by Gloria Copeland
What you are doing today with your time and your resources will determine where you will be this time next year. It will determine whether or not you are prospering in your finances, in your family, in your health.
After 35 years of walking with God on a daily basis and putting Him first place in my life, I have found what it takes to experience continual growth and increase, and you can too.
To put it simply, if you do what I do, you can have what I have: life and peace—God’s prosperous life.
But this is where many people are falling short in their expectation for a prosperous life. To experience the prosperous life, we have definite responsibilities that are laid out in Scripture.
After all these years, Ken and I can say that our prosperity (which is another way to say blessing) is due to applying all of God’s principles on a continual basis and putting His Word first. Those are the things that bring increase. There is no shortcut.
This is not a lazy man’s gospel. You don’t become prosperous by being lazy, sleeping late, not reading your Bible, not going to church, not tithing. Proverbs 13:4 in The Amplified Bible says, “The appetite of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the appetite of the diligent is abundantly supplied.” Proverbs 28:20 declares, “A faithful man shall abound with blessings….” Over and over, the Bible talks about faithfulness and diligence as key factors in prosperity.
The number one law of receiving is simply this: obey God’s Word and don’t quit. Below are four habits you can begin today to help you receive all God has for you.
#1 – Be Faithful…Regardless
Faithfulness and faith are translated from the same word which means “to be trusted, firmly persuaded, assurance, a conviction based on hearing.” Faithfulness includes being loyal and constant in the performance of duties. Faith is being faithful to God and His Word regardless of circumstances, obstacles or people.
Be faithful to do what God has told you to do—when it’s easy and when it’s hard. Be faithful even when you don’t feel like it. In the natural it’s easy to get discouraged and quit. In the natural it’s hard to walk by faith. But believers are not supposed to walk in the natural. Turn the situation over to God and He will empower you. You’re not some little mickey-mouse wimp just trying to get by. You are born of God.
You can’t be a quitter or a coward. God repeatedly charged Joshua to be very courageous. He said, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7).
You need courage to stand in the face of problems and hang on to the Word until things change. That’s what it takes to prosper.
You give God something to work with when you’re faithful and you stand. A faithful servant is in position to be blessed and promoted (Matthew 25:21).
But when lack is staring you in the face, it’s easy to become weak-kneed. Maybe you have tithed and sown, but you can’t tell anything is happening. Even so, you can’t quit. Why? Because you’re a believer. And what do believers do? They believe—they walk by faith and not by sight.
Many times Ken and I have been faced with situations that looked impossible, and we were tempted to give up. But we didn’t quit. If we had let go of our faith, we would have missed God. In all those times, there was no source for us to depend on but God. And no matter how bad things looked, He never failed us. Psalm 31:23 says the Lord preserves the faithful, and that certainly has been true in our lives.
When things seemed the bleakest, we always got something from the Word of God that went off in our hearts and pushed us over the top. Maybe we heard a sermon or found a scripture that became a revelation to us. We discovered that when revelation of the Word goes off on the inside, it’s done on the outside.
#2 – Expect Miracles
There have been times when we desperately needed $100 or even $20 in the early days. But there have also been times when we had to have millions of dollars. A few years ago we fell behind $6 million on our television bill.
As I was driving to the office one day with the pressure of that hanging over my head, the Lord reminded me of some things. Oral Roberts had attended our Ministers’ Conference and brought his new book Still Doing the Impossible. Brother Roberts has had tremendous healings and miracles, but he also has had mighty financial miracles. In one chapter of his book he talks about “How I Learned to Look to God as My Source.” Another chapter is “How God Taught Me to Expect a Miracle.”
That day the Lord put those two thoughts together inside me: God is my source so I expect miracles. As soon as that realization hit me, I couldn’t help but exclaim, “That’s right. God is my source—I don’t have to look to the natural anymore! The natural realm does not determine my future! Thank you, Oral Roberts, for reminding me.”
Now suddenly all things were possible to me. I wasn’t under the weight of those bills anymore. The revelation that God is my source took me up and over the circumstances. Now I was expecting miracles. Now it was settled. I was looking to God to meet my need. My eyes were no longer on the problems. Now my eyes were on the “Big One” Himself.
I tell you, I got set free! After that, I would not consider being concerned about it. If a concerned thought tried to rise up, I would turn my attention to this: God is my source and I’m expecting a miracle! Within a very short time everything turned around and the television bill was paid.
The same thing can happen for you. When you get under pressure, hang on to the fact that God is your source. Don’t look at your paycheck, your bank account or what people are willing to do for you. Those things aren’t your source. Do what I do every day now. Make it a habit to say in your prayers, “Lord, You are my source and I expect miracles today.” Start living in a state of expectancy. When you’re expecting miracles, you won’t quit.
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# 3 – Be Diligent
Diligence is another key to your prosperity. It means “steady application to business of any kind; constant effort to accomplish what is undertaken; perseverance.” It takes constant effort to walk in God’s prosperity. Proverbs 10:4 says, “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” Diligence will cause you to increase.
Realize that being a child of God doesn’t excuse you from being diligent. To increase yourself, be diligent in both natural and spiritual things. It comes back to the law of sowing and reaping. You can go to church every Sunday and listen to the Believer’s Voice of Victory broadcast every day, but if you don’t do what you hear preached, you won’t live in victory. The Word has to be diligently applied in your own life for it to do you any good.
