Sid Roth - Does God Want Me Rich?
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth here. Welcome. Welcome to my world where it's naturally supernatural. Whenever I turn on television, I hear things like, see faith, prosperity, God wants you to become a millionaire. I want to, how about you. Would you like to know the truth about prosperity teaching? Is a God, is see faith God? Is there a wrong version? Is there a right version? What is the truth? How many of you are interested in knowing? I am. Well I'm here with Dr. Jim Richards and I don't know a better person to ask the question, is there anything wrong with the popular message today, which is all lumped together called prosperity teaching?
Jim Richards: You know, it's so sad to have to day it that the truth of God has been twisted that it's become something that feeds greed and self-centeredness, and makes it almost impossible for people to grasp God's realities for us prospering, for us living in abundance.
Sid Roth: Well that begs the question, does God want all of us rich?
Jim Richards: You know something? God wants all of us living prosperous lives. He wants us living our lives where our needs are met. He wants us living our lives where we're comfortable. But more than anything else, he wants us to live that God kind of abundance where we have resources to invest in the world, change the world, change people's lives. You know, the truth is the reason the world is in the shape that it's in today is because the church has taught that there is something spiritual about being poor and the wicked has control of the resources. And God made it really clear many times in the scripture that when the wicked have the wealth, the wicked will rule and the righteous will moan.
Sid Roth: You know if I was God and I was a casting director, I would pick you to be a specialist in this area. Let me tell you why. James was raised in extreme poverty. His dad was an alcoholic. His dad not only didn't contribute to the finances of the family, he actually took money away. His mother made $19 a week. There were three kids. You really had a tough time as a kid.
Jim Richards: Poverty was the norm for us. I mean, we were one of those families that you pass all of your clothes, and you know, you might, you would have one pair of shoes. I can remember taking tape and taping around my shoes so the soles would stay on the bottom of my shoes. And you know, you might have one pair of pants. That's it. You'd just wear them until you couldn't stand to wear them anymore, and then you'd strip down and wash them, and let them dry. And that's all we had. And you know like you said, my dad would come back many times and break into the house, steal all the food that we had, steal the heating oil that we had in the winter. And so growing up in that kind of situation, that becomes the norm for you, and really, your beliefs start being molded.
Sid Roth: So you had what many people had, a poverty mindset.
Jim Richards: That's right.
Sid Roth: Now explain to me with this poverty mindset there's actually been studies that after a few generations. Explain that.
Jim Richards: Yeah. You know, and the Bible tells us, the Bible tells us that if something happens for several generations that it will continue on in our children, and that's not because God is cursing us. It's what the study reveals, it says that if three or four generations of children grow up in welfare, grow up in destitution, that by the fourth generation they come into the world hardwired for that kind of life. And it will be very unlikely that they will ever get out of poverty by time several generations have gone through this.
Sid Roth: But there is there light at the end of the tunnel. As a matter of fact, at 28, he really, you thought he hit rock bottom before. He gets sick and he owes so much money to the doctors and the hospitals. You'd never paid that back.
Jim Richards: No.
Sid Roth: And one day, you're saying a prayer in your own house and all of a sudden, you hear, and it's his wife, oh, I broke it. Seriously, she didn't say that to you.
Jim Richards: It's the truth. You know, I had gone from desperate poverty to just the getting by mentality. You live just getting by, just barely getting by. And I was thanking God for our food one day and I was just saying, "Father, I thank you that you live us. I thank you that our needs are met". My wife said, "Jim, I am just sick and tired of just having our needs met". She said, "I don't think this is God's plan for us. I don't think this is how we're supposed to live". Now at that time, I just walked through getting healed and it took about three and half years from this genetic disease that I was born with, and should not have survived, should have died. And at the end of it, I get healed, and I look around and I'm so deep in debt that it looks impossible that I would ever get out of debt. And we were just barely living from hand to mouth.
Sid Roth: So you started studying the Bible. What did God show you about the principle of sowing and reaping?
Jim Richards: You know, the first thing that I understood about sowing and reaping is sowing and reaping is not an external thing. It's not like I'm going to give and God is going to owe me something back. And that's kind of, that's part of this get rich scheme that's been presented to us, you know, improperly, if you will, from the Christian community. It's not like I'm going to force God. Sowing and reaping is about something that happens in my heart so that as I invest from the heart of generosity, so as I develop myself where love is motivating me. And I'm investing in the world and investing in other people, it changes something inside me that gives the capacity to receive, not just to receive, the capacity to even perceive the opportunities for wealth.
Sid Roth: Jim, by his own experience pulled himself out, with biblical principles, out of debt. But God doesn't want you just pulled out of debt. He wants you to prosper, to meet all of your needs, your family's needs and then take care. Can you imagine being able to take care of the community, take care of the needs of other people. It's available. And when we come back, I want him to teach a little on that.
Sid Roth: James, as he began to study the Bible, found out that man was originally wired for success. Explain.
