If so, then how do we justify Proverbs 23:4-5?
(4) Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
Cease from your consideration of it.
(5) When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings,
Like and eagle that flies toward the heavens.
So in light of Proverbs 23, does God really want us to prosper, and specifically, financially?
Let me answer that with another question:
If you are preoccupied with gaining riches who has become your God? That's right, riches. Doesn't the Bible tell us we cannot serve both God and mammon?
You see, you cannot have two gods, for there is only one, true, God. For what you devote your attention to (seek after), what you devote reverential attention to, is your God!
A Jealous God
Yes, our God is a jealous God. And He is a God of truth. He knows we can only peacefully exist in His Kingdom and it's laws with the acknowlegment that He and He alone is our one, true, God and our first priority. Otherwise we will, by default, operate in the kingdom, rules, and laws of this world, with the ruler of this world (the devil) as our source. Are you starting to get "the picture?"
Is It His Will?
He tells us so, many times and many places in His Word that yes, it is His will for us to prosper. Doesn't He tell us that He delights in the prosperity of His servant in Psalm 35:27? Notice He said "...the prosperity of His servant." Herein is an indication of the intention or intended purpose for prosperity - yes it's for the Kingdom!
Further Scriptural evidence of this is in the fourth chapter of the book of James:
(3) You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
God's Relationship of Biblical Prosperity
God gives us a picture of His Kingdom prosperity and how to operate in it in the 9th Chapter of II Corinthians:
(6) Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; "...and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully."
And then verse (8):
(8) And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.
There again is an answer to the question of why we are to prosper: So that we may have "...an abundance for every good deed."
And what are these "good deeds?" They are deeds for the blessing of His Kingdom! Go back and read the entire text in this 9th Chapter of II Corinthians and this intention of the text is eminently clear. Yes, the good deeds spoken of here are for God's Kingdom.
"So we are to be financially prosperous to spend it all on the Kingdom?" you might rightfully ask.
The Abundant Life
Did you notice that word "abundance" in verse (8)? He said we, under these described circumstances, are to have "...an abundance for every good deed."
Now, the word abundance means more than enough. So this verse is saying if we abide by these prosperity principles of God, that is, sow seed and put God's Kingdom work as our first priority, we are to have more than enough for every good deed. Because again, that's what abundance means, to have more than enough.
It's For Us
But why would we need more than enough for every good deed if it is God's intention that we are prosperous only for Kingdom work? For that, all we need is "enough" for every good deed! So why the "more than enough", the abundance, beyong what's needed for every good deed? What's the abundance for?
It's for us, that's what it's for! What elso could it be for? We don't need an abundance for God's work, we just need enough for every good deed for that. The more than enough, the abundance... the overage... the overflow, is for us!
And what is God's measure for us, after we have done God's work and committed our resources to His "every good deed" that He has for us to do?
It's found in Ephesians 3:20:
(20) Now to Him who is aboe to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.
Yes, our God is a God of priorities and a prosperity God.
And He is a God of abundance!
In His Service