The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers… (Deuteronomy 30:9)
It is God’s will to prosper us. The Bible is clear on this point. But sometimes, people hear that if they get saved, then Bam! They’re healthy! They’re wealthy! Everything’s okay!
It’s unfortunate that this misconception is out there, because it can wound the newly converted. When they don’t immediately prosper, they lose hope. “Well, obviously there’s no God,” they say. “See? Nothing’s different. They said I was going to prosper and be wealthy, but my life is just as bad as it was before.”
Don’t lose hope! The change you want doesn’t always come right away. There’s more to the lifestyle of Jesus than taking that first step. Yes, you start by loving Jesus. Yes, you embrace what He stands for. Yes, you accept His sacrifice for you. But the time still comes when you have to figure out who you want to be in Christ. You have a decision to make.
God calls all kinds of people. There are the Pauls in Christ and the Peters in Christ. The Doubting Thomases are in Christ. There are the Marthas in Christ, and the Marys, the Davids, the Josephs, and the Joshuas. They all represent a different skill set in Christ. The church needs all of us.
The Bible says we’re all part of the body of Christ. Some are teachers. Some are preachers. Some are evangelists. Some are counselors. They’re different people, just like the parts of the body are different. (1 Corinthians 12:4-12) Everybody can be who they want to be in Christ. There are so many different skills sets in the world. We all come together to make the church body work.
But you have to figure it out. You have to ask. And once He shows you, you have to commit. You have to be truly open to becoming the person you’re going to be in Christ.
It can be hard to figure it out, and it can even be scary. Once you open yourself to God, there’s a fire you have to go through. God doesn’t allow you just be whoever you want to be. You have to become who you want to be, in Christ.
That’s why people are fearful of saying, “Okay, I’m ready. Make me who you need me to be.” I understand! I don’t wish trials and tribulations on anybody. I’ve heard people say that they look forward to the fire. They say, “I welcome the trials and tribulations, because I know I need them to get to my next level.” Well, good for you, buddy! I don’t look forward to the fire. I know that when I come out of it, I’m going to be better. But I’m not looking forward to going through it.
Paul said, “Be joyful in trials and tribulations because it makes your faith stronger.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) For me, this means that I can try to find joy in the midst of trials. I can ask God to give me joy while I’m going through the fire. He will. I know He will! So I’m confident that even in times of trial and tribulation, I will be able to “be joyful.” But this definitely does not mean that I can’t wait for my next trial!
Whether you’re wary of the fire or not, God’s love stirs in your soul. It stirs and calls to you. So you won’t be able to help yourself. You will ask Him to change you. You’ll want Him to make you into whoever you want to be in Christ, fire or no fire. And when you ask, He takes you up on it.
This is a good thing! The fire truly does make you stronger. So when you’re ready, take this step. God has so much for you in the end. He’s only waiting for you to ask.
I’ll say just a little more on this next time. See you Monday.