3Jn2 Wellness is not only the name of my business, it’s my mission and ministry. I’m here to help you prosper in your body and in your soul by living in harmony with God’s ways. 3 John 2 is such a fundamental verse. We all know that God’s great desire for us is that we prosper and be in health. So, why is it that sometimes we receive and manifest what God has for us and sometimes we don’t? Have you ever noticed that there’s a condition to manifesting this prosperity and health? Exactly how does the soul prosper?
Here are two different translations of 3 John 2:
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (KJV)
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. (ESV)
How do we truly manifest God’s prosperity and health? I’ve been told that if you’re not manifesting these things, it’s because of lack of faith or believing on your part, that you must have some doubt or fear. Is that what it says?
Let’s look at the condition in this verse. “Even as your soul prospers.” You can affect your entire life by taking care of one aspect, your soul. Let’s see how your soul and the situations in your life are connected.
The word prosper is the Greek word euodoō, which means to have a prosperous, successful journey. Where does the prosperity and success in this journey come from?
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:10)
That’s pretty clear; the blessing comes from the LORD of hosts.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)
Again, very clear. Every good and perfect gift is from the Father of lights.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 1:3)
It’s very clear that ALL the blessings in life come from God. So, we’re going to define prosperity as “the manifestation of God’s heavenly blessings and provision here on earth.”
Be in Health
The second thing that God desires for us in 3 John 2 is that we “be in health.”
The first use of be in health is in Genesis 43:28 where it’s translated “in good health.” The Hebrew word for that whole phrase is shalowm. Most of you are no doubt familiar with the Hebrew word shalom. It means not only peace (quiet, tranquility, contentment), but also completeness (in number), soundness (in body), welfare (health, prosperity), and friendship. It means to be whole (also called saved). I’ve heard it described as “nothing missing, nothing broken.”
Psalm 42:11 shows us where health comes from.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health [yĕshuw`ah, meaning something saved, i.e. (abstractly) deliverance; hence, aid, victory, prosperity:—deliverance, health, help(-ing), salvation, save, saving (health), welfare] of my countenance [paniym, refers to the self], and my God. (Psalm 42:11)
Bullinger’s Companion Bible translates the last part as, “I shall yet praise him, who is the salvation of me, and my God.”
The New International Version (NIV) of this verse is,
Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!
The psalmist is talking to himself when he addresses his soul. He asks and answers his own question (haven’t we all done that?). If you read the previous verses in Psalm 42, you’ll see that he became discouraged by looking at his own (negative) circumstances. He was trying to figure out what to do, so he was asking himself questions to try to resolve his problem. Then, he had a light-bulb moment. He realized that his life is saved, made whole, complete, not by himself but by God.
First, let’s note the distinction between spirit and soul.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly [all parts of you]; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
This names three distinct parts of man: spirit, soul, and body.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
The Word of God can separate the thoughts of your soul from the thoughts of your spirit.
Your soul is the part of you that gives life and movement to your body and thoughts to your mind. The heart is the innermost part of the soul.
The spirit is the gift from God when one becomes born again (see Acts 2:38). All humans and animals have soul life. Only those born again (Romans 10:9) have spirit life.
We will look at HOW the soul prospers more closely later on.
The words even as are one Greek word kathōs, which means “according as, just as, in proportion as, in the degree that, since, seeing that, agreeably to the fact that.” It’s very important that we understand this word.
Have you ever played with a thermometer? Can you separate the thermometer from the temperature? What happens if you take the thermometer out into the sun? The temperature goes up. Can you stop it? Did you do anything to the thermometer itself other than exposing it to the sun? No.
What happens if you take it into the cold? The temperature goes down. Did you take the thermometer apart and manually change it? No.
So, we can say the thermometer’s mercury will move “even as” or according to, the temperature. The temperature affects the thermometer; the thermometer can’t affect or change the temperature.
Everything you are experiencing here on earth is in direct proportion to what you are experiencing in your soul. As your soul prospers… so does your life. If your soul isn’t prospering, then the issues of your life won’t.
Let now compare our souls and our prosperity in life, our blessings, the manifestation of heaven on this earth, to a thermometer. We, our lives, our souls, are the thermometer and God is the temperature. We can only be changed by the impact God is having on our souls.
