ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: KINGDOM ECONOMICS XXVIII
Greetings, Salutations, and Blessings upon you!
I'm actually writing this Coffee Break ahead of time since Della and I will be on the road again, and in Canada for a prophetic conference when this is due to go out. We will make every effort to get this posted while we're there, but if the schedule proves too hectic, it may not get posted until we return.
Let's get right back where we left off in our discussion on the Spirit of Poverty.
We talked about the first fourteen characteristics of this spirit, and ran out of time. There are other defining characteristics that accurately describe it, and I'm sharing them because I believe it is vitally important for God's people to be free from this spirit. The Spirit of Poverty is directly linked to the curse that came upon the earth when Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; and that link is perhaps the best reason why we see these next identifying marks.
15. The Spirit of Poverty is a jealous spirit. This jealousy is less targeted towards the relationship between individuals, between husband and wife, or between friends; and it is more targeted towards those who live their lives in abundance and prosperity. Poverty hates abundance (with a purple passion). Poverty hates prosperity, and does everything in its power to avoid it.
16. The Spirit of Poverty is an accusing spirit. In conjunction with #15, when this demonic spirit sees committed believers in Jesus Christ who are prospering, who are living the life of abundance, who are wealthy in fact, it causes the people in whom it dwells to accuse those who are prospering of evil motives, of crooked business affairs and even outright theft in order to be wealthy. Worse, when those who are prospering and living lives of abundance happen to be ministers of the Gospel, they obviously got that way by taking those $15 and $20 checks off of little old widows who live on a pension. There are a host of accusations I don't need to recount here, but you get the picture. You've no doubt heard a fistful of these accusations.
17. The Spirit of Poverty attracts lack. You've all heard the clichÃ© that "like attracts like." I've watched this happen repeatedly throughout the years. Someone in bondage to this spirit tries to better themselves and move into better surroundings, get a better home, a better car -- you name it. Before long, their new surroundings, their new home and their new car look exactly like what they left behind: trash! Their friends and close associates live like they do, think like they do, and talk like they do. And the cycle of poverty repeats.
18. The Spirit of Poverty promotes the wrong kind of mentality when it comes to possessions. Let me illustrate. There are two very different and opposite aspects to this mentality.
Here's the first aspect to this thinking. Some of the richest people in the world are bound by this spirit. They get, and they get, and they get, and they get, and they are never satisfied. They build bigger and better homes, buy fancier cars, and wear finely tailored clothing that costs a fortune, but each time they buy or build a better home, they find that it isn't enough: they need something "better." Their Rolls Royce or Bentley isn't enough. They need a Lamborghini. They get the Lamborghini, and it just doesn't satisfy. Their bank accounts and investments show them to be worth a billion dollars. But that's not enough. They need two billion, and then four billion, and the cycle just repeats itself. The Spirit of Poverty has them in its grip.
Here's the opposite side to this coin. Ever see or know any Christians who believe that material possessions are a sin? Sure. They seek to get rid of their things and "live a simple and holy life." The problem is that their "simplicity" is demonically-driven. There's nothing holy about having nothing. There's nothing holy about living off the land, living a subsistence life-style, having to borrow this or that in order to accomplish something. There is nothing holy about becoming a burden to society. There is nothing holy about living in a "shotgun shack," driving a beat-up piece of junk that should have been relegated to the junkyard years ago, or wearing threadbare clothing. There's nothing holy about "broke, busted and disgusted." The lie of the Spirit of Poverty is that "simple" and "holy" mean that you do without necessities, luxuries and niceties.
Holiness is nothing more and nothing less than a life in tune with the Lord Jesus Christ. Holiness is a byproduct of an intimate love-relationship with the Lord. Holiness is not about "things." It isn't about possessions.
But the mentality of the Spirit of Poverty is to get you to focus on material things, money, possessions. You either see them as something you must have more and more and more of; or you see them as things you need to get rid of in order to "be a true Christian" (assuming, of course, that the person is a Christian to begin with). Either way, the focus of this spirit and the thinking and mentality of this spirit is materially oriented.
19. The Spirit of Poverty is the driving force behind thievery of every sort: embezzlement, fraud, stealing in any form. This spirit deprives people of a real work ethic and promotes a "you owe me" attitude. It is the same spirit that drives a welfare mentality.
20. Along with #19 comes the lie of this spirit that says "Money will fix everything. Just give me money, and everything will be taken care of." This lie drives the "good works" organizations that want to relieve poverty. Folks, we don't fix poverty by throwing money at it. Poverty is not a state of having or being without. Poverty is a spirit, and it has to be dealt with spiritually. You don't give money to an evil spirit: you kick it out in the name of Jesus!
Consider the social services of our state, our nation, other nations of the world -- even the United Nations.
They're all deceived by a Spirit of Poverty which causes them to think they can
solve the world's poverty ills by just giving more money to the poor. A
couple years or so ago, I commented in a politically-oriented Coffee Break that
No government institution has the power or the authority to reduce poverty or mitigate in any way the sorry state of the poor. All it does with its social service programs is to enlarge the realm of poverty and to create more poverty thinking, along with poverty-minded dependents who are incapable or unwilling to get out of their dependencies. Fixing poverty isn't the responsibility of civil governing authorities, nor is it in their power to resolve no matter how hard they try, and no matter how noble and committed they may be to helping.
21. The Spirit of Poverty promotes false humility. It creates and paints a fake picture of being humble before the Lord by doing without things. It creates timidity towards God that makes namby-pamby, Caesar Milquetoast, cheap, "I'm just an old sinner saved by grace" flavor of "Christians." It's sick! Maybe you've never thought of it like this, but to make a statement like that is an religious clichÃ© and an insult to the Lord Jesus Christ. It defames Him and ridicules the ultimate cost He paid to redeem us.
A Christian is either a person who is saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, or he/she is a sinner in need of salvation. You can't be both an old sinner and saved by grace at the same time. Once you've been redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ, saved and baptized in water, the act of baptism buries the old sinner. The old sinner is literally dead!
The new believer who comes forth out of the water has been resurrected to a new and different life. He/she doesn't even breathe the same breath. You now breathe the breath of new life that has been breathed into you by God Himself. The old sinner is dead. The new person is just that: totally new!
But a Spirit of Poverty cheapens everything that Jesus Christ has done in a person. They view themselves as weak and impotent -- and in that state, expect that Jesus has to do everything for them. It completely screws up the truth that the Word declares concerning the completed work that Jesus accomplished on the Cross.
The apostle Paul wrote, "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool." (Hebrews 10:12-13)
What the Spirit of Poverty does to a person is to make them believe that they have no responsibility for anything; that the entire burden for their provision, their healing, their deliverance is on Jesus. What they've been blinded to is the fact that Jesus has done everything He's going to do. He's done everything He needs to do. The apostle Paul tells us that He sat down on the right hand of God.
It may not be obvious to some, but this expression, "He sat down," is literally a Sabbath term. It means that Jesus finished His work, and has rested from His labors. The responsibility to prosper, the responsibility to heal the sick (or claim healing for ourselves), the responsibility to minister deliverance (or exercise it for ourselves), the responsibility to "seek and to save that which was lost" has been turned over to the people of God. We've been empowered with every bit of dynamite power and authority we'll ever need.
Sitting and whining and pouting and crying to the Lord to heal us, to make provision to meet our needs, to deliver us from our enemies, is roughly tantamount to a 30- or 40-year-old whining and crying and pouting before His parents because he wants them to provide for him/her. It is obscene. It is absurd. It is ridiculous! And yet, that's exactly what the Spirit of Poverty does to would-be, professing Christians.
22. The other side of this same coin (false humility, timidity) is cowardice. The Spirit of Poverty turns Christians into utter cowards who won't stand up for themselves; folks who would rather switch than fight (sorry about the pun); people who refuse to find out what God has provided in the Word for every single situation we can possibly face. These cowards would rather accept their poverty -- their "broke, busted, and disgusted" state -- because it is easier to accept poverty than to stand up against the lies of Satan.
It becomes easier to believe that God wants you broke and living on the bleeding edge of nothingness than it it does to believe that God wants you to prosper and to be in health physically, emotionally, mentally and financially. When you believe that utter demonic balderdash, you become a spiritual coward, unwilling to stand up against your situation and decree that "I'll never be broke another day in my life!"
23. The Spirit of Poverty is a slanderer. And guess who he slanders the most? YOU! You're worthless. You don't deserve to be blessed. Who do you think you are, anyway? Your parents and grandparents were trailer trash, and you'll never be anything more than they were. Besides, you're not righteous. Remember how many times you've sinned and failed God? What makes you think you are forgiven? There are really only a very few righteous people in the world, and you aren't one of them. God can't bless you.
On and on it goes. There are a million accusations and slanderous attacks on you, your character, your integrity before God, and the integrity of God's Word toward you that the Spirit of Poverty uses to degrade, to belittle and to thoroughly quench any expectation that you can prosper or be in health.
I'd thought to finish this discussion on the Spirit of Poverty today, but it looks like we have far enough to go yet that we need to continue this for one more Coffee Break. We'll wrap this up and take a look at the contrast between the Spirit of Poverty and the Blessing of Abraham that we live under and have covenant access to as believers in Christ.
We are streaming the Southwest Believer's Convention from
Poverty is a form of Hell caused by man's blindness to God's unlimited good (and blessing) for him. God's plan for man is the prosperity that comes by living in divine favor. Living in divine favor is the product of direct and committed -- covenanted -- obedience to Him and His Word!
The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no painful toil and sorrow! (Proverbs 10:22) Be blessed!
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