Ladies Bible Study
Overcoming the Spirit of Poverty
What Did You Just Say?
In the last lesson we began our study in "Overcoming the Spirit of Poverty". In this lesson we are continuing this study, but letís first review some of the important points from last month.
Websterís Dictionary defines poverty as: Dearth, scarcity or lack, lacking in money or possessions, inadequate.
Poverty is not limited to just financial or material things. You can be poor in any area of your life, spiritually, physically, mentally and financially. You can be the richest person on earth and still be under the bondage of the spirit of poverty.
The spirit of poverty is the most insidious and powerful weapons Satan has for keeping believers in bondage. He uses it indiscriminately on believers and non-believers alike, worldwide. Today, the entire world is under the bondage of the spirit of poverty and as believers it is up to us to overcome it first in our own life and then to take the victory to others!
If the enemy can keep you in bondage to the spirit of poverty, keep you in debt, physically and spiritually barren, then he is able to stop the flow of blessings in you life and keep you from being a blessing to others.
One of the strongholds the of the spirit of poverty Ė the spirit of fear.
We experience the fear of failure, fear of commitment, fear of want or need, fear of insufficiency, fear of rejection, fear of injury, sickness or pain. The enemy keeps us so bound up, we cannot function effectively for the Kingdom of God.
We identified that fear is associated with idol in your life and we identified five questions to help you identify the idols in your life.
Ask yourself these questions.
Matthew 6:21: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
We then identified ways to overcome the spirit of poverty in your life.
How do you get control of your life?
Ecclesiastes 11:1: "Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days."
2. Donít criticize; walk in love and forgiveness toward everyone.
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.
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;
In this lesson I want us to look at yet another area of bondage or freedom, that of the power of our words, our confession.
God 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;".
Proverbs 6:2: "you are snared by the words of your own mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth."
Words are powerful, they have the power of life and death, they are creative or destructive.
God used words in everything he did and does.
Hebrews11:3: "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible."
God created the earth and everything in it by the power of His Word. Jesus was the Word of God personified. His words were life and death.
Letís look very carefully at our words or confession and the power they hold over overcoming the spirit of poverty in our lives.
The definition of confession (for our purposes) is: to testify to something we believe and know to be the truth. It can be positive or negative. We have the tendency in our society to think of the word confession only in a negative context, like confession of a crime or guilt in a situation. Confession of negative feelings or beliefs. But the Word of God tell us in Hebrews 4:14, to hold fast to our confession as Jesus our High Priest. Timothy 6:12 tells us that we have confessed the good confession of our salvation in the presence of many witnesses. Our confession as Believers is who Jesus is and what He has done and is doing in our lives.
Letís look at a few examples of what the Word says about out confessions and our mouth.
We already saw in Proverbs 6:2, that we are snared or entangled by the words of our mouth. This was in reference to in the ancient world to cosigning or guaranteeing a loan.
It is pertinent to us today, because we function under the New Covenant, of which Jesus is the surety. We have certain rights, privileges and responsibilities under this agreement and one of those is to speak life and not death over any situation in our lives!
Proverbs 13:3: "He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction."
Proverbs 12:13-14: "The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will come through trouble. A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, and the recompense of a man's hands will be rendered to him."
Proverbs 14:3: "In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise will preserve them."
This is talking about the tongue.
James 3:5-6: "Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell."
James 3:8-10: "8. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so."
So we see that our mouth or tongue can easily get out of control. But, Praise God, we can control it!
Proverbs 18:20-21: "A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth, and from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
We must get into the Word of God, study it, know it and believe it. For us to eat of the fruit of our lips we need to be sure we are producing the right kind of fruit.
Matthew 12:34-37: ""Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.''
We are justified and /or condemned today by the words of our mouth and in the end we will be held accountable for every idle word we have spoken. This is not just gossip or complaining, but how we spoke the Word over our lives and how we applied it.
Jesus gave us very specific instruction regarding this.
Mark 11:23-24: ""For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, `Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says. "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."
Notice there are two components in this, Saying and believing!
