What’s God’s View on Abundance?
As Christians, we often subconsciously think we aren’t supposed to have too much. We’re afraid of being associated with bad theology, or we’ve seen people abuse the idea of being blessed, so we push back from the whole concept. But does such thinking align with what the Word of God teaches?
This is a sensitive subject for many believers, but it’s so important that we get it right. So let’s take an honest look at it today.
There’s no better strategy for finding the truth of a matter than going to the source: Jesus Christ. Look at what He says in Matthew 25:29:
“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance.” (NLT)
That makes it pretty clear: God has no problem with abundance. What He is against is abundance possessing us.
What’s the difference? The person possessed by abundance seeks blessing, possessions, finances, ability, or power for the sake of appeasing his cravings—or he hoards resources out of fear.
The truth is, we need abundance to do larger and more effective work by God’s grace, which is His power at work within us. We use this empowerment well when we use it to build lives and build God’s kingdom. Could this be why Scripture says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth”? (3 John 2 KJV)
Now, you might think it’s enough for a good Christian to “hold the fort.” Can’t we just be content with having enough to get by?
Not really. If we study the parable that contains Jesus’s statement in Matthew 25:29, we find something game-changing.
Two servants were called faithful because they multiplied what was given to them (see Matthew 25:21, 23). The servant who simply maintained what was entrusted to him, on the other hand, was identified as lazy. The master took that man’s bag of silver away and gave it to the man who possessed abundance. We may think a good Christian is content with just enough, but Scripture calls that laziness!
That shouldn’t be so surprising to us. Think back to Genesis. God’s first commandment to humankind was to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:22 NKJV). He wasn’t just talking about having babies. He was declaring, “Anything I give to you, I expect you to multiply it and present it back to Me.”
What does this look like? Here’s an example from my own life. God’s entrusted me with an ability to teach. By His grace (the power working in our team, our partners, my wife, and me), that gift has been multiplied and presented back to Him through teaching all over the world, writing books, putting messages on the web, giving resources to pastors and leaders around the globe, blogging, developing other teachers, and more. As I’ve yielded to God’s grace in faith, God has done far more than I ever could have dreamed of as a young man.
Of course, the obvious—and valid—concern is that abundance might lead us into pride or greed. Won’t we get a big head or become obsessed with getting more?
It definitely can happen, and none of us should assume we’re innately immune to the deception of a perverted form of abundance. For my part, there are two thoughts I keep before me to help my heart stay in the right place. They are:
1) Have I limited God in any way?
2) Wow, look what God’s ability has done!
This perspective positions me to remain both humble and passionate about what God is doing in my life.
So what about you? Do you find yourself at one extreme or the other when it comes to abundance—pursuing it for the wrong reasons, or avoiding it because it’s been misrepresented? I encourage you to read Matthew 25:14–30 in full. Then spend some time meditating on 3 John 2. What is the Holy Spirit revealing about how He wants to adjust your perspective?
Written by John Bevere. Visit John’s blog at http://messengerinternational.org/blog.
Follow John Bevere on Twitter @JohnBevere