a sense of trust that God will show you what to use the abundance for his purposes. It requires that you actually trust God to answer and to speak to you.

It reminds me of the proverb of the guy with the talents. I feel like until now God had given me 5 talents, and I’d done fairly well in multiplying them. Maybe I didn’t double them, but I did fairly good. And now I’m getting 10 talents, and God is asking for more than a doubling. He’s asking for my abundance to become other people’s abundance too. He is asking me to be a funnel of blessing to this community, my friends and my family.

And that scares the crap out of me. Because, effectively, I have to trust God for every step along the way in that process:

  1. Supply the abundance.
  2. Show me what to do with it.
  3. Show me how to use it properly.
  4. Give me the wisdom to continue doing that, lead by his Spirit and Will.

I also have a fear that in spreading abundance, people will think I’m just showing off or doing this for myself. So I really need God’s wisdom for how to give to people without getting glory for myself. Or, at least, without getting any of the glory or honor that is due to God for myself.

I’m also learning, as part of this process, that it is okay to be “big”. That being visible, that being complimented, that being honored isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it is a very biblical thing to give and to receive honor.

Maybe God will show me today or tomorrow what that means, or how that can be done in a healthy way.

Actually, I know that several times since moving here I’ve given honor. But that I have a really hard time receiving it. Maybe it’s that I have a really, really hard time receiving overall. Maybe it’s that I feel unworthy… Or maybe it’s just that I don’t want to be the focus. Or maybe it is something deeper… Like a desire to not have. Or a hurt so deep that I believe I AM a “have not”.

I don’t know. But my ability to receive blessing is critical if I am going to dispense it, or be a funnel for it, or receive talents so that I can multiply them. This is a critical block in my relationship with God. If I can’t even receive a simple compliment, or love gesture from God, how can I receive an abundance of money (or anything else for that matter).

Humility is good. Shame is bad.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe I’m ashamed.

Shame is bad…

The Challenge of Abundance

My wife made an interesting observation this week. Apparently, I’m afraid of money. Or so she thinks. And y’know what, I think she’s right.

You see, last week, I was presented with the opportunity to earn a lot of money. I mean, more than I’d ever earned before (which is saying something). It would have had me earning 6 figures a year. And, to someone who’s never earned more than 60K/year, that’s a lot of money.

My initial reaction to the news was excitement, but fear, and even depression, quickly set in.

Part of me simply didn’t know what to do with the extra money. Oh, we budgeted extra money for savings, for the kids, for food, for clothes, to buy a house, for our retirement, for investing, for charity, etc. But there was still LOTS of money left over each month.

And I realized that what was stressing me out was the abundance. The excess was causing me major, major stress.

Since then, it’s come to seem that that which I feared the most (the abundance) is in question. Not because the opportunity isn’t as clearly there for the taking, but because I’ve begun to fear both what will happen IF it happens, and what will happen if it DOESN’T happen.

A bit of a conundrum. And, to be honest, I feel like there is a huge brick wall in front of me. And that there is no way to get to that blessing (it’s a huge step for me to even say it is a blessing, but I now view it as such).

So, I’ve decided to fast. I haven’t fasted in a long time. I’ll only be taking in liquids, specifically water, fruit and vegetable juices, etc. I’m intending to blog here during the times when I should be eating, and I’ll also be praying that God would show me what is going on, that he would work in my heart to be able to accept blessing (even, and specifically, abundant blessing) and that we as a family would break through this wall.

I do want this blessing. I do believe it is a God blessing. And the least I can do is sacrifice my time, my spiritual discipline and my life to hopefully enable God to bring it to pass. And along the way, my hope is that he will change me so that not only can I accept the blessing, but that I can give it away more freely to bless my family, my friends and my community.

On Abundance & Prosperity

At church this week, our pastor, Peter Fitch, mentioned a verse of scripture:

I have come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10b, NKJV).

And it hit me, quite suddenly, that abundance was key to our Christian lives. “More” is not a four letter word. Many people have heard of the prosperity gospel and that we can lay ahold of all kinds of financial blessings.

But, really, the prosperity gospel is the cheapest kind of abundance possible. You can be prosperous in far more than your finances, and when God promises something like abundance or prosperity I’m sure he means for us to have more than just our creature comforts.

Abundance and prosperity in your relationship with God, with your family and friends. More than you can handle of job and career success. An overflowing of blessing in your ministry, your outreach to your community, your skills, you art and your worship…

In short, abundance and prosperity should be applied to every area of our lives.

I’ve put this blog up primarily to explore my own thoughts on it. I’ve also put it up to see if I can actually write a Christian blog. If I can, I’ll show it to some friends in a week or two. If I can’t, hopefully I’ll have spent some decent time meditating on something which I believe is central to the Christian faith: not being afraid of getting and definitely not being afraid of asking for more.