POVERTY MUST DIE
Dr. D. K. Olukoya
This week, we are considering a message entitled,
“Poverty must die.” The Bible says that you can pursue and overtake
your enemies and recover what they have stolen from you. It is a
standing order in the word of God. The Bible being a very
straightforward book, gives you the two sides of the coin. It also
tells us that curses can pursue a person and overtake the person.
The same Bible also makes us to understand that blessings can pursue
a person and overtake the person. I must point out to you that the
spirit of poverty is a very stubborn spirit and it has to be dealt
with, with full force by the hammer of the Almighty. Deuteronomy 28:
2 says, “And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake
thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.” So,
blessings can also pursue and overtake a person. Psalm 23: 6 says,
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
life...” When you combine Deuteronomy 28:2 and Psalm 23: 6, you get
an amazing information. We have always been taught that we should
pursue blessings, pursue money, be very aggressive and work
ourselves to the bones. Then when we get the money, we hoard it. But
now the Bible is saying something completely different. It is saying
that those things that you are busy worrying your brain about can
pursue and overtake you. Remember that God knows no barrier or
Most of the wealth in the world is in the wrong
hands. Why are they in the wrong hands? We, Christians allowed it.
Many of the things that are happening are so because Christians
allow them. When we stand as a church of God and say that we
disallow a particular thing, it would not happen. Our word cannot be
challenged because it is by eternal decree. We are sons of the
living God by adoption. We were not voted into it, so nobody can
vote us out.
Men love the supernatural and they like to see
the miraculous. It is because of that you always find people
crowding around street magicians putting big snakes round their
necks. The Bible says that signs and wonders shall follow believers.
It did not say we should be following the signs. Miracles can pursue
and overtake you that is the truth. Beloved, I have a word for you
from the Lord as you are reading this message: God says that He has
just started His work in your life and He has not finished yet.
At the end of the day, the only true fire and
power is God. People may say all kinds of things but the only person
who has the final say is not the doctor, or the banker, or the
lawyer, or the judge. It is not the president, but the Almighty God.
And when God says to your enemy, “Let go,” they have no option but
to let go. God can overturn the tables any day. May be you are
looking at your situation now and every way seems to be blocked and
you come to a conclusion that there is no way. I have news for you.
When you get to that level, it is then that God has just started to
Another truth you must know is that no one can
cheat a Christian and go scot-free. If they take your one kobo, the
Almighty will use it to claim one million for you. Haman was
pursuing Mordecai but the wife of Haman told Haman the blunt truth.
Esther 6:13 says, “And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his
friends everything that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and
Zeresh his wife unto him, if Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews,
before whom thou hast begun to fail, thou shalt not prevail against
him, but shalt surely fall before him.” That is the stance of the
Bible concerning the children of God. It is a known fact today that
many believers are financially poor, and that is part of the reason
the gospel is sometimes very slow. God does not want the situation
to be so. Meaning that Christians are not supposed to be poor. All
Christians must at least be comfortable. You may ask where that can
be found in the Bible. Psalm 34:10 says, “The young lions do lack
and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any
good thing.” Psalm 37:19 says, “They shall not be ashamed in the
evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.” That
is what the Bible says and verse 25 says, “I have been young and now
am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed
begging bread.” This is why we are saying that poverty must die.
WHY MUST POVERTY DIE?
1. Because the Bible says that poverty is not
good. Proverbs 10: 15 says, “The rich man’s wealth is his strong
city, the destruction of the poor is their poverty.” So, the poverty
of the poor man can kill him. Proverbs 20:13 says, “Love not sleep,
lest thou come to poverty, open thine eyes and thou shalt be
satisfied with bread.” These are important scriptures.
2. Poverty will make people run away from a
believer. When a man of God has visited somebody at home and he has
prayed and he has said the grace, the next thing for him to do is to
carry his Bible and go. If after the grace, he still sits down, it
means that he is looking for something. And if he is going to be
begging for money everyday, he would make people to avoid him.
3. Poverty will make people to look down on our
4. Poverty is not one of the promises of God for
His people. This must be clear to us. Some people turn the Bible
upside down. The Bible says that it is harder for a rich man to
enter into the kingdom of God than for the camel to enter the eye of
a needle. Now, when you look into the eye of a needle, and try to
imagine a camel passing through it, you may begin to conclude that
all rich people would go to hell fire. But it is not so. The eye of
the needle in that illustration is the name given to a small hole in
the wall of Jerusalem where visitors who came late at night passed
their luggage, after the big gate had been closed. The camels had to
crawl through the hole to the other side. If it were the kind of
visitor that the people did not want, they would say, “Sorry, you
can’t pass through the eye of the needle. Sleep outside the gate.
