Our Prosperity is a Hindrance. For the most part, in the evangelical church, we understand the concept of giving and praying. It is easy to give, it is easy to pray. It is not, however, easy to fast. Therein lies the rub for the American believer. We don’t like pain. We don’t like to do without. Because of our prosperity and the ability to solve our problems on our own, we don’t need to rely on God to come to our aid. We believe we can fix it ourselves. This is the dark side to the entrepreneurial spirit and capitalistic society in which we live.
One of the greatest tools that I believe Satan has used to render the American believers faith ineffective, is the credit card and the line of credit on our homes. When the furnace breaks, when the transmission goes out in our cars, when one of our family members needs to go the hospital, when we need to send one of our kids to college or even when a family pet needs medical attention, what do we do? We immediately pull out the plastic and pay for it, without any prayer or fasting. No questions asked. It has to get done. We just solve our own problems.
Is this what God wants from us? Do we first inquire of God? Most likely not! Often we find ourselves in this viscous cycle of continuing to increase our monthly expenditures, leaving less and less disposable income that we could use to build up the kingdom of God. Some go so far as to pile debt upon debt upon debt until the debt load is crushing. We never ask the Lord what we are to do and one bad decision leads to another. What kind of insanity is that? At some point, even believers under the mounds of debt file for bankruptcy, all because they didn’t slow down and stop to inquire of the Lord. Do you know what is done in other cultures when people can’t pay their bills? They are thrown into debtor’s prison! I have seen it first hand as we stand waiting to go into a prison service in a foreign prison. I look up at the chalk board where the demographics of the prison are listed, and sure enough, there are listings for debtor inmates!
When these things happen to our Christian brothers and sisters in different cultures, what do they do? They go to their knees, they pray, they fast, they inquire of the Lord, and then they wait. This is not normally the case for the American believer. Jesus asks the question in Luke 18:8, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”