12 Reasons Poverty Is A Choice

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Being poor is a choice. . . this is true anywhere in the world but especially if you live in the United States.

A person or family may not have chosen to be living in poverty but they definitely have made a mental decision to accept their situation and have chosen to stay there.  They may not even mentally ‘know’ they’ve chosen the lifestyle . . . but it all hinges on choices we make.  Included in that is the decision to not change where we’re at.

A decision not to change is a decision to remain the same.

I can cite examples of people in countries. . .industrialized and third world who decided they were tired of being poor and took control of their financial destiny.

How can I be so sure that poverty is not a predetermined destiny?

Deuteronomy 15:4-5 in the Message Bible says:

“There must be no poor people among you because God is going to bless you lavishly in this land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance, your very own land. But only if you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, diligently observing every commandment that I command you today. Oh yes—God, your God, will bless you just as he promised.”

This verse doesn’t say that God is going to bless some people.

It doesn’t say God is going to bless those who live on the right side of the tracks or in the right country or have a certain color of skin.

The scripture does say that we must diligently follow His commandments . . .His instructions but let me tell you this . . .  there are unsaved successful people who follow biblical principles . . .  they just don’t realize they came from the Bible.

First, let’s deal with the fact that if God commanded us to be poor. . .we would obey. But God’s Word does not advocate poverty for anyone!

Too many Christians are operating in a poverty mentality while the devil’s crowd lives the best life possible.

Ephesians 1:18 says:

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.”

Paul talks about “. . . the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.”

The Greek word translated riches in this verse is ploutos. It is a form of a base word meaning to “fill.” Its literal meaning is “money, possessions.”

Even figuratively it refers to “abundance, riches, valuable bestowment.”

Our inheritance as sons and daughters of the King of all kings is a life free from want and poverty.

Read carefully what the Scripture says. Our inheritance is “. . . the riches of the glory of his [God’s] inheritance.” Yet, most Christians are settling for the used shells while the world eats the peanuts.

Psalm 24:1 says:

“The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”

God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, but He doesn’t eat hamburgers!  Have you ever wondered what all those cows are for? They are for us, His children!

Poverty is not godly and it certainly isn’t biblical. God wants us to open our eyes to see the invisible world—to see the blessings He has in store for all those who love Him.

2 Peter 1:3 says:

“According as his divine power hath given unto usall things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”

Does gasoline pertain to life? Do shoes pertain to life? Does food pertain to life? Yes! Your Heavenly Father knows you have need of many material things.

It is no surprise to God that your car needs tires. It is no surprise to God that you need a coat when the temperature is cold.

God intends for you to have all your needs supplied according to His riches in glory.

In some Christian circles, poverty may be popular, but it is not a Bible-founded principle. Poverty goes against everything the Bible teaches and finds its roots, causes, and effects in its author, satan.

Let me also point out that poverty will never make you happy nor for that matter neither will prosperity.

Rich people commit suicide, take drugs, get drunk, and get divorces and so do poor people.

There is nothing sacred, holy, or happy about being poor.

Happiness has very little to do with the presence or absence of material things, but unhappiness can come from a lack of certain material necessities, such as food, clothing and housing.

Happiness has to do primarily with the inner man. If you aren’t happy on the inside, neither wealth nor poverty will make you happy.

You see, neither money nor the lack of it will change your inner man. Being poor does not make you holy or happy.

If you are prosperous and have a Christ-controlled inner man, the Spirit of Christ within you will influence the way you spend your wealth.

You will meet your own basic needs and wants, and you will support local and world mission projects, strategic television outreaches, special projects in your local church and other gospel outreaches.

You will be happy because you will be accomplishing God’s purpose with your money.

Poverty or wealth will not bring happiness.

Happiness only comes from Jesus Christ. When you make Jesus Christ Lord of your life, you will be able to bring much joy to the Body of Christ with the money you supply for the spreading of the gospel.

Now let’s go a little further.

What does it mean to be poor?

Is a person poor if they’re unable to pay their bills?  Think twice before answering.

Because the answer is “no.”  I hear from large numbers of people every day. . .many of whom can’t pay their bills yet they have a six-figure income!  That’s definitely not being poor but it is being broke.

How do we define “poor” in our contemporary society?

Does living on the wrong side of the tracks make you poor?

Does having your house in foreclosure make you poor?

Does losing your job make you poor?

Does being an inmate make you poor?

Does being homeless make you poor?

Does living in a bad neighborhood make you poor?

Does driving an old, beat-up car make your poor?

Being poor is simply not having enough food, clothing and shelter for your family.  But let me quickly point out that not having enough food in the United States is much different than not having enough food in other parts of the world where poverty is a common way of life.

One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a person is developing a poverty mentality.

Let me just tell you that the number one opponent of prosperity is the devil. . .he is also the number proponent of poverty.

Satan is a thief. He is a deceptive, calculating plunderer.

If left unchecked, he will move in and out of your life at his own discretion, trying to find ways to rob and defraud you of all the promises God has planned for you.

