I was watching a documentary called Broke the other day, the premise of it was about NFL players who made millions, but went broke or had to file bankruptcy and what they did was dig into the reality of how and why this happened. How could someone making millions of dollars one year be broke the next? Here is what they discovered, what the Lord spoke to me and what I learned after meditating on this.
In the mid 1990’s NFL players went from making tens of thousands of dollars to making millions to multi millions of dollars. It was such a drastic increase in pay, that no one was prepared for the problems it would bring to the players. At the same time in history, President Bill Clinton declared the country was at an Apex of financial prosperity, the housing market was booming and people were spending at unprecedented rates. Everything looked and sounded it of prosperity. In Silicon Valley the technology boom was born, Microsoft was growing, Google came on the scene, Apple was arising, money was pouring into our country, our lives, our businesses from every direction. Everything we touched as Americans was turning to gold, the keeping up with the Jones’ was alive and active and we as a nation looked and sounded prosperous.
There was just one problem, it hit us so fast and furious, that many were not prepared to handle the prosperity that was being poured out, others wanted to look prosperous, so they bought houses they could not afford and got into insurmountable debt. As a nation, as a people we did not have the infrastructure in place to handle the blessing (or what we thought was a blessing) that was being poured out on us. NFL players who had no financial training, but were making millions, spent all the money they made, The documentary said, many players were living from paycheck to paycheck and they were making hundreds of thousands of dollar each check. One guy said he got a black American Express card, that arrived in a silver briefcase and he spent $108,000 in one month on that card, when he got the bill, he was in shock and asked himself, what did I buy.
Millions of Americans during the prosperity of the 90’s and early 2000’s went into debt in order to keep up with the lifestyle that was being displayed in rap videos like Mo Money, Mo Power and Let It Rain, which spoke of money raining down. What we did not see coming was that as fast as that balloon of prosperity rose, it would pop at the same rate. In the late 2000’s the housing market crashed, Ponzi schemes were revealed, professional ball players were going bankrupt and people lost millions.
While watching this documentary, the Lord spoke to me and said, “The Church has been called to lead, but they chose to follow.” After I heard the Lord say this, I immediately went to the internet to find out when the prosperity gospel began. Here is what Wikipedia says about when it began, “In the 1990s and 2000s, it was adopted by influential leaders in the Charismatic Movement and promoted by Christian missionaries throughout the world, sometimes leading to the establishment of mega-churches.” God knows everything, He knew exactly what I would come to discover, I was blown away. The Church has been called to lead the world, but we have chosen to follow it.
In the 90’s and 2000’s the Church began to preach the prosperity gospel, many people jumped on this bandwagon, for a variety of reasons, many of which they are not even aware. Churches began to make millions of dollars, making promises of prosperity if only the people gave. Many verses we quote today, became popular then, making promises to people about what God would do for them financially if only they “sowed a seed”. The message worked then, because everyone was trying to not miss out on this season of prosperity that was being poured out, I mean look at how the Pastor dresses, what the Pastor drives, where the Pastor lives and the people wanted a piece of the pie. The problem is, what we sowed then we are reaping now.
Due to the fact that many of the verses that were quoted, which convinced people they would prosper were taken out of context. Meaning, the verses did not promise what we were being told they would, in context and so now people have given more than they could in order to get what they were being promised. However, since they did not “reap what they sowed”, we have a generation today who does not believe the word of God works, is trustworthy or even applies to them. Many Christians are spiritually bankrupt, they are broke or broken, because the Church did not lead, but chose to follow.
God has opened a new door of opportunity for the church to lead, yet again. We are being called to lead by throwing our whole selves into the presence of God, by trusting Him with our hearts, not our heads. He is revealing that perfect love casts out all fear; that He is a loving Father, who wants to bind up the broken hearted, set the captives free, and pour out blessings on us that will make us rich forever. He is revealing what real prosperity looks like, He is making us lovers of God and of people, He is establishing the infrastructure of our lives, our families, our communities, our countries, our churches. He is not mad at us for the mistakes we made in the past, for the kindness of God leads us to repentance and He has opened a door for a relationship with Him that is more intimate, more passionate, more powerful than anything money could buy. This is the day we live in, right now. All you have to do is believe again, trust again, love again, forgive again.
The Lord is maturing His sons and daughters, so they are lacking nothing, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. All you have to do is return the embrace, for His arms are stretched wide to us, yet again. The call to lead still remains, but it looks very different than before. This is not about one man, one woman, one ministry, it is about the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. It is about the restoration of the five fold ministry, the revalidation of truth, the renewing of our minds and the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts. We will lead as lovers and the world will follow. It is a great time to be alive!