Power to Get Wealth, Part 1 - Bob Sawvelle

Several years ago, I was ministering in a large church in Cape Haitian, Haiti. It’s not a place of wealth—in fact, it is just the opposite. The nation of Haiti is severely impoverished—it is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere and densely populated. Oddly, it was while in this poor nation that God chose this moment to speak to me about creating wealth.

The pastor and I were driving through this bustling city when we came to a stop at an intersection. As I sat there looking out the car window, I noticed a man coming out of a soda depot with a couple of cases of soda that he promptly tied to the back of his bicycle. I knew instinctively that this man had a business selling soda, as there are many street vendors in Haiti. It was obvious that he was poor, yet he was industrious enough to work hard to make a living.

When I saw this man, the Lord reminded me of a scripture from Deuteronomy 8:18:

And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish (confirm) His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

The English word power comes from a Hebrew word koach, which means divine power, divine ability, substance, wealth or divine strength to lay hold of something that is beyond our strength to lay hold of. God has given each of us the divine empowerment to make a living and create wealth. We should expect increase from our work to be realized in material gain.

The next day I shared a message with the church in Cape Haitian from Deuteronomy 8. The people were significantly impacted as I challenged them, despite their poverty, to believe God for divine ability and creativity to make a living and create wealth. God’s principles are true in every culture and nation.

Your Assignment Brings Provision

God has put us here for a purpose—each of us has been given an assignment—our job is to discover it. God wants to give us everything we need to accomplish our purpose. Jesus came that we might be restored in every way to the Father—which includes receiving provision for our mission.

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses, who is 120 years old, is instructing the children of Israel after 40 years of wandering in the desert. He is about to pass on and he is reminding them of God’s covenant, commands, and all that God has done for them.

God gave Israel, and us today, the ability to earn a living and obtain wealth. God’s covenant with us is not based on what we do, but what Jesus already did. We just need to stay in right relationship and obedience to Him. Realize this truth: Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant!

Covenant blessings are both spiritual and material. Paul stated, “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Although he was rich he became poor for our sakes, so that you could become rich through his poverty.” (2 Cor. 8:9 CEB)

Jesus left the glory and wealth of heaven to come to earth in human flesh that we might participate in the glory and riches of the Father’s Kingdom. Our minds can scarcely grasp the depth of what we have presently and what awaits us in Christ!

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3 NKJV)

In both verses, Paul is primarily speaking of the spiritual blessings available to us through Jesus. However, God promises throughout the New Testament that we should expect material blessing and provision as God’s children.

For example, Paul commends the Philippians for their generosity while he is in prison and makes this promise to them, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19 NKJV) The same root Greek words are used to discuss rich and riches in these passages—they all mean wealthy, wealth, rich or riches. In other words, God promises that we would partake of both the richness of His spiritual and material blessings. You should expect God’s provision to meet your family needs and that which is required to accomplish the ministry assignment you have been given.

Slaves Who Became Wealthy

Remember how the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt? Just before they are delivered from the Egyptian bondage, God instructs them about Passover. God tells them to take the blood of the sacrificed lamb and put it on the doorposts and windows. They are to abide in their homes under the covering of the blood—a type and shadow of what Jesus would do for us. The angel of death passes over that night, the children of Israel are spared but the firstborn Egyptian in every home dies. Pharaoh tells Moses and the children of Israel to leave Egypt and go worship God. But before they leave, something else miraculous happens:

Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus, they plundered the Egyptians.” (Exodus 12:35-36)

The children of Israel, who possessed nothing, left Egypt wealthy! Only God can make slaves prosperous!

Again, a beautiful picture of what Jesus has done for us spiritually—we were slaves rescued from bondage who have now been freed and made “wealthy” through Jesus!  As God’s children, we now have access to the riches of God’s kingdom—spiritually and materially. This is why Jesus could say in Luke 12:32, “Do not fear little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Understand that I am teaching on prosperity in the sense of kingdom fullness in every area of our lives. Prosperity does include wealth, but prosperity is not to just pad our comfort level or have more things. Prosperity is needed to accomplish the assignment that has been given to us. Money and wealth are simply tools that help us bring salvation, discipleship, healing and deliverance to others.

Covenant Relationship—The Secret to Receiving God’s Wealth

Deuteronomy chapter eight is a promise-filled chapter regarding provision and wealth. God is telling the children of Israel that if they walk in His ways they will see the power of multiplication in their lives.

