“If you are a Father, you want to give your children the best right? You want your children to be happy. The best clothes, best car, best home. Well doesn’t it make sense that our Heavenly Father would want to bless us all the more so that we are happy?” -Joel Osteen
“Jesus helped a man wash blindness from his eyes; I want to help you concerning hexes, vexes, home problems, love, happiness, and joy!” -David Eppley (selling a blessed bar of prayer soap)
These kinds of health and wealth/prosperity gospel preachers are usually pretty easy to spot and ignore. Unfortunately though, some of their gangrenous theology is making it’s way into doctrinally sound churches. Pastors begin to believe that God truly wants His believers to be happy. These pastors forget though, that virtually every false religion ever spawned by man, worships a god whose function is to deliver some kind of earthly goods. Human religion invariably invents gods for pragmatic reasons. These religions create gods that will give them what they want when they want. They come up with deities to serve them rather than the other way around. Word faith theology has turned Christianity into a method or a format that is no different from the lowest man made religions around. It is a form of magic where God can be forced, convinced, manipulated, and exploited for the Christian’s own happiness.
Have enough faith; pray audacious prayers, and God will give you whatever you want. This of course appeals to people because it demands nothing but faith. It doesn’t demand holiness, devotion or any kind of dedication, it only demands faith and it promises that if you have enough you’ll get rich and healthy. Look what Christ said about earthly possessions:
Luke 12:15 – And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
WHAT GOD CAN DO
Now can God bless you with a million dollar home and a $75,000 luxury vehicle? Sure. He’s God. He does what He wants, when He wants, how He wants. I won’t ever say “God can’t,” or “God wouldn’t” do such things. I cannot however escape certain passages of scripture that simply speak to the opposite of wealth and riches being normative rather than Pauline living being commonplace. Paul was dealing with this in his own day; those who thought godliness was a ticket for money. (1 Timothy 6:5) What did Paul go on to tell Timothy about these “Nice Things Preachers” and this sort of teaching?
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
Interesting…Paul told Timothy to FLEE that stuff. Paul never says God wants us happy. On the contrary, Paul was very specific and writing what the believer IS to be in regards to the “stuff” of this world…
WHAT GOD WILL DO
1 Timothy 6:8 – If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
Paul himself wrote that he had “learned in whatever situation he was in, to be content.” So contentedness is definitely something to be learned. It doesn’t come over night. But as for asking God for “nice things…” nice things by whose standard? The world’s? I highly doubt God views the latest tech in German engineering as “nice.” Happiness doesn’t come from “nice things.” Happiness is a by-product of contentedness.
If ever you find yourself wishing, hoping, PRAYING, for that dream home, or that mid-life-crisis-mobile on the basis of faith or righteousness…”Oh God, I would use my 2013 cherry red Ferrari to further the gospel!” Remember this…The Apostle Paul, spoke of himself and other Apostles being homeless, hungry, and thirsty. Not living it up with their iParchment 5 and riding around on the newest Chrome hooved Camel, S series.
Learn to be content. I can imagine so many more amazing things I could do with $75,000, than blow it on a thing that will eventually rust.