My daughter is coming home from Romania today for a short break. It’s nearly a year since we last saw her, so of course we are so looking forward to seeing her again. I wonder what changes will strike her most. Will she see that people in the UK have less money to spend than they did when she left the country three years ago? Will they still seem very affluent after being used to Romanian standards?
And how do we judge prosperity anyway? Most of us think it is just a bit more than what I have! Just a bit more, and everything would be fine. I could manage quite well on that. The bible tells us a story about a very, very prosperous man. (Genesis 39:1-6) His name was Joseph. Did he own a wonderful mansion? No, he lived in his master’s house. Did he possess anything in his own right? Probably not, in fact he didn’t even own himself. In fact, he was a slave, but “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered.”
Potiphar, his master, noticed that Joseph had success in everything he did, so he promoted him. He was still a slave, but Potiphar put him in charge of his whole household. He trusted him so much, that he left everything up to Joseph, and absolved himself from all responsibility apart from putting food in his own mouth! The blessing of the Lord was on everything in that household. Joseph was even Potiphar’s personal attendant. He wanted him close by. That’s what happens when you have God’s prosperity. People want a piece of you. They want some of it to rub off on them.
How did Joseph do it? By having God close. It was really God’s prosperity, and in the same way that Potiphar wanted Joseph close by, Joseph wanted God close by. That’s how God’s prosperity works.
Of course it doesn’t mean you’ll get to own a mansion. It doesn’t mean you’ll get to own much stuff at all. You won’t even own yourself – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20- “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” But close to God, that’s where the best blessings are.