Deuteronomy 6 records Moses’ instructions to Israel on how to protect themselves during their forthcoming prosperity in the Promised Land. After years in the wilderness, Israel was entering into the land flowing with milk and honey. The fulfillment of God’s promise of a better life was imminent, and in Deuteronomy 6:10-14 Moses instructs Israel with these words:
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you-a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant-then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you.” (Emphasis added)
This passage reveals three principles for protecting yourself when experiencing a season of prosperity.
“Be careful that you do not forget the Lord.”
God is warning you to be careful when all of life tends to be going your way.
When things are going well in your career and you are thriving in your personal promised land: be careful that you do not forget the Lord.
Keep God in the forefront in your seasons of prosperity just as you do in your seasons of trial.
“Fear the Lord your God, serve him only.”
Fear of the Lord is a reverential fear. It has nothing to do with being scared of God. It means to hold God in awe as in the expression, “My God is an awesome God.”
Honor God with your success and serve him only. Understand that your personal success is not a measure of your Christ-likeness. Being rich and successful is no more a badge of holiness than being poor is a badge of virtue.
Your goal is to be more like Jesus regardless of your worldly possessions or circumstance.
“Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you.”
Sin is stealthy. Expect your prosperity to be a source of temptation. Guard yourself against today’s idols. For example, when faith in your expertise or knowledge begins to trump faith in God or your employer supplants God as the source of your security.
Do not let pride replace humility or self replace Christ.
God reigns over the whole of your life whether you have a lot or just a little.
Remain Christ-centric in your prosperity.