(from November 2009 Believer's Voice of Victory magazine, Kenneth Copeland Ministries)
How do we prosper?
Many people are seeking the answer to this question. And 3 John 2 gives us crucial understanding of the subject. It says, “Beloved, I [pray] above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” | Notice when John said, “I pray above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health,” he added the very telling phrase, “even as thy soul prospereth.”
In other words, you will never be healthier or more prosperous than your soul.
Man is a spirit, he has a soul—which is the mind, the
will and the emotions—and he lives in a body. Thus, you should be prospering in all three areas: spiritually, mentally and physically.
To prosper spiritually, you must be born again. When you accept Jesus as your Savior and make Him the Lord of your life, your spirit is reborn and brought into fellowship with the Father. This puts you in a position to receive from Him all the things promised in His Word.
To prosper in your soul, you must be able to control your mind, your will and your emotions. Prosperity of the mind comes when you use accumulated knowledge—controlling your mind instead of your mind controlling you.
Second Corinthians 10:5 says you are to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (or against the Word of God), bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. You cannot control your mind completely without the Word of God being alive and operating inside you.
You must control your will in the same way. God doesn’t want a broken will that He can dominate. He wants your will whole and in submission to His will so the two of you can work together in unity. In Deuteronomy 30:19 God said, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life….” What a privilege! The choice is yours!
When a man’s soul is prosperous, his will is in line with God’s will. How can you get in line with God’s will? You can’t until you know what His Word says. His Word and His will are the same! If you are in line with the Word of God, you are in line with the will of God.
An emotionally prosperous person can control his emotions. Jesus had complete control over His emotions, yet He wept at the tomb of Lazarus! His weeping didn’t cause Him to join the grief-stricken throng. He continued to move in the Spirit. He put His priorities where they belonged and raised Lazarus from the dead. He showed emotions, but He was not moved or controlled by them.
The world’s definition of physical prosperity (prosperity of the senses) includes gold, silver, financial favor or power, political favor or power, and social favor or power. The world’s definition of mental prosperity (prosperity of the soul) is “knowing it all.” Put these two ideas together and you have a person who can use his mind to get financial and political power. This is the world’s total concept of prosperity. Wealth and power cannot answer every problem. Money makes a lousy god! It can’t buy good health or prevent sickness and disease from taking over the human body. Yes, it can go toward buying it, but the world’s system of healing just isn’t good enough. In the mental realm, a person can have all the facts in his head and not have the ability to use that knowledge to obtain the money or the health he needs.
You can be born again, even filled with the Holy Spirit, and still not be prosperous in your soul. What produces spiritual, mental and physical prosperity? What brings all these areas together?
The Word of God.
The Bible says in Hebrews 4:12 that the Word is alive, powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword. It divides the soul and the spirit, the joints and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. When you are walking in the Word of God, you will prosper and be in health.
God’s will is for us to be made whole—spirit, soul and body—and to stay that way until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23). As you walk in the light of God’s Word, you will become prosperous inevery area of your life. --Kenneth Copeland