God’s Design for Living a Prosperous Life

God’s Design for Living a Prosperous Life February 1, 2022

God’s people should not live in a constant state of financial crisis. We can develop a prosperous lifestyle that sustains over time. As the psalmist so eloquently wrote, “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25). If you have not yet created a lifestyle that generates sustainable wealth, perhaps it’s time to follow God’s design for living a prosperous life?

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Moses reminded the people the ability they had to generate wealth. “You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18). This idea does not imply that every believer should expect to drive a luxurious vehicle and live in the most expensive zip code (although there’s nothing wrong with doing well). Instead, it means that we can make a good living and create a financial legacy for our children if we apply the right principles.

The story of the Widow’s Oil clearly shows that God’s design for living a prosperous life is for everyone. The widow seemingly had no ability to make a living after her husband died. Despite the severity of her financial situation, the story offers valuable insights that apply to every believer today. I encourage you to read 2 Kings 4:1-7 and then continue reading this article. I firmly believe those who embody the following principles gleaned from the widow’s story can live a financially prosperous life.

1) Give Your Stress About Money to Jesus

The wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” (2 Kings 4:1)

We all have bills to pay and some have children to feed. Unfortunately, just like the widow in the story, we sometimes experience financial problems in our lives. In the widow’s case, the primary bread winner in the family had died. To make matters worse, the creditor was coming to take her two children as slaves (indentured servants) until the debt was paid. The widow had every reason to stress out about money.

Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” (Matthew 6:26-27)? It can be difficult to not be anxious when the financial waves are crashing into our boat, but we must learn to trust God during these times. At the end of the day, God is our financial provider. Not our spouse, employer, or clientele.

2) Locate the Value You Have to Live a Prosperous Life

And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” (2 Kings 4:2)

The only thing the widow owned of value was a small amount of oil. However, God empowered her to generate sustainable wealth with her modest resources. In the same way, we must discover the gifting, experience and knowledge that God has given us, and then use that to make money. Some people are good with numbers and make a great living in the financial industry. Others have incredible artistic gifts and use their talents as graphic designers and art directors. We must understand that what we do have is valuable to other people.

You may not have a lot of experience or perhaps you haven’t discovered your talents yet. If that’s the case, don’t stress out. You can still offer enormous value to the world. If you bring a great attitude and strong work ethic, people will notice your superior value. You will advance above your peers and live a prosperous life if you bring an excellent spirit to everything you do. As you excel in this way, God will open more doors for you.

3) Don’t Underestimate Your Trade Worth

Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few.” (2 Kings 4:3)

After the widow located what she had of value, she was asked to gather empty vessels from all her neighbors. The prophet knew that God would multiply her income based on the amount of containers she was willing to collect. Therefore, he instructed her to bring back “not too few” empty vessels. In other words, it was imperative the widow understood the value of her trade worth. If she felt that God could do little with her small amount of oil, she may have brought back only one or two containers.

Many people underestimate their trade value, so they settle for less than they are worth. Studies show people who are less agreeable tend to make more money, whereas people who more agreeable tend to make less money. It’s important that you understand your trade worth and negotiate accordingly. Whether you are negotiating a salary or putting together a client proposal, don’t sell yourself short. Know your trade value and expect to get paid well. People need what you have to offer.

4) Get Out of the House and Live a Prosperous Life

“Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. (2 Kings 4:4-5)

After the widow received instructions from the prophet, she did not hesitate to get out of the house. The idea of having the “power to get wealth” means that it comes with personal responsibility. We can all make money but some choose to stay home and do nothing. Nobody is going to force you out of bed in the morning to make you work hard. You alone must see your value and develop your talents.

As a faith-based coach, I work with lots of people who have lost their motivation to work. They are essentially going through the motions without any passion. Lack of passion is directly tied to lack of vision. Without a clear vision for your life, the work becomes meaningless. However, when you have a clear vision it causes the little details to come alive. You will find passion and enjoy the journey once again.

5) Keep Adding Value

When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said, to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. (2 Kings 4:6)

The amount of financial provision the widow received was based on the amount of vessels she collected from all her neighbors. The oil stopped flowing only when the available containers were full. I believe that if we are willing to keep using our gifting, experience and knowledge to create value for others, God will keep the oil flowing. There will always be more people ready to purchase the value we bring to the table, if we are willing to keep going.

As a marketing executive for a large real estate company, I noticed that every real estate agent had the same (or similar) support tools at their fingertips. Unfortunately, however, only twenty percent of the agents were successful. The other eighty percent dropped out because they had unrealistic expectations and/or didn’t approach the business as a full-time endeavor. In the same way, you must trust that if you keep doing the necessary work, God will keep opening doors for you.

Trust God’s Design to Live a Prosperous Life

She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.” (2 Kings 4:7)

The final verse in the story shows that following God’s design will create sustainable wealth for you and your children. Not only did the widow make enough money to pay her debits, she also had enough money to live on for the rest of her days. In the same way, God wants every believer to follow His design to live a prosperous life. You don’t have to live under constant financial crisis anymore because you have the power to get wealth.

Do you feel spiritually empty and emotionally exhausted? Learn to live spiritually free. Sign up for Robert’s free, 3-part video series today, derived from the book The Art of Marketing Jesus. Do you need a faith-based coach? Take the free Habit Finder and learn how your thinking patterns are impacting your life.

About Robert Wachter
Robert Wachter is an author, speaker and coach. As the former chief marketing officer for a company that saw $6 billion in annual sales, and the founder of Imagine Church, Robert uses his experience across two dimensions to help others reach their full potential. You can read more about the author here.

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