However, these covenant promises are promised to His people as they abide in right relationship with God. Keep in mind, that we are part of the New Covenant through Jesus, but the following principles are applicable for us today. They are: 1) Maintain a Right Heart Attitude, 2) Hunger for God and His Word, 3) Have Faith and Vision, and 4) Know that It’s God’s Divine Power that Makes Wealth.

1. Maintain a Right Heart Attitude

We read in this chapter to be humble, teachable, and thankful, “That He might humble you and test you, to know what is in your heart…,” “Know also in your [minds and] hearts that, as a man disciplines and instructs his son, so the Lord your God disciplines and instructs you…,” and “…you shall bless the Lord…” (Deut. 8:2, 5, 10)

The Lord allows seasons to test and reveal what is in your heart. When you can get to the place where you declare, “God it’s Yours—my life, my finances, my family, my business,” then you are surrendering out of humility, and Psalm 24:1 has become a reality. When you are walking in humility, you are teachable. Without a teachable spirit, you won’t be able to make the adjustments the Holy Spirit will require to live these truths. A thankful heart through the highs and lows of life demonstrate a right heart attitude toward God and wealth.

Jesus had much to say about money and wealth. In fact, one third of the parables speak of money—He only spoke about the Kingdom of God more. In Luke’s gospel, 1 of 7 verses deal with money.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matt. 6:24 CEB).

Simply stated, God must be first: you can’t serve God and money simultaneously. Money and wealth are tools to accomplish God’s kingdom purposes—this perspective must be kept in proper balance.

We have been given access to the Kingdom, heaven’s provision through Jesus. But, you must be free of greed. A proper understanding of stewardship is essential (I’ll develop practical stewardship principles next week). Paul writes regarding greed,

The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some have wandered away from the faith and have impaled themselves with a lot of pain because they made money their goal.” (1 Tim. 6:10 CEB)

Greed is the problem, it’s the “love of money,” not money itself, that is the “root of all kinds of evil.” Having money and wealth isn’t the issue, the issue is proper priority. Love of money competes with our love for God and our love for others. We are commanded to love God first, then others as we love ourselves (Mark 12:30-31).

Jesus said, “You can’t serve God and wealth.” The issue isn’t, “Does God want to bless you?” Rather, “Can God trust you with His blessings and resources?” To the greedy asking, “Where is God’s provision?” Answer: “It is in the secret place with God!” If you leave the secret place, you won’t find the provision. Intimacy with God is essential to living in kingdom prosperity—spirit, soul, and body!

One of the ways you free yourself from greed is to become generous (1 Tim. 6:17-18). Give to God and to others as acts of love. Jesus said that where your treasure is, there is your heart also (Matt. 6:21).

The writer of Hebrews states, “Your way of life should be free from the love of money, and you should be content with what you have. After all, he has said, I will never leave you or abandon you.” God is always with us, He is our anchor for contentment! (Heb. 13:5 CEB) You stay free of the love of money by being content with what you have. Again, not a passive fatalism to lack, but learning to patiently trust God as money and wealth accumulate.

Jesus plainly states, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33) All these material things: food, clothes, homes, etc. God promises to provide as we keep the pursuit of God first place and maintain a proper heart attitude. God doesn’t delight in lack or poverty, but He wants our hearts aligned with heaven. Expecting to prosper is agreeing with God’s will for your life.

Material blessing IS NOT an indicator of spirituality, but it can be part of God’s blessing in our lives. God’s blessings are primarily spiritual: righteousness, peace, joy etc. BUT, blessings are also tangible: family, friends, food, clothes, homes, money, and wealth.

In the early 90’s we were going to Haiti as missionaries. Just before leaving, I met with our accountant to discuss taxes, finances, etc. He opened the meeting with this outrageous statement, “Well now that you have taken the vow of poverty…” He continued the meeting with negativity about our financial future—he was a Christian with little faith in God’s ability to provide. While it’s true, like Paul, we need to learn to be content with little or with much, but it is wrong thinking to assume that as we serve God we are automatically “taking a vow of poverty.” That is religious thinking devoid of faith. God declares, “The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord is wealth, honor, and life.” (Prov. 22:4 CEB) Yes, be humble and live modestly, but believe God for more than enough for your family and your ministry assignment.

