Joel Osteen tells us we can have our best life now, saying God wants to bless us. And that’s true.
He also tells us that blessing comes in the form of health, prosperity and peace. And that’s false.
It isn’t that God is against us; he just wants better things for us. And many times, the better things oppose our comfort and material gain. But what are these better things?
A Long List
There are many things God wants for us which are better than the prosperity gospel.
- Adoption as heirs of Christ (Gal 3:29)
- Defeat of our spiritual enemies (Heb 1:13)
- Community with God’s children (1 Cor 12:20)
- Rescue from Hell (John 3:16)
- Conformed to the likeness of Christ (2 Cor 3:18)
- Peace with God (Rom 5:1)
- Christ’s righteousness imputed to us (2 Cor 5:21)
- Eternal life in Heaven (Rom 6:23)
The list goes on and on. These are far better than the health and wealth “prosperity gospel.” And God’s means for achieving many of them are often contradictory to health, wealth and prosperity.
But none of these are the best blessing.
There is a blessing greater than wealth. It’s greater than health. It’s greater than growth, community, peace or even Heaven.
The One True Blessing
There is only one blessing worth more than all others. There is one blessing so magnificent even the angels long to look at it. What is it?
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
The greatest blessing is to gain God.
Look back at Paul’s words – Jesus died so that we could receive the blessing. That blessing is more than land and wealth. It’s more than peace and tranquility. The blessing is more than salvation. It’s God, the Holy Spirit, in us.
As John Piper explains, “To be blessed by God is to get God.”
The gospel is not the message that Jesus died for you so that, if you put your faith in Jesus, you can be saved from hell and go to heaven.
The gospel is the message that Jesus died for you so that, if you put your faith in Jesus, you can have Jesus.
Your Best Life Now
What does this mean for having our best life now? Jesus explains:
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
We can have that right now.
God the Holy Spirit lives in us (1 Cor 6:19) and Jesus has given us complete access to the throne of God (Heb 4:16), our Father (John 1:12). None of these are future tense – we live in these truths right here and right now. The greatest blessing of all is already ours! We can live in it – in Him – day by day.
You have your best life now when you take advantage of the greatest blessing now.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some praying to do.