How to change your finances

Stop messing with my head
The area of the mind is a complete minefield and I would never claim to be an expert on how the mind works, but there is one thing I know for sure…

If I don’t control the way I think then the mad man in the attic runs loose. It does not matter if we try and deny it, but many of our concepts and views on finance have been picked up from our parents – both good and bad. We get entrenched, almost dogmatic, in our approach to living without or scraping through – just being content with our lot. Who said you can’t change?

The apostle Paul implores us in his letter to the Romans:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 NIV

Be transformed by the renewing, not removal of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for your life. If we refer back to a statement made earlier about 21st century illiteracy being the inability to learn, unlearn and relearn, then we need to address the way we think about money as a matter of urgency. I would describe my past view of money as going to visit the hall of mirrors at the local fair, only to find that when I look into the mirror I am left with a distorted view. It is either bigger or smaller than it actually is.

Dealing with mindsets

A mindset is: A habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations.

There are four general mindsets in relation to finance:
Poverty – Thief – Sluggard – Righteous
At this stage we will deal with only one of the above, as I believe that it is the most common mindset found both inside and outside the church. The poverty mindset.

Poverty Mindsets
The only relationship that we have with finance is never having enough. Without even thinking about it a fear of lack is instilled into us as children, and if not addressed it will shape many of the areas of our later life. Remember these sayings?:

Eat all your dinner, money doesn’t grow on trees
Don’t you know there are people starving in the world
Stay as you are and don’t get ideas above your station

You find that if people adopt this attitude, it will be reflected in all areas of their life not just finance. For example, our relationships: it’s better to be with anyone rather than no-one, and our job: I can’t expect to do any better, just be grateful for what I have. Fear is the underlying factor in all of the examples. As our hall of mirrors illustrate, we take various stands without having any justification or understanding of why we have them.

False humility regarding your own position
Others are better than me, that by having little or nothing financially in some twisted way will keep or make me more holy. A false humility is birthed which in fact is pride. I fool myself into believing that I have more faith as I have to rely on God for everything. This group of people of faith are the ones who take a vow of poverty and then rely on the goodness and grace of the people around them to keep bailing them out.

Faith is never used to get stuff…

Money is dirty
There is no such thing as bad money, only bad people. Money is the lubricant that will allow you to slide through life, not continually scrape by.

Turning the tables
Have you ever been in the position where there is a need in the church or the wider kingdom that you have wanted to help with but to your frustration you have not had the money to do it? In the days to come having the ability to manage, govern and distribute wealth in the kingdom will be key to the end time purposes of God.

Time for a new reference point
You have the power to change. Make a decision today to agree with the Father that you have the blessings of being a son who has entered into and desires to inherit the kingdom. You are planted in the local house, a tither and a man/woman yielded to authority. If you can say yes to the above then if the blessings don’t flow you have every right to ask why. Like trying for a baby it’s when you don’t produce that you go back and ask why not.

The spirit of poverty
The spirit of poverty will intimidate and harass you with doubt and uncertainty that God can’t or won’t change or intervene in your life. It is no respecter of person, it plagues the rich and the poor alike with the fear of lack.

We start to make unconscious decisions to trust ourselves and provide for our needs. We don’t recognise it but we are being driven by fear.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Romans 8:15-17 NKJ

The spirit of poverty causes us to believe we are the only ones concerned with our lives: It is easy to feel that God doesn’t care and that He will overlook your situation. If we are sons of God then we need to break the fear of lack. Picture the scene: Oliver Twist, bowl in hand, “Please Sir can I have some more…?”

Surely we don’t have to approach God with a begging bowl!
We are children and heirs of the inheritance, fear will hold you a slave to your own emotions and keep you double guessing yourself. Will He, won’t He?

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes?

See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. for that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6: 25-34 NIV

Never lose the understanding that God is faithful in the good, bad and the indifferent. You need to develop this truth and stay strong. The enemy wants to destroy your understanding and experience of the faithfulness of God. Once you lose perspective he will try and isolate you and bring you back into slavery and fear all over again.

The spirit of poverty causes an uncertainty about our own future:

Your future is set in your heart, it becomes the place of security. It becomes the anchor for your soul.

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, He swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.
Hebrews 6:13-19 NIV

The spirit of poverty conditions us to gather more and more just in case:
Some people gather more and more to impress those around them, trying to make a social statement. Harry Enfield once had a character who declared “I am considerably more richer than you!” Others gather saving for a rainy day. The question we need to ask is when is enough enough? Fear of lack will cause us to snatch at things, hoarding what we should be sharing. It is said that it is not what you drive but it is what drives you that is the issue.

