Are Your Priorities Hindering Your Prosperity?

January 26, 2016

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you
Matthew 6:33

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been talking about the power of vision (you can listen to a replay of the two-part webinar series here). I’ve been stressing the importance of writing a vision for every area of your life (download a PDF guide to writing a 12-part vision here).

Although I talked in depth about each of these areas on the webinar—and go into greater depth regarding the eight areas of prosperity in The Prosperous Soul—I want to emphasize that, unlike what you commonly hear…

The aim is not about achieving a balance of input or output in all of these areas, but about aligning each area to God’s best intention for you.

It is interesting how often you hear the word “balance” as an important principle among success gurus, but how infrequently it is mentioned in the Bible.

In fact, the only references I have been able to find are in the book of Proverbs—the Bible’s book of success wisdom. These references all say something like this:

“A just balance and scales belong to the Lord; all the weights of the bag are His concern.”
Proverbs 16:11

Yet this verse isn’t about balancing the different priorities in your life—such as trying to find the right “balance” between home and work—but about being an honest merchant.

Is “life balance” a principle that the Bible overlooks? Or is it one that is inadvertently left out?

I believe the answer to both questions is “No.”

Simply put, God isn’t as concerned with “balance”—the idea of dividing your attentions evenly between the different realms of your life—as about wholeness, and more specifically, wholeheartedness.

As Robert Watson wrote it in his book, Leadership Secrets of the Salvation Army:

Balance implies a static offsetting of forces. Children on a teeter-totter play at balance. They succeed when movement is arrested, when they are suspended, perfectly counterweighted. But that’s not something we can hope for in real-life problem solving. We can’t suspend things in space or time. We can’t stop change. What we need is to connect with something that accommodates change, that, in fact, transcends it. We don’t need to balance the fragments, to juggle all the separate people we imagine ourselves to be. We need to integrate them into a whole, moving in harmony with a transcendent, divinely connected purpose.

I believe God is lovingly concerned about your priorities, but not in “balance” with one another.

Your heavenly Father wants to make all of your priorities work toward your greatest good by making them all subject to one overriding priority.

In every area or realm of life, make pursuing God’s Kingdom and His righteousness your greatest priority—just as Jesus instructed in Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

What does this mean on a practical level?

I’m glad you asked.

As human beings, we tend to fall into the ditch on one side of proper focus or the other; we become entirely consumed by our work or ministry to the exclusion of all else, or we get absorbed by whatever voice shouts the loudest in the present moment—what author Charles Hummel called “the tyranny of the urgent.”

To put it more simply, we are either too myopic or too scatterbrained.

When we make goals, they tend to be in one or two areas—such as career and finances—or we set no goals at all, putting us at the mercy of whichever way the wind is blowing.

When we do the first, we tend to succeed at work, but sacrifice our health or family to do it; when we do the latter, we tend to accomplish little or nothing that is important to us or connected with why God put us on the earth.

Be mindful of all of the realms of life, and then seek to establish the Kingdom of God by putting Jesus first in each.

The realms of life are really tensions along four axes (and eight planes):

1. Spiritual—Physical
2. Emotional—Intellectual
3. Vocational (or “Calling”)—Financial
4. Relational—Reputational

These represent four sets of near polar opposites (or opposite ends of a continuum), however we need each in our lives to have the full and abundant life God wants for us.

The person who focuses on their physical world to the exclusion of the spiritual is missing the key element of the miraculous; the person who works for financial gain in an unfulfilling profession will find only emptiness in their career.

On the other hand, the person who follows the calling of their heart to the exclusion of having finances enough to care for their family, or live generously, will fall short of being the provider and blessing they should be.

It’s not a question of finding a balance, but of finding a place of wholeness where the will of God in each realm is fulfilled. 

Seek the will of God in each area—seek to prosper in every area in accordance with the purposes of Heaven.

True life-wholeness and abundance is achieved by seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness in everything you do and pursue.

“When you decide to serve God with your whole heart and make Him first in your life, your soul will prosper and your joy and peace will increase.”
—Joyce Meyer

As the soul goes, so goes your life, and that is when you will begin to fully realize God’s will in every area.

It’s about wholeness: Integrating the fragments of all the different people we imagine ourselves to be into one Kingdom-minded whole.

The only way we can do that is to live by His strength, relying on His grace for every need. We do it by being fully present in each moment.

God doesn’t want you to live a life of balance between all the realms of life: He wants you to live fully in each and prosper.

Look at each realm and capture a picture of what God wants for you by writing down what the Holy Spirit shows you: What goals does He want to see achieved in each? How would the abundant life Christ spoke of actually look and feel in every area?

Download the PDF guide to writing a 12-part vision and prayerfully ask God to show you a picture of how His will in each of those areas would look in your life.

And then, dare to embark on an epic journey to a richer life by getting your copy of The Prosperous Soul.

“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more importantly, it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.”
—John O’Donohue

What priorities are hindering your prosperity?

This is the year of the history maker—and it all starts with putting first things first.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Psalm 1:2-3

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