How many times have you prayed for a better job, relief from financial struggle, a good car, enough food, a secure environment, relief from pain, healing of a disease, a life-partner, clients for your business, and a change in the behavior of your spouse, parents, children or friends? How many times have you prayed for other people who are asking God for one of these things? How many times have you reminded God of his promises throughout the Bible where He promised that He would provide abundantly?

The answer is NO!!!! Jesus did not die on the cross to allow you to have a life in abundance. He died on the cross to allow you access to a life of salvation. This life of salvation contains many growth areas each of which comes with a reward. But it does not work the way you want it to work. It works according to very openly shared rules and regulations.

Matthew 6:33 (AMP) – But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

We are measured by our outward and inward success in a large array of different measures imposed on ourselves, by those around us, society, those that we love, those that we know, and those that we will never know. We compare and are compared, evaluated, measured, stirred and shaken. How we talk, where we live, what we wear, how we cut our hair, how much we take, how much we give, even inside the church. Right or wrong, we are in this. We live in it, our children live in it and they are abused if they don’t have a this or a that.

But Jesus walked this earth just like us. He may not have been teased by a Roman soldier the same way your daughter is when teased about her old model smartphone, but He faced human level temptation. He faced the three temptations we face up to this day:

Scarcity or lack – Utilizing hunger as an entry point the tempter (Satan) urged Jesus to turn Stones into bread. At face value it seems like a pretty basic request, considering the power contained within Jesus. At its heart, though it has very important principles:

The first would require of Jesus to forsake his newly accepted role as human mediator and intercessor (this happened just after His baptism) and simply return to His divinity.
Second would require Jesus to forego the needs of the many to satisfy the needs of one. This is where our human lesson begins. God created each of us with service, labor, and duty as a primary directive and taking away from that focus will lead to selfish needs satisfaction.
Thirdly, it questions God’s will for us and points to our visible realm of lack. In essence, this temptation is aimed at our faith in God. Sometimes we are placed by God into situations for preparation, where we deepen our humble reliance on Him, where our faith, trust, and intimacy with Him exceed previous levels. However, it is also here where we will meet the tempter and his reminder of our obviously visible lack.

Matthew 4:4 (AMP) – But Jesus replied, “It is written and forever remains written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”

Ambition, Power or Status – Upon failure of a physical and present tense temptation, our human need to succeed, to overcome, become better, to win is under attack. Satan shows Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world and promised that they would be His if he switched alliances:

The assault on Jesus was aimed directly at providing Him with a shortcut, an easy way out. It requires forsaking the plan God has and it comes with a big carrot. Jesus does not have to die. It would seem that Jesus could achieve the same goals, by simply bending the rules somewhat.
For all humans, this is not a small need as competition and survival is an extraordinarily deep biological imperative related to survival of self and offspring. Achieving, competing, and overcoming is a fundamental building block in our lives. It is the way in which our relationship with God grows as well.
We also have to understand from this that the kingdom God and Jesus came to establish differ substantially from that perused by this world. The measurement criteria are different, the “currency” id different and attaining goals is conducted in a different way.

Matthew 4:10 (AMP) – Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”

Testing boundaries – this temptation leads Jesus to a position where He would be flirting with supplanting Gods will with his own. Playing of the importance of Jesus in the overall plan to save the world, Satan states that God would send angels to come and save him if he jumped off a high place:

This temptation would actually ask of Jesus to directly stand on His spiritual pride and use His knowledge about the will of God to tempt God himself. This temptation feeds on a sense of accomplishment and endeavors to let the tempted go too far.
Spiritual pride and knowledge of the immense power of God allow us to be tempted to becoming reckless. This is where the belief that we are invulnerable, can achieve without God’s instruction becomes dangerous.
Flirting with danger, sin and other “adult” spiritual elements become the source of temptation. If we receive gifts and blessings from God, this is where we will be weighed. Had to live past sin, regret, unforgiving and judgmental attitudes are the target here – Spiritual realm temptations.

Matthew 4:7 (AMP) – Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall not test the Lord your God.’”

As we can see the tempter has some experience at this. Millions of people since Adam and Eve. Every step of the way, every facet of your spiritual growth. So what other temptation do you face?

And yet:

John 10:10 (AMP) – The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].

2 Corinthians 9:8 (AMP) – And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.

So does this mean that we as Christians are doomed to poverty, going without?

Matthew 6:2-26 (AMP) – “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord].

Nope – Christians can have plenty… ABUNDANCE is the word used – more than needed, overflowing…

Everybody knows that Job was tormented by Satan, stripped of everything that would matter to a human, and yet he persisted in trusting God (Job 42:10), the result of which was astounding blessings (and wealth) from God. Solomon was blessed and favored by God to the extent that his wealth became legendary (2 Chronicles 9:20). People to this day are still searching for hidden pockets of his treasure.

It is how Christians perceive wealth, seen and understood as a blessing from God or a reward of confirmed trust in God, that opens the door.

Jesus spoke about money directly in the Parable of the Talents:

Matthew 25:29 (AMP) – “For to everyone who has [and values his blessings and gifts from God, and has used them wisely], more will be given, and [he will be richly supplied so that] he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have [because he has ignored or disregarded his blessings and gifts from God], even what he does have will be taken away..

So given all of this, do you think that Jesus died on the cross to ensure that you have an abundant life?


But it does not work the way you want it to work. It works according to very openly shared rules and regulations.

If your ownership of a house, boat, airplane, sports car, multi-million business will broadcast and demonstrate God’s grace, you will have it and more. You will have an overwhelming abundance. You will have:

1 Corinthians 10:13 (AMP)– No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].

John 15:11 (AMP) – I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (AMP) – Now may the God of peace [the source of serenity and spiritual well-being] who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood that sealed and ratified the eternal covenant, equip you with every good thing to carry out His will and strengthen you [making you complete and perfect as you ought to be], accomplishing in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:6 (AMP) – So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”

Mark 10:29-30 (AMP) – Jesus said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, there is no one who has given up a house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, who will not receive a hundred times as much now in the present age—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms—along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.

Philippians 1:6 (AMP) – I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].

Revelation 21:4 (AMP) – and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the [a]former order of things has passed away.”

So now that we understand God’s view on this mortal life, I invite you:

John 15:7 (AMP) – If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.

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Author's Bio: 

Anton van den Berg is a normal person. I have no specialized theological training but I have led a life of hard and tough lessons. Like silver, I had to be taken to the furnace to get rid of a lot of impurities. In that process, I have learned to let certain things go, and to attach to other values. These posts represent some of the pivotal growth-moments in that journey. I hope that it would assist you on your journey in some way. May God Almighty, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit be with you.