Poverty mentality is the next in our series of poisons of the
pilgrim, and it is another subtle one that is so sneaky, you actually can feel totally
justified when you allow this poison in. It’s the poison of poverty mentality,
and it will keep you powerless and poor for your entire life if you let it. It
doesn’t hit you in a rush like last week’s poison, but it is a slow,
frustrating, uncomfortable death none the less.
PROSPERITY DOCTRINE- RECIPE FOR DISASTER?
Prosperity teaching has been common for a
long time, however it has to some degree lost many of its followers. What is
it, and I wonder why?
Prosperity teaching says that you are a
child of God, and God wants to bless you with financial prosperity. The thought is that,
if you do the right things, pray the right prayers and if you can generate
enough faith, God will make you a millionaire.
3 John 1:2 (KJV)
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou
mayest prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.
Yep, I’m in, sounds great. What’s the
catch? Is there even a catch?
There is. The catch is that God is God, and
therefore He has a plan for your life, which may or likely may not involve you
becoming a multimillionaire. The trouble is, if God hasn’t and you believe He
has, you are in for a lot of heartache and disappointment.
In fact, many people who believe this
teaching finish disillusioned and turn away from God. Grossly unfair towards
God, given that they decided He was going to prosper them and make them millionaires and then they expected Him to follow through and do their bidding.
If God promises you, and you have things like Scripture, prophecies and a whole
stack of things to confirm this, then fantastic. But don’t decide what you want
and get upset that God doesn’t do it your way. Last I saw, He is Lord, not you
and not me!
WHAT IS THE POISON
OF POVERTY MENTALITY?
The poison of poverty mentality is not
about how much money you have, or haven’t got. In fact, if you have a poverty
mentality, you could have a million dollars and it would make absolutely no
difference at all.
The poison of poverty mentality is about
fear and lack. If you have a poverty mentality then you will believe you are
not good enough to be blessed so you will cling on to what you have in case you
lose it. God wants to deal with that in our lives.
2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you
through his poverty might become rich.
So poverty mentality is not about what you
have or haven’t got, it’s about how you see yourself. It’s about what you think
you deserve. And if you start to believe that verse I just read to you, then
you are already starting to neutralise the power of this poison.
That verse talks about Jesus giving up the
riches of Heaven and all that entails to become a lowly man. He did this so we
could become rich, and not just in monetary terms.
Being truly rich is way beyond money. It’s
being rich in the things of God’s Kingdom: rich in anointing, power, authority,
everything He has. Money is nice,
but not necessary to become truly rich
Jesus gave up heaven so that we could have
access to heaven – so that we could bring heaven to earth. And we need to be
rich in every way if we are going to do that: in the anointing, in wisdom, in
knowledge and understanding of the Word of God; in power and authority and in
the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
That’s our calling! That’s our destiny, but
there is one poison that will keep us from all that. It is having a poverty
God wants to break this poison off us. He
wants us to understand that we are are sons and daughters of the King. God is
not a stingy Father, He’s not reluctant to bless His children, to see us
prosper, to see us succeed in all He has planned for us to do.
The poison of poverty mentality tells us
not to believe this, tells us we are unworthy, that we are not able.
Today is the day we allow God to break the
poverty mentality off us and cast it aside. It is time to remove the poverty
spirit from its throne!
WHAT’S GOD’S WILL
FOR YOUR LIFE?
We’ve got to understand that poverty is not
the will, not the requirement nor the proof of a Godly life. There’s nothing
glamorous about being poor! Some church traditions teach or imply this, equating
poverty with humility. We know God wants us to be humble, but does that mean
that we have to be poor as well?
For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you
hope and a future.
Have you got hope? Have you got a future?
Or are you living in a poverty mentality?
Australia is poisoned by poverty mentality.
Our social security system is amongst the best in the world, but it breeds a
mentality of lack, of an ungrateful spirit and a poverty mentality that expects
nothing more than the worst thing possible. We get content in our
circumstances, comfortable in poverty, safe in our sicknesses, living a life of
lack and expecting no better.
God is rich, the devil is poor! Heaven is
abundance, hell is poverty-stricken! Whose kingdom are you in and who has been
leading you? Do you live by a poverty mentality manifesting as fear, worries,
struggles, hard work, and self-dependence? Or do you live by the “Truth and
Grace” that comes through Jesus Christ, a life full of His leading and His
Can you believe that your Heavenly Father
wants the best for you? Can you believe this even if it doesn’t involve
millions of dollars, luxury cars and houses or worldly success? Prosperity is
more than money, it’s a way of life and it is measured not in the presence of
money, but in the presence of The Spirit of God!