But people turn it the other way round. A person can be very poor
and be very greedy and a person can be rich and be greedy too.
5. Poverty will make doing the will of God
difficult for many people. Any time Jesus wanted food, He got it. If
He was fasting, then He was fasting.
6. Poverty, most times, delays the growth of a
believer when the person cannot even buy Christian books and
materials to help himself.
7. Poverty hinders evangelism. A lot of people
cry day and night wishing they could contribute to the work of God
but they cannot because they do not have the money. Beloved, I want
you to take this message seriously because as you read and meditate
on it, wealth would be released to you even without you doing
anything or your money could become too hot for anybody sitting on
it and the person would have no choice but to release it, in the
name of Jesus.
8. Sometime ago, I was trying to settle a quarrel
between a couple. They both said their own sides of the case and at
the end of the day, I came to a conclusion that the problem was
poverty. How could Madam tell her husband not to touch her sugar.
She used to count the cubes of sugar left in the box and one day she
got there, and found out that three cubes were missing, and her
husband was drinking tea. She rushed at the tea to fish out the
cubes of sugar. How can that kind of family have a family altar?
9. Poverty opens room for sicknesses and
diseases. A lot of sicknesses and diseases would have been prevented
if poverty was not in place. When God blesses you and you build your
own house or have your own apartment and have your toilet the way
you want it, then you don’t have to share toilet seats with twenty-
five tenants that could give you all kinds of infection.
10. Poverty can be a source of serious
temptation. There was a certain girl who came from a very poor
family where she was given ten naira to take to school. One day, she
found a man in a big Mercedes Benz car who gave her five thousand
naira. She was shocked and could not believe it. But the man
thinking that the money was not enough offered to give her more
(temptation). Beloved, by now, I am sure you must agree with me that
poverty must die. To every blessing of God, there are conditions:
a. For healing you need faith.
b. For salvation you need to repent.
c. For protection you need obedience
d. For good and long days, you need a good tongue.
e. To be anointed, you need a clean vessel.
Until you fulfill the conditions for prosperity,
you would continually be plagued with poverty. Poverty has many
agents, which are as follows: devourers, little foxes, cankerworms,
sicknesses, death, etc.
The Bible indeed, says we should be rich but at
the same time, the Bible is against flamboyant living. In fact, that
kind of life has destroyed so many Christians. Sometime ago, a
certain woman died and by the time she died, she had three thousand
two hundred dresses in her wardrobe and three hundred pairs of
shoes. Normally, I don’t attend burial ceremonies, but I wanted to
know the number of dresses would be worn on her corpse. I found out
that only one was used and it was not even the best one they used
because some people already had their eyes on them. The Bible is
against fashion parades. Many sisters have written me to say, “We
thank God for what God is doing in this fellowship. For the first
time in my life, I wear what I have to church. In my former church,
I used to have headache before I can come up with what to wear to
church on Sundays because it was always a fashion parade. The Bible
is against us competing with money. The Bible is against a do or die
attitude towards money. It is also against public display of wealth
or showing off of money. But the Bible says that you must be
comfortable as a believer. If the reason you are doing your fasting
is because there is no food in the house, then you are on hunger
FIVE REASONS MANY CHRISTIANS ARE POOR:
1. God will not give you what will kill you. It
is like a small boy watching his daddy shaving and he says, “Daddy,
give me the blade, give me the blade.” No matter how he loves the
child, he will not give him the blade. So your spiritual level and
your level of brokenness may be too low for God to entrust wealth to
you. That is why the Bible says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God
and its righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you.”
They are automatic addition. Here comes the first question to you in
this message. “Can you confirm in your spirit that the kingdom is in
you? Are you a broken Christian? That is the first poverty
God may be looking at you and He is saying, “If I
give this my child fifty million naira, will he not backslide?” If
God sees that anger, greed, dishonesty, lying, are still in your
life, He will not give you His prosperity. Get the kingdom first;
submit the whole of your life to God and then you will never be
forsaken. The Bible says that God never forsakes the righteous but
you have to be righteous to have that privilege. There are many
people now who are very serious with the Lord because they are poor.
But when money comes, they would become irregular. God can see. Many
are praying, “O Lord, promote my husband,” and God is saying, “When
I have not promoted the man, he is running after strange women, when
he is promoted, he will now build castles for them and abandon you
completely. Why don’t you let us get him saved first?”
There are people who were working and praying
hard when they did not have a fan in their house and at night
mosquitoes came and by the time they slapped themselves thrice, they
would stand up to pray. But now they got the fan and split air
conditioner, they over sleep. God does not want that. Many forget
the household of God immediately they obtain contracts. They would
not be seen again in the church until the money is gone. Before then
when you call a prayer point like: “Let every contract be released
now, in the name of Jesus, they would pray and shake their heads.