Thanks to Brent Phillips for the analogy of the thermometer.
How the Soul Prospers
Here are some different translations of Proverbs 4:23.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (KJV)
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (NLT)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (NIV)
Your life is built by what is flowing from you, from your heart. What goes into our hearts? Things we see, hear, and think.
Whatever is in your heart is going to build your life. The mind is the filter to your heart. If the mind is filtered in a way contrary to God, you won’t be able to receive God’s word and your life won’t change. Jesus told us to be careful HOW we hear.
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. (Luke 8:16-18)
This refers to the filters through which we take in information. What filter are you using? Are you filtering things through the world’s standards or God’s standards? God’s word should be our filter. There are filters that are at war against us, against our souls.
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; (1 Peter 2:11)
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 John 2:16)
This is the source of the world’s filter:
We know… that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19 NIV)
The evil one, the devil, controls everything about this world: religion, politics, the education system, the media, etc.
This is part of God’s filter:
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: (Psalm 101:3a)
Looking at, watching, reading, or viewing wicked or evil things affects the soul and whether it prospers. What are you reading in books, newspapers, magazines, online? What are you watching on TV or movies or YouTube? What about video games? You may not think it’s affecting you, but the word of God assures you that it does.
Doing a word study of what God considers to be an abomination is very interesting. Here’s an example.
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
How many of these things are considered “okay” by today’s standards, even for believers? Lying? Oh, it’s just a little white lie, just in this situation. Gossip? Pride? It’s okay. Is it?
Let’s look at more of God’s filter:
Be careful [anxious, worried] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep [guard] your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9)
These are the things God tells us to think about. This is the filter that will lead to our souls prospering. We must feed the soul with nourishment from God.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV)
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)
This requires diligence and action. You can’t be passive about the thoughts you allow to stay in your mind if you want your soul to prosper.
If what you’re seeing, hearing, and thinking is causing you to be angry, fearful, or confused, none of which are from God, you must see, hear, and think something else instead.
The Prosperity of the Soul
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. (Isaiah 55:6-13 KJV)
What a wonderful description of the prosperity of the soul. God’s thoughts are much higher than ours. He challenges us to change our thoughts.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)
If you want to be transformed, change the way you think and your life will change. To know God’s will, we need to renew our minds; we exchange our beliefs (which are really the world’s beliefs) for God’s beliefs.
You are not the one who transforms you, God is. Allow Him to transform you by allowing everything that enters your heart to go through the filter of His Word.
You know you have changed when you speak and react to things differently. When your mind has changed, your heart will change.
Renewing your mind lets God’s Word work in your life. You have the holy spirit living in you. Change is inevitable. Through the power of God’s Word, you can renew your mind and become a new person.
The question is, are you renewing your mind to the Word or the world? Garbage in, garbage out. If you don’t like the harvest, change the seed.
Another great way to put the soul in prosperity mode is to rejoice in God. There are many verses on this subject. Let’s look at a few.
But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. (Psalm 68:3)
My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. (Psalm 71:23)
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
These descriptions of rejoicing in God aren’t meek and quiet. No, these people weren’t afraid to raise holy hands and praise God!
Your Identity is in Christ
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthian 3:18 KJV)
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (NLT)
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:23-25)
Our lives reflect what we look at. If the reflection we see of ourselves is from the world, then we will manifest what the world has to offer. Anger, confusion, fear, pain, sickness, lack…
When we look into God’s Word, we see back a reflection of Christ. That is who you really are. After you put the Word down, do you continue to see yourself in your mind as Christ, or do you revert back to the world’s image of yourself?
The thoughts we continue to think about ourselves will manifest in our lives. Do you love yourself, do you expect blessings to hunt you down? God does. He sees you as Christ.
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NLT)
When we think less of ourselves than what God says about us, we are passing judgment on ourselves and usually, we punish ourselves for not being perfect. We then start to expect other people to treat us in a certain way, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It provides a negative filter through which we see everything. We have to let it go and choose to see ourselves as God sees us. When we give it to Him, He will lift it off our hearts. If you feel a burden or weight on your heart, that’s a good indication that there’s judgment there.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
Change happens at the foot of the cross. As long as we make excuses for our sins (remember, whatever isn’t of faith is sin – Romans 14:23), we aren’t going to change. When we throw out our excuses and see ourselves as God sees us, He will change us and that sets us free from judgment and condemnation.
