Ladies Bible Study
"Overcoming the Spirit of Poverty"
Galatians 3:8-14: "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed.'' 9. So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.'' 11. But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "The just shall live by faith.'' 12. Yet the law is not of faith, but "The man who does them shall live by them.'' 13. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree''),
14. that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
When we became born again, we were redeemed from the curse of the law. The curse of the law is poverty, sickness and spiritual death. We have been redeemed from the curse and now live under the New Covenant, which promises us the blessings of Abraham!
John 8:44: "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."
John 10:10: "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
However, many of us still live in poverty! Why? Because the enemy, Satan, comes to kill, steal and destroy you any way he can.
One of his most powerful weapons that he uses against us is the spirit of poverty.
It is a deadly stronghold, it is insidious and he uses it to keep the Church, individual Christians and even the entire world in bondage. Look at your individual life, are you in debt? Do you owe a lot on credit cards, are you physically attacked, is your spiritual life barren?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you may be under the influence of the
spirit of poverty in you life. I want to talk about this spiritual attack and how to be free of it. Keeping us in poverty and in spiritual oppression is the number one goal of Satan.
If he can keep you in bondage to debt, physically ill and spiritually barren, then he has
stopped the flow of blessings in your life and stopped you from being a blessing to others.
It is our number one goal to glorify God in all we do. If you are constantly worrying about paying bills, going to the doctor or spending your time anywhere but with God, then you cannot lead others to God, you cannot invest in spreading the Gospel to the nations, and you cannot grow spiritually, because you are spiritually bound.
Jesus came to give us life! To give us life more abundantly!
Do not get your eyes off this spiritual fact. We are to live life abundantly. This means in all areas of our lives, spiritually, physically and materially.
We must realize the potency of this attack. If we do not realize its reality than we cannot get free from it.
We must keep in our spirits and minds two facts.
Ephesians 1:19-23: " and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20. which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21. far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
Jesus is the head of the Church, we are the body, where the head goes or is, the body has to be also. We are seated "far above all principality, powers, dominions and every name."
We must remember this in our battle, at all times. Remember who we are in Christ!
The spirit of poverty, as I said earlier, is not limited to finances. It is a stronghold established for the purpose of keeping us from walking in the fullness of the victory gained at the cross and of the blessing of our inheritance in Christ. It can include everything in our life, our family, our marriage, our job, our ministry, our worship, and even our relationship with God. Once Satan gets a foot in the door, he will force his way in, and try to keep you defeated in all these areas. His main goal, is to keep you from fulfilling the will of God in your life. We can have plenty of money and still be under the influence of the spirit of poverty!
Our goal in being free from the spirit of poverty is not to have what we want or need, but that we have what we need to do the will of God unhindered from physical, material or spiritual depravity.
The spirit of poverty is a satanic yoke that manifests both spiritually and physically. When we are free of it, it will first be manifested spiritually then physically.
Jesus was completely free of the influence of the spirit of poverty and look at His walk.
He went about healing the sick, raising the dead, and meeting the physical needs of large crowds by multiplying food. He answered needs as they arose then, and He is still doing it now!
2 Corinthians 9:8: "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work."
Our first goal is to have an abundance for every good work. Whether is it feeding the poor or giving to further the Great Commission, we must have the abundance to do it. The world system is driven by money. The saints, to be victorious in this life, must have money.
Psalms 23:1: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."
Psalms 24:1: "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein."
When God created the world, He put everything in it we would need to survive. It is ours, and we need to look Satan in the face and tell him to let go of it! We must walk in all the grace of God made available through the cross and His present position seated at the right hand of the Father, that is above all rule, power and dominion.
We are seated with Him, because we are born again. It is received through faith, in believing who Christ is and what He has done. We do not do it ourselves.
We should live our lives with the goal of "always having all sufficiency in everything"
Always having all sufficiency! Websterís defines sufficiency as Ė as much as is needed or desired.
We are to live our lives with the goal to "have as much as needed or desired to fulfill the will of God in our lives. Not to live in comfort, or be able to retire early or have a large house or expensive car. We are not to run the worldís race. We are to run Godís race and it is not about us! It is all about God and His goals!
When you prove your stewardship of Godís property, he will reward you. It is a Biblical promise.
