Aug. 3, 2016.
Purpose, Peace, and Prosperity.
Without a purpose in life, there is no achievement. There is no growth in one’s walk towards Godly maturity. We are not isolated or insulated in how God accomplishes things whether in Heaven or on the Earth. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God does not need to reinvent the wheel for every generation or age. God has a purpose and it is bigger than us. We are part of this purpose because we all have a purposeful part to play and everyone’s purpose contributes to the larger purpose of God.
We see this all the time through entertainment media that exposes famous and popular people and even families. The goal they set for themselves produces the desired results usually at the expense of other things including family, life or even mortality. There is no balance and things usually become stressful because God's Kingdom is not at the center of these pursuits.
In all that we do, these three things are the driving force whether we admit it or not. There are many who claim that they are not interested in riches; yet as they see others with possessions they tend to have some kind of negative comment regarding it. We only pay attention to the things that we desire, dream of and want. Everything else is only the means to the desired end. Growing up and living in a multi-cultural society; I have never come across someone who exclaims, “Just give me poverty, slavery, and war”; have you? Sure, we come across some who are lazy and are essentially, “couch potatoes” but that's usually linked to some form of depression or a lack of self-image or worth. Often, these individuals are the product of wrong thinking and examples in their lives and it's usually because many are focused on the wrong things and have their priorities not only wrong but mainly misaligned.
Generally, for man, we tend to believe that if we achieve prosperity first, especially the lowest form of riches and wealth; then we will have peace which allows us to focus on a purpose. Without realizing it we would be walking as satan wants us to walk; with these goals having nothing to do with each other being independent to the satisfaction or detriment of the person pursuing them. Some individuals may have a purpose but never peace and prosperity; other’s prosperity but never peace and purpose.
4) Paul may not have fought a physical war or accumulated physical wealth, but his entire life demonstrates purpose, peace, and prosperity. Out of obedience, his life's purpose was the will of God and he often refers to himself as the bond slave of Christ, being single minded in every effort to preach, live and educate the early Christian with conviction and peace of mind knowing that his life would prosper with the things of God. Paul tells us we cannot do the will of God without receiving a reward just as a farmer sows so will he reap. He tells us to be disciplined, single-minded on the purpose that produces peace by God's Spirit, rewarding us with an imperishable crown set aside for all who run the righteous race and run it well - 1 Corth. 9.
2) Joshua, when faced with the dilemma of taking the kingdom of Jericho utilizes the triune goals by obeying God with the method that he was given. Joshua organized and focused on the purpose to destroy this city in single-mindedness with his army and priests, having no strife with each other maintaining peace. They followed Joshua's instructions for 7 days which lead to the destruction of Jericho’s walls, enabling Israel’s victory and plundering of their enemy's wealth for prosperity. Joshua obeyed God, did not alter His direction with precision, timing and in the manner required for the success of the campaign. Joshua's Faith and command earned him the respect for others to follow in his purpose, which was God's to give His chosen people the promise land. He would have faced trials and tribulations from naysayers within his ranks and even mockers but this would not matter as long as he did not allow it to affect his inner conviction, focused on the purpose on hand and reap the benefits for obedience - Jos. 6.
3) David's appointment as king infuriates the Philistines to attack Israel. We have to remember this is long after David, the boy kills Goliath and his brothers and the Philistine historians would have kept this with the intent of revenge. David is now a king with kingly responsibilities and does not act impetus but inquires of God of what to do. On two separate occasions, David listens to God's direction and obeys them guaranteeing him victory over the Philistines. His purpose was to defend Israel not to kill Israel’s enemies but forced into this confrontation and with inner conviction and peace did what was necessary. The result besides plundering the dead Philistines was fame and ultimately influence which would have brought him all manner of prosperity - 1 Chronicles 14.
As Christians, we should desire all three with the goal that they depend on each other and God is the guide. For those with religious notions that Christians are not to be prosperous, are not to have peace or have no purpose other than Sunday’s service and bench warming; should really meditate on the God they supposedly serve. A God of abundance and is the Most High and creator of all things must include purpose, peace, and prosperity as the vanguards to His plans. It is why John, the beloved one can state, "above all things, prosper and be in good health as your soul prospers" - 3 Jn. 1:2. John is referring not only to Spiritual prosperity but also physical prosperity. When things are in balance; the body, mind, and spirit will be in harmony. Just to be clear; balance here does not mean equal but rather righteously proportioned. The key being as the soul (spirit) prospers in the things of God, so will all other things increase. There has been no purpose that was funded on good will alone and one cannot have peace without placing the things of this world in their proper place. Since creation, God has never done anything that did not involve purpose, peace, and prosperity. As God states, “My plans for you include peace not disasters but filled with hope” - Jer. 29:11. The prosperity God gives is security, wealth, wellness, success, and influence.
Prosperity is not about "flashy" things we have to boast or have pride over. It is a state of the body, mind, and spirit where in the Holy Spirit provides the outlook into God's Kingdom and His earthly agenda. Where every level of physical prosperity such as transportation, land, and resources are utilized for His plans. It also includes retreats for the body, mind as well as the Spirit whether at a physical place or completely mental and Spiritual. It is the Word itself. God has conditions for prosperity and includes obedience.
