I’m sure you’ve come across a couple of believing folks who think that prospering in material things is not a proof of godly living. They often have a cynical disposition towards other believers who live in financial abundance.

What’s more, they attribute any indication of wealth (be it acquiring a bespoke ride or a vast piece of property) to dubious means. In their opinion, whoever must serve God and live a holy life must need endure hardship on earth. He/she must suffer lack and go through all manners of adversity. This, according to them, is the true test of a believer.

Well, here is good news: God is not interested in anyone’s poverty neither does he take joy in a fellow’s misery. Instead, a man’s lack or otherwise is a function of his will/choice.

The bible is the source of inspiration for believers and it informs our manner of thinking and conduct. Hence, when it is misinterpreted, it results in misapplication. Hence, many a heresy has been birthed because people took biblical passages out of context. Let’s take a look at a couple of scriptures many stay-away-from-riches believing folks have misconstrued.

Acts 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch

22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

In the passage referenced, Apostle Paul tells the Christians at Antioch that “we must through much tribulations enter the kingdom of God”. Many have taken this verse out of context to imply that the only way we can make heaven is through suffering or want. On the contrary, Paul was not talking about lack of material things here. Note that he uses the word tribulation.

When properly interpreted, the word ‘tribulation’ speaks of trials and persecutions, particularly for the sake of the gospel. Just in the preceding verses, Paul himself experienced such tribulation when he was stoned almost to the point of death while preaching at Lystra. Hence, that verse is saying “in the course of preaching the gospel and living a godly life, we will encounter persecutions and maltreatments from those who do not believe.

Here is another one:

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows – 1Tim6:10.

Many have equated the statement to mean “money is the root of all evil”. Meanwhile, what it says is that the love of money is the root of all evil. What then is the love of money? It’s the inordinate desire to get wealth by all means (by hook or crook). When nothing else matters to a man but only the pursuit of money, he has the love of money. Money by itself cannot be root of all evil since the same money answereth all things. It’s the insatiable lust for it that results in evil.

The Rich Man and Lazarus: A Case Study

The advocates of the Spartan-like Christian living always like to use the account of Lazarus and the rich man as a basis for their belief. From the account, we read that Lazarus lived a miserable life but ended up in heaven while the rich man died and woke in hell. It should however be clarified that the rich man did not surface in hell because he was rich. Rather, he ended up in misery because of his uncharitable lifestyle while on earth.

On the other hand, Lazarus’ pathetic life on earth was never God’s will but his. Verse 21 of that passage tells us that he desired to be fed with crumbs – what a desire! Lazarus did not desire to be healed of his sores and neither did he desire that his story changed for the better. Instead, he desired to eat crumbs. And sure, he got what he wanted.

You won’t have it if you don’t desire it!

A man’s desire/choice is really powerful, even God respects it; for as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he – Pro 23:7. God cannot help a man beyond the level of his desire. For instance, we read of the healing of blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52. Jesus healed him based on his desires: Lord, that I might receive my sight. Yes, Lazarus was godly and all. However, he chose to remain in his sorry state. God was/is powerful enough to heal him and cause him to prosper. Nevertheless, He could not do it without his consent. If Lazarus did not desire it, God could do nothing about it. Therefore, no one should associate God with his or Lazarus’ miseries.

Lessons from Jabez

While Lazarus was content with pain and poverty, Jabez refused to settle for less. While Lazarus desired crumbs, Jabez desired much more. Consider the expression of his desire:

Oh that thou wouldest bless me and enlarger my coast and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!

Surely, God granted his request/heart desire.

Any believer who chooses to live in penury and hardship can do so as long as he keeps God out of his self-imposed misery.

Thanks for reading!

©Ayansola Ibukun


25 thoughts on “SAVED TO BE BROKE?

  1. Very insightful post! The writer is still in town. I would like to get an autograph one of these days lol. I love the title of this post👍🏾😊. As I read this post, I was reminded of Romans 12:2. A lot of our realities stems from our mindsets. For instance, a few years ago, I used to have this mentality that if someone was making like 60K a year, they will soon become snobbish because of the amount of money they were making. Some rich folks are humble and some are snobbish. Through conversations with people, my mindset began to change. To think of the responsibilities that one has in their lives and the taxes that are taken after one’s paycheck, 60K is a lot but to someone else it’s not enough. I actually had a conversation with someone from my church about this same topic just a few weeks ago. She’s a Nurse Practitioner who loves having high end things. Throughout our conversation, she emphasized a lot about how the guys who approach her speak on how she loves material stuff just because of the way she dress and the item she carries. Due to her preferences, a lot of guys who approach her always have something to say and it upsets her because growing up, she struggled to get certain things and now that she’s making money, she just wants to treat herself.

    Indeed, we are not saved to be broke. Jesus tore the veil but we must learn to operate as people who are free. There are cycles that need to be broken. We can’t continue to have the bondage mentality. We all have our struggles but our mindsets have to be renewed. We must use our resources and not sit on our gifts. There is nothing wrong with wanting good things in life. God wants the best for us. He is the Father who gives perfect gifts unto His children. He does not withhold any good thing from us. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t work and just expect manna to fall from Heaven. We must do our part and God will surely take care of the rest. Thank you for sharing 😊. Truly blessed 🙌🏿. Ore mi ni onkowe oo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a separate/profound post by itself. You can’t be more precise when you said ‘our realities stems from our mindsets’. A man will eventually become what he believes. And that’s why it’s important to be diligent with what informs our mindsets (in our own case, God’s Word) so we don’t end up living a contrary lifestyle based on what ‘think we know’. Meanwhile, I like how apt/appropriate the account of the lady you mentioned is. This is the dilemma many a believer have found themselves. God has pleasure in the prosperity of his people. Of course, they won’t just sit idle and expect his blessings to rain down like ripe cherries. They’ll work and God will bless the works of their hands.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In America we live in a prosperous nation so I agree that we should seek to be prosperous but only for the perpetuation of the gospel. When we seek the Kingdom First everything we needed God provides (Matthew 6:33).

    I agree the Rich man didn’t go to hell because he was rich. He went to hell because He didn’t have God in his life.

    Wealth is not a sign of God’s approval or affirmation. Because God is about the expansion of His Kingdom not man’s kingdom. God owns everything He said cattle on a thousand hill belongs to Him Psalm 50:10. God gives us the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18) not for the purpose to live large but so we can support the work of ministry, when we make God’s Kingdom a priority by default we will live prosperous lives.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree 💯. The priority of the believer should be to perpetuate God’s will. No one invests in the things of God and suffers neglect. Thanks for shedding more light on the subject. It’s such a rich contribution.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Smiles. God sure wants us to enjoy life and have it in abundance!. And even when such trying time comes, it won’t be forever, so we shouldn’t be content and stay in such bounds.

    May God help our twist of the word in this age. 😂

    Thanks for sharing IBK!.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. wow and wow
    I love this narrative. It’s so wrong to think everyone should love hardship and suffering because you do. It is not write to equate prosperous believers to not heaven candidates or people who do not help the “needy”. Choice is a powerful tool

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Absolutely! ‘Choice is a powerful tool’. We become the choices we make. God can’t help us beyond the scope of our mindsets. Meanwhile, He is a good father and he gives generously and liberally.
      I do appreciate your profound contribution. Thanks a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is very encouraging to hear! I’m believing God for greater things and I think He desires for us to prosper in our relationship with Him, our souls, and in the world. He doesn’t want us broke in any way. I like Psalm 27:13, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Thanks Ayansola!

    Liked by 1 person

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