One of the dangers of seeking financial success is to make that our only goal. In the years I worked in banking, I discovered that those who made their No. 1 goal in life to have financial success experienced a plethora of difficulties. Many individuals became alcoholics, were divorced, lost their families and had major health issues. Most of that could be contributed to a single purpose in life of being financially successful. Sadly, these challenges existed in both Christians and unbelievers. As a follower of Jesus Christ, we have opportunities to make spiritual growth a priority over financial growth. These opportunities come from our desire to read God's Word, praying for help and drawing closer to our God.
Often, I have spoken on the topic that spiritual prosperity must always come before financial prosperity. Many times, we say something like Lord, I trust you to bless me financially. The question often isn't if we trust God to provide His blessings. I think a far greater question is whether God can trust us with financial blessings. I have many reasons to believe that the latter question is more important. First, I have seen Christians receive financial success and then turn away from attending church, reading God's Word and focusing on how they can bless the kingdom of God. Second, they are not spiritually mature to know how to manage their finances. Some start making purchases like boats, expensive cars or lavish homes without understanding how these things may impact their walk with God. In addition, some of those who experience quick financial success are not prepared to make long-term financial decisions.
Thankfully, our God has left us a book of instructions on how to handle our financial issues. That book is called the Bible, God's Word and the breath of God. In His word we will find the answers on how to make every decision we need to make dealing with our finances. One of those instructional verses is found in Matthew 6:33 (NLT): "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need."
Here is another example of spiritual advice leading to financial success. Psalm 37:4 says, "Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your heart's desires." This verse is one of my favorites because it tells us that our delighting must be in the Lord and not in our desires. If we delight in our desires, we will shut out God's plan for our financial decisions. We also learn God wants us to have the desires of our heart, provided we seek His desire for us.
Every one of us must seek spiritual prosperity before we seek financial prosperity. There is an old saying, "Sometimes we get the ox before the cart." We can have such a desire to prosper financially that we forget to prosper spiritually. We seek our plan based on our limited understanding and pay no attention to our God who is omniscient and has all understanding and all knowledge. To receive God's financial blessings, we must grow in our understanding of His plan for our finances.
We can only grow spiritually when we seek spiritual guidance. That guidance is found through out the Word of God. My prayer is that everyone who needs to prosper financially will make spiritual prosperity their first priority. Never forget Matthew 6:33 "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and he will give you everything you need."
David C. Friend was the founder and pastor of North Scottsdale Christian Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has served as the president of the Paradise Valley Chamber of Commerce and was chairman of the Grand Canyon University Foundation Board. Before answering God's call and accepting the full-time position as pastor of North Scottsdale Christian, David spent 14 years in banking and owned a real estate development company for 20 years. He taught banking operations at Arizona community colleges. David resides in North Scottsdale with his wife, Sharon, and together they have two married children and six grandchildren. David is an award-winning author, veteran, entrepreneur, pastor, banker and teacher.
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