TESTS TO SEE IF YOU
HAVE THIS POISON
Here are some tests you can apply right now
to see if this sinister poison is operating in your life…
1: Constant Money Fixation –
What do you think about money? When you do
think about it, are you concerned about how much of it you lack, or how much
you can manifest? Have you ever thought about why you want to manifest money in
the first place?
Do you talked about money despite not
having much? Do you make snide comments
like, “I’m not a Myers person, I’m a K Mart kind of guy?” Do you always chose
based on price? Will you do nearly anything to get money?
He who loves money will not be satisfied
with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.
Most poor people spend all their time
thinking about money (or more specifically, their lack of it). When I was at
University and broke, that’s what I did. At times I was fixated on money. I thought about
all the things I didn’t have and couldn’t get. And at times I was jealous of
the people who had them.
Test 2: “I
Hate Rich People!” –
Being jealous of all the things other
people have that you don’t have will not help matters. Because jealousy soon turns to
hate, so before long You find yourself hating all rich people because they have
what You want — nice homes, exotic cars, expensive clothes.
As Aussies, we have the tall poppy syndrome
where we try and cut any successful person down to our level. “”He’s not
that great”, “”She’s not that pretty”, “”He has more dollars than
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish
ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not
the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
That’s the real joke, because as much as
You might hate rich people, you are working hard every day trying to become one! So there’s a
whole bunch of internal conflict going on.
With this mentality you end up surging
forward to success, only to sabotage yourself every time You get close to
success. You tend to be so obsessed that you’ll try anything, including getting
ripped off time and again trying to get rich quick. Millions of people do
exactly this, because they obsess about money and are jealous of those who have
You might think you are programmed for
success, but you may be actually programmed in your head, in your mentality for
Test 3: Fear-Based
Making decisions based on fear of loss or
failure never leads you towards prosperity. In fact, fear-based decision-making
can rob you of any sense of happiness or joy of success, and distort your
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of
power and love and self-control.
Have you ever seen someone experience more
anguish at losing $10 than earning $100? Ever seen someone drive around a
parking lot for 10 minutes to avoid a one-minute walk to the store? Have you
ever not given your offering at church because it’s been a tough week and
you’re worried you won’t make it through?
These scenarios are fear-based, not
prosperity driven. The decisions are not made on what the possible benefits
are, but made in order to avoid a possible negative outcomes.
When something adverse
happens to you, do you immediately see the worst possible outcome, or see the immense
possibilities opening up before you?
Check your heart now… Do you make decisions
based on moving towards God’s blessing for you, or based on moving away from
So how do you make decisions, especially big ones?
What’s in your heart? I’m not saying you need to unrealistically overlook any
negative possibly, I’m not saying to throw your brain away and trust God (He
never asks us to do that!), but what is it that you concentrate on?
HOW THE POISON OF
POVERTY MENTALITY POISONS YOU
As I said at the start, this poison is
insidious. The enemy uses TV shows, movies, songs, books and general
conversation to infect you with a poverty mentality, to make you think that, to
quote Jack Nicholson, “Did you ever think that maybe this is as good as it gets?”
Social security won’t necessarily but can
infect you with the poison of poverty mentality. If you don’t work or take a
chance to get something, if it’s just given to you, you tend not to truly value
it. I use to give away eye exercises for kids, and no one did them. As soon as
I started charging even a small amount, everyone started doing them. It’s human
And if you are given something for nothing,
after a time you start to expect it, demand it, treat it like it’s your God
given right! Many on government benefits have this attitude, but of course many are grateful and
careful with what they receive.
This poison also attacks your faith. It
makes you doubt God, doubt His plans for you and even makes you mad at God for
what has befallen you, even if it isn’t His fault! How often have you made bad, selfish, dumb
decisions, seen things go wrong and then blamed God?
The poverty mentality always blames someone
else, it never steps up and accepts blame for any failure. Talk to most Australians going through a
tough time, and nine times out of ten it will be someone else’s fault… “I’m in this predicament because of my
upbringing, my ex, how I was treated at school, bad luck, anything but my bad
judgement or bad decisions!”
The constant cry of poverty mentality is
that life’s not fair. You know what? Life isn’t fair. It’s hard, evil sometimes
seems to triumph, bad guys win and nice guys finish last!
You’re probably thinking at times, “God’s
not fair.” To this I say, thank God He’s not fair. If He gave us all what we
deserved, not one of us would be left standing. We all have sinned, we all
deserve death (Romans 3:23, 6:23), but by God’s grace we don’t get what we
deserve from Him. Thanks, Lord, for not
being fair, but being gracious!
