Joseph Prince - Follow God's Ways During Recession
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This is an excerpt from: Prosper God's Way During Recession
Now we are heading in tough days, all right? Back to Genesis 26, Abraham's son, Isaac. "There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar". Say, "Famine". Say, "Famine". So famine is a time of lack, okay? Now, this famine is bad, okay? That means there's not enough to eat. Your crops cannot grow. And the Bible goes on to say it was a famine that was severe, just like the time of, if you keep on reading, it is the time of Abraham, which was severe, and the time of Joseph, it was also severe. Whenever famine comes into the world, so, first of all, we see that famine does come periodically to the world, okay?
So what makes this famine something we can learn from for today? You know, when you read the Bible like I told you in the lesson on how to study the Bible is that a lot of things written in the past, in the stories in the Old Testament and all that, are "tupos," types for us to learn today. In other words, God put them there because it's so relevant. It speaks to us today. God who saw the future put it in the book then that it might speak to us, what? In the future, of what happened then. And what they did then is what we can do today. And the result we saw then is the result we can see today, amen. Are you with me so far? So first, we established already that we are Abraham's seed, right? "If you are Christ's". Are you Christ's? Turn to your neighbor and ask, "Are you Christ's"? Christ's, belong to Christ, that is. Are you someone belonging to Christ? Are you Christ's, right?
"If you are Christ's, then," what? "You are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise". Heirs according to the promise. Amen, so you are the heir according to the promise. So the clearest picture of a direct seed of Abraham, we know the Seed above all the seed that God is referring to is Christ. And if you are Christ's you are in Him. As He is, so are we, you see, right? So you are Abraham's seed, but a direct illustration of that is Isaac. Isaac was the son of Abraham, the promised seed, all right, that came finally. So this is the story of how Abraham's son, Isaac, dealt with the famine, okay? Now, many of you know the story, but you know, the Holy Spirit is bringing it into a new light.
Okay, so back to Genesis 26. Drop down, and drop down. "Then the LORD appeared to him and said: 'Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.'" So the first thing God said to Abraham's seed, all of you, "Don't go down to Egypt".
What does that mean? When famine happens, don't give up on God's ways and use the world's ways. And remember this, every time it says about Egypt, it is always, "Go down". Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord. But like Jonah, when Jonah rebelled against God, it was down, down, down, down. He went down to Joppa, all right, the port. Got into a boat, went down into a boat. When he was in the boat, went down to sea, right? The boat that threw him down, he went down into the seat. Went down into the whale's belly. So moral of the story, very simple. Turn away from God: down, down, down, down, down, down. Amen. Come back to God: up, up, up, up, up, up, up. Amen. So don't go down to the world's ways.
Now, the world will offer you a lot of things, immediate gratification, and we've got a whole generation of people who want quick money. They want quick returns. They're not interested in, "He that gathers by labor shall increase". They're not interested in honoring the boss and the company, which is the spirit of what Colossians writes about, "Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward". Somehow impatience has come in. They are not looking for that job anymore. I believe that I'm called by God to prosper. Now, this is extreme, all right? They are not going by the Bible way. All that I'm gonna teach, and in the weeks to come, will be on God's kind of prosperity, which is not world kind of prosperity.
Now, you might be sitting here, "Pastor, I don't need all this. I have many millions in my bank". You know, I think Billy Sunday was the one who says, "He who has no money is poor, but he that has nothing but money is even poorer, truly poor". You have nothing but money. No, I'm not talking about that. There are poor people with plenty of money. I mean God blessing you in every area of your life. Every area of your life. What the Bible calls in Joshua 1:8, "Good success". What the Bible calls, again and again, "Whatever he does prospers. Whatever he does prospers". "And the Lord will bless you and you shall lend unto many", Deuteronomy 28 right now, "You shall lend unto many nations and you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail," amen.
All this is part of the blessing of Abraham. So, the first thing God says, "Don't go down to worldly ways". Now, worldly ways, you cannot tell, "Pastor, is this wrong? Is this right? Is this wrong? Is this right"? Look at the principle. Is it taking a lot of your time? Are you losing your health, your sleep over it? Are your eyeballs swollen? Are you stressed over it? Are you looking at the prices all the time to see the fluctuations? So, principles like this, I can't say, "This is right. This is wrong". Principles. God doesn't bless with all these sorrows. There's a verse that says, "The blessing of the Lord maketh rich," and listen, "and adds no sorrow with it". Read what it means. In the Hebrew, "It doesn't accompany with toil, painful toil". He adds no sorrow. The pain is not there. Are you listening, people?
He adds no painful toil. "Etzev," pain. No painful toil. So when God blesses you, amen, even though you are working hard, there's a pleasure, you know? You body builders, those who are body builders, I think we have one or two in front. Enough of showing them, lah, huh? Camera on me, all right? I mean, you know that they say, "No pain, no gain," right? But actually, what they will tell you is that the pain cannot be excruciating. It cannot be like sharp pain. It's gotta be a pleasant kind of, like, exercise has gotta be a pleasant kind of, like, exertion, not painful exertion, or else you are hurting yourself.
Now we begin to discover that, right? You gotta exercise. Yeah, there is labor, there is sweat and all that, but it should not come to a place of breathlessness and pain that is acute, all right? So friend, when God blesses you, everything in your life is blessed. So when God says, "I will bless you," then God says, "Dwell in this land". There was Gerar. "Dwell in this land and I will bless you".