Friday, September 17, 2010

Secret to Prosperity

The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness. Deuteronomy 6:24-25

The secret to prosperity is obedience. No, I'm not talking about financial prosperity, I'm talking about being prosperous in the truly important things in life: mindset, relationships, contentment, joy, Holy Spirit power, God's presence - all the riches according to Christ Jesus. God has promised to supply all of our needs according to the glory of His Son, but we often are looking for our wants. We tend to compare ourselves to others and what they have that we don't. I know that I'm guilty of this.

However, when I turn my eyes away from the flesh and look upwards, I am reminded of the multitude of blessings that God has already poured out on me. This reminds me to be obedient in this: "in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6)

God doesn't tell us to do things, does not give us laws and boundaries for His good, but for our own. To approach everything with thanksgiving is a gift to us. It helps open us to the joy, contentment and positive relationships that God desires to give us. The things we often seek, thinking they will give us these things always disappoint.

This is a lesson - the importance of obedience - is one I am constantly trying to teach my children. I'll admit, even though I know how important it is, I often fall short in reinforcing immediate, respectful, cheerful obedience in my children. I also resist being completely obedient to God, making myself a good role model, despite my prayer to be radically obedient.

Lately, I have recommitted to reinforcing obedience in my children. They, like me, will not simply choose to be obedient because it's the best path. While some are naturally more obedient than others, none of them will choose it all the time. Therefore, it is my job to teach them through modeling, verbalizing, and consequencing. When I don't, I sell them short. I rob them of a life that will lead to the prosperity God has offered them.

We all want the best for our children, but the secret is not to give them everything they want, but to teach them to joyfully obey God's law, the first of which for our children is to "Obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor thy father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise." Ephesians 6:1-2

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