Many of our decisions made are motivated not by trust in God but rather by fear of the future and sometimes, keeping up with the jones. That is often true with financial decisions.
These decisions cause us to scrimp and sacrifice. Sometimes rob God. We start a savings or insurance plan initially with an eye toward family provision but then more contingencies must be provided for. Finally there are so many contingencies that no amount of protection is adequate to keep out our fear and wants. Some begin to settle for "Get Rich Quick" schemes, hold back tithings and cut down on expenses which are deemed non-essential.
God does not intend that we should live life this way. His plan for us is to prosper us, and this includes our money. 3 John 2 says, "Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers".
Notice the word "prosper". It comes in three areas:
1. your physical health,
2. your soul and
3. your finance or material needs.
In each area the revealed will of God is prosperity and success. Then you may ask if that's the case, it is certainly not happening today!
I would like to highlight that I understand "prosperity" to cover more than the financial aspect of our lives. It covers every aspect. John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full".
We cannot have an abundant life by making mere declaration and makes no commitment to obey God. For us to realise the "prosperity" which God has given to us, there are at least five important aspects we need to consider seriously:
1. Obey God.
Deut 28:1 "If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, he LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth". Read and meditate the entire Psalm 1. Let your life be reflect your honour towards God.
2. Don't rob God.
Be faithful in your tithing. Mal 3:8&9 "But you ask, "How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offering. You are under a curse - the whole nation of you - because you are robbing me.";
3. Overcome your fear of the future.
It is God's plan that we have some needs in order that we may develop faith in Him. It is vital that we view these future needs as opportunities to exercise and develop our faith. Heb 11:6 says He is a "rewarder of those who seek Him". Matt 6:34 says "do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own". Deal with your fear and overcome it with putting God's word into action. If you do not overcome fear, you may begin to plan and to do things which can result in more anxiety.
4. Be contented.
To find true contentment we need to develop a life-style based on our earning ability, our dependencies and our health. Next establish priorities. Differentiate between 'must have' and 'good to have' and stick them. Many become discontented because others are doing better. Develop a thankful attitude. Count the blessings you have and give thanks always. Until you can truly thank God for what he has and be willing to accept God's provision for his life, contentment will never be possible.
5. Give to the needy.
Above tithing, God wants us to be involved with the needs of others. Matt 25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me'". There is no better way to appreciate what we have than to serve those who truly have needs. We all should be involved with the needs of another. 2 Cor 10&11 "Now he who supplies seed to the sower & bread for food will also supply and increase your store. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous in every occasion and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."