Isn’t It More Spiritual to be Poor?

 

Here was a precious man of God and his wife who had spent much of their lives on the mission field. He shared that early in his life he felt called to the mission field and he told his wife and family they would “always be poor” because of their missionary calling. He went on to share about their experience of never having enough, both when they were on the mission field and when they were home. And now he saw the same lack reproduced in the lives of his children. He wanted me to pray and break the power of his words over his family.

I asked him to pray first and cancel those words of financial lack he had spoken. He stood in his place of God-given authority and prayed. Then I followed in a prayer of financial blessing for the family as God met them in a beautiful time of prayer and restoration. The whole family left with a burden lifted and anticipating God’s abundant financial blessing.

In studying spiritual gifts we find a gift called voluntary poverty.1 Voluntary poverty is defined as voluntarily living below a normal standard of living to minister to a people group or an individual. It works many times alongside of the gift of missionary. Church history is full of stories of people who operated in this gift.

Could it be that some Christians see this gift in well-known missionaries and church leaders (past and present) and hear their powerful, inspirational testimonies; yet they make the mistake of thinking this is the standard for everyone rather than a special grace that is given to only some? Many times Christians who live in financial lack hold as their heroes of the faith some of these spiritual giants who had the gift of voluntary poverty, not realizing they themselves do not have the same grace. This could be the cause of some Christians not experiencing God’s abundance in the area of finances.

1   C. Peter Wagner, Finding Your Spiritual Gifts, (Ventura, California: Gospel Light, 2005).

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God is an Abundant Provider

 If we have a scarcity mentality, it will lead to us just barely getting by and our finances will be scarce. We must understand from a Biblical perspective that God is a loving, abundant provider. His heart emerges so clearly as we read the Psalms. First we read that He delights in the prosperity of his servant.

Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.” Psalm 35:27 NASB

So what does that mean…“He delights in the prosperity of his servant”? It means it makes Him happy to bless us financially. Instead of a scarcity mentality God wants us to have an abundance mentality. We also read in Psalms that God wants to give us the desires of our hearts.

Psalm 20:4May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Psalm 20:4;21:2

Is this some kind of license for us to give God a list of our desires? Of course not…he wants to put his desires in our hearts and then he wants to fulfill them. So it might include something practical like a motorcycle or car for transportation but it is so much more. It is God’s dream and vision for our lives. So we shouldn’t just think in terms of a single item. That is way to small! We should think in terms of what we need to fulfill our destiny.

What about Jesus in Luke 10, he said the fields were white on to harvest. He saw the potential for abundance. More on this next week…

 

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Practical Steps to Take Dominion Over Your Finances

In his book Overcoming the Spirit of Poverty, Rick Joyner describes the spirit of poverty as a stronghold established to keep us from the fullness of victory gained at the cross or the blessings of our inheritance in Christ. Could it be that some of us are not fully receiving our inheritance in Christ?

Apparently this was true for the Ephesian Christians. Paul in writing to the Ephesians says he is praying for them “that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…”There was part of their inheritance they were not seeing. We will need all of our inheritance to fulfill our role as sons and daughters in the Kingdom. Sons and daughters have confidence and dominion because they are owners. But how do we get there?    

I have spoken about buying a Lily to help take dominion over financial worry. Why does a Lily help us overcome the spirit of poverty? It is because beauty feeds your soul. We will discuss more about this in upcoming blogs, but for now understand that beauty is one thing that helps us to have a prosperous soul. A prosperous soul has dominion over financial worry.

Psalm 131:2 describes this prosperous soul that is at rest as like a weaned child. “But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.”A spirit of poverty leaves you with the anxious feeling that your finances are out of control. The money just comes in and goes out. Here are some practical steps to take dominion over your finances:

(1) Understand what the tithe is and do it in faith. Give 10% to your local church.

(2) Deposit your money into a savings account and “own it” for a while before moving it into a checking account to pay bills.

(3) Pay a bill early.

(4) Set aside money so you can pick a small debt and pay it off. Then go celebrate.

(5) Buy a financial book and read it.

(6) Take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

(7) Plant lilies around the front door of your house.

Take a practical step forward and take dominion over your finances today.

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Go buy a Lily!

Don’t worry about money…is that really possible when money is so tied to everything we do? Possible yes…easy no. We have to go to the scriptures to at least see the possibility. Here is what Jesus had to say in Mathew 6:25-33. He actually addresses worry in regards to financial provision four times.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worryingadd a single hour to your life?  

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

How does this work in a practical way? Somehow we want to take dominion over our finances. Let joy replace panic; trust replace greed and peace replace worry. We want to take dominion over our finances. The spirit of poverty makes you feel like your finances are out of control. Let dominion over your finances replace that feeling that they are out of control. Jesus said…these things will be given to you.

Here is a practical method I learned from Harold Eberle. Go buy a lily and put it on your desk where you pay your bills. Serious. As you pay bills…look at the flower and let worry be gone in Jesus name. Another translation literally says, “Consider the lilies of the field.” This is not some new age experience. Jesus said to do it.

