When I met Jerry he was making preparation to become a missionary pilot. But a sad thing happened to him on the way to the mission field: He got rich.
And turned cool spiritually… married a non-Christian… disavowed the faith… and died a premature death.
Why is it so few believers endure the deadening effects of prosperity upon their soul? My guess is that for every ten who survive adversity you will find one who survives prosperity!
Is it any wonder Jesus made the poignant observation that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God“? (Matthew 19:24)
Let me suggest three reasons why prosperity and spirituality rarely go hand-in-hand:
(1) Because wealth often robs us of our sense of dependency upon God:
“When… your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God… You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.‘” (Deuteronomy 8:13, 14, 17)
(2) Because wealth often cools our spiritual fervor by giving us a false sense of well-being:
Of the wealthy Laodicean believers, Jesus observed, “You are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!… You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.‘ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:15, 17)
(3) Because wealth usually gives us the option of easy living which is antithetical to Christ’s call to discipleship:
We can effortlessly identify with the musings of the wealthy farmer, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” (Luke 12:19)
QUESTION: How are you surviving your prosperity? Is your heart as warmed today toward God as it was in the days when you had little of this world’s material goods and trusted God for your simplest needs?
If you cannot answer that question with an honest “yes,” then there is a pretty good chance that your soul has been seduced by prosperity.