I begin this month’s issue with this simple statement:
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a very brief human experience during our mortal journey!
Our brief human experience is to prepare us for our “return” to eternity where each of our journeys began. Call it what you will, the Bible is very clear that we are simply transient strangers, temporary residents, short-lived travelers through this life, all too quickly journeying toward another state of existence beyond this life. (Hebrews 11: 13; 1 Peter 2: 11, for example.) I hope no one is foolish enough to argue that fact. The mortal life each of us lives here is not permanent! This mortal life we each live here on planet earth is only temporary. Oh, one’s mortal life here might last a hundred years or so, but none of us is here permanently. Every human who has ever been born here on planet earth has died—or will die. True, there will be some people alive at the time Jesus returns to earth, but except for those people, everyone else dies. I will die. You will die. We all die. This mortal life is only temporary! The Bible calls it a very brief journey, a very short pilgrimage.
Now, let’s visit a bit about God’s provision for our brief journey. Simply because most of you who read this publication live in North America, I need to be very careful how I define “success” and “prosperity.” I don’t want to fall into the trap of defining those two terms the way the “world” in which we live defines them. So…before we go any further, let’s look at how the Bible defines success and prosperity—God’s provision for our journey. First, let’s examine the meanings of both words in the original languages in which the Bible was written. Depending on which Bible you use, the word “success” may not even appear in your Bible; for example, it appears only once in the old King James Bible of 1611. However, it does appear more in the New King James Bible of the 1980’s. It’s also found in The Amplified Bible, the God’s Word Bible of 2003, and most recent versions of the popular Living Bible. Ok, having said all that, let’s define the world “success” as it appears in most Bibles—and the biblical words “prosper” or “prosperity.”
Let’s Define Our Terms
Success: n. To regularly and consistently journey toward accomplishing God’s plans and purposes for one’s life, according to one’s potential. (note: “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.) 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 which version of the Bible you are reading.
Prosperity: n. 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 most Christians in North America and Europe we often confuse our needs and our wants. That has gotten many of God’s European and North American sojourners in a lot of financial trouble the past seventy-five or so. Again, I’m generalizing about most North American and European believers, not necessarily believers in other areas of the world. Later, I’ll explain why I do that….
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 journey. 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 are!), 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, 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 give our time, our talents, and our treasures to God first in order for Him to meet our needs. Ok, let’s talk about 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.
“When I give to God, He gives back to me [through other people] the full amount I gave Him: shaken together to make room for more, stomped down with his foot, and overflowing. Then, to dispense back to me what I receive, He will use the same ‘measuring cup’ I used when I gave to Him.” –an amplified rendering of Luke 6: 38
That biblical reference must be understood in the light of many other biblical references; otherwise, it can be radically misunderstood and abused—as has all too often been the case in recent years especially in the North American church. 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: 2 Corinthians 9: 6 – 10; Deuteronomy 16: 7; Exodus 25: 2; So…in brief, if we want God to provide what we need for our journey, we must give to Him. Contrary to what the world teaches, I am never diminished by giving to God!
To paraphrase an old Gospel song:
Our journey is rich
If God is in it.
If we journey not for
wealth or fame.
Our journey is rich
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. For they are in the rest of your journey— Ok, that’s enough about God’s provision for our journey. 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 provision for our journey. It is a fundamental truism that each day of our journey brings us closer to the moment of our death. If we lay up treasures here we spend each day moving away from them; if we lay up treasures in heaven, we spend each day moving toward them.
If we spend our lives looking back where we have hoarded our treasure here, we will despair. If we spend our lives moving toward our treasure in heaven we will have reason to have joy on our journey. Despair or joy: it is simply a matter of our daily choices and decision as we journey along the King’s Highway toward our final destination—death and beyond. You’ll notice that 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 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!
Well, you have to decide for yourself. 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 by “planting” seed into God’s Kingdom. Your seed must be planted in good soil. Don’t plant it 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!
“In an atomic second, in less time than it takes to blink, a trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will be awakened from the sleep of death and transformed. Our mortal selves will become immortal—and death will be utterly vanquished for all time and eternity.” –1 Corinthians 15: 52 – 54
To Think About This Month:
“Am I ready to go to my eternal home when it’s time for me to leave here? If not, how do I get prepared? What does the Bible say about my leaving here for my new home?”
Life Enrichment Services, Inc
Updated and Revised December 2018