Be diligent in your job, whatever it is. It may not be the job you would like to have, but it’s the job you have today. So give it your best and God will promote you. Proverbs 12:24 says, “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule….” Diligent people get ahead. Just look at Proverbs 22:29: “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings….”
God expects us to work and not be lazy.
But what does the Word say we should be diligently seeking first? According to Matthew 6:31-33, we’re not to be seeking the things unbelievers do.
Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all. But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides (The Amplified Bible).
God’s desire is to see you prosper as your soul prospers (3 John 2). Your soul will prosper when you go after God and His Word with every fiber of your being. That’s what’s really valuable.
Wait and listen, everyone who is thirsty! Come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Yes, come, buy [priceless, spiritual] wine and milk without money and without price [simply for the self-surrender that accepts the blessing]. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your earnings for what does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness… (Isaiah 55:1-2, The Amplified Bible).
This is talking about the Word of God. God’s priceless wisdom can’t be bought with money. To get it, you have to spend time and fill your heart full of the Word. When you eat the good spiritual food of the Word, it will make your faith strong. When you diligently hearken to God’s Word like this scripture says, it makes your soul prosperous, and a prosperous soul is destined for blessing.
#4 – Give A Tithe of Your Time
In 1982, Kenneth Hagin gave a prophecy that changed my life. I believe the peace and prosperity my family and I walk in today has everything to do with that prophecy and the decision I made as a result of it. It has so impacted our lives that I would like to share it with you. Here’s what it said:
And the year of 1982 will be a year of exploration in the realm of the spirit. Yea, men and women too, shall move into the spirit world. Into an area that they have not been before. And so they shall see and they shall know, and they shall minister. And great shall be the results thereof. And many hearts shall be blessed.
Some shall turn away and shake their head in dismay! And shall say, “Aw!, the very idea of that.” But you see those who are earthly will grow more earthly. And those who are spiritual will grow more spiritual still. And those who are heavenly minded will grow more heavenly minded still. And those who walk with God, for God is a Spirit, will walk in the realm of the spirit, will commune in the realm of the spirit, will see in the realm of the spirit, will minister in the realm of the spirit. And great shall be the results thereof…
Some have walked out only far enough to get their feet wet. They said, “Isn’t this wonderful?” And like children wading in the water they said, “This is it! This is the ultimate! This is the finality!”
But, “Oh!” saith the Lord of Hosts, “That is barely the beginning. You’ve only touched the realm of the Spirit. Wade on out! Wade on out into the realm of the water of the Spirit, until it is not only knee deep, and loin deep, until there is no way that you could possibly touch the bottom. But swim on out and enjoy the fulness of that which I have for thee,” saith the Lord of hosts.
But these things will not always come easy. For you see the flesh will hold you back. That’s the reason that the Word of God teaches you to crucify the flesh. And the mind will hold you back and hold you into the realm of things seen. And hold you into the realm of the physical senses.
That’s the reason the Bible tells you to “Get your mind renewed.” And then you will move into the realm of the spirit. And then there shall be great manifestations that your heart has longed for. And the church has prayed for. And the intercessors have interceded for. And the manifestation and demonstration of the Spirit of God shall come into manifestation and into demonstration. And it shall be as common, everyday, and just as real as everyday natural things are. For you see the realm of the spirit is the natural realm for the Christian who is born of the Spirit…
But you see you cannot walk in the natural all the time. Oh yes it’s necessary that you walk in the natural to a certain extent. Because your body is natural. And your body has natural functions and you must live in that realm.
But yet right on the other hand let your spirit, let your spirit have the privilege of communicating with the Father of spirits. And let your spirit move out beyond the natural. Don’t take up all your time with natural things. Some of those things are legitimate and it’s all right to take a certain period of time there, but see to it that you give heed unto your spirit. And you give your spirit opportunity to feed upon the Word of God. And you give your spirit opportunity to commune with the Father above. And build yourself up on your most holy faith.
It doesn’t take a lot of time just an hour or two out of twenty four. Just pay a tithe of your time unto Me, saith the Lord, and all will be well. Your life will be changed. It will be empowered. And you’ll be a mighty force for God.
Others will just look at thee and say, “He and she are just simply not a good example as a Christian.” Because, you see there is so much carnality. There is so much of the flesh. There is so much of the natural. But, yea, they’ll see the power of the Spirit. They’ll feel the love of God flowing out from you. They’ll feel the rivers of the Spirit of life flowing out from you. And it’ll bring life. And it’ll bring blessing unto your own life. And healing unto your own body. And you’ll be able to minister it unto those around about you and you’ll be glad, you’ll be glad. And you’ll have cause for rejoicing, saith the Lord of hosts.
So let him that hath an ear to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying unto the Church and move on. For this is the year. Yea, this is the year.
When I heard that prophecy, it got down into my spirit. God said that just by giving a tithe of my time, all would be well in my life. At the time, I was concerned about my son, John, so I thought that was really saying a lot. Of course, I loved the Lord and I already spent time in prayer. But I made the decision to get up an hour earlier and pray in the spirit an hour each day because I needed all to be well.
When I started doing this it was wintertime. It was cold and dark and my flesh would have rather stayed in bed. But I got up and prayed anyway. My whole life changed as a result. Over the years, all became well with my family. Today I still spend that time in prayer every day.
You can change your circumstances the same way I did because God is no respecter of persons. Start today by being faithful to diligently seek God and His Word and put Him first place in your life every day. This time next year things can be different for you. If you faithfully give God an hour or two a day, He will be faithful to manifest Himself in your life. So don’t quit. Don’t give up. Double up!
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