February 2010: Successful and Prosperous Journey

This is a simple reminder of why I write and furnish you The Traveler each month:

You are a traveler on a very brief, hasty journey on your way to Jesus’ Kingdom when He returns…and beyond.  God wants you to have a successful and prosperous journey!

The Bible is very clear:  we are  transient strangers…temporary residents…short-lived travelers…sojourners…pilgrims…wayfarers—all too quickly journeying toward another state of existence beyond this mortal life.  (Hebrews 11: 13;  1 Peter 2: 11, for example.)

   I hope no one is foolish enough to deny  that the mortal life each of us lives here is not permanent—only temporary! Oh, one’s mortal life here might last a hundred years or so, but none of us is here permanently in this mortal life.  Every human who has ever been born on planet earth has died—or will die.

True, there will be some people alive at the time King Jesus returns to earth, but except for those people, everyone else dies.  I will die.  You will die.  We all will die.  This mortal life is only temporary!  The Bible calls it a very short-lived journey, a very hasty pilgrimage, a temporary sojourn.

          Now, let’s visit a bit about God’s provision for our brief journeys.  Simply because most—not all—of you who read this publication live in the western world, I want to be very careful how I define “success” and “prosperity” from the Bible.   Biblical success and prosperity are not how this world’s systems define them!  I don’t want to make the mistake of defining those two words the ways in which the western world’s systems define them—only how the Bible defines them.   So…before we go any further, let’s look at how the Bible defines success and prosperity—God’s provision for our journeys.   Depending on which version of the Bible you use, the word “success” may not even appear in your Bible; for example, some older versions of the Bible don’t even use the word.    Some—not all—newer versions use the word.  For example, it does appear in the New King JamesBible of the 1980’s.  It’s also found in The Amplified Biblethe New International Version, and most recent versions of the popular Living Bible.

Let’s Define Our Terms

          Okay, having said all that, let’s define the world “success” as it appears in most newer, more accurate, Bibles—and the biblical words “prosper” or “prosperity.”   Success: To regularly and consistently journey toward accomplishing God’s plans and purposes for one’s life, according to one’s *potential.

“potential” consists of 3 factors:  1.  one’s God-given skills, talents, abilities, and gifts, 2. One’s God-given desires, and 3. One’s education and training.)

          In the Bible’s definition of success, the emphasis is on the journey itself, not the destination.   In most cases, the word “success” in the Bible is very closely linked to the biblical words for “prosper” or “prosperity.”   In fact, sometimes it’s difficult to even separate the two words, depending on which version of the Bible you are reading.

Prosperity: To have enough provision for one’s success-journey.   In considering the matter of prosperity in the Bible, we must consider the differences between our needs and our wants; sometimes they are one and the same, sometimes they are decidedly and markedly different. God has promised always to meet the needs of his sojourners, but not necessarily their wants—if the two are different.   For Jesus-believers in the western world—because of our affluence—we often confuse our needs and our wants.  That has caused much financial confusion among many of God’s western-world children the past 100 years or so, causing them to want what the world wants rather than what God promises.

Again, I’m generalizing about most Jesus-believers in the western world, not necessarily believers in other areas of the world who often have a much clearer concept of the differences between human needs and wants.  

A Really Great Book!

It’s very clear from Genesis to Revelation in the Bible that God promises to provide for our needs while we are on our journeys.  But what does that mean?  I won’t go into detail here—because I’ve already written a book on the subject, but I will mention a few highlights here in this month’s issue of The Traveler.  [Incidentally, if you’re interested in purchasing a copy of my book (and I hope you might be!), it’s entitled LIFE-Giving (subtitled “Clear Directions For You To Have A Successful And Prosperous Journey Through Life”).  You can purchase a copy directly from my publisher, http://www.XulonPress.com, order it through any major bookstore, or from Amazon.com.]

Meeting Our Needs

  There is one very basic, elemental way in which God provides for our needs during our journey:  we must first give our time, our talents, and our treasures to God in order for Him–in return–to meet our needs.  Ok, let’s talk about first giving back to God some of the money He provides us.  Giving something away—in this case, money—is  absolutely 180 degrees opposite from the way the world looks at money.  We have been taught from birth on that if we give something away, it diminishes us.  Not true!  We are never diminished by giving to God! Quite the contrary.  When we give to God He always multiplies what we give—both in the lives of those to whom we give AND back into our lives at our points of need.  We cannot outgive God; the “shovel” He uses to give back to us is much larger than our shovels…

