The Danger Of Blessings And Abundance to the Christian


Can blessings be a danger?  The answer is a resounding yes!  One popular preacher quips, "You probably have as much money as God can trust you with."  There is an inherent danger in abundance to stop relying upon God and to start trusting in what these things can do for you.

Let us look at the Nation of Israel for a prime example of the pitfalls of abundance.  This is an ever present danger as we wage war in the daily struggle (Romans 7:12-25, Galatians 5:17) against our sinful nature that is contrary to the things of God.

"For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant,"
Deuteronomy 31:20.

These sentiments are echoed by King Agur who saw the dangers of abundance and asked God not to give him riches so that he would not forget God in his "promised land."

"Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD?  Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain,"
Proverbs 30:7-9.

I myself can attest to the reality of the dangers of abundance in my walk with Christ.  There have been times when God has blessed me and I slowly began to trust in those things rather that trusting in Him.  Ezekiel 16 is a vivid picture of this very thing which happened to Israel as they used God's blessings to serve other god's:

"Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them, And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them.  My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the Lord GOD,"
Ezekiel 16:17-19.

God commended Solomon for not asking for, "riches, wealth, or honour."  Should we not follow the lead of the wiset man to ever live? If people were content as Paul in Phillipians 4:5-12 would we be constantly seeking these things?

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."
Phillipians 4:11-12

If we obeyed Jesus and seek first the Kingdom of Heaven would we be constantly seeking these things?  If we followed King Agur and 1 Timothy 6 would we be constantly seeking these things?

"And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king,"
2 Chronicles 1:11.

God tells of the sorry state of Israel being filled with good and then forgetting Him in the promised land of milk and honey:

"I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.  According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me,"
Hosea 13:5-6.

There is a grave danger of forgetting God in our abundance, our sinful nature is very clever and seductive in its attempts to gain control.  Like a wise and familiar adversary, it knows when and where to strike for maximum effect. Of course if we put on the full armor of God we are impervious to the wiles of the devil.   

I am not saying that money is evil, but the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).  For some of us the worst thing that could ever happen is a financial blessing.  There are others still who God will never bless with abundance if they continue in sin no matter what they "confess," "claim," or "sow," (See Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
How many times have you ever heard that from a prosperity preacher? Day after day they promise miracles and miracle money during "Christian" Telethon's to those that will plant a seed (give money) of "faith."

How do you think this appears to unbelievers when all these false teachers are talking about is money, nice cars, expensive homes, designer clothes and every other carnal desire? 

Why didn't Jesus preach like that?  Why did Jesus always talk about denying ourselves and taking up our cross (See Matthew 7:13-14, 16:24-26, Mark 10:17-21, Luke 4:25-29, 9:23-26, 13:23-24, 14:25-27, John 6:60-61, 66-67)? 

Jesus himself said that He had nowhere to sleep:

"And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head,"
Matthew 8:20.

Do you know what the fruit of this kind of preaching is?  It is a local church full of unbelievers and carnal Christians that are there for worldly delights instead of a love for Jesus.  They are only there for what's on the Master's table and not for the Master Himself.

Jesus said that the deceitfulness of riches and a care of this world made many people that would be saved unfruitful:

"He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful,"
Matthew 13:22.

The great Apostle Paul said that many people have erred from the faith due to a love of money:

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows,"
1 Timothy 6:10.

Jesus himself taught us that we should not seek these things in Matthew 6:28-34.  Jesus said that these are the things that pagans worry about and focus on. 

Jesus gave us this advice concerning the issue of worldly goods:

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,
Matthew 6:33.

The Bible makes it very clear, God even simplified the matter by placing it all into one easy to understand chapter.  God teaches us the following: that we should be content, we should not desire to be rich, the love of money is the root of all evil, that many people have erred from the faith due to a love of money, then it commands us to flee these things, (1 Timothy 6).

Some of the most Godly people in the Bible were poor, Paul (Philipians 4:11-12), Paul's companions (1 Corinthians 4:9-13), Old Testament faithful (Hebrews 11:37) and Jesus (Matthew 8:20, 2 Corinthians 8:9).

"Supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself...But godliness with contentment is great gain...And having food and clothes let us be content...But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts...For the love of money is the root of all evil, which, while some have coveted after, they have erred from the faith...But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness,"
1 Timothy 6:6-11.

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
Revelation 3:17-18

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Matthew 6:24

"He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful."
Matthew 13:22

"And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful."
Mark 4:19

"And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions...It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
Mark 10:23, 25

"But woe unto you that are rich!  for ye have received your consolation."
Luke 6:24

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Matthew 6:19-21
 
"And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."
Luke 12:15

"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.  Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days."
James 5:1-3

"And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage."
Deuteronomy 6:10-12

"Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth."
Deuteronomy 8:11-17

"For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant."
Deuteronomy 31:20

"But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation."
Deuteronomy 32:15

"They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him."
Psalm 49:6-7

"And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
Luke 12:16-21

"Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them."
Psalm 62:10

"Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death."
Proveres 11:4

"He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch."
Proverbs 11:28

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold."
Proverbs 22:1

"Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?  for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven."
Proverbs 23:5

"Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.  For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?"
Proverbs 27:23-24

"He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him."
Proverbs 28:22

"As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.  They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge."
Jeremiah 5:27-28

"Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 9:23-24

"And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin."
Hosea 12:8

"I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.  According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me."
Hosea 13:5-6

"Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter; Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not."
Zechariah 11: 4-5

"Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them, And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them.  My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the Lord GOD."
Ezekiel 16:17-19

"Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD?  Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."
Proverbs 30:7-9

"For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant."
Deuteronomy 31:20

"And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.  In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.  And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.  Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.  Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?  And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king."
1 Chronicles 1:6-11
"Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker."
Proverbs 17:5
"Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?  But ye have despised the poor."
James 2:5-6
John MacArthur on the Prosperity - Word Faith Gospel.