Prosperity is an elusive concept. It can mean one thing to me and another to you and yet it is put in front of us as a culture here in the United States as a necessary part of one’s life. I am conditioned as a member of our society to desire to be prosperous. Yet the idea of prosperity changes from generation to generation and seemingly at times from day to day.
I saw this to be true this week as my daughter, in her history class, was studying fur trading in the Upper Midwest in the days of the Indians and the Europeans. In the days of fur trading, prosperity was seen as having the right types of fur. In Europe at the time, this specifically meant having a beaver fur hat. This was a sign of prosperity. As my daughter read this part of her history book she found it amusing and had to share it with me. Her response was one of disbelief. She couldn’t fathom that they thought that was something special considering furs today are quite taboo for many people.
I asked her then what she thought would be a sign of prosperity in our day. Her answer was immediate. Without hesitation she told me that it would be a Rolex watch. I couldn’t argue much. That assessment is pretty accurate. If I have a Rolex watch I am probably materially prosperous. Will someone someday laugh though at us for our symbols the way that my daughter laughed at the Europeans? Probably. So what is your sign of prosperity?
Joshua Chapter 1, Verse 8 gives us a different perspective of what prosperity is. It says this:
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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.
Prosperity is not having material wealth, rather it is following God’s law and fulfilling His commands and plans for our lives. God is telling Joshua that if he can keep the book of the law on his lips, on his mind, and in his life he will be prosperous. I want that type of prosperity. That is a type of prosperity that will endure for all ages and one that I hope to have in this life. It may be laughed at, it may run out of style for some, but it will endure to the end as God brings His plan to completion. My challenge then this week is to focus on being prosperous by following God’s law so that His will gets accomplished in your life. That is something worth living for!