I feel strongly that God is a God of abundance. I believe He gives us, and calls us to have, more than enough, not so we can be rich and feel important, but to be able to provide for other. Before Jesus left, He said “the poor you have with you always.” And there are many other scripture, and even laws in the Torah, that state we should have the ability to provide for those who have not. However, today in my Daily Bible Reading, in Proverbs, the writer asks God for neither poverty nor riches, because if he had too much he would disown God and if he had too little he would steal and dishonor His name. Rather, he asks only for his daily bread.
Now, I understand that concept, and that is the concept of a lot of people today, but I truly believe this is spoken from a spiritually immature state. If anything can hinder our relationship with God, how we regard Him, and how we interact with Him, that is a sign of lack in our relationship with Him. Most definitely, if riches would keep us from Him or cause us to stumble, then yes, this prayer in Proverbs is for us. But when we regard God within the confine of the covenant He cut with us, realizing that it is deep enough to challenge us, and to change us, we understand that no amount of anything should separate us from Him.
And most definitely, dishonoring His name by stealing and disowning God by relying on self, both are a separation from Him. Anything yielding separation in our relationship with Him is negative. But it is not surplus or lack that yield a result of separation in our relationship with God, but rather how we perceive and react to surplus and lack in regard to our relationship with Him that determines our separation from Him. The emphasis is not on poverty or abundance, but rather on how we understand these concepts within our covenant with Him.
There is a lot of talk, denominationally speaking, regarding the “prosperity message” and I’m sure I could write a book on the topic. I’m not preaching prosperity; indeed, these are two separate topics altogether. We hear “money is the root of all evil” and so we think that we are somehow godlier when we don’t pursue riches. But that phrase is actually misquoting 1 Timothy 6:10, in which the emphasis is not on money but on the love of money. If your love is toward God, then money is nothing more than a tool. And if seen as such, it doesn’t jeopardize your relationship with Him. And like the parable of the talents, He knows you can handle a small amount so He can feel confident to entrust you with more.