May Your Soul Prosper  2/7/21

The phrase “even as your soul prospers” has always stood out to me because it is a beautiful way of describing the healthy state that the Christian soul should be in.  That state is one that is ever-prospering.  I believe that some preachers have taken this blessing at the beginning of the third epistle of John out of context. I have heard it quoted as a blessing from God unto all believers, yet it is only a humble blessing given from one friend to another.  Lets take a closer look:

“Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul also prospers” (3 John 1:2)

The Apostle John is writing a letter to a friend.  In the verse directly preceding 3 John 1:2 we can see this for certain: “The Elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth”(3 John 1:1).  Neither the location of this blessing nor the context surrounding the statement change the wholesome, loving spirit this scripture conveys.  Surely, John “the elder,”  was inspired by the Holy Spirit.  John is following the command to love one another even as Jesus loves us (John 13:34).

Let’s take a deeper look at this blessing by referencing the Orthodox Jewish Bible.  The OJB is a wonderful resource that I love to use to look at verses more closely.  The OJB translates 3 John 1:2 like this:

Chaver (Beloved), it is my tefillah (prayer) that all may be hatzlocha (successful) with you, and that you may be shalem b’guf (healthy), just as your nefesh (soul) is matsli’ach (successful).

The King James translates the same text:

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

Our souls prosper because of the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Indeed, if we continue reading from 1 John 1:3, we find that John is writing to congratulate Gaius upon accepting Christ.  John says I love you in truth, I want you to be successful in every facet of your life just like you have recently become successful in coming to faith in Jesus Christ.  

What is the major takeaway from this?  John seems to be saying to Gaius, “You got the most important part of your life in order by accepting Christ and walking in faith, now may you be successful in every other way and healthy on top of that! 

Let’s read the scripture again:

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

Again, we see in the way that John pens this letter that he wants Giaus’s entire life to be as successful as his new spiritual life.  When we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that He was raised from the dead, it changes our fundamental worldview.  What/who we place our faith in changes how we see the world. 

Remember “Faith is the substance of all things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.”  Faith must vitally contribute to the way our world is manifested moment to moment. Faith is the avenue in which God allows us to have a part in what He has and is manifesting.  I am also reminded of the closely related scripture: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

During the short time I spent in Sales, I was taught that if I had confidence and believed I would make a sale, I was much more likely to make a sale.  Of course, the best way of building confidence is through practicing. 

Salespeople practice their pitch because they have faith that if they practice, they will be better at making sales.  Faith and practice go hand in hand.  Let’s look at that scripture again “Faith is the substance of all things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1 in the OJB reads “Now Emunah (faith) is the substance of things for which we have tikvah (desire). Emunah is the conviction of things not seen.”  Emuena is the Hebrew word for faith.  It doesn’t simply mean faith though, as it is often translated.  It means faith and working steadfastly toward that goal of what you are believing in. 

If I didn’t think I would make any sales, I might stay home and not even try.  However, if I practiced my pitch in the way to best help the customer on the sales floor, I knew that I was certain to make a sale.

Now when we have faith in God, must also work steadfastly, praying without ceasing.  You pray because you have faith that God will hear you and if He wills it, you will have what you are seeking.  Prayer is so much more than only practicing faith. Prayer builds the relationship that we have with God.  We have confidence that we can go straight to the throne room, especially if we have been their many times before.  Through prayer, we garner insights into the nature of God.  His sheep hear His voice.  When is the last time you practiced listening to God? 

Spiritual Warfare  September 18, 2019

I feel to tell you something that has helped me quite significantly:  If you have a negative thought, a thought that hurts you to think in any way, it is the enemy’s whisper.  Cast it down!  Ask the Lord for the truth of whatever you are seeing as negative.  The Truth will set you free.  For example, when you think about a service provider that has been incompetent, you many initially feel that resentment in your heart.  Resentment is a horrible feeling.   Cast down that feeling and ask God help you understand the truth about the situation.

To illustrate this example, a person may think, “That service provider treated me badly because I am a worthless person or at least that provider sees me that way…maybe everyone sees me that way…”  Do you see how one negative thought or emotion can pull us down a stairway of negative thinking?  All there needs to be is that foot in the door to open it all the way and then walk down that staircase of misery.  If we assume the negative, even if it is false, when we believe it to be true it will still cause problems for us.  Rip out the tare (biblical word for weed) while it’s a seedling!  When the enemy whispers “that doctor treated you badly because you are a worthless person,” First recognize it as a lie from the enemy.  If you do not believe in “the enemy,” you must still believe that the negative thought has to come from somewhere and it is not a healthy pattern to start.  Our brain activity affects our health dramatically.  Thinking negatively has been proven by many studies to harm our health.  Accordingly, if it is negative and not constructively and lovingly critical, it is a lie!  Cast it down!


What happens when we ask God for the truth of the matter? He would, in the still small beingness of His voice shine “The service provider does not know Me.  This provider is overbooked at work.  He is just existing and not loving because he does not know Me.  Shine with My Love and not bitterness.  Remember I said “forgive them for they know not what they do.” Maybe the provider can first know Me through you?”

Ignorance might be bliss, but it is indeed it’s own curse.  I would much rather know and share the love and care of the Lord than be a callous uncaring person who never feels pain.  I treasure every thorn that has ever been in my side, if that is what it takes to get me closer to the Lord.  To know and feel His presence, there is no other reward that could ever come close to being as fulfilling.  God bless 🙂

Effectual Prayer  October 22, 2019

Did you know that I didn’t always know how to pray, but I thought I did?  I thought I knew how to pray just fine at church and just fine before bed.  I’d only pray about a few minutes at a time and sometimes my heart was in it, but not always.  I was just doing it because it was what I did.  My special time alone with God was a good habit, but was it an effective practice of love and devotion?

All of these questions came to a head one fateful day.  I woke up and I noticed something: the first thoughts of my day were negative!  Then I thought about it and realized that a lot of my thinking was negative.  I was so mad at the enemy, because I knew it wasn’t just from me, my upbringing, and my life circumstances.  I decided that just out of spite, I was going to pray THE WHOLE DAY LONG!!! I was so mad.  I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I had faith that I would figure out how, and I DID!

I went to youtube and looked up intercessory prayer videos and I found two wonderful ladies: the fabulous, Dr. Cindy Trimm and the magnificent, Sister Queen Esther Phillips.  Both of these ladies are who I rested my youtube search on.  They pray with power and authority and what they pray is directly from the Word of God.   Some of these prayer videos are over an hour long!  I just started to pray in agreement while watching or listening to their videos.  Now I know many of their prayers by heart.  I would like to give a shout out to both of these ladies for teaching us how to pray and praying for us.  I hope they never stop!  If you want to pray with effectiveness, here are some great videos for you to watch or listen too.  I know they will make a difference in your life, as they already have and continue to in mine.  God bless!

 Dr. Cindy Trimm:

Sis. Queen Esther Phillips