Jim Richards: Yeah. You know, the very first thing that God said to man was, "be fruitful and multiply". We're created in the likeness and image of God and we are designed to rule and reign in life that kings. And we're not supposed to be like the paupers. We're supposed to be like the kings. And so one of the things I discovered is that the first place we have to start is, is it really God's will? Is this really what God wants for us? I began to see that the Bible says, "God takes pleasure in the prosperity of his servants". I began to see all of these promises.
Sid Roth: So why is it today if someone is in ministry or a strong Christian they're not supposed to get prosperous? They're not supposed to have a big home. Why is that mentality there if, from originally we were supposed to be blessed?
Jim Richards: You know, there's been a deception in the world from the father of all lies that has gotten woven into Christianity throughout history. And when these lies appear they appear in many forms to try to steal from us what God has given us through his word and through the finished work of Jesus. And so you see this lie manifest in two different ways. You see it manifest in this extreme concept of greed and get rich quick schemes, and all this kind of stuff. But then there's the other side of it where there's something spiritual about being poor, something, some blessed aspect of it.
Sid Roth: Is it that the devils tries to get us coming and going?
Jim Richards: Yes it is. It is like he's going to give us every lie that could possibly fill us. But you know, the Bible says that poverty is the destruction of the poor. Man, when you're poor, you don't have time for God. You can't take care of your family. You're struggling, you're under pressure. And that's actually a form of temptation. Anything, according to the meaning of the Greek word for temptation, anything that causes me to strive is something that's trying to seduce me into compromising my life.
Sid Roth: Is poverty a curse?
Jim Richards: Yes it is. The Bible is very clear that poverty is the curse of the Law. And that really brings us to the next phase, and on my journey, I was realizing that Jesus delivered me from the curse of the Law. And you look at that and you go, and I remember saying, now God, I know this is true. I know this is your truth, but I'm not experiencing your truth.
Sid Roth: Is that what, in other words, we were wired for success with Adam and Eve.
Jim Richards: That's right.
Sid Roth: Then came the Fall.
Jim Richards: Yup.
Sid Roth: What happened? Did we get rewired the wrong way?
Jim Richards: We didn't get rewired. We got programmed. We got conditioned. You know, the oldest lie that Lucifer brought to Planet Earth was that God is not good. He is not the one that's going, that you can trust. He's not the one that's going to do good things for you. You need enlightenment and you can do it for yourself independent of God. Oldest lie in the world.
Sid Roth: You talk about boundaries, imaginary boundaries that limit us. Explain that.
Jim Richards: Well the Bible says in the Book of Proverbs, fourth chapter, 23rd verse, it says, "Guard your heart with above else that you guard because out of it flows the issues of life". That word, "issues" could have just as well been translated as boundaries. And what that is telling us, it's telling us that all the limitations in our life, we may think they're out here. We may think they're because of the economy, we may think they're because of the circumstances, we may think it's because of the people that oppose us. But the real truth is all boundaries are determined by what we believe about ourselves. And I realized that I accepted a definition of myself that was based on what my life had been. And I had to look at the Word of God and say, who does God say that I am. And I started connecting to me resurrected with Jesus, me being a new creation. When you connect with the resurrected Jesus and you realize that all the promises of God, every promise that God has ever made to anyone is yes for you, when you're in Jesus, that boundary is going to expand. Those limitations are going to start going away.
Sid Roth: Do you feel you have any limitation? I mean, coming from the background that he came from, I mean, you could not have been economically lower than you were. How in the world did you turn it around for yourself?
Jim Richards: You know, this is God working in your heart. You know, and I'll tell you something. When my wife and I began to see these biblical principles, we realized that we had done the same thing with poverty that we had done with sickness. Yeah, I had good excuse to be sick. I was born with this. I didn't do anything to make this happen. I didn't, you know, this was a genetic. You know, when you got an excuse for something then you justify it and you live with the excuse. And I've done that with sickness. Well you know what? I realize that I was looking at my life saying, you know, I had these doctor bills. I didn't do this. I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't mismanage any money. I wasn't dishonest. But you know what? That was an excuse because I was allowing my circumstances to define how big God could be. I want to tell you something, Sid. We got on our knees at the food of our bed one night and we apologized to God, literally. We just said, Father, we know you love us. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead that he conquered all the curse of the Law and we have no right to live this way. We have no right to be destitute. And we repented. That means changed our mind. We changed our mind and we made a determination. We said, God from this day forward, we will never be here again unless we're here because we've given it all away or unless we're suffering for righteousness sake. But we will never be desperate again because we have failed to trust you and operate your word in our lives.
Sid Roth: Do you, most people though, there's going to be economic, throughout the world, in the last days.
Jim Richards: Right.
Sid Roth: Do we have to go through that? Do we, is there anything we can do to prosper in these last days or is it just inevitable?
Jim Richards: Well you know, Isaac sowed in the time of famine and the Bible says he reaped incredibly. And all the Bible shows us, you know, Joseph, Daniel, all of these people, they prospered in situations where that they should have suffered in.
Sid Roth: You know what I believe? I believe when times are tough, God is going to make believers shine.
Jim Richards: Oh yeah.
