18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot.
19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.
20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
When I was in my previous religious church, the idea of enjoying life and prosperity was unthinkable. The only message I knew was a list of dos and don’ts that was getting longer and longer. As such, who dares to enjoy life? The church has been drumming messages like go to missions, serve in church, give money to the church and all other stuff that makes me miserable.
Yet, the above passage says otherwise. God wants to give us wealth and possessions for us to enjoy lives. He wants us to be occupied with gladness of hearts.
“Does this means I don’t have to do good as a christian?”
As a christian, you do good because you want to, not because you have to. God does not impose his will nor force his will into you. He gives you the desire to do certain things. When this happens, you will not be able to tell whether a certain desire to do good comes from you or God. This is because his will is now your will. His desire is now your desire.
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
The above verse says “we can do the good things”. “Can do” is different from “must do”. God will never force us to do things we don’t want to. We are his masterpiece. When he created us anew in Christ Jesus, he put in his desires and wishes into our hearts. Doing his will brings peace and joy into our hearts.
Therefore, when we hear words that tell us God wants us to do certain things and we don’t sense the peace within us, we can rule out those words. They are not from God. They are from religious people who love to pervert the name of God to glorify their religious doctrines.
Here is a personal example:
In Singapore, sometimes I came across flyers published by some churches “prophesying” disasters that are about to take place. I remember a day after the September 11 incident (when the terrorists crashed the World Trade Center towers in New York with planes) some flyers were distributed prophesying on God’s judgement which will result in earthquakes in many areas in Singapore, if we do not repent and turn to him.
I could have treated them as “maybe” if I were in my religious church. However, I was already in New Creation Church at that time. In fact, I was queuing for Bible Study when I saw the flyer. Thank God, I was quite established in the truth of the Bible and I was able to reject such “prophesy” as lies.
“How can you be so sure?”
The Bible tells me of a God who loves me so much that he is willing to sacrifice his only Son. He is now my father. I am his son. His greatest desire for me is for me to bless me above all I can think or hope for. So even if he wants to do something like creating earthquakes around me, I am sure he will inform me personally in advance and give me a way out. He will never let a stranger especially from the religious groups to pass me the message. There is no reason why he is ashamed to meet me, his beloved son.
By this reason alone, I concluded that the prophecy is false and the facts have proven it.
“Don’t you think God can also create disaster to kill people?”
10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 (NLT)
This verse gives us a clear line separating God and devil.
1. The devil came to steal, kill and destroy.
2. Jesus came to give us abundant life. Abundant means prosperity.
Whenever you see any signs of stealing, killing and destruction, it is from the devil. If you are suffering any of these symptoms, you must realise that you are under attack. Your responsibility is to fight back and take back what is yours.
In contrast, Jesus came to give us abundant life. Abundant life is not just enough. It is more than enough. It is prosperity.
“God had created disasters to kill people in the Old Testament because of their sins. Don’t you think the same can happen today?”
The people in the Old Testament did not have a perfect Saviour to pay for their sins. They were under a strict Law that will bless them when they do good and curse them when they sinned. When they sinned, they have to offer animal blood according to the Law to cover for their sins. The blood of animals is limited. Therefore, they often have to face disasters when they sinned.
However, the situation has changed when Jesus came and died at the Cross.
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
John 3:16-18 (NLT)
If God wants to judge us he would not have sent Jesus. The presence of Jesus convinced me that God’s desire is to save and not to judge.
7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
Ephesians 1:7 (NLT)
All our sins are forgiven not because of our own works but because of Jesus’s blood. It will be unjust for God to melt out punishments for our sins when he has forgiven our sins.
12 And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins
Hebrews 8:12 (NLT)
Please note the above promise. God has promised not to remember our sins. How can he punish us for the sins he could not remember?
Therefore, any prophesy today that says God is punishing believers for their sins is pure heresy.
In conclusion, as believers of Jesus Christ we can live boldly and confidently from now to eternity expecting the blessings of great prosperity from our daddy in heaven. Through the Cross, we have been given the right to enjoy our eternal lives.