The ‘spirit of Poverty’


I was sitting and talking to a church leader in the city of Nagpur last week and something just bowled me over about the confessions and professions he was making about himself and the people he was leading.

He had such a low self-esteem and a real giant of a poverty mind-set. I just could not believe that the Bible that lay on the table beside him was the Book he was reading, studying and teaching.

I left after a cup off hot tea and a lot of conversation under our belt. But this set my mind a-thinking.

So how does this poverty mind-set develop? Here are some thoughts that could help you…both to understand as well as to teach others.

  • Poverty is refusing to become what God created and destined you to be.
  • Poverty does not believe that the Lord can branch you into the fullness of His plan.
  • Poverty is not just experiencing lack, but having a fear that you will lack in the future.
  • Poverty is where you conform to your circumstance or the blueprint that the world and the god of this world has surrounded you with.
  • Poverty occurs when the “god of this world” surrounds you with and influences you with only a world perspective and causes you to forget God’s ability in the midst of your circumstance.
  • Poverty has a voice that says, “God is not able!”
  • Poverty can occur through various means, some of it our own unbelief and the casual handling of our blessings.
  • Poverty can occur through oppression through wrong authoritative structures (Isaiah 5:8).
  • Poverty can also occur if we have a mentality of covetousness or gluttony (Proverbs 23:21).
  • Poverty can occur if we are indolent or lazy (Proverbs 24:33,34).
  • Haste leads to poverty (Proverbs 28:22).
  • This occurs when we fall into “get rich quick” schemes and take loans that we cannot pay back in time.
  • Poverty occurs if you negate the Holy Spirit.

Did you know that Genesis 45 is the only Old Testament reference to poverty outside of Proverbs? It is here that Joseph was anointed and appointed to keep the nation and it’s people from experiencing poverty. Hence the wisdom of God to tide over hard times.

In the New Testament there were two concepts of poverty: begging and alms!

I believe that the Lord is breaking the power of ‘begging’ within His people. Especially in our nation and our Indian mind-set. He is making us a people of faith, not a people with an ever-open begging bowl! The time is come when the church in India needs to change so much our identity from beggars to kings!

Well, the other side of the story is also true. The poverty mind-set damages our giving and we become both frugal and ‘grabbers’ over everything.

I personally believe the key reason for poverty in many Christian families is our failure to harvest. When you do not gather spoils, a poverty mentality is set against you.

Many times the enemy (Satan) will wait until your harvest time…and then he will develop strategies of devastation against you. The enemy already has devised a plan to eat up your assets and returns.

Remember Gideon? The Midianites always stole the harvest (Judges 6). We can plant. We can watch our crops grow. We can even have breakthroughs. But if we do not take our opportunity to gather and then wisely steward the spoils, a strategy of poverty will begin to develop against us.

When you increase without developing the storehouse to contain your spoils, the enemy will gain access to your excess and execute your future.

Hey! Listen!

If the windows of heaven are open for us, then every spirit that has trapped us in the past will and must flee!  Let us believe that we can ‘break this spirit of poverty’ over our lives and our families.

What is real victory?

  • Victory is the defeat of an enemy or opponent.
  • Victory is the success in a struggle against difficulties or some obstacle that is impeding your path of success.
  • Victory is the state of having triumphed.

This ‘spirit of poverty’ has violated God’s perfect order and produced instability in your resources. Take a violent passionate stand against your lack. Press on to believe that God desires to bless you always.

True success is when you accomplish God’s redemptive plan for your life. If you receive revelation, if you honour the prophets, and if you are at the right place at the right time doing the right thing, then you will succeed.

People will follow you when they see you walk in victory. So start walking.