But when they get it, the next place you would see them is the VIP
lounge at the airport with very starched clothes, sitting down and
eating meat pie and drinking tea as early as 6.30 am. But when they
were looking for it, it was dry fast everyday.
Many who used to come early to church when they
had no cars now come late to church in spite of the fact that God
has blessed them with cars and drivers. And when you ask them why
they come late to church, they would say, “That foolish driver did
not wake up on time to bring me to church.” But when there was no
car and driver, they got to church before everybody, swept the
floor, joined the prayer warriors, and then settled down before
service. God sees all these.
Some people were praying very well when they had
no job. But now that they have a job, they forget their spiritual
duties because of over- time. Some prayed and fasted to get a job
and by 5.00 am., they have arrived at the office. But when it is
service days, you see them strolling in one hour late. God normally
allows that which keeps a man from Him to be withdrawn so that He
can get his attention. God has had to withdraw cars, houses and
comfort from people in order to save their souls. So, check your
life today. Are you broken to the level where God can commit the
riches of the Gentiles into your hands? Do you have clean hands, a
kind of hand that God will place this sort of riches on? This is the
first headache of the Almighty when it comes to prosperity.
2. Proverbs 11: 24 says, “There is that
scattereth, and yet increaseth and there is that withholdeth more
than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be
made fat. And he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” And
Luke 6: 38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you, good
measure, pressed down, and shaken together and running over, shall
men give into your bosom.” This is an area where the devil has
blinded the eyes of many believers. Many pray that they want
prosperity, but how is the prosperity going to come when they have
sown no seed. It is like a student praying to pass his examination
when he has read nothing. It is like a woman praying to get pregnant
without a husband or without a man. You must sow a seed. It is that
seed that the Lord will multiply for you. Someone who wants
prosperity should do more than tithing. Some people have been
writing me letters asking: “What should we tithe? Is it the gross
pay or the net pay?” It is better for you to over pay than to under
pay. If God is asking you for a tithe and you say, “O God, take 20
per cent or 15 per cent, it is better for you to owe me than for me
to owe you.” You must not treat God as a beggar. You treat God as a
beggar when you give Him the extra that you don’t need. If you
cannot be generous with the Almighty when things are hard for you,
you would not be able to give when there is abundance. Sowing in the
time of famine attracts abundant blessings and prosperity. Remember
the story of the woman in Mark chapter 12, who just threw in some
coins and God said, “This one has contributed more money than every
other person.” So, if you find it hard to give a tenth unto God, of
the money that belongs to you, you are inviting poverty. If you
completely forget to pay your tithe and your offerings, you are
inviting poverty. If you feel or believe that the tithe and
offerings you give are too much, you are inviting poverty. If God
gives you 20,000 naira and you find it difficult to pay 2,000 as
tithe, you are writing to poverty. Wise believers double the tithe.
Also, they sow a big seed and challenge the Lord. Giving to God is
sacrifice. You have not started giving to God until you feel the
pinch. Many are so tight-fisted when it comes to financing God’s
work. Tithe borrowers are looking for trouble too. It is foolish to
borrow your tithe because the repercussion can be grievous and it is
also an insult to God. God can allow an ordinary boil to swallow
N20,000.00. He can allow a single problem to take away the money you
refuse to give to Him. The principle of giving will enable you to
experience many financial miracles. Fear and unbelief will keep a
lot of people in poverty. Many give sparingly but the Bible wants
you to give and it tells you how to give. We must know that the
money that the Lord needs to finish His work has been in the world
before you were born. God will not force you to part with your
money. But when you do it willingly, He will open the door of your
life to blessings and many other good things will begin to happen.
You must give sacrificially, that is, you give as much as you can
until it pinches because your offering is measured by what you have
left and not what you give. You should give according to your
income. Not that you get a big income and you give a small offering.
You should give cheerfully. You should give systematically. You
should give at any opportunity you have to give without grumbling or
complaining. You don’t give under compulsion. The Bible says, “Do
not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing.” You
should not be the kind of Christian who wants a gift from God but
you don’t want to give to Him. You should give regularly. And the
Bible says that you should give without display or open show. So, if
you have not been giving that way or you have been giving only when
the man of God says, “I want twenty people to give one million naira
each,” then you march forward and people clap for you. That has no
blessing. Wrong giving is the second reason. That is why we say,
‘change your offering and change your destiny.’
3. Psalm 78:41 says, “Yea they turned back and
tempted God and limited the Holy one of Israel.” The third reason is
that many of us limit God. Many limit God by the way they talk and
act. Many do not believe that God can do something outside their
normal salary or income. So, anytime they pray, they focus their
attention on what appears to be obvious. They are not on the look
out for the miraculous or supernatural. They limit God completely.
