How can we know God’s perfect will for our lives? Where can we find the will of God? God’s Word contains His will. God’s will is found in His Word. The apostle Paul told us that we could know God’s perfect will by renewing our minds with the Word of God.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The mission of Beyond Positive Thinking Ministries is to help people fulfill the will of God is their lives according to 3 John 2, they prosper in all things and live in health. The key to receiving the prosperity and health that God wants for you is found in the last part of the verse, “just as your soul prospers.”
3 John 2 (NKJV)
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
Your soul refers to your mind, will, intellect and emotions. The soul is where your thinking takes place. You will prosper both financially and physically just as you are prospering mentally. It all starts with your thoughts and the way you think about these two areas of your life.
We are going to answer four questions in this article:
1. Who is “Beloved” referring to?
2. What does “prosper” mean?
3. What does “health” refer to?
4. What does it mean to prosper in your soul?
Who is “Beloved” referring to?
It is important to identify to whom this verse (3 John 2) is being written. At first glance, after reading verse one, it appears that John is writing this letter to Gaius only, but in verse two John uses the word “Beloved” to address the recipients of this letter. We will use the Word of God to answer this first question.
Ephesians 1:5-6 (NKJV)
v. 5 Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
v. 6 To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted IN THE BELOVED.
What is the definition of “Beloved” in verse six? We will define it with the New Living Translation of verse six.
Ephesians 1:6 (NLT)
So we praise God for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us because we belong to his dearly loved Son.
“Beloved” refers to any person who belongs to God’s dearly loved Son, Jesus Christ. Do you belong to Jesus Christ today? Are you a child of God? Are you in the family of God? You are if you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:26 (NLT)
So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Any person who has placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ has been accepted in the Beloved, and is a member of the family of God, and now God is his or her very own Father.
What does “prosper” mean?
The word “prosper” is only found once in the New Testament and the word “prosperity” is not found at all in the New Testament.
What is the first thing most people think of when “prosperity” is mentioned? Money and material possessions, right? However, prosperity is really much more than that. Let’s look at the biblical definition of prosperity. The first thing we know is that it is God’s will for us to prosper in ALL THINGS (Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things).
The Greek word for prosper is “euodoo” (yoo-od-o: Strong’s #2137). Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible gives this definition: “to help on the road; to succeed in reaching; to succeed in business affairs; to have a prosperous journey.” Certainly life is a journey, and God’s will is that it be a prosperous one!
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words adds this to the definition of prosper: “in material things; the continuous tense suggests the successive circumstances of varying prosperity as week follows week; in 3 John 2 prosper also refers to the “prosperity” of physical and spritual health.”
Prosper and Prosperity are found well over 50 times in the Old Testament. One of the three Hebrew words for prosperity is “shalom” (Strong’s #7965). It means peace, prosperity and health.
Each individual must determine what prosperity means to them. Every person must find a definition that he or she can believe in. Do you know how many people do not believe that it is God’s will for them to prosper and be in health?
Many people equate prosperity with an amount on money or with material possessions. To one a prosperous person is a millionaire, to another a prosperous person is one who is financially free, and yet to another a prosperous person is one who lives in a spacious home, drives a luxury car, and wears designer clothes.
Is a person prosperous if he or she is continually challenged with a lack of physical wellness and their bodies continually filled with sickness and disease? Is a person prosperous if he or she is continually experiencing strife in their relationships? Is the prosperous person one who is continually filled with fear, worry and anxiety? According to our previous Bible definitions, a lack of peace and/or a lack of physical health would disqualify an individual from being defined as prosperous person.
My point is twofold. First, prosperity is not an amount. Second, prosperity is all encompassing, it not only includes financial well being, but it also includes physical well being and spiritual well being.
Here is my personal definition of prosperity: “Prosperity is having enough of God’s resources to fulfill my God-given dream.”
What does “health” refer to?
Prosperity does not only refer to financial and spiritual health, but it refers to physical health as well. It refers to your body keeping well. Let’s read the Amplified Translation of 3 John 2 in order to confirm our definition of the word “health.”
3 John 2 (AMP)
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way AND [THAT YOUR BODY] MAY KEEP WELL, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.
God’s will is that your body gets well and stays healthy. After all, God called Himself Jehovah Rapha to His covenant people in Exodus 15:26, which means the Lord who heals you!
What does it mean to prosper in your soul?
What is a prosperous soul? We find the answer in 3 John 3-4.
3 John 3-4 (NKJV)
v. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.
v. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
A prosperous soul is a mind filled with the Truth. What is the Truth?
John 17:17 (NKJV)
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
God’s Word is Truth! A prosperous soul is a mind filled with God’s Word. A prosperous soul is a renewed mind. Your soul prospering, which means your mental prosperity, is dependent on renewing your mind with the Word of God. “Just as your soul prospers” refers to the degree that your mind is renewed with the Word of God.
Your prosperity and health are dependent upon your soul prospering. Your soul prospering means renewing your mind with what the Word of God says about prosperity and health. You will prosper financially and physically just as you are prospering mentally. It all starts with your thoughts and the way you think about these two areas of your life.
God’s greatest joy is to hear that His children walk in the truth of His Word. Walking in the Truth means walking in the light of God’s Word. It means practicing the Word of God. It means living according to the success principles set forth in the Word of God.