The spirit of poverty draws us into the temptation to try and get rich quickly:
Rule number one: there is no such thing as a get rich quick scheme. The only people who are getting rich are the ones who told you about it.

The spirit of poverty attacks both rich and poor bringing oppression:
Distorted perspectives remove from us the right to enjoy what we gathered. We fear that people will try and take away what we have.

Mike Tyson stated: “I fight because no one will ever take away what I have.” Many people spend their entire lives accumulating and never have the time to enjoy it. We need to be people who have provision with purpose, God allows you to have and enjoy. But we need to break the entitlement mentality, I deserve it. and expect everybody to pamper to your requests.

This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them – for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil-this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 NIV

That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:13 NIV

How do we break poverty?
The spirit of poverty is broken by adopting the spirit of sacrifice in giving, plus adopting a positive mental attitude to money. It seems to go against the grain, I fear not having enough, but by bringing yourself into alignment with the word of God it will help break the stranglehold of lack on your life. How do I align myself to the word? It starts in a really simple way – by choosing to believe and trust God in all situations. We will expound this in more detail in later chapters. Jesus broke the curse of this spirit of lack for all mankind once and for all.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV

We will look at the power of giving in later chapters.
Choose to change from today, start to declare in your prayer times the goodness of God. Study the word of God and find examples of the faithfulness of God in action, write down where God has intervened in your life, this is your testimony.

From here you can push in the spirit and see this established as a non-negotiable truth in your life. Remember the enemy has not changed, he is still trying to separate you from God. Did God say…?

Poverty in a nutshell
It is a thinking habit built in the mindset and lifestyle of people with a fear of lack.

The fear of lack is no respecter of person, rich or poor will be held by it.
(The Spirit)

It will cause you to believe that you are the only one interested in your survival. You start to trust and rely on yourself, looking after number one.

It harasses your mind with anxieties about the future, all the things that can go wrong.

It conditions your lifestyle to always strive for more than you need just in case.

Greed is established, we start to covert what others have.
(The Spirit)

It is easy to fall for get rich quick schemes looking for opportunities to expand quickly without work or due diligence.

The spirit of poverty will hold you captive, the flip-side of this is to nurture the gift of grace to become prevalent in your life, as it will kill poverty.
(The Spirit)

The spirit of poverty is one of the main reasons we misuse wealth.

Resources you need to break poverty

Emotional Resources: If you are under financial pressure you need to guard your emotions. Bitterness and all forms of negativity can’t be allowed to govern your thinking and the practical outworking in your life. Stop thinking that life is not fair, it’s easy to hide behind wrong perceptions. The Robin Hood mentality where the rich are wicked and the poor are downcast. We can develop wrong emotions towards the rich, tithing, offerings, building funds etc. You feel how can you give and move whilst in lack.

Mental resources: The more your thoughts are developed the stronger your emotional state will become. As we learn to put on the mind of Christ and see things in the light of God’s word, it empowers us to take back control. We put the madman back in the attic.

Spiritual Resources: The spiritual atmosphere that saturates and brings you into God’s presence. At the right time something came into your life and connected you to the presence of God through salvation. The men of God helped to bring alignment into your life, so you could have breakthrough and spiritual resourcing. The foundation is laid to break free and change your life, first God makes the man and then the rest follows. When God transforms a life and blesses them, what they come into contact with becomes blessed also. Financial intelligence is having the ability to live a life in the spirit. What God is working on the inside must be outworked once the man is formed.

Physical resources: A healthy body, strength, excitement, adventure, fun. Your whole expression must be that of life. Even when you are ill or facing issues, you must reflect life. The weight of anxiety and worry will weigh you down. Learn to change your behaviour. People walk away from negative people, learn to be a carrier of hope, light and life. A smile, a good word, these are the simple things that help to transform the lives of others. Greater levels of confidence and esteem are built as you learn to interact with people. When you leave a room people feel bigger and better after they have met with you.

Support systems: This is not all about the touchy feely. Put people together to support each other and watch them break free. When we are willing to be generous with our time, skills and experiences watch as people grow and develop quicker, leading to a better quality of life. Speak life, inject hope and support each other. We are part of the great family of God, a local church with people who can model and express transformed lives.

Role models: There must be people who have done it and can model the change, talk to the successful about success. Ask the right question get the right answer.

The Practical
An act of Self-preservation.Choose to change from today, start to declare in your prayer times the goodness of God. Study the word of God and find examples of the faithfulness of God in action, write down where God has intervened in your life, this is your testimony.

The Spiritual
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2

“Poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of soul, impossible.”
Michel de Montaigne

Taken from Turning the Table, your roadmap to kingdom financial freedom
By Phil Clark

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