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Prospering by Grace

I have a question for you. If someone approached you in a mall and said, “I’d
like to become a Christian. Can you please tell me how to do that?”, how
would you respond? Would you say, “Oh, well you have to start coming to
church for a while first. Do you walk in love towards your family? How often
do you pray? We gotta get you tithing and fasting also. Do you have any sin
in your life?” If the person didn’t immediately walk away the next logical
question is, “OK, how long do I have to do all that stuff before God saves
me?” Then you might say, “Oh it depends on the Lord. At some point in all
your activity, He’ll look down and see your sincere heart and save you in his
time in his own way. You just get busy being faithful. And after some careful
evaluation, He’ll decide when and if to save you.” Now, I hope NO ONE would
actually say that. The bible tells us that it is by grace that we are saved
through faith and not works (Eph. 2:8-9). That means you cannot save
yourself through good works. You have to receive it as a gift.

Let me ask a different question. If someone asked you, “How do I walk in


God’s prosperity and abundance for my life”, how would you respond? Let me
tell you some of the responses I’ve gotten in the past before I learned the
truth. “Are you a tither, Erna? You have to sow your seed too. Are you being
diligent on your job, because you know the diligent hand shall bear rule. God
can’t bless unfaithfulness. Do you serve at your church? How are your
finances now? Are you a good steward over what God has already given you?
How often do you eat out? Is there any rebellion in your life?” The list goes on
and on. The bible says that we are to walk this Christian life in the same way
we received Jesus (Col. 2:6). And we received Jesus by believing in our hearts
and confessing with our mouths (Rom. 10:10) The word “saved” in Ephesians
2:8-9 means deliverance from whatever you need delivering from. It includes
being born-again, healing, protection, prosperity, wisdom, and much more. So
you could say that by grace are you prospered through faith and not of works
lest any man should boast. What happens to a person who tries to receive
salvation by works? Not only do they not receive it but they ware themselves
out trying to get it. The same is true of financial prosperity, healing, etc. That
is profound.

Grace is something that God does for you independent of you prior to you. It
cannot be earned or “sinned away”. Prosperity is apart of every Christian’s
inheritance. Well, what does an heir have to do to have an inheritance? Be
born. That’s it. After that, they just have to find out about the inheritance and
their right to partake of it. Then, they just somehow communicate what they
want and it’s done.

There is a lot of worldly thinking in the body of Christ as it pertains to


finances. With the exception of tithing, our system of increase looks just like
the world. That ought not be. If an unbeliever can work two jobs for ten years,
squeeze every penny to pay off their debt, and climb the ladder to succeed,
there ought to be a much better and quicker plan for the believer. We’ve
watered down God’s abundance with ideas like “intelligent debt” and “you
have to give God something to bless”. If we will simply humble ourselves and
admit that after years of tithing and sowing we still have plenty of room left
to receive, God will gently teach us and escort us into the land of milk and
honey. The blessing makes rich, beloved (Prov. 10:22). It’s God’s power that
increases you, and not your own (Deut. 8:17-18). The idea that your provision
comes from the work of your own hand originated in the curse of Adam after
the fall.

It’s taken me two very long and painful years to learn these things. God had
to separate me from everything I know and had been taught so I could focus
on scriptures only. And the reason it took that long is because I was ignoring
what I thought was a very foolish instruction from God. Now, I know He was
just breaking my dependency on self. He was helping me trade my
abundance for His. One day God asked me a random question (not audibly).
He said, “What would happen if Christians really believed that I was their
Source?” I said, “Well Lord, there would probably be a mass exodus from the
job market. There would be some people who would slack off. But mostly
we’d either start working the job we really wanted or we’d go to school to
prepare for our dream job.” Silence. I was too dense to realize He was talking
to me about my situation.

Later, He started revealing His idea of work. Our work is our purpose, our
assignment, the reason we were created, and the thing we’ll be judged for.
Unfortunately, the concept of purpose has been reduced to a nice-to-do
instead of a need-to-do. Our prosperity comes from our covenant. Our work is
the impact God wants to make on the world around us through our gifts,
talents, and desires. There is no cause and effect relationship between work
and your personal provison as seen in the garden of Eden. Both are fruit on
the same tree rooted in the gospl of grace. That still amazes me given what
I’ve always thought. If satan can keep us in the work-to-eat mentality we
won’t ever obey what God has put on our hearts and step out to do what we
were created to do.

What if you found out today that you were the illegitimate child of Bill Gates.
How would that change your day? Weren’t you his child yesterday? What
changed? You found out about it. Beloved, your Father is much richer than Bill
Gates. But it’s only the truth you know that makes you free (John 8:32). All
lack is just a knowledge problem. The first part of the truth we need is a
revelation of the gospel of grace. I could go on for pages on that subject and
how it’s transformed my life, but I’ll end with some tips to renew our minds.
Grace is a subject that most people think they understand, but most don’t.
It’s not like mercy. It’s the stuff that actually produces blessing in our lives
(Rom 1:16-17). The best resources that I know of are listed below. I’ll tell you
that an understanding of grace has to come by revelation from the Holy
Spirit. I’ve noticed that it is hidden from those who already think they’re
doing a good enough job. Those folks will wait until they get defeated enough
to give anything a try. (Ask me how I know) We attach so many rules to
receiving prosperity which is why we don’t see it very much. Again, what
happens when we attach rules to being born-again? We frustrate the grace of
God and don’t receive. Dependence on our labor will cut us off from grace.
There will be no profit from being a Christian (Gal 5:2-4) God never intended
for abundance to be such a struggle. We weren’t built to provide for
ourselves. I hope God uses these thoughts to awaken in you a hunger for
more. Be blessed!

Some good grace resources:

http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1014

http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1022

http://www.amazon.com/Destined-Reign-Effortless-Wholeness-
Victorious/dp/1577949323/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=122903
0356&sr=8-1

http://www.newcreation.org.sg/

(And, yes, I realize that prosperity is more than finances but that is the focus
of this note.)

Erna Atkins