Go buy a Lily (or another flower depending on the nation where you live because lilies might not be native to your area).

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Delete Poverty Thinking (Practical Exercise)

I am still finding and deleting poverty thoughts from my mind. Just recently the Lord showed me some poverty thinking, things I believed, that I had to get out of my head. One way that poverty thinking gets in our heads is through the words of financial lack that others have spoken over us. We sometimes innocently believe and accept these words and it becomes a word curse that needs to be broken. For example a family member might say something like, “You will always work that same, dead-end job.” If we accept this and believe it, then it can become a limiting stronghold in our lives.

Also we tend to speak negative financial words over ourselves. We might say something like, “ I will never get a ahead. Everyone else seems to get a promotion at work but I am overlooked.” These words poverty thinking words need to be deleted and here is how we are going to do it. Let’s take some practical action with the following exercise. Get a piece of paper and lets get to work.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you words of poverty thinking that you have spoken over yourself or others have spoken over you. Listen to the Holy Spirit and then write those specific words out as shown below. We want to cancel their effect and break their power. (Write them down and then draw a line through them, breaking their power in Jesus’ name! Sign and date.)

Ex: “I will always work this dead-end job!               

1.

2.

3

4.

These words have no power over me in Jesus’ name!

Date:

Name:

 

Next let’s replace those words. What words will you replace them with? See the example below.

Ex: “I will get ahead.” Ex: “I will get a promotion” or “I will do what it takes to get a better paying job.”           

1.

2.

3.

4.

Boldly say these words aloud right now! Do it!

Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to prosper!

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Prosper as Your Soul Prospers

The apostle John said Biblical prosperity comes from deep within us, so we will prosper no matter what our situation, culture or circumstances. Literally…“prosper as your soul prospers”. Think of Joseph, he seemed to advance in whatever situation he was in because he had a prosperous soul. Our soul is deep within us and includes our thoughts of how we see the world and how we see ourselves.

For our soul to prosper we have to learn how to identify and replace poverty thinking with a more prosperous way of thinking. So our beliefs, our thoughts and our words will all agree with what God says about us and produce the fruit of prosperity in our life, including but not limited to our finances. We identify and eradicate poverty thinking that will hinder our destiny as well as our finances.

For example, we must be fully convinced that poverty is a curse. In Job 1:9-10 we see that the devil interrupted God’s blessing when he came on the scene. It was when Job was under attack from the devil that he was poor, sick, etc. Sometimes Christians get confused and think that it is more spiritual to be poor. If this were true, the nations mired in poverty such as India would be the most Christian and Godly places in the world. Instead we find India mired in the curse of Hinduism and pagan idols. One trip to India will convince you of the close association of dead religion, poverty, sickness and death.

If financial lack is our current situation we must understand that God wants us to advance out of it. In Genesis 1:28 God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply.  The spirit of poverty makes us feel trapped in our current situation. But God does want us to advance. If we have an advancing mindset (a prosperous soul) our current financial situation will change. Change your thinking. Renounce poverty and lack, and ask God to show you steps forward.

 

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Just Say “No” to Socialism

Our youth are constantly being bombarded with pro-socialist messages from Hollywood, the music industry, professional sports and their teachers and professors. In an August 2018 Gallup Poll, 51 percent of young people aged 18-29 said they have a favorable opinion of socialism, compared to just 45 percent who said they view capitalism positively. Despite mountains of historical evidence revealing the dangers associated with socialism support for Karl Marx’s collectivist ideas is still being discussed.

Why say “no” to socialism? As I have discussed in these blogs, it is unbiblical and ultimatley immoral. Let’s define socialism. It is the collective ownership and management of property. In a purely socialist society – an idea Karl Marx called “communism” – all or nearly all property is owned and managed by the collective. Under such a scheme, people have very little power over their own lives. Even their homes are owned collectively. Samuel warned the children of Israel about this when they were asking for a King. He said they would become slaves to the king. Self-responsibility, individual liberty and freedom to buy and sell are eliminated.

In the case of democratic socialism, this means that people are forced to live according to the desires of the majority. With this model in place, minorities don’t really have any rights. If the majority thinks people should live or work in a certain way, everyone is required to obey, even if it violates their deeply held beliefs. For example, in a socialist country, vegetarians would be required to be part owners in a slaughterhouse.

Charity and generosity, as taught in the Bible, is a better answer than government coercion. Socialist ideas are appealing because they genuinely want to help those who are suffering. Advocates of freedom do support helping others; they just don’t believe the government is best equipped to do it. Charity is morally positive, because it means people are voluntarily helping those in need. A society will either have big government and little people or little government and big people. Generosity brings a collective self worth to a community.

Why is money better in the hands of people than government? Socialism is just inefficient. In an effort to encourage firms to hire more workers, France imposed a 35-hour workweek to make overtime labor prohibitively expensive. However like most efforts to enslave free markets to government control, it ended up doing more harm than good. Now it’s the main barrier to hiring in a country where the unemployment rate is stuck north of 10%.

Source:

How to get your child to just say no to socialism by Justin Haskins. Feb. 3, 2019

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