Let me start with saying that I do believe that we should speak life into situations and people. I will stand by the idea of praying and speaking life over ministries, people, bad situations, marriages, children, etc. I just believe that when we cross the line into trying to say that something will be ours and not pray for the will of God first it tries to put us on the thrown and take God off. We must not be wrapped up in things of this world and our wants above what God wants us to have. The "Materialistic Gospel" goes beyond just being healthy and wealthy it tries to hold a knife to God's throat by using his principles in an improper way. There are many principles in the word of God that when used properly will bring wholeness to ones life but when we make it more about what we want on earth than what God wants we twist His words to fit our desires.
I want to do the rest of this chapter a little different. I want to do a small list of why this makes God look bad instead of just paragraph after paragraph about this subject. So lets just look at this subject.
1) We are not entitled to anything at all. Everything we get from God is because of grace through Christ.
Yes we do have a new life in Christ but that does not mean getting stuff. Yes we can speak things into life for us but we should also first seek the Kingdom of God. We are not entitled to everything we want instead we are meant to live a life sold out for God. He does want us to have life and life more abundant but that does not equal stuff it equals a life that is in the fullness of God.
2) Are the gifts more important than the gift giver?
Why have we made this Christian life more about what God can give to us than what we can give to God? The reason this bothers me is because if we are only in this relationship with God is to get stuff than we are in it for the wrong reason.
3) How does any of that stuff bring glory to God?
I know that our God is the God with cattle on a thousand hills but if he put you in charge of it how would that bring him glory? I do believe that he does put people in charge of things and also blesses people but if all of his people are rich how exactly will that bring Him glory? Some may argue that if his people are rich than it would draw more people to Him but I remember a scripture that says that if we lift Him up, not if he lifts us up, that he will draw all men to him.
4) Faithful with little?
So you are naming stuff for God to give you huh? Well are you faithful with what you have now? How dare us treat what God has already given us as not enough. Was his son's death on the cross not enough? Was that open invitation to salvation just not enough? What more do we need for it to be enough? We sound like spoiled brats to God when we make His gifts already in our lives so trivial. He has blessed us more than we already deserve by sending His son to die for our sins.
5) A promise is a promise?
Yes he has promised us many things, some of them I have cover in earlier chapters, but why do we simply hold on to the promises we like? He not only promised us good times but also hard times. He said He would give us what we asked for but He also said that if we asked it out of selfish desires we would not receive those things.
6) Principles put in proper use.
Just because a principle is in the Bible does not mean we can just go use it how ever we want, and if we did we look no better than how the world treats the Bible. God's principles are in the Bible to help make us better not to give us things that we want. If we misuse His principles it is like telling our parents we want something and they have to give it to us simply because they are our parents. Yes God is Abba Father but would you look at your parents and tell them that they have to give you things just because they care about you. When we do that we sound like that teenage boy who tries to tell a girl that she will sleep with him if she loves him. When we hear that we all think that is sick but in a way are we not doing that to God?
7) As in Heaven?
Those are just a few things that come to mind when I think about "Materialistic Christianity". We can not and must not be driven by worldly desires in any way. We are meant to be followers of Christ and lay our lives down for the glory of the Gospel. Some people may be rich followers of Christ and some may not but over all we must be followers. I will leave you with a quote from John Piper that I believe sums up the thought of following Christ rightly and not driven by worldly desires. John Piper said, "God is most glorified when I am most satisfied in Him". He must be what satisfies us and nothing else. He is our goal and should be the only thing that drives our lives and how we live. He should be everything to us and anything else He chooses to give us is literally just icing on the cake.
I have no questions to ask because I believe I have posed enough of them to you throughout this chapter so go back and read them. Answer them honestly and see if you are being a "Biblical Christian" or a "Materialistic Christian".