In studying prosperity, or abundance over the years, I have found that there are 2 distinct paths that seem to emerge from the general teachings on the topic. The “Get Rich Quick” path, that seems to get a lot of main-stream and secular attention, and the “I Am Provided” path which seems to resonate more deeply with the spiritual crowds.
As almost every church-affiliated prosperity teacher will tell you, the Bible is one of the most profound texts on prosperity. There are countless lessons in both the old and new Testaments that resonate with the Truth that when we walk in Spirit, we are always provided.
One aspect of this Truth, that sometimes seems lost in main-stream prosperity teachings, is that we are not promised a visit from Publisher’s Clearinghouse, or the winning Power Ball lottery ticket, or an obscure relative bequeathing us millions: what we are promised is “daily bread” as taught in the Lord’s Prayer: “give us this day our daily bread“. In other words, I’m living in the right here, right now and those are the only needs and desires I can manage at this time. In acknowledging and thanking the Source of all our supply for the provision of what we need and want for today, we are always provided.
One particular story that teaches this Truth is shared in the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) in the section NEVI’IM (which means Prophets); I Kings 17:10 – 16
10 So [the prophet Elijah] went at once Zarephath. When he came to the entrance of the town, a widow was there gathering wood. He called to her, “Please bring me a little water in your pitcher and let me drink.” 11 As she went to fetch it, he called to her, “Please bring along a piece of bread for me.” 12 “As the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I have nothing baked, nothing but a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am just gathering a couple of sticks so that I can go home and prepare it for me and my son; we shall eat it and then we shall die.” 13 “Don’t be afraid,” said Elijah to her. “Go and do as you have said; but first make me a small cake from what you have there, and bring it to me; then make some for yourself and your son. 14 For thus said the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘The jar of flour shall not give out, and the jug of oil shall not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the ground.’ ” 15 She went and did as Elijah had spoken, and she and her household had food for a long time. 16 The jar of flour did not give out, nor did the jug of oil fail, just as the Lord had spoken through Elijah.
The widow and her son were sustained; but not through the arrival of a prophet with a large bag of cash, or a wagon-load of food. They were sustained by their faith that they would be provided, which they were on a day-to-day basis. This particular story also illustrates the power of giving – even when it seems you do not have enough, but I’ll address that in a later post.
There are numerous hints in the Bible about this concept of being provided with just what we need. This particular one spoke to me recently as I was pondering another set of verses from the teachings of Jesus.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Matthew 6:19 – 21]
In Evangelical Christian circles, this is often interpreted as the counsel against building wealth. Through a metaphysical lens, I see this as a lesson on knowing that we are provided, and that our wealth is available at all times to us – that we do not need to stockpile food, clothing, or money to assure our provision.
As “evidence” that this stockpiling is counterproductive, think about how often we read of families winning large lottery sums, just to end up worse off in a few years? It’s more common than you might imagine. As students of the principles of the Science of Mind, we know that a lot of money dropped into the lap of someone without the proper consciousness is not long for their wallets. Clearly in these situations the treasures, as experienced in lottery winnings, have fallen prey to destruction by “moth, rust and thieves“. Counting on a one-time BIG WIN is a zero sum game as very often the winners lose it all in a short period of time and wind up much worse off than they were before they came into that money.
Laying up treasures in heaven, I believe, refers to learning that we are provided, and will never be without so long as we know the Truth and live by the principles of being provided, in each moment. The story of Elijah and the widow in the I Kings text illustrates this beautifully, as do many other biblical and other stories.
Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Our treasure is not in dollars, gold bars or food stores, but in our knowledge of Truth principles, that regardless of the FACTS that we may see in front of us – empty cupboards, a negative balance in our checkbook, a “pink slip” from an employer or the latest economic reports on the news – all that we need is available to us, and all we have to do is acknowledge that God is the Source of all our supply.
At this time of year, when it is easy to feel that there is “never enough“, stop and recall the story of Elijah and the widow: know that you are always provided. One helpful affirmation is one shared often here in Pittsburgh New Thought circles: “I always know what I need to know, the moment I need to know it“.
A family friend has been experiencing some periods of lack. In their despair about not having enough at this time of year, I reminded them to remain grounded in the knowledge that they are provided. After a couple phone conversations, I didn’t hear back for a few days,…then a text message came in,
“We are SO Provided!”
Soon after our conversations, they discovered that there were a number of toys that their kids had outgrown that could be sold in a local online sales/bartering group. In addition, they discovered leftover inventory from a direct sales business they were involved in last year. They advertised both sets of items on the local website and in no time, they had generated more than $200 in money substance in less than a week. No one came to the door with a fancy check; no lottery winnings were announced and sent in the mail. They opened themselves to the Truth that they were provided, and ideas emerged in their minds that enabled them to use what was in front of them to meet their needs. In addition, their sales of these objects were welcome “demonstrations” for those who quickly and thankfully grabbed up the items at very affordable prices common on that local bartering website.
My friends were joyously grateful for the realization that they are provided; thankful for the lesson and for the money that came to them at just the right time.
We can all demonstrate this kind of provision; there is always enough, and we are always provided.
And so it is.
(C) 2014 Practitioner’s Path