Poverty Strongholds – Post Seven – Agreements with the Enemy
- Poor Stewardship – link to past article
- Lack of Knowledge (common sense)
- Mind Sets (faulty thinking)
- Lack of Holiness
- Agreements with the Enemy
- Bad Theology
- Blaming & Excuses
- Refusing to be a Blessing
- Pain Upon Pain
Today, let’s take a look at the 6th Poverty Stronghold – Agreements with the Enemy
Imagine this, on one side of you is God and he is saying all manner of life and blessing over you.
I have for you a future and a hope
I have known you since before time
I am with you always
I created you and called you good
In me (Christ) there is no condemnation
I have special work for you
And then, on the other side of you is Satan and he is saying all manner of death and destruction over you.
He comes only to lie and steal
He brings chaos
Death is his specialty
Despair is his voice
He accuses you
He is the tempter
And you are between the two.
The Bible speaks numerous times about the need for a second witness. Throughout historical times all matters of law had to be decided on the basis of two witnesses for instance. And Jesus himself asserted that where two or more are gathered in his name that he is among them.
And so, as we have God on one hand and Satan on the other, each speaking over us, we are the ones deciding with whom we will agree, we create the second witness.
And what we agree with is what is established in our lives.
Without the knowledge of our Lord we will make agreements with Satan. This is why we are admonished to bring every thought into captivity and into surrender to the Lord. Agreeing with the heart of God is the only way to find