Please enjoy this excerpt of Ashley’s new book, God Wants You Rich: The Scandalous Truth:
What is God’s will for your life concerning finances? Does God want you rich, or does He want you to be poor? What does the Word of God teach us about His blessing on the lives of believers? The scandalous truth is that God wants you rich!
The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.
When reading scriptures that mention riches, many Christians say, “Oh, this is talking about spiritual wealth.” Yet, the Hebrew word used here for “rich” is referring to possessions. Yes, of course, God wants spiritual wealth for us, too, but in this verse, He’s speaking specifically about material wealth.
Believers often misinterpret this verse, among many others, because they believe there is holiness in poverty, that righteousness somehow requires being destitute. They feel that wealth equates to greed, so it can’t be a blessing from God.
So, let’s find out the truth of the matter. In scriptures which refer to riches or wealth, are they describing spiritual abundance or physical assets? Context is very important when studying the Word of God. It’s also a good idea to compare where the same or similar words are used throughout the Scriptures. In doing so, we can connect the Scriptures to discover the true meaning behind them.
Where else in the Bible does God use the term “rich”? We’ll review verses in the Old and New Testaments to ensure we fully comprehend the context. It’s important we understand what the Word of God is truly saying. If we don’t know that God does want us rich, we won’t be able to pray for it, believe it, and receive it. We need to know the truth.
What Does the Word Say?
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
When He was crucified, Jesus became poor so that we might be rich! As in Proverbs 10:22, this word for “rich” is not referring to spiritual riches. It means literal, financial wealth.
In the Old Testament, we find the same Hebrew word for “rich” as before.
Here is the man who did not make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches…
Here, once again, Scripture refers to possessions. In this instance, the man chose to trust his wealth, his money, his finances, instead of God. Although this context refers to riches in a negative sense, it’s the same as in Proverbs 10:22 and 2 Corinthians 8:9. These all describe physical, financial riches.
Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dies he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him.
Again, it is the exact same word for “riches” used here that was used in Proverbs 10:22. This word is without doubt indicating a physical, not spiritual, wealth.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. God absolutely desires our spiritual wealth. No question! However, the context of each of these scriptures is not referencing that spiritual form of wealth, and we want to make sure we’re correctly understanding God’s meaning.
If we go back to 2 Corinthians again, we find the same thing—God referring to material riches. In fact, chapters eight and nine in 2 Corinthians deal specifically with money, finances, offerings, and stewardship. To view 2 Corinthians 8:9 as referencing spiritual richness would require us to take the verse completely out of context.
When these verses are speaking of riches, it is not in reference to having a family, spouse, children, enriching relationships, a fulfilling calling, strong faith, or joy, even though those are all huge blessings and far more important than money. In these instances, however, the Scripture is referring to tangible things: your finances, your possessions, the substance of your home, and the things you possess. It is telling us that God wants you rich.
Good Fathers Give Good Gifts
Logically, the idea God wants to bless you with material possessions makes sense. It’s really not a scandalous idea at all. He’s the best Father. And wonderful fathers want their kids to be well cared for. So, wouldn’t it make sense that a Father who owns cattle on a thousand hills, and has streets made of gold, would want His children financially blessed?
If you’re a parent, you understand this completely. Whether your children are young or old, you want them to succeed, to do well, to be well, and to have what they need. It would break your heart to see them begging for bread or going without. In fact, most of you truly enjoy buying gifts for your children on birthdays or holidays. Sometimes we buy too much and even spoil them!
So, what makes us think God is any different? Why do we think our Father God wouldn’t show us more love and lavish more gifts upon us than we would our own children? Isn’t it logical that God wants you rich?
God is our provider, and He displays that aspect of His character throughout Scripture.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
The word “prosper” here is euodoó. It means to prosper on your journey, and to succeed in business affairs.
This applies to you no matter where you are in the world. God wants you rich. Regardless of your circumstances, location, or country, His blessings are there for you. Whether in North America, where you’re already richer than 90% of the world, or in developing countries in Asia and Africa, God has given His children His blessing.
I’ve seen all over the world how believing in God’s promises for financial blessing brings increase. His Word works, no matter who you are, where you live, or what side of the train tracks you grew up on. God’s will for you is to bless you financially and to have all your needs met.