When God releases His blessings, don’t forget who brings them! God resists the proud, gives grace to humble. Stay humble; treat others with respect, live modestly. Remember it’s God who gave you the increase!

Hunger for God and His Word

In Deuteronomy, we read,

So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:3)

God’s word reveals His nature and promises. We need both the logos and rhema word of God. God’s rhema word and strategies are discovered in the secret place with Him. Vision, ideas, problems are solved through communion with God and His word—a result of intimacy. You must hunger for Jesus and for His word more than food—His word is the true source that sustains us.

Jesus declares in John the fruit of our intimate relationship with Him, “I No longer call you servants, but friends.” The friends of God are those He reveals His heart and strategies to. The next verse gives a “blank check” to those who walk closely with Him, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” What a promise! God desires that we bear kingdom fruit and He promises He will give us what we need to accomplish that.

Another benefit of learning to trust God’s word is experiencing miracles and supernatural provision. God reminds the Israelites that while they wandered for 40 years in the desert, “Your garments did not wear out on you…” (Deut. 8:4) Abiding in God’s word positions you for supernatural provision and multiplication as you trust Him completely.

Have Faith and Vision

God tells the children of Israel that they are going to possess as an inheritance a land that will produce bountifully for them,

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. Deut. 8:7-9 NKJV

Expectation of God’s goodness where you live is essential to making a good living and creating wealth. Too often our perspective is skewed by sociological and economic conditions that surround us, instead of living from the premise that with God “all things are possible.” See from God’s perspective and don’t be negative—it is the opposite of faith-filled vision. Negativity breeds discontent and undermines faith-filled vision.

You carry His glory; an unlimited realm of influence is available to you. The Father is glorified when you are fruitful, not barren! Don’t fear failure or the unknown as you move into new geographic or spiritual domains with God. Fear is one of the biggest obstacles you must overcome! Many wonder, “What if I step out and fail?” Trust that God will pick you up—the steps of a righteous person are ordered by his way and He delights in them!

Know that It’s God’s Divine Power that Makes Wealth

Recall God’s promise to the Israelites, “Remember the Lord your God.  He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.” (Deut. 8:18 NLT)

As I mentioned earlier, the English word power translates from the Hebrew word koach which means; “Divine power, divine ability, substance, wealth or divine strength to lay hold of something that is beyond our strength to lay hold of.” God gives divine ability to obtain resource and wealth—it is part of His covenant to His people.

In Isaiah we koach is used again, “He gives power (koach) to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. “ (Isa. 40:29 AMPC) God gives power ‘koach’…divine ability, substance, wealth or strength for those who are weak… exhausted or weary or even infirmed, which is the inability to produce results. God gives koach, divine ability, to get wealth for those who wait upon Him!

Part of your ability to gain wealth is through your hard work—which God empowers. God wants to bless the “work” of your hands, not your idleness! Moses declares, “And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands—yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.” (Psalm 90:17 AMPC)

A Blessed People

Moses instructed the children of Israel to obey the Lord and His commands. The result of their faithful walk with God would bring blessings. While we don’t obey to “get wealth or be blessed,” blessings are the result of obedience to God’s commands and ways. We love Him first and love others as ourselves with a confident expectation that our Father will provide for all our needs. We are people called to advance the kingdom of God. All of heaven is behind us to empower us to fulfill that mandate.

You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.” Deut. 28:2-6 NLT

To God’s children who are walking with Him faithfully, blessing and increase will follow. Legitimate, material blessings are on the list in Deuteronomy, not just spiritual blessings. Notice also, these blessings are a result of long-range thinking, planning, and work. Proverbs states, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.” (Prov. 13:22) If you are not righteous, the promise of wealth is not for you.

To provide for future generations, you must be intentional. God is a God of the “suddenlies,” but God also works through intentional planning, hard work, savings, and investments. Financial intentionality provides for future generations. I’ll develop this more next week, looking at part two of “The Power to get Wealth” through stewardship: you earn it, give it, save it, and spend it.

You have the mind of Christ, God’s word, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you. There is an abundance of creativity in God’s realm that can empower you beyond your natural abilities to create wealth. He has given you “power to get wealth!” Expect His provision as you walk with a heart steadfast on God, His word, and His ways.


For more on this important subject, watch the Passion Church video, Power to Get Wealth, Part 1:

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Bob Sawvelle

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