  We must learn to develop a lifestyle rhythm of giving and receiving, planting and harvesting, sowing and reaping.  “When I give to God, He gives back to me [through other people] more than I gave Him:  shaken together to make room for more, stomped down, and overflowing.  Then, to dispense back to me what I receive, He uses the same ‘measuring cup’ I used when I gave to Him.” –an amplified rendering of Luke 6: 38  That biblical reference must be understood only in the light of many other biblical references about giving to God; otherwise, it can be radically misunderstood and abused—as has often been the case in recent years—especially in the Church in the western world.  I won’t teach all those other references at this point, but I list a few of the major ones here so you can look them up and study them on your own:  Genesis 8: 22;  Exodus 25: 2;  Deuteronomy 16: 7; Ecclesiastes 11: 1; 2 Corinthians 9: 6 – 10; and many more…

So…in brief, if we want God to provide what we need for our journeys, we must first give to Him.  In stark contrast to what the world teaches, Jesus Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”(Acts 20: 35)

To paraphrase an old Gospel song:

Our journey is full
If God is in it.
If we journey not for
wealth or fame.
Our journey is full
If God is in it.
If we journey in Jesus’ Name!

I strongly urge you at this point in your journey—as you are reading these very words—to determine what is most important and of the most value to you on your journey…and sort out your wants and your needs. Those determinations will serve to “dictate” the remainder of your journey.  At the end of your mortal journey, your life will be evaluated by what you have kept for yourself, not by what you have given! Think about that statement…

Okay, that’s enough about God’s provision for our journeys.  I could teach s-o-o-o much more, but I again refer you to my book, LIFE-Giving, for the entire scope of what I have attempted to teach you in these few paragraphs about God’s ample provision for our journeys.

          Each day of our journey brings us closer to the moment of our death.  If we houard treasures here, we spend each day moving away from them;  if we store treasures in heaven, we spend each day moving toward them.

If we spend our lives looking back where we have hoarded our treasures here, we will despair.  If we spend our lives moving toward our treasures in heaven we will have reason to have joy on our journeys.  Despair or joy: it is simply a matter of our daily choices and decisions as we journey along the King’s Highway toward our final destination—death and beyond.   You’ll notice I often quote from songs or poems in The Traveler.  It’s because music and poetry are both sort of “universal languages” that often speak to the human heart.  Here are some words from an old song that sort of say what I’ve been trying to teach in this issue; it’s loosely based on Psalm 63: 5:

“[Jesus] tells me of my Father’s love,
And never-slumbering eye. 
The Everlasting King above
Will all my needs supply.
Singing I go along life’s road
Praising the Lord,
Praising the Lord.
Singing I go along life’s road,
For Jesus has lifted my load!

          You have to choose.  You have to decide.  Do you want joy during your journey?  Or emptiness, futility, and despair?  It’s all based on whether or not you choose to be a giver or a receiver.  Whether or not you choose to develop a lifestyle of giving or a lifestyle of receiving—of getting rather than giving.  Incidentally, we must learn to be receivers as well as givers. If we don’t learn to be gracious and humble receivers, then we are blocking the flow of God’s blessings in the lives of those who wish to give to us.   Okay:  bottom line…  You are a pilgrim on a very temporary journey through this life—and beyond.  Is God providing for your needs, or isn’t He?  You have a part in his supply of your needs by “planting” good seed into the good soil of God’s Kingdom.  (See Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8 for the biblical principle of sowing and reaping.)

Don’t plant your seed in soil that is rocky, full of weeds, or which has no depth. Trust God—by faith—to give you a “harvest” from the seed you have sown.  You must “water” your seed with prayer.  Keep the “weeds” out of what you have sown.  Expect a harvest.  Expect a miracle harvest!  A Russian Jesus-believer once said something like this:  I stand midstream in the flow of God’s gifts into my world.  God’s gifts flow to me and then flow from me.  If I stop the flow I become a mere receiver, not a giver.  Giving to others is the very reason God gives to me.”

I don’t mean to bore you, but I’ll say it again:  in order for you to have a successful, prosperous, and joyful journey, you must learn (by daily choices and decisions) to develop a lifestyle—a rhythm—of giving and receiving, planting and harvesting, sowing and reaping…of your time, of your talents, and your treasures.  There just isn’t any other way to have a truly successful and prosperous journey through this life!

             “Be strong and courageous.  In order to have success and prosperity as you journey, don’t turn to the right or left as you travel the King’s Highway.    Memorize, meditate upon, and obey the Bible; then you will have success and prosperity.  Yes, obey Me!  Be strong.  Don’t be afraid, for I am with you wherever your journey takes you.” –Joshua 1: 7-9, paraphrased

To Think About This Month

“Am I ready to leave for my new Home when it’s time for me to go?  Am I sending ‘treasures’ on ahead of me in advance of my arrival There?”

Bill Boylan
Life Enrichment Services, Inc

leservices38@yahoo.com
Revised and Updated December 2018

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