God promised Abram that he would become a great nation, make his name great and be a blessing.
Even though God was speaking to an individual, it is important to realise that God is always very concerned about the nation (Deuteronomy 8: 6-14).
This is because national prosperity impacts on individual prosperity and vice versa.
The next question is, “which one should come first?” The Church needs to be more national and global in its perspective because, to a large extent, the teachings on prosperity have focused mainly on the prosperity of the individual.
As long as we are not conscious of the impact of national prosperity on our individual well being, we exercise faith for our individual prosperity only to find that our prosperity is limited.
This is because if there is national poverty, it will ultimately produce individual poverty for most of the citizens.
Therefore, we are admonished to pray for peace of the city or nation we live in.
Peace here refers to the total wellbeing of each individual, that is, having nothing missing or broken in your life and soul; having good health and material provision (Jeremiah 29: 7).
No matter how fantastic your seed may be, the environment will determine the level of its productivity or fruitfulness.
Therefore, Christians cannot afford to play the ostrich and exercise faith for personal breakthrough and prosperity to the exclusion of national prosperity because that is not a Biblical pattern.
The focus of the Early Church was community prosperity which occurs when resources are pooled together.
This provides leverage to do much more than one individual can do (Acts 4: 32-35). Unfortunately, in our nation, we have been forced to provide all our basic amenities by ourselves such that each home is a local government unto itself.
When we focus on personal prosperity to the exclusion of community prosperity, we breed greedy, selfish Christians with the spirit of Cain. God’s focus is on nations, people groups and communities, not just individuals (Matthew 28:18-19; Acts 1:8).
The Church is the representation of God’s kingdom on this earth and it is an indictment on a church if any member goes to bed hungry (Malachi 3:10).
We need to ensure that poverty is driven away from the members and also from the community and nation we dwell in.
Community prosperity which is created by the right government policies produces good healthcare and transportation systems, sound educational systems and flourishing businesses.
When we focus on community prosperity, we know what to expect and to demand from our collective system of government.
Also, for a nation to prosper, it must have a vision, which is, the key to provision. As a nation, we need to be prosperity conscious (3 John 2).
To make the vision realisable, we need to uphold basic values like love, value for human life, honesty and excellence; values which should become the standard for the whole nation.
One of the basic influences you have over the national environment is your election vote.
As Christians, we have the duty to create community prosperity starting from inside the Church before taking responsibility for the larger community. However, you cannot affect the community if you are poor.
You need to prosper individually or else your influence is terribly limited (Ecclesiastes 9:16).