Abundance Is for You
Many people, due to their circumstances, exclude themselves from the promises of God. They believe where they were born or grew up determines God’s plans for their financial future. They see themselves at a disadvantage compared to others.
God, however, is no respecter of persons. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, or live in a first- or third-world country. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, or what family you were born into. Anyone who takes the Word of God, mixes it with faith, and applies it to their life will see the blessings of God.
The only qualification required is faith.
A friend of mine from Zimbabwe grew up poor. Not American poor. African poor. He lived in a two-room shack of cinder block walls where he slept every night under the kitchen table. The poverty he experienced meant living with next to nothing. For him, there was no such thing as abundance.
One day, though, he saw a neighborhood kid riding a bicycle, and he couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing it would be to have a bicycle of his own. He could ride it anywhere he wanted to go. My friend imagined his freedom with that bicycle and hours upon hours of simple joy. He told himself, “One day, when I’m a rich man, I’m going to own a bicycle.”
Around this time, he started reading about God’s promises of abundance. But even there, Lord? Even in the midst of abject poverty in Africa?
Instead of doubting or making excuses due to the economy in his country, my friend decided to believe God’s promises. He got a revelation from the Holy Spirit concerning God’s will for his blessed financial future. Instead of that bicycle being a dream, he began expecting God to provide. He set his faith on the promise of abundance and his whole life changed.
Today, although he was raised in one of the poorest nations in Africa, my friend is rich. He lives in a beautiful house, drives nice cars, and if he wants a bicycle, he has the funds to purchase one. My friend started a church network there in Africa and, through his abundance, has been able to help so many others. He is a big giver to our ministry!
The promises of abundance from God work for everyone, anywhere. Even in the poorest areas. Even in the humblest of circumstances, God’s Word is true.
God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
There’s no lack in this verse. Having sufficiency in all things means you have your needs met, but it doesn’t stop there. You will have an abundance for every good work. You will not only have enough, but you will also have more than enough. That is God’s will for you financially.
Wherever you are in the world, whatever your needs, they will differ depending on your life and your location. However, the principle stands. Whatever you need, you’ll have it. Plus, more.
Debunking the Prosperity Gospel
If you don’t believe God’s promises, then you can’t understand the purpose behind them. And misunderstanding the purpose is how we cancel the intended benefit. It’s how promised blessings become abused and used inappropriately.
If we don’t understand why God wants us rich, we end up abusing it, like tossing a highly sophisticated electronic device into the dishwasher. Or, we’ll simply refuse to have anything to do with it. That’s where many Christians live today—avoidance. They sneer and call it the “prosperity gospel,” then declare, “I want nothing to do with that.”
Here is another scandalous truth: the prosperity gospel is a lie. There is no such thing as the prosperity gospel. There is only one Gospel. And part of that Gospel is that Jesus paid the price for you to have prosperity.
Recently, while in Africa on a preaching trip, I was met with protestors who were opposing my visit by saying, “Don’t bring this American prosperity gospel preacher into your church!” First of all, my accent should be a strong indicator I wasn’t born in America. Secondly, I’m not a prosperity gospel teacher.
I teach Jesus. I teach the Gospel. And the Gospel just happens to include your provision.
You don’t have to partake. No one is forcing you to believe God for financial increase. If you want nothing to do with the provisions God has planned for you, then you’ll simply not receive them. He isn’t going to force you to take His blessings.
We either believe the Word, or we don’t believe the Word. If we’re going to throw out prosperity, provision, blessings, and God’s willingness to care for His children, then we’re discrediting the nature of God. If we choose to believe prosperity isn’t intended for us, then shouldn’t we believe the same about healing, forgiveness, and deliverance?
It’s either all true, or it’s all a lie. We need to decide.
God Wants You Rich
If you were blessed by this excerpt, you can order the full book! God Wants You Rich debunks many of the myths that have been associated with godly provision.
Discover the scandalous truth of God’s perspective of wealth and riches for His children.Today is your day to step into greater abundance.
When you learn to think about money and abundance the way God does, you will step into a new level of freedom in the bountiful Kingdom of God!