That is why sometimes when you ask some people, “How are you?” They
would answer “rough.” Negative and inferior thinking invites
poverty. You should not limit God. The Bible says that with God,
nothing shall be impossible. It is only in our dictionary we find
the word impossible or difficult.
4. Staying in the wrong business and wrong
profession. In Luke chapter 5, we see the example of Peter. Peter
was trying to catch fish when he was destined to fish for men. God
will not bless the wrong thing you are doing. Check prayerfully
whether you are in the right business. That is the reason I said
that if you are a bit confused about what to do, you must pray to
God to make His way plain before your face. If you have no business
or job, pray and get direction from the Lord on what to do. Forget
how prosperous you were before, face realities now and ask the Lord
to show you the way.
The fact that God is your Father is enough to
make you find out what He wants you to be doing. If you are doing
what God wants you to be doing, you can refer back to Him when there
is a problem. You don’t just enter into the university and study
anything just for the sake of having a degree. Ask the Lord what to
do for God will not prosper what He does not support. Some are
spiritually lazy and will not stay before the Lord for a long time
to receive from the Lord. When you ask such people to go and pray,
they come back the following day to say that they did not receive
anything. The fact that God is refusing to talk to you about your
own life shows that you need some spiritual adjustment quick, and
you must make this adjustment. Once you are in the right thing, you
must surely prosper even if it is a very small thing.
Sometime ago, I was almost shedding tears at
Ojuelegba bus stop, Lagos. I parked my Volkswagen bus because I
wanted to buy something. As I jumped down, one small boy of about
seven came to me and said, “Oga which passengers should I call.” I
said, “But I am not running transport.” I asked him what he was
doing there and he said, “This is how I feed my daddy and mummy. A
boy of seven running bus conductorship for some hours everyday and
whatever he gets, he takes it home for all the members of his family
to feed on.
5. Giving place to the enemy. Ephesians 4: 27
says, “Neither give place to the devil.” If a person gives room to
the enemy, he would allow poverty to operate. There are spirits of
poverty and there are also what we call poverty dreams. Regular
dreams of being naked, roaming about the market place, being broke,
selling and not getting result, are signs that the spirit of poverty
is in operation. You should bind the spirit of poverty. This spirit
looks ugly and tattered in the spirit. Sometimes, it appears like an
old ragged man with one leg.
What I am saying is that, some people have
already given place to the spirit of poverty in their lives and it
does not matter whether you give them ten million naira to run a
business, they will soon finish every kobo and nothing will come in.
When the spirit of poverty is in operation, the person will be
experiencing unexplainable loss of money. He would not know exactly
what he does with his money. The person may be bombarded by hungry
and unrepentant relatives. Before he wakes up in the mornings, they
are already knocking at his door. He may be facing wastage of
materials. For example, his food may be getting spoilt without
explanation. Cups and plates would break, the children would lose
their bags in the school. Their money would be stolen, etc. It is
the work of the spirit of poverty.
When a person is always being duped by fraudulent
people, constant attack by robbers, attack by fire, uncontrollable
birth of children, dismissal from various places of work, loss of
materials including clothes are all signs of the operation of the
spirit of poverty. Sometime ago, I was shocked when a man told me
that his clothes were stolen while he tried to dry them outside his
house. He said it was not few minutes he put the clothes on the
line, and went inside. By the time he came out, the wet clothes were
gone. Spirit of poverty. The spirit of poverty has turned managers
to servants. It has turned teachers to pupils.
When you check your life and you find out that
the spirit of poverty is in control, then you need to resist it.
Think now about your finances. If you have cheated God, ask for
forgiveness. Take a positive stand on what you will do in God’s
house. If you have things that you have stored up somewhere and you
know that you don’t really need them. Sell them off and put the
money into God’s work. The last step to take is an aggressive one.
It is to pray poverty destroying prayers. You must pray against the
spirit of poverty with holy aggression. Some sicknesses are not
ordinary. They are just ladders of poverty and you need to break
them to pieces.
1. You heaven that has become brass, break
open and bring rain, in the name of Jesus.
2. Every spirit of poverty, I break your control, in the name of
3. Lay your hands on your eyes and pray like this: O Lord,
anoint my eyes to see the hidden riches of the world, in the
name of Jesus.
4. Lay hand on your head and pray this: O Lord, advertise your
prosperity in my life, in Jesus’ name.
5. Lay one hand upon the other hand and pray like this: Let the
riches of the ungodly be transferred into my hands, in the name
6. O Lord, let divine blessings bombard my life, in the name of
7. O Lord, give me dumbfounding breakthroughs, in the name of
8. Every curse working against my destiny, be broken, in the
name of Jesus.