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Wealth, Status, and encouragement

When you pray to God for money for bills for example, and you later receive money, is that proof of God's "favor" in your life?

When someone encourages you to do something or purse something how do you know it is God working through them?

Everything seems like it would be Him.  The blessings of wealth and the blessings of positive words.  Sounds like something God would do right?

But what if I told you these are things Satan and a godless world can also give and do.

Matthew 7:21; Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 4:1,8;  "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Romans 1:29-32: "29 They are filled with all unrighteousness,[s] evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving,[t] and unmerciful. 32 Although they know full well God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die[u]—they not only do them, but even applaud[v] others who practice them.

Just in these three points, we see at couple very important things. 
  1. Not everyone who do amazing things are from God or even know God.
  2. Satan can give wealth and power in the world too.
  3. Not everyone who says positive encouraging things are from God.
Seek what glorifies God, not you.  Seek those who point you to God and not yourself. 

Satan's temptations to Jesus were all self centered.  The end result and primary beneficiary of the things was to satisfy the self seeking nature of man. 

  • If what you have received makes you focus on yourself; it wasn't given to you for God's glory.  If what you have received makes you self sacrificial and selfless and point you and everyone else to Christ as the primary end; that is for God's glory. 
  • If the encouragement of others is for something other than God's will and glory; its not encouragement from someone of God.  If the positive words and encouragement compel us to look past ourselves, deny ourselves, and seek the Lord and his glory; that is from God.

Know where your blessings are coming from.  Satan gives worldly wealth and status too.  The godless say positive encouraging things as well.  Guard your heart, test what you've been told and given, and keep your mind on Christ.

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