Sid Roth: And it's going to be, there's going to be such a contrast everyone is going to want to be a believer. When we come back I want to find out more about this. Jesus taught us to pray to our heavenly Father: Let your kingdom come, let your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Did you know that no one in Heaven is broke or hungry. No one in Heaven is suffering. It's time to take back all that the devil has stolen from you. Success and prosperity with purpose is your God-given destiny.
Sid Roth: You know, we're living in such a selfish age, me first, self, self, self, self, me, me, me. Tell me about the grace of generosity as opposed to selfishness.
Jim Richards: You know, that's the phenomenal thing. See, we want our prosperity to be something that increases our life on every level, not just financially. And see, so many times when people begin to look at this prosperity thing, it's all about getting more, it's all about having more. And so Paul says, he says, just as you exceed in speech and spiritual gifts and all of these things, make sure that you excel in this grace. And he's talking about this grace of giving. And as I began to look at the Word of God I discovered something so phenomenal. And see, here's the thing about grace, God's ability that works in us, that makes us strong. It's the same thing, it's a different terminology. It's the same thing as saying the Holy Spirit working in me, you know, the same thing. But grace is like a two-sided coin. You can only get the grace, the capacity to receive what you get the capacity to give away. See, I'm never really, I wasn't so interested in being wealthy. I was interested in taking care of my family, serving my family. I was interested in investing in the world, reaching the world of Jesus and giving to ministries, and helping other people. And so I was seeking God for this capacity to give things away. And what started happening is I started having this capacity to recognize and move in realms of success and prosperity that I had never moved in. I mean, God would show me things that in the past I would have withdrawn from. And I would, he would show them to me, I would step into them, bam, prosper.
Sid Roth: You stretched your boundaries.
Jim Richards: That's exactly what happened. Those boundaries, see, because, since grace works in my heart then it can only work if I'm believing the truth and that truth is going to always expand my boundaries.
Sid Roth: Now you learned a lesson the hard way that God is our source. Tell me about the time you were embezzled.
Jim Richards: I came home from a mission trip to find out that that day my home, our ministry property was going to foreclosure. I had $36,000 in overdraft fees at the bank. Every bill that we had was probably 90 days old and I discovered that an accounting person had embezzled, while I was out of the country, every penny that we had. And in typical embezzlement situations, you never get any of it back because they've spent it, they've blown it on something. And so you know, we're looking at this. This is tremendous, and particularly, this wasn't that long ago. At my age, you know, you lose everything, you're thinking, I'm starting all over again. Well you know something? My wife and I sat down and we just said, you know what, we can spend our life fretting over this. We can be angry over this. We can have all kinds of negative emotions or we can invest that same effort into just trusting and following God. The Lord is my shepherd. He leads away from lack, away from want. And we knew that if we would just follow God, the same God that got us there the first time would get us there again. And you know, my staff would come today every day and they'd say, well Jim, what are we going to do today? I'd say, we're going to serve people today. That's what we're here for. And we're going to listen to God. And you know, there would be those days where there was like, if we don't have $100,000 by noon, we're gone. And we would just pray and they we would just serve people like we always did. And we didn't make it about trying to get it back. And you know the real truth is, in about nine months, we were caught up on everything.
Sid Roth: Nine months.
Jim Richards: In about nine months.
Sid Roth: That's good.
Jim Richards: And about 18 months, we're talking about $170,000 to the IRS besides what was stolen. But we're talking about in 18 months, our income actually doubled.
Sid Roth: Okay. There are people watching us right now, you are and you're saying, I desperately need help. I want to ask Dr. James Richards to pray a supernatural prayer over you and you get open, open to receive.
Jim Richards: Before I pray, I want to say one thing. Are you willing to give up all of your excuses? It doesn't matter how you got there. It doesn't matter if it's your fault. It doesn't matter if it's somebody else's fault. Are you willing to give up all those excuses and say, God is God. His promises are sure. Jesus was raised from the dead. He delivered me from the curse so I can make this journey. If you make that decision then you're ready to receive. Father, in the name of Jesus I speak life, I speak blessing. Lord, I thank you that the hearts of these people that are hearing these words are going to start exploding with a new capacity, a new hope, a new outlook to believe you and to walk with you in this path of provision, in the name of Jesus.
Sid Roth: Something supernatural has just happened to you. I want you to study your Bible of what God's, this is exactly what James did when he was challenged by his wife. You study what God has to say. You get it in your heart and then you do it. But make sure first of all that Jesus is your Messiah and Lord.
Jim Richards: That's right.
Sid Roth: Make sure that you've repented of your sins, you told him you're sorrow and believe the blood of Jesus washes you clean, and you have a fresh start, and you have no past, but you have that same old brain and that stinking thinking. So renew that brain to the word of the Living God and devil watch out, you're not going to have one of those people any more. If God is for you, who can be against you. Jesus taught us to pray to our heavenly Father: Let your kingdom come, let your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Did you know that no one in Heaven is broke or hungry. No one in Heaven is suffering. It's time to take back all that the devil has stolen from you. Success and prosperity with purpose is your God-given destiny.