You’d never purposely drive your car with the emergency brake on. Yet, most Christians drive through life with their psychological emergency brake firmly engaged.
Although we publicly detest material prosperity we secretly love it and spend most of our time looking for it. Ask any “born-again” Christian today, “what is your main priority in life, is it prosperity or “spiritual things?” the most likely answer will be “spiritual things”. By “spiritual things” they mean religious activities such as worshiping or preaching. But if the truth is to be told, our priority lies somewhere else.
According to Barna, a Christian Research Group, an average Christian spends less than 10 minutes per day in private prayer (or in any private religious / spiritual activity). This includes prayer before meals, bedtime and before starting a day. A typical Minister (Pastor) spends an average of 12 minutes in prayer requests (from members) and 8 minutes in private prayer each day. That means we spend most of our daily time doing anything else but “spiritual” things. In other words we spend 99% of our time each day trying to make money or spending it.
As the data depicts money and the care of everyday life is of more concern to many of us than it is about “spiritual” life. In fact statistics also indicate that even when we pray 84% of those prayers is about prosperity and concerns about every day life – a breakthrough in finances, health, immigration, family, relationships, etc. Even more so many Ministries today spend more time raising money than actually doing “spiritual” things. The quest for a better life is the primary reason why most of us migrate abroad in the first place. We fast, we pray and even “lie” to get visa hoping that our lives will be a little bit better. That’s why many who were once ardent Christians just disappeared “under the radar” as soon as they settled abroad.
Now why is it that despite spending most of our time thriving for prosperity each day many of us are always struggling? In my over thirty years in Christian ministry I have witnessed strife, divisions and pain of unimaginable proportions. Most of this mischief is about financial or material gain. There is also compelling evidence to suggest that financial hardship is one of the major contributors of family and marital breakdown. I believe, as hinted above, lack of correct understanding about prosperity caused by ancient inhibiting beliefs is the root cause of chronic economic hardship.
On one hand, we have been made to believe that material prosperity is worldly and hence an evil entity. But on the other hand reality downs on us that we can’t live in this modern world without money. Many of us rely on secular careers for living, but still secretly believe secular jobs such as business, politics, public service, medicine, accounts, sports, arts, journalism and other social services are not as Godly as being a pastor, an evangelist, a prophet or a bible teacher. Because we strongly believe the only calling of every Christian is to do what many refer to as ‘spiritual service’, any additional work must be second best to God. Regardless of the fact that we do not profess these secular jobs to be sinful deeply in our hearts we hold them with contempt and consider them as means for a more “sacred” end. However, the irony is that although we are convinced that as Christians our priority should be ‘spiritual things” we find these very “spiritual things” unfashionable, unreal and time wasting hence spending less time on them.
For me both “spiritual” things (especially worship / prayer) and secular things (enterprise and prosperity) are necessary goods. They complement each other. For many however, secular things are necessary evils and spiritual things are unnecessary good. No wonder we have success neither of them. Even those who somehow happen to prosper they can’t fully enjoy or keep their wealth because they feel guilty and insecure to be wealthy. It is impossible to attract what you despise, succeed in what you don’t invest enough time in, and spend time in what you think is unwarranted or evil.
The Bible says to receive anything from God we must make sure our words are still in the same frequency as our belief system. How can I expect God to give me success in my work that I believe to be immoral? Jesus said, “… whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him… ” (Mark 13:23). Denial is a transcendent emergency brake. You can’t drive your life to prosperity with conflicting thoughts in your mind. If we wish to experience success we must first clear all conflicting beliefs that may hold us hostage. Make sure our words line up with our faith. Today allow the Holy Spirit to examine your heart – candidly and thoroughly. If He uncovers an underlying hindrance in our minds let us denounce it and ask Him to clear it out.
It’s time to release the brakes. And this is not easy without strong teaching, prayer and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Ask him to help you uproot conflicting attitudes about prosperity and release you into your financial freedom.