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Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
One of the biggest lies I have ever believed as a Christian is materialistic evidence of righteousness. Growing up we were relentlessly harangued on a counterfeit prosperity gospel. A fundamentally unsubstantial doctrine of materialistic gain as a sign of spirituality infiltrated the church, and I fear I was the recipient of the brunt of it. I felt an inordinate amount of pressure on me to “manifest” my well doing by having a comparable amount of wealth. This ideology has its roots in a mentality of lack.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
We have made Matthew 6:33, in practice, a means to an end. Seeking the Kingdom has become synonymous with gain and has caused us to feel entitled to the things we need. Our faith journey, our prayer life, and our thought patterns too often revolve around the things we need from God, as opposed to having the fullness of God. With the value the church has placed on having materialistic things, our prayer lives has become increasingly overwhelmed with demands. Growing up poor, as a young person I constantly struggled with the reality of God’s kingdom because I apparently lacked the basic evidence of said Kingdom, namely money. The perpetual cycle of not having, and praying to get to give, to get had me in a whirlwind of frustration of never having enough, yet having to always give to get more. The lack mentality will have us ever wondering if we are sowing enough, ever fixated on when our breakthrough is going to make its debut- in glitter and gold.
I do believe in tithing, sowing, generosity and giving. Yes, God will supply our needs. Yes, He is aware of and concerned with our needs. But there is a position we come to relationally, where we find our needs met in Him. I have come to realize that God wants to give us all of Him. I firmly believe He is enthusiastically encouraging our hunger and thirst after Him. He stirs our hunger, so we can have our fill of Him. He does not take away so we can seek Him more so that we can in turn have more things. We will have our needs supplied through riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
There is no bypassing Him, our righteousness, peace and joy is found in Him. When we find security in His peace and joy, our supplies will follow. We do not possess more of the kingdom when we possess more things, the things come as a result of possessing kingdom, and they aren’t synonymous with the kingdom. God wants to have a relationship with you. Matthew 6 says “and” all these things will be added unto you, not “so that” all these things will be added unto you. There is a state we enter into when we are in the kingdom of God where we experience righteousness, peace, and joy regardless of our physical circumstances. Often times in my pursuit of breakthrough and provision, in my limited view of His heart, God was the barrier between me and the things I needed. The point of my life was to see how much I could acquire, as an attestation of my righteousness. Because I was fixated on material gain, God became a threat to my wealth. What if I pray and don’t receive? What if I spend time studying the word and stay poor for all to see? What if I fast and pray and don’t make rent? With thoughts like that there was no right standing with Him, no peace, and no joy. Because when we do to get, we are no longer in a covenant, but operate as a slave under the law. Seeking His kingdom comes naturally to a believer. It is meant to be easy to receive from the Father. God does not operate as a vending machine; put in the right amount, press the right buttons, and you get what you want.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
This is one of the most practical Scriptures you will find in aiding your prayer life. When we realize God is a person and wants to have fellowship with us, our prayer life starts sounding a little more intentionally sincere. In reference to Philippians 4, your prayer life should include the words “please” and “thank you.” When we talk to God it moves Him when we are sincere in our need of Him, acknowledging Him as our provider. Philippians encourages us to demand less, but ask more. One of our good friends calls this having spiritual manners.
Abundance will look different to different people. The issue will never be how much stuff you got, but indeed how much Kingdom you portray. This life should only ever be about containing and manifesting the fullness of God. I want to be so bold and say that we could potentially come to a place where what we possess and don’t posses no longer has any bearing on how righteous we are perceived. When we are concerned with elevating people’s hearts to the full knowledge of Christ, instead of their financial status, we have embraced Kingdom principles.