OD wants us to live an abundant life (John 10:10). He wants us to excel, exceed, and succeed. Of course, we must define this prosperity spiritually. Living in a way that pleases our Father (by faith) – this is what it means to thrive. But wait now, Satan has other ideas. Satan wants to ruin every believer (1st Peter 5:8). He is devoted to making our lives a miserable wreck and an embarrassment to the cause of Christ. Sometimes he uses money, sometimes fame. He can use sex, hobbies, disease, addictions, positions, stress, pain, loneliness, talents; opportunities for comfort; the list could go on and on. But perhaps the one thing that Satan uses more effectively than any other tool is dead religion.
There are philosophies and traditions that end up being adopted even in the true church of God; ideas that are not only unbiblical, they are contra biblical. The test of a doctrine is its source. Doctrine that comes from God is perfect (Colossians 2:2-3). Doctrines that are developed and contrived among men are as worthless as a dead idol made of stone. The words of men can certainly be flattering and impressive (vs. 4), but the mere philosophies and rituals of human invention can never substitute adequately for the sound doctrine of our living Lord (Mark 1:22 & Colossians 2:6). If we remain attached inseparably to the truth of the gospel which we have been given by our Lord (vs. 7), then we can succeed in our spiritual walk. But, if we get distracted by culture, personality, preference, taste, habit, and human expectations – especially when these things both contradict and replace God's truth – we cannot succeed (vs. 8).