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Can Christians Go For The American Dream?
by Annagail Lynes
3/15/2008 / Christian Living
Should Christians strive for the American Dream? The real question is does God want us to prosper? The answer is yes.
Seventeen-year-old Joseph's brothers despised him. They sold him into slavery. Potipher, the captain of the Pharaoh's army, bought him. Joseph had the favor of God on him, which caused him to become Potipher's right-hand man.
Mrs. Potipher liked Joseph. She wanted him to sleep with her. When he refused and tried to escape, she ripped his garment and told her husband that Joseph raped her.
Potipher promptly threw him in prison. Even there, he prospered to second-in-charge under the warden. After interpreting Pharaoh's dreams, Pharaoh released Joseph. Joseph then rose to second-in-charge of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself (Genesis 39-50).
God prospered Joseph wherever he was. He wants to do the same for you.
Abraham, a man who used to worship false gods, prospered by the hand of God. When Abraham and his nephew Lot split up their land because of feuding among their people, Lot picked the beautiful land. He left Abraham with the not-so-pretty piece (Genesis 13).
Abraham's land prospered with cattle and sheep. Lot's became a sin-ridden place called Sodom and Gomorrah, which God eventually destroyed (Genesis 19.)
Solomon, one of the kings of Israel, became seriously rich after seeking wisdom from God (I Kings 3:5-10). Many believe that no one has ever surpassed Solomon's riches, even today (I Kings 10:23).
In Deuteronomy 8:18, God says that He gives you the power to get wealth. That was under the old covenant.
In the New Testament, after Jesus died for us, we received the New Covenant, the better Covenant (Hebrews 8:6). Now many teach that God no longer wants us to prosper.
If we are under a better Covenant, why do well-meaning church people teach that God wants us to be poor?
Money causes us to forget God (Proverbs 30:8-9), they say. Remember, they say, that God blesses the poor in heart for they will see God (Matthew 5:3).
Yes, but the Bible also says that Christ became poor so we might be rich (II Corinthians 8:9).
It is God's will for us to prosper. When Jesus died on the Cross, He redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13). This includes all the curses listed in Deuteronomy 28, which include poverty.
People have convinced the Body of Christ and others outside the church that God wants us poor. They teach that prosperity and wealth are tools the devil uses to keep us from being holy.
They quote the Scripture that says, "Money is the root of all evil." Only they misquote this passage. It actually says, "The love of money is the root of all evil" (I Timothy 6:10).
There are men and women who have turned away from God when they struck it rich. There are many that haven't. Money is only bad if we let it corrupt us, like many other things in life. Beauty. Fame. Success. Power. Even God. False religions and cults are based on a corrupt concept of God.
God wants us to prosper. He doesn't want us to live in lack. He loves us and promises to supply our needs. He goes as far as to say that He wants above all, for us to prosper and be in health as our souls prosper (III John 2).
Some claim that God only wants to prosper us spiritually. He does want to prosper us spiritually, but He wants to meet our needs physically as well.
He says He takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant (Psalm 35:27). Why? He wants to bless us, as He did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, so we, in turn, can be a blessing to others (Genesis 12:1-3).
It is not enough for us to be prosperous. We must use the overflow to meet the needs of others. This is why God wants to prosper us.
Once we do this, we will live the abundant life. We will get our minds off ourselves and onto others. We will be giving of ourselves to accomplish God's work, and in turn, He will make sure all our needs are met. We need to be about our Father's business, loving and reaching out to those in need, to those who have no other place to turn.
God gave everyone an assignment (Jeremiah 29:11). An assignment that we were born to complete. God saw a need, and we are the solution.
We have the unique combination of talents, personality and abilities to complete that task. No one can complete it the way we can.
When we accept Jesus, God plants seeds of that dream into our hearts.
We have a desire to accomplish that dream. Then we doubt the dream and wonder if it is a God dream at all. If we can accomplish it without God's help, then it is not a God dream. If it is far beyond anything we can accomplish, then it is.
What does this have to do with accomplishing the American Dream? Instead of pursuing the American dream, we need to exchange our dreams, our desires, for God's dreams and desires for us.
It is only when we fulfill God's purpose for our lives that we will truly be happy. Without God's plan, we will wander around, trying one thing and then another, playing hit and miss with our destinies, wasting a lot of time trying to determine God's plan.
Wouldn't it be easier to ask God Himself? To seek God's will concerning our lives?
Spend every day asking God about His plan. Pay close attention to what He is saying.
The American dream is not bad. It is not wrong to pursue a living or to run our own businesses. However if it is not God's plan, we will never be happy. We will be miserable and empty until we find God's plan for us.
Seek God about His plan. When we do, He will reveal it to us one step at a time, and we will be amazed at the great things God has in store for us.
Annagail Lynes is a pharmacy technician, certified life coach and ordained minister. She is helping people move forward after trauma by helping them discover their purpose. Follow her blog at 316counseling.com
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