Updated: Nov 16
By my best observation, I believe the latest version of prosperity gospel to hit churches can be deemed the “prosper-me” gospel.
In this pseudo-false teaching, we no longer promise people that God will x2, x10, or x100 whatever money is given to the church. Because “THAT” is clearly heretical. Instead, this latest version simply tells people to pick a dream, vision, mission, or miracle, circle it in prayer and then begin working to make your dream become a reality. The prosper-me gospel measures spiritual maturity by the thousands and millions. Cause, if you get a 5-million-dollar check, you must be doing the will of God, right?
In the prosper-me system, the goal is not to know the heart of God intimately and confidently, but rather to use platitudes and empty rituals to coax God to give you funds for your programs and projects. If the money comes in… jackpot. You’re all set till it runs out or you get your next “inspired” vision. If the dollars never show, then you need more circles, more prayer, more time. If your dream isn't a reality, then maybe you need to just work harder to earn God's favor. It is lifelong game of chicken with the will of God that masquerade as faith and long suffering.
Why don’t we look to scripture and the early church to see that sometimes we don’t see His will clearly. Sometimes, we can step out in a direction only to learn that God isn’t there. Why, for all that is Holy, don’t we stop, ask for clarity, and adjust the roadmap?
It’s the same pride that first brought sin into the world. This is an Eden issue. Remember? The enemy told Eve that there was nothing wrong with having the understanding and knowledge of God. There was nothing wrong with controlling her own destiny. The end result was separation and death.
Does God provide? Yes.
Does He bless the work of His kingdom here on the earth? Yes.
Does He delight in showing up in miraculous ways? You bet.
Does He write 5-million-dollar checks? YES, HE DOES.
Here is the catch. If we aren’t careful, we will get a 5 million dollar check but it won’t be a blessing or evidence of God's favor. It will be His faithfulness giving us over to the desire of our hearts so we can eventually come to the realization that He was never in the project. He was never in the campaign. Never in the marketing strategy. Never in the remodel. Never in OUR CIRCLE. In the end, we are just as empty, distant, and confused as we were before we started our cosmic staring contest with the creator of the universe.
When will the people of God rise up and own their humanity? When will we finally be so humbled by His glory and power that we live lives of gratitude for every contraction and release of muscle and valves, pushing blood through our veins? When will we stop demanding a 10-talent portion instead of stewarding the resources we have been given?
Prosperity Gospel is still alive and active, but the version 2.0 is much harder to spot. It manipulates faith to drive the commodity of religion. Leaving unbelievers wondering what all the fuss is about and believers stuck in spiritual gridlock wondering why God has not shown up and granted their wish.
Has God given you a desire, vision, or dream? Not sure how that desire, vision, or dream will ever become a reality? Great!!! Ask for direction, take steps of faith, and trust that God really does enjoy co-laboring with His kids. Whatever you do, do not become so enamored with the dream that you lose the ability to hear God's voice as He guides you. Also, be prepared to stop, adjust, retreat, rework, or die to the vision/dream. God's righteousness and sovereignty is just as reliable and good in the "NO" as it is in the "GO".