Psalms 34:10: "The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing."
We have to tear down the strongholds made strong by the spirit of poverty.
The first strong hold is fear!
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said at the beginning of World War II, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."
It is true in the natural and it is true in the spiritual. Fear is the ultimate yoke of bondage.
Fear manifests itself in worry.
Matthew 11:29-30: ".Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30."For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.''
Jesus is telling us that His yoke is easy. Obviously if His yoke is easy, than Satanís is heavy. It may be disguised as light for a time, but you will eventually see the truth and see that it is very heavy indeed.
A good example we see today is making a large expensive purchase like furniture or major lawn maintenance equipment, with no down payment, no payments for months and no interest for up to a year. This all sounds great, but you are still in debt, and you need to be making payments before the year is up or you may be in worse financial woes. This is one of the ways Satan ensnares us. He coats everything with sugar, and we are fooled by his wiles, because we are not fully versed in what the Word of God says.
The enemy uses fear to get to us. We are afraid not to live in a nice house, or drive a new car. We are afraid for our children not to have what everyone else has. We are afraid to be different, but the Word tells us we are to be different. It tells us we are in this world but not of it. (John 17:16).
There are many types of fear I am not going to name, but many times the enemy keeps us in bondage through fear and we do not even recognize it!
The only fear we should have is reverential fear of the Lord. That is not really fear but a worshipful loving respect and awe of God and what He is and does.
The enemy would bind us in fear. Look at what you are fearful of in you life. Look closely at your fear and then look at you idols, they will always be linked. God told us in the Ten Commandments we are to have no other God's before Him. You may have idols in your life that you do not even recognize as idols.
Ask yourself these questions.
Genesis 22:2: "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
God was asking Abraham to sacrifice the son of promise, his only son, to check Abraham's faith.
Matthew 6:21: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
An idol is not an object or false image you make and worship, it is anything that you put your trust in before God! It can include you job, children, hobbies, crafts, your retirement plan at work, the stock market, or your paycheck. Where do you put your trust?
When we allow our faith to be strong in anything but God we are opening the door to allow Satan in to attack us and establish a stronghold in our life. We have to identify the idols in our live, repent for trusting in them and place our trust in God and Godís Word alone. We must serve God with reverence and fear. We were created in His image to rule with and serve Him. To do anything else will lead to spiritual anarchy and spiritual poverty.
Money can and has become the ultimate idol for many of us. This is why stewardship and responsible handling of what God gives us is so important.
Letís look at several Scriptures, for this is a very important point.
Luke 3:8-14: ""Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, `We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. "And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.'' So the people asked him, saying, "What shall we do then?'' 11. He answered and said to them, "He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.'' 12. Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?'' 13. And he said to them, "Collect no more than what is appointed for you.'' 14. Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?'' So he said to them, "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.''
Malachi 3:8-11: "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, `In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. 9. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. 10. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now in this,'' says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. 11. "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,'' says the Lord of hosts;"
Matthew 25:14-15,18, 24-30: "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15. "And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journeyÖ18. "But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's moneyÖ24. "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, `Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25. `And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' 26. "But his lord answered and said to him, `You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27. `Therefore you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28. `Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29. `For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. `And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth
Yes, you will be held accountable for what the Lord has given you and how you use it.
If you have to stop and consider the cost of obeying God, than money is controlling you and you are not controlling it.
How do you get control of your life?
Malachi 3:8-11, see above.
Ecclesiastes 11: "Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days."
Luke 6:36-38: ""Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
37. "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.''
Proverbs 22:7: "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."
Donít fall prey to envy and covetousness. Remember that everything is Godís. When you by on credit you are not giving away your money, but Godís! I am not saying donít take out a loan because in this world you just canít buy some things like a house or car without one. But consider the cost, is it worth it and will you have the income to make the payments and still listen to God and do His will first? Be like Paul, satisfied where he was no matter what the circumstances.
Philippians 4:12-13: "I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Galatians 5:1: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."
James 1:5: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
Proverbs 3:1-2: "My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands;
2. for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.".. 9. Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase;
God plans for us to be free of the spirit of poverty in our life.
He tells us in Deuteronomy 30:10: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;"
If you want to be victorious over the spirit of Poverty in you life you must choose God and His Word and Will first and foremost. This is the only way for you to be victorious!