The poverty spirit is the biggest scammer of all time.
I read an interesting article about financial scams concerning infomercials, websites, web ads, radio ads, late-night TV ads, and so on: a shocking 81.6 percent were found to be scams.
Why do intelligent people fall for these types of schemes and scams that promise them great wealth? Simple: People want more money, more assets, more prestige and more affluence, so they're willing to take a risk, much like gambling.
Solomon said this in Proverbs 13:11 (NLT): "Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time."
And again the wise Solomon wrote in Proverbs 28:20: "The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble."
I believe God Himself planted into the human heart a desire for wealth. After all, in Deuteronomy 8:18a (KJV), we were told to "remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth." And, in context, it was referring to physical, material wealth.
Do you think God would rather see the false cult leaders, the whiskey producers and drug dealers enjoy wealth rather than His people who love Him? Do you believe God chooses some to be wealthy and others to be poor?
Jesus said in Matthew 7:11 (MEV), "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
Wealth is a good thing; not a bad thing—unless we put it first, loving money more than we love God.
It seems like a paradox, but the truth is, the people who bite on get-rich-quick scams usually suffer from a poverty spirit that comes from not knowing or applying God's Word.
Matthew 25 tells us about three men, each given the responsibility of handling the master's money, each according to their ability. One got five, another got two and another received one. Two of the men doubled the money in business and investments. The other guy did nothing. The fellow who did not even try to increase the money given him eventually had everything taken away. He lost it all.
This is exactly the result of harboring a poverty mentality. It steals, it kills and it destroys. It darkens dreams, kills plans and destroys the future of its victims.
Profit is not a sin; neither is it carnal. Profit, achievement and productivity are virtuous attributes in God's eyes
God's Kingdom embraces prosperity, not poverty.
The poverty spirit is a formidable obstacle that prevents the release of wealth to God's people. Those who have attracted a poverty spirit to their lives can never live up to their potential, like the failure of the one talent man in Matthew 25.
The spirit of poverty:
- Puts blinders over believer's eyes
- Puts fear in the hearts of believers
- Steals ambition
- Makes dreams seem impossible
- Tears you down by reminding you of past failures
- Makes you feel less qualified than others
- Drives you into the back rows of life
- Convinces you that the biggest win would be not to lose
- Twists Scriptures about money, wealth, greed and covetousness
Those who say, "I don't care about money" or "I'm not getting into the greed game," are not being anti-greedy, but, instead incredibly selfish.
You should always want more so you can help more, and you should want extra to help other people. This is what the Bible teaches.
The poverty spirit has stages:
- Poverty mentality or poverty thoughts
- Poverty beliefs
- Poverty addiction
- Poverty spirit—and like a magnet that clip on demon begins to attract lack, decrease, poverty, debt, loss, hardship, scarcity, and shortages. The poverty spirit's gifts to you.
Recognize the symptoms of a poverty spirit:
Symptom 1: They are repelled by what they classify as "materialism."
Symptom 2: A person with a poverty spirit is in denial, comforting themselves with words like: "Everyone has debts." "Others are experiencing the same thing." "Well, it's just the way it is—others are in the same boat."
Symptom 3: The poverty spirit convinces people that money matters are shameful to talk about, especially in church thus, lack is presented as a virtue or some kind of righteousness
Symptom 4: Judging successful, productive people as "money grubbers" or "thieves."
Symptom 5: Making excuses about why others are doing better: their good breaks, etc. They always seem to come up with a reason why they are superior for having less.
Symptom 6: This dark spirit encourages people to judge others as "shallow" if they think of, learn about or act on financial matters.
Symptom 7: This spirit will give a believer a sense of being more spiritual or mature than those who want to succeed financially, giving the believer a sense of moral superiority by having less.
A missionary, who admittedly had a poverty spirit attachment, told me that he read my book, Radical Riches. Afterward, he applied the principles and was able to raise full support for his four-year mission in only eight months while most others were taking 18-24 months. He broke the "missionary poverty spirit" and has enjoyed an amazingly productive ministry ever since.
Thoughts and words are important. The Scriptures are clear about that.
Telltale poverty thinking and speaking that are attracting a poverty spirit are not often simple to identify but here's a sampling:
- Thinking, "Where do we cut?" instead of "How can we increase?"
- "This is my hard-earned money."
- "Money isn't important."
- "Rich people are greedy."
Poverty thinking and speaking leads to a poverty belief and addiction, and finally, attracts a poverty spirit that destroys a person's chances and getting ahead financially.
I believe the strong spirit named Belial is behind the poverty thinking today. From the etymology and historical records of the name Belial, we conclude: He is a spiritually twisted, proud, arrogant, independent spirit that refuses to come under any authority. And he tempts people with positions, titles, promises of fame, riches, popularity or practices which ultimately bring the individual to a place of uselessness, emptiness, futility and a meaningless, pointless existence.
And there's why some are attracted to those late-night infomercials and web scams. But you're on a different plane because you chose God's covenant and God's principles.
Proverbs 10:22 (KJV)
"The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it." [AMPC adds: "neither does toiling increase it"]
Remember, toiling will not increase your wealth, but the blessings of the Lord will.
Dr. Dave Williams served for over 30 years as pastor of Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan, with over 500 outreach ministries around the world. Dave led the church in giving over $40,000,000 to world and local missions. His leadership training course, "The Art of Pacesetting Leadership," is credited with catapulting one church from 226 to over 4,000. Another church went from 8 to over 1,000. His all-time best-selling book, The New Life: The Start of Something Wonderful, is a practical, step-by-step guide to help new believers become established in their Christian walk and has sold over 2.5 million copies. His latest book, Hope in the Last Days, is published by Charisma House. Dave now focuses on helping young ministers whenever he has an opportunity.
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