We empower negatives because when we believe the worst of our ourselves and our situations (poor health, anger, lack of finances, poor relationships, etc.), it becomes our reality. What you believe will happen.
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. (Job 3:25)
Stop making excuses for sin. “I’m just human.” There’s no godly reason for why you aren’t set free, healed, prospered, etc. It all depends on what you are feeding your soul.
Putting It All Together
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 2)
Finances come from God, not from the physical realm. Good health comes from God. We may (we should) operate God’s principles regarding finances and health, but they originate from a prospering soul. Then the blessing from heaven manifests.
There is no room for fear or doubt. Fear and doubt block your ability to hear God’s voice. Nothing can stop the blessings when the soul is prospering. You will manifest on the outside what you are experiencing in your soul.
Everything we want in life is a result of our souls prospering. In January, I set a theme for myself for the year. I want to live as Christ. So I wrote down steps on how I was going to do this. Now, I realize that living as Christ is a manifestation of my soul prospering. That’s the only thing I need to attend to. If my soul is prospering, everything else will fall in line.
Verses About the Soul
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3)
Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. (Psalm 25:1)
What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. The secret of the LORD is with them that fear [are in awe of] him; and he will shew them his covenant. (Psalm 25:12-14)
O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. (Psalm 25:20)
Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. For our heart [the innermost part of the soul] shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. (Psalm 33:20-21)
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. (Psalm 34:2)
my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it [my soul] shall rejoice in his salvation. (Psalm 35:9)
I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee. (Psalm 41:4)
If my soul is healed, physical, emotional, and mental healing will follow.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm 42:2)
I can’t wait to spend time with my God!
[[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.]] Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. (Psalm 57:1)
David’s soul hid under God’s wing. He didn’t fear even though he was in a very scary situation. God protected his soul and thus, his physical body was safe, as well.
[[To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.]] Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation [deliverance, welfare, prosperity, victory]. (Psalm 62:1)
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation [literally a cord (as an attachment); figuratively, expectancy:—expectation(-ted), hope, live, thing that I long for] is from him. (Psalm 62:5)
Instruct your soul to wait only for God. Attach yourself to Him like He’s your lifeline, your umbilical cord from which you get everything you need.
[[A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.]] O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow [choicest, best part, abundance (of products of the land)] and fatness [abundance]; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. (Psalm 63:1-8)
Let your soul praise God and cling to Him as if your very life depended on it.
O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved. (Psalm 66:8-9)
Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. (Psalm 66:16)
My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. (Psalm 71:23)
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. (Psalm 84:2)
Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. (Psalm 86:4-5)
In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. (Psalm 94:19)
[[A Psalm of David.]] Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. (Psalm 103:1-6)
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. (Psalm 107:8-9)
Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. (Psalm 116:7-8)
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (Psalm 121:7)
I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Psalm 130:5-6)
In the day when I cried thou answeredest me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. (Psalm 138:3)
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psalm 139:14)
There’s an awful lot of praising God in one’s soul going on. Hmm, could this be a clue as to how the soul prospers?
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. (Psalm 143:5-6)
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. (Psalm 143:8)
When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: (Proverbs 2:10-11)
He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. (Proverbs 15:32)
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)
A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. (Proverbs 18:7)
Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth. (Proverbs 19:2)
He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good. (Proverbs 19:8)
He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his [God’s] ways shall die. (Proverbs 19:16)
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 21:23)
Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul. (Proverbs 22:24-25)
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off. (Proverbs 24:13-14)
In the same way [that honey is sweet to the tongue], wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short. (Proverbs 24:14 NLT)
Finding God’s wisdom is sweet to the soul and brings great reward. It brings about a prospering soul whose hopes are not cut short. It will manifest in prosperity and health in all areas of your life. This is God’s great desire for His beloved children, which we are.
Beloved, I desire that in all respects you may experience the manifestation of God’s heavenly blessing and provision and be in good health (nothing missing, nothing broken), in direct proportion and to the degree in which your mind, your will, and your emotions experience God’s heavenly blessing and provision. (3 John 2)
Learn more in my new book, Be in Health: Bible-Based Health Restoration: Living in Harmony with God’s Ways Regarding Health. Available now.