Following God Leads to Prosperity
God told Joshua, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Here’s a simple analogy: When we buy an automobile (or any appliance), we receive an “owner’s manual” in which the manufacturer tells us the conditions under which his product must be operated if it is to function well. With an automobile he tells us what kind of fuel and lubricant to use, how highly to inflate the tires, and when we should perform various operations such as changing the oil, checking the fluids and fan belts, rotating the tires, lubricating, etc. If we do not follow these instructions, we are apt to have something bad happen to the automobile.
The Bible is an “owner’s manual” in which our Creator has told us the conditions under which His creation, man, will function best. If we follow the instructions, we will prosper; in Biblical terms we will be blessed. If we do not follow the instructions, bad things will happen; in Biblical terms we will be cursed. So if we want to prosper and live fruitful lives, we should follow our Creator’s instructions. It’s a simple matter of self-interest. But God does not want us to submit to Him just because of the benefits we hope to get. That was the issue in the book of Job, where God allowed Satan to test Job to see if he loved Him only because of what God has done for him. God wants us to love Him, and to obey Him for who He is, and not just for what He does for us.
Our relationship with the automobile manufacturer is impersonal; we do not even know him. Our relationship with God is, or should be, highly personal. God loves us, and we love Him. When you love someone, you want to do what pleases him. “This is love for God, to obey his commands.” Jesus said, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.” The primary motive we have for obeying God is that we love Him, we want to do what pleases Him, and we want, as nearly as we can, to become like Him.