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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 impossibility.

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 warm up.

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 God.

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 strike.

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 destroying weapon

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.

WAY OUT

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.

PRAYER POINTS

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 Jesus.
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 of Jesus.
6. O Lord, let divine blessings bombard my life, in the name of Jesus.
7. O Lord, give me dumbfounding breakthroughs, in the name of Jesus.
8. Every curse working against my destiny, be broken, in the name of Jesus.