In these posts you have read me referring to the spirit of poverty. I realize that not everyone is familiar with this terminology. Let me give some explanation. I call it a “spirit” and it is demonic but it is usually appears more as a pattern of thinking that is ingrained into our thinking, like a rut or groove from which we cannot escape. What is it and how can we identify it? Let’s consider what Darrow Miller, in his book Discipling Nations, talks about concerning patterns of thinking that define the existence of peoples around the world.
So why are people poor and hungry? Except for catastrophic events such as war, drought, or flood, physical poverty doesn’t “just happen.” It is the logical result of the way people look at themselves and the world, the stories they tell to make sense of their world. Physical poverty is rooted in a mindset of poverty, a set of ideas held corporately that produce certain behaviors. These behaviors can be institutionalized into the laws and structures of society. The consequences of these laws and behaviors is poverty. Those with a poverty mind see the world through the glasses of poverty. They say or their actions say for them, “I am poor. I will always be poor, and there is nothing I can do about it….”
Rick Joyner, in his book Overcoming the Spirit of Poverty, takes this definition a step further. He states “the spirit of poverty is a stronghold established for the purpose of keeping us from walking in the fullness of the victory gained for us at the cross, or the blessings of our inheritance in Christ.” The accuracy and truth of this definition resonated inside of me when I read it.
The spirit of poverty is a specific and strategic obstacle from the enemy to keep us from growing and prospering. Is it more spiritual to be poor? I used to think it was. But the Lord has convinced me otherwise. I discovered that it does not take much faith to be poor and in lack. It seems to happen automatically. In fact, I started to wonder, “Is it really selfish and lazy for us to settle for just barely enough finances to meet our needs?”, especially when we have the capacity and ability to raise our faith and believe for much more in order to advance.
Discipling Nations, Darrow L. Miller, (Seattle, WA: YWAM Publishing, 1998), p.67.
Overcoming the Spirit of Poverty, Rick Joyner, (Charlotte, NC: MorningStar Publications, 1996), p. 4.