From Poverty to Prosperity
"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." (III John 1: 2)
This scripture alone shows that God wants both nations and individuals to prosper, but to move from poverty to prosperity is not about the natural/physical way you would achieve that, we can only achieve it God's way. So regardless of the political tug of war over who owns the slogan, I would encourage both parties to read the Bible again and see what it takes to achieve either.
Prosperity can't come unless Psalm 127: 1-2 is in place.
In order to move from poverty to prosperity, we will need to look at the spiritual first before we even look at the physical. In every scripture on the topic, God sees poverty, oppression, and greed as evil. In order to deal with evil, the spiritual route has to be taken first.
Blessing and prosperity are first corporate before they become individual. Thus, if God does not bless the nation or the city, then the individuals within it will struggle.
In Judges 6, when Israel was struggling, there was someone called Gideon, who prospered while the nation became impoverished, and God clearly outlined to him the root cause and what they should do to move from poverty to prosperity.
Likewise, when Egypt disobeyed God and refused to serve Him, God allowed Pharaoh's house to prosper while the nation delved into poverty. It was the greatest wealth transfer that took place - from the people to the leader. The only thing the people were left with were land and labour, and they voluntarily had to give up both for survival. Pharaoh relocated them and then charged them 20 per cent tax on production.
So if the people want to move from poverty to prosperity, they will need to repent and return to God instead of placing total dependency on politicians.
Prosperity comes to those who seek God. (Matthew 6: 33) Many global leaders no longer seek God for wisdom and power to get wealth. They instead seek the Midianites, the Babylonians, and the Egyptians for advice, which only brings more poverty.
If prosperity is the physical manifestation of God's blessings, then the environment must first be created spiritually. Then God will give dreams and visions, ideas and inventions for job creation.
True prosperity comes to those who trust in God and those who obey God's Word. (Joshua 1: 8) Prosperity is not a right, but a privilege and a responsibility. While leaders in a nation have the responsibility of creating the environment for prosperity physically - the choices and covenants they make with other countries - those choices will affect us negatively or positively.
A country can only become great when it becomes industrious from within, its greatest investments are in the assets within (including the people), the profit remains within the nation, and the nation's currency remains stable.
Other factors affect prosperity and can cause poverty - fair distribution of resources, social injustice, bad management, lack of vision, sin, greed, unforgiveness, and the education system. Develop the people to create wealth.
Tithing also brings prosperity, and if nations begin to tithe to poorer countries, or give 10 per cent of tax collected to not-for-profit or religious organisations and create sustainable development, then you would see the reduction of crime and many other issues affecting the nations and there would not be the need to build more prisons.
There cannot be prosperity within a nation where the focus is on large contracts, big businesses, and impressing First-World nations, while ignoring family - the first line of government.
Prosperity will also come when you have the right persons in the right positions. Not everyone is a builder. The ability to build is a gift of God.
There are many wrong and bad things that have been done to people by other people that have never been rectified. If things of the past are not resolved, then that will also hinder prosperity. Therefore, the negative things done by past administrations that have not been resolved will have negative repercussions on present administrations and the prosperity of a nation.
We absolutely need to move out of poverty and into prosperity, but it can only be achieved when godly principles are applied.
There is no way that a nation with so many natural resources and so many empty buildings should be poor.
- Apostle Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.