Ultimately, one cannot have peace without purpose and vice-versa. This peace that is referred to is not only about security but Faith. It is that substance that monitors and seeks to provide equilibrium to prosperity and purpose. As Hebrews tells us, “to enter into that rest”; so as to avoid "falling into that pattern of disobedience" - Heb. 4:11. Without peace in our purpose and prosperity, we can never be at rest as God intends for us to be. Whenever Israel did as God commanded the reward usually involved plundering their enemies property for themselves. By this, they became one of, if not the greatest country to accumulate land, livestock, and gold of that period. One of the greatest wealth transfers took place as the Jews departed from Egypt - Ex.12:36, "with God's favor, they plundered the Egyptians". You could almost say that they were paid to leave. This kind of prosperity is never about hoarding but has with it a divine reason. That being, for the purposing God has.
The working together of purpose, peace, and prosperity produces a reward that can be tangible or intangible as in Spiritual prosperity like favor and the Blessing; but most importantly produces the promises of God that are life and not death, of a future filled with hope and a closer divine walk with Jesus and God as all the righteous men and women did and do today. God rewards those who obey His command and Word by Faith - Heb. 11, "He is a rewarder". God’s way never starts and finishes but continues onward to another purpose He has divinely created. So from purpose to peace to prosperity back to purpose again continuing the cycle. God purpose started with Adam and through Jesus will continue starting with the New Jerusalem. This is how eternal God is with His plans and the heirs of His Kingdom will be active partakers of His Kingdom. All three goals have been encapsulated in the reason we were created and that is, “to seek His Kingdom and all will be added to you” - Matt. 6:33. God’s Word is His anchor and has demonstrated His will to Bless generously all who are convicted of this. This righteous and divine partnership always fulfills the triune of purpose, peace, and prosperity culminating with the promises of God.
Flush it Out! - Partnership with God is purpose, peace, prosperity, and promises fulfilled.
Until the Faithful has come to the full knowledge and application in Christ Jesus; peace will be like the waves of an ocean. For those prior to Jesus’ sacrifice; God intervened as He does today; with our involvement by freewill to obey His commandments and Word. We cannot avoid satan, the instigator of trails and tribulations, through his stealing, killing and destroying; but we can certainly use the authority given to us to speak to these troubles as Jesus did in the manner He did. When Jesus was awakened by the apostles in the boat, "He rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still" resulting in the wind stopping and a great calm - Mk. 4:39. Jesus maintained a "level head" and spoke to the storm directly with conviction of His words. The result was not only flat seas but with the "great calm"; a "peace" of nature like when there is absolutely no noise, and a stillness of the air. When there is peace through Godly obedience, it just means purpose is on its way. This peace, speaks to the conviction we have in Spirit about our life and God's input in it. Regardless of the age, there has and always will be trials and tribulations, only because satan was and is still “roaming about looking to see whom he can devour” - 1 Pet. 5:8. How can we have peace knowing that at anytime we are subjected to fear?
Consider, regardless of man’s selfish purpose, God is always able to use it towards His will. The chosen people and for that matter today Christians were not meant to have a human king, prime minister or president to govern them.
God placed His appointed prophets through the house of the Levites ordained for the priesthood; to guide the people in the Old Covenant - Ex. 7:1, "Aaron shall be your prophet". In the New Covenant, Jesus is that prophet - Heb. 6:20, "High priest forever in the order of Melchizedek". Both societies would be able to function under these conditions because it would be ordained as to God’s purpose which is infallible. Israel, despite being told not to have an earthly king, pushed to have one selected and appointed - 1 Sam. 8:5, "now make us a king to judge us like all the nations". The first being Saul who was selected for the most part because of physical qualities - 1 Sam. 9:2. As with all things whenever man insists on his way it comes to a point of collapse and then God has to intervene. Saul acts of unrighteousness paved the way for God to appoint His own not from physical qualities but from, “a man after His own heart” - 1 Sam. 13:14. King David’s appointment saw Israel grow in purpose, peace, and prosperity. Israel not only gained physically but more so in reputation, authority, and reverence, with all being attributed to the Glory of God. Even today, we can see similar results with the men and women who put God’s bigger purpose foremost as their life’s goals. God's knows our purpose and desires and will grant them merging both ours and His - Ps. 37:4, "delight in God, who will give the desires of your heart".
Whenever taken as a triune; purpose, peace, and prosperity produce a divine connection that benefits both man and God. We see this demonstrated throughout the bible as long as man set each of these goals under God’s guidance and obedience to His will. Consider the benefits of this triune.
1) Starting with Noah; God asks him to build an ark to salvage the human race. This enormous undertaking would have taken years to accomplish given the time period, and with trials and tribulations. The purpose would have been clearly defined for him to be single minded in it. He would have had to have a sense of peace of purpose, knowing, and be convicted; thinking what he was called to do was by divine appointment. The prosperity may not have been traditional as we think today, but how could he accomplish the building of the ark without these forms of prosperity including wisdom, knowledge, and understanding not to mention manpower, material, and unity. For him, his only reliance was on his immediate family, mechanically inspired widgets and afforded light and time. Consider how the massive, 7 stories high and intricate structural, mechanical and water safe "boat" would be even for today, much less in Noah's day - Gen. 6.
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