This is speaking life and faith over your situation. You speak to your mountain, believe it will be removed and you will have it. Very Simple! We are talking about faith, without which, you cannot please God.
Romans 12:3: "For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith."
Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
Our salvation is a gift of God, we believed we were saved, because God gave us the measure of faith as a free gift to take that first step and believe in Jesus. Faith is a gift from God, to believe in all the promises He has given us in His Word. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. God gave us His Word, we believed in it, study it and it stimulates the gift of God to grow in our lives daily. It is the same faith you used for salvation, not a different one! You need to direct it and apply it daily in your life.
Faith is not a feeling. Feelings are a result of what happens to us, Faith is a matter of will!
We must speak what we believe.
Also notice, in Matthew 12, that Jesus said, "Therefore I say"
Jesus spoke and lived faith! He taught what words meant and cost us. We are justified or condemned by our words.
Matthew 15:11,18: ""Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.'' But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man."
Jesus did not use idle words and neither should we! Jesus always spoke who he was and what he came to do. He knew who he was and what his purpose was, and so should we!
Jesus said these things about himself and His purpose:
John 4:34: "Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work."
John 5:30: ""I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."
John 6:38: "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."
John 8:29: ""And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.''
He said this about Who He was:
John 6:35,48: "And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.".. "I am the bread of life."
John 11:25: "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live"
John 12:46: ""I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness."
Everything Jesus did, He did by speaking it and what He spoke was from God:
John 3:11,34: ""Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness."Ö "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure."
John 7:16-18: "Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him."
John 8:26-29: ""I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him. They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.''
Everything Jesus did, he did by speaking it.
He healed the sick, cast out demons, quieted the storm, raised the dead and fed thousands by speaking and believing that what He said would come to pass! He was our example and we are to follow it!
Because Jesus knew who He was and what He came to do, we now know who we are and what we can do because through the completed work of the cross, we have received His fullness!
God had now given us His Word. Jesus is the surety of the New Covenant.
WE must learn who we are in Christ, get it in our hearts and minds and confess it with our mouth.
Galatians 5:1: You are free.
Philippians 4:19: Your needs are met.
3 John 2: You prosper as your soul prospers.
Philippians 4:13 You can do all things.
2 Timothy 1:7 You are not fearful.
Romans 12:3 You have faith
Psalms 27:1 You have strength.
We must learn to speak life and not death.
We must agree with Godís Word about our life and not the enemyís.
We must be an Enoch and walk with God by agreeing with His Word.
Amos 3:3: "can two walk together, unless they are agreed?"
You can never walk with God in blessing, victory and abundant supply if you disagree with His Word. Every time you speak doubt or rehash your situation, you are not walking with God, but stumbling around on the devilís path. Which would you rather do?
We do not deny facts, we acknowledge them, move past them and stand in what Godís Word says about them. It is that simple. Your faith will always go to the level of your confession, if you constantly confess the trappings of the spirit of poverty, you will always remain under that yoke.
A key to recognizing the confession of doubt and not faith is phrases like:
"I canít .." I donítÖ" I needÖ" I hopeÖ" I am claimingÖ"
If you are hoping and claiming then you havenít received it yet! If someone gives you a wrapped gift, you donít just hold it and say "I canít open it", "I donít know if I can open it.", "I hope I can open it." "I am claiming I can open it."
NO! You just open it! You received it, took it, opened it and used it. Why? Because you knew you had it, it was right there in your hand.
It is no different with the promises of God. They are right there in your spiritual hand!
Open them and use them!
We cannot separate our mouths from our hearts. Our hearts must rule our mouths and our mouths must agree with the Word of God.
Satan attacks you through your thoughts. It is not a bad thing to have a doubtful thought.
It is his job to plant it there, he is the accuser of the brethren, isnít he?
It is a bad thing to voice and act on the doubtful thought. You say it, you hear it, you say it again and pretty soon, you are believing it and the downward spiral begins.
A doubtful thought unspoken will die an unborn reality.
A faith filled thought unspoken will die an unborn reality.
Which do you choose?
Proverbs 16:23:" The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips."
Letís choose to be wise!