God is not a slot machine, nor are His blessings just about money.
The subject of blessing and prosperity has become very controversial among those in the church. We want to be blessed and live the abundant life Christ died to give us, yet we don’t want to approach God as if He is a lottery or a slot machine—if you put in the right amount of prayer, praise, worship, faith and good works, out comes your blessing. But for some, that is all they see God as, and they get beside themselves when He doesn’t come through the way they wanted Him to.
Blessing and prosperity are more than money. According to Strong’s Complete Concordance of the Bible, one Hebrew word for prosperity is shalom. We often associate the word shalom with peace, but the peace that Christ went to war for on the cross is a complete, whole kind of peace. Also according to Strong’s, shalom is “completeness, soundness, welfare and peace.” It represents completeness in number and safety and soundness in your physical body. Shalom also covers relationships with God and with people.
God’s thoughts concerning your peace and prosperity are much higher than you could imagine. It is His desire to bless and prosper you, to give you His grace, favor and protection. Favor means “grace”; “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness”; and “good will, benefit, bounty, reward.” If you look up the Hebrew and Greek definitions ofprosperity, many of these words carry over into favor as well.
Favor is goodwill. This is God’s kindness and benevolence given to those who love Him. Favor will release great blessings, including prosperity, health, opportunity and advancement. The Bible records numerous examples of God’s favor upon His people causing them to experience many breakthroughs. Favor is God’s loving-kindness.
Joseph experienced God’s favor and went from prison to palace. God will do the same for you. He can change your circumstances in one day, no matter where you are in your life. This is when the favor of God is on your life.
Job was another man who was blessed and who operated under the full favor and blessing of God. “You have granted me life and favor, and Your care has preserved my spirit” (Job 10:12). Life and favor are gifts of God. We don’t need luck. We need blessings. We need favor. God desires to release new favor on your life. When you have God’s favor and blessing, there is nothing in life that can hold you down.
When you begin to walk in the favor and blessing of the Lord, others will recognize it. The favor and blessing of God on your life is one of the most powerful things you can have.
Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (emphasis added).
Protection was also added to Job. “I broke the fangs of the wicked, and plucked the victim from his teeth” (Job 29:17). When the enemy set out to destroy Job, he had weapons to fight back; then he claimed the exponential spoils of the victory.
God says, “You don’t need money. You need My favor.” You need His shalom—the full measure of peace—to operate in your life. This is your gift from Him if you are His child, if you are in covenant with Him. Just as He did with the Israelites, God loved you and chose you despite who you are and what you have done. You are elected by God. You were chosen before the foundation of the world. It wasn’t because of anything you’ve done. That is His favor!
God talks to the children of Israel in Ezekiel 16:1-14 about how He found them in a rejected state. But when God passed by them, He said, “LIVE!” Then He blessed them and adorned them with jewels. God is saying this same thing to you. Maybe you were thrown away to die and had no chance at living. Maybe no one wanted you. But when God looked upon you, He had mercy on you.
God will not only save you and wash you, but He will also bless you, dress you up, put jewels on you and beautify you. The grace and favor of God on your life will cause you to go into a place of prosperity.
God is ready to release new favor, blessing, prosperity, protection and peace over you. It is His desire to give you good things. Now get ready to receive them.
John Eckhardt is overseer of Crusaders Ministries in Chicago, and the author of more than 20 books, including God Still Speaks and Prayers That Activate Blessing (Charisma House), from which this article is adapted.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!