Understand this: James 1:17 says every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father.  It also adds that He never changes His mind on wanting to see you blessed.  

Sadly, the devil has stolen finances from many of the saints by convincing them that poverty is godly, and prosperity is evil.  Not according to God!

His lies have kept many Christians crippled, ineffective, and impotent long enough! Satan has stolen the quality of life God intends for all His saints as much as he can.

Establish this principle clearly in your mind. God wants you to be prosperous, and the devil wants you to be poor.

Prosperity is a mental attitudebefore it can become a materialstatebut it can only be attained through a spiritual battle!

Ephesians 6:12 says:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

I want you to see Ephesians 6:10-12 in the Message Bible.

“And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.”

It is time we expose the devil for the father of lies that he is (John 8:44).

It is time we depose him from his position as the ruler who keeps people in the darkness of this world.

The devil has used his lies about money to destroy good relationships, break up families, and even split churches.

But, that doesn’t make money evil. It was Satan’s lies about money that were evil!

It is time to serve notice on the devil! He has deceived long enough.

For too long he has “ripped off” our possessions and indiscriminately robbed the saints of God, literally diminishing our quality of life.

The spirit of poverty can affect everyone.  Poverty can be defined as “the fear of ‘not getting’ that causes you to hold on more tightly to what you do have.”

It’s important for you to understand that poverty will not keep you out of heaven but it might keep somebody else out!

It’s also important to understand that poverty happens inside you before it ever happens around you.  Poverty first manifests in the spirit and then the natural.

And yes, there is something worse than being poor . . .it’s having a poverty mentality.

Being poor is not being without money . . .it’s being without a dream that will take you out of “poor.

It is time to take a stand.  But first we need to have a scriptural understanding of why poverty is evil.

In fact, I’m going to share with you twelve things you should know about poverty based on the Word of God.

1.         Poverty will attack you like a thief in the night.

Proverbs 6:11in the New Living Translation says:

“Then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.”

God must really want us to understand this point because the same words are used in Proverbs 24:34.  However, the Message Bible of that verse offers a different perspective.

“You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, with poverty as your permanent houseguest!"

2.         Poverty will bring destruction into your life.

Proverbs 10:15in the New Living Translation says:

“The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their destruction.” 

3.         Refusing to learn will also bring poverty into your life.

Proverbs 13:18says:

“Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.” 

4.         Failing to address criticism will lead you into poverty.

Proverbs 13:18in the New Living Translation says:

“If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored.” 

5.         Failure to work will keep you in poverty.

Proverbs 14:23in the New Living Translation says:

“Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!” 

6.         Sleeping too much leads to poverty.

Proverbs 20:13in the New Living Translation says:

“If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!”    

7.         Poverty will limit your circle of friends.

Proverbs 19:4in the New Living Translation says:

“Wealth makes many “friends;” poverty drives them all away.” 

8.         Get rich-quick schemes can lead to poverty.

Proverbs 21:5in the New Living Translation says:

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”    

By the way, Proverbs 21:5 the only verse in the only version of the Bible where poverty and prosperity appear in the same verse.

9.         Fantasizing about wealth only leads to poverty.

Proverbs 28:19in the New Living Translation says:

“A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.” 

10.       Poverty will keep you from the good life.

Job 21:25  in the New Living Translation says:

“Another person dies in bitter poverty, never having tasted the good life.”

11.       Failing to display a generous heart will lead you to poverty.

Proverbs 28:27 in the New Living Translation says:

“Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.”

12.  Failure to give will lead to poverty.

Proverbs 11:24in the King James Version says:

“There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” 

This teaching is not about prosperity . . .but you must understand your godly heritage.

Prosperity is a part of our heavenly heritage. It comes with being a child of the King!

You have the ability to take back what the devil has stolen. You can claim a significant portion of the riches of this world and use them to finance the final, end-time harvest before the return of Jesus!

This passage of Scripture puts into proper perspective our position in this spiritual battle and highlights our spiritual heritage better than any other.

Luke 10:19 says:

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” 

God has given us power over the enemy, and by now you know that poverty is clearly one of the tools the enemy has used to keep us weak and ineffective for the Kingdom.

But we have the power to overcome poverty. It is part of our prosperity heritage as sons and daughters of the Most High God.

Hebrews 2:14 says:

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

Look at that carefully: the devil had the power, but today he is defeated.

Jesus wiped out the devil’s power. He can no longer keep you poor. Now God is calling you to be a great giver and to participate in every aspect of the end-time harvest.

You are now beginning to see that this wonderful truth about abundance is not just an impossible dream; it is a reality that is happening to you.

 You are possessing a new prosperity mentality.

You are walking out of the door of financial impossibilities and crossing the threshold of unlimited financial possibilities through the power of God!

God has given you authority over the enemy and that includes poverty and especially the poverty mentality. Your Heavenly Father wants you to abound in all good things.

And that’s a fact….