The poison of poverty mentality constantly
cries out that it’s not fair, it’s someone else’s fault and “ Why does this
always happen to me!”
Habakkuk felt the same way…
O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and
you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not
Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do
you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed, and justice never
For the wicked surround the righteous; so
justice goes forth perverted.
Job was another who could have had a
poverty mentality when everything he’s worked for his whole life was taken away
from him. I know how that feels. We worked for over a decade to amass a million
dollar investment portfolio, and watched it be taken away in one week.
But what did Job say? His wife said
Then his wife said to him, “Do you still
hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.”
But Job said this…
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s
womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.”
He didn’t get mad at God, he didn’t say woe
is me, he didn’t blame and curse and think this was as good as it’s going to
get from now on. No, he trusted God, because his treasure was not in people and
things he had, but in God!
THE ANTIDOTE TO THE
POISON OF POVERTY MENTALITY
The antidote to the poison of poverty
mentality is a multiple step antidote…
1. STOP BLAMING
Stop blaming God, others, family, previous
bosses, the government, the church or anyone else for the way your life is
right now. They may have played a part, but your situation is the result of
your decisions to a large part. Poverty mentality blames others, so the first
part of the antidote is to accept responsibility yourself.
The one who sins is
the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor
will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the
righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be
charged against them.
Ultimately you and you
alone are responsible for your sin, and for the circumstances in which you
live. And at the judgement, you stand before the Lord alone!
2. HOLD EVERYTHING LOOSELY
Corrie Ten Boom said,
“Hold everything lightly, otherwise it hurts when The Father prices your
fingers loose and takes it from you.”
Cars, houses, friends, family, job, church;
the second step is to loosen your hold on all of these things. If your joy is
in them more than in your relationship with God, then if they are removed you
lose your joy. Your treasure is in the wrong place.
But store up for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where
thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart
will be also.
3. RECOGNISE YOUR
We live in a society
constantly demanding more, but the Bible says this…
I know what it is to
be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of
being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether
living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me
Are you content with
what God gives you? I’m not saying don’t strive to get ahead, but I am saying
don’t live to get. Winston Churchill said, we make a living by what we get, but
we make a life by what we give!
No matter what you have, no matter who you
are, my Bible says that if I accept Jesus Christ as Lord of my life, I become a
son or daughter of the King of Kings.
That makes you a princess, or a prince… It
makes you royalty. Isn’t it about time you started acting like it?
And my God will meet
all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
His riches become your
riches. Your riches ultimately are worthless next to His anyway, right?
It also gives us access to the incredible
riches and resources of Heaven. Divine power to live a holy life? Check! Divine
provision for all our needs? Check! A hope that shines in the darkest place and
lasts for eternity? Check!
Oh, the depth of the
riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his
and his paths beyond
4. WALK IN YOUR
If you are a prince of a princess, you get
many blessings and benefits, but you are also expected to behave and think like
your Royal station demands. You don’t do things that bring disrepute on the
King, you speak the words He wants you to speak as His representative.
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen
people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you
may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful
And you can start by changing how you see
yourself, others, money and everything else. That’s one step. Staying close to
Him is part 2, reading His word, praying, being fully engaged with the Father.
That’s the key to overcoming a poverty mentality.
The opposite of poverty mentality is faith. You cannot have
faith in someone or something you don’t know. The better you know someone, the
more faith you will have in the them.
This week we faced a huge hurdle in the
purchase of this building. Unbeknown to us, the goal posts were moved by
council and despite all that we have seen over the last few months, we look in
the natural we are around $30,000
short, and without this we are unable to proceed with
the purchase. But I talked to the board and we have agreed that, despite what
has been done, we trust God, not man, not council and not the current owners.
I said to the board, as pastor I refuse to
have a poverty mentality over this. My God is able, He is leading us, He will
make a way! I refuse to blame others, blame God, cry unfair or collapse in
misery. If we truly think exceeding abundance (Ephesians 3:20), then this is a
great time to stand up and be counted! The board unanimously agrees, and we
will trust God to open doors that appear shut, because He is the King, we are
royalty, and the King has our destiny in His hands!
It’s this situation in mind, let me finish
with a verse God gave me this week in my quiet times. This verse sums it up.
This is the antidote to the poison of poverty mentality. It comes from the same
Habakkuk who complained about the bad guys winning all the time, and it’s how
he finishes his book.
You see he didn’t stay in his complaint, he
didn’t whine and camp there, he let God know how he felt, then pressed into God
for an answer…
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.