If I began to tell you about heaven, I couldn't give you any firsthand information because I haven't been there. But I can teach on prosperity because that is something I have experienced. I've gone from absolutely nothing to abundance in my life.
God's ideal prosperity includes healing, protection, favor, wisdom, success, well-being and every good thing you could possibly need. It's what Jesus provided for us by laying down His own life.
In the nearly 40 years of my Christian journey, the Lord has led me in the way of true prosperity using seven steps. Let's briefly take a look at these key elements to living the prosperous life—the blessed life for which Jesus redeemed us.
The apostle John reveals the first step, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (3 John 4, NKJV). "Truth" means to walk in the light of God's Word, according to His ways and His wisdom. It's living a godly lifestyle in obedience to what God says is right. You can't do it and not be blessed.
Faithfulness is another step that moves us closer to prosperity. It's a fruit of the Spirit you received when you were born again. Scripture says: "'His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord"'" (Matt. 25:21).
To live abundantly we must also be diligent. The Word repeatedly says we are to seek God with all diligence, hearken to what He says and obey His commands. Why? Deuteronomy 28:1-2 says that when you listen diligently and obey, blessings overtake you! Diligence brings increase. As Proverbs 10:4 says, "The hand of the diligent makes rich."
Tithing and giving are essential too. The Bible says, "Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency. … So shall your storage places be filled with plenty" (Prov. 3:9-10, The Amplified Bible).
My husband, Ken, and I never had any financial growth until we became faithful in tithing. The tithe belongs to God. As we give it to support those who feed us spiritually, we honor Him.
In addition to tithing, we must give as the Lord leads us to the people and places where we are to sow. The Hebrew word for "offering" comes from a root word that means to "draw nigh." We have the privilege of coming close to God when we obey in the area of finances.
Second Corinthians 9:6 says: "He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully" (NKJV). God desires to increase you and bless you because He loves you.
To live prosperously, we must practice believing and saying God's Word. "Since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, 'I believed and therefore I spoke,' we also believe and therefore speak" (2 Cor. 4:13).
Faith must be in two places—in your heart and in your mouth. Believing in your heart and saying with your mouth produce the operation of faith.
I learned to take the Word literally as God speaking to me. I learned if I put it in my eyes, put it in my ears, and let it get down into my heart in abundance, it would come out my mouth in faith-filled words.
I learned faithfully and diligently to do what it says to do. My life and circumstances changed, and they still get better every day.
To me, these are the major steps to enjoy the prosperous life that God offers to every one of His children. I can tell you from my own experience that these steps will bring you increase, no matter where you are in life and no matter what you need.
Gloria Copeland is co-founder and vice president of Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Fort Worth, Texas. She and her husband, Kenneth, are known for their teachings on faith, healing and victorious Christian living. Their daily TV broadcast, Believer's Voice of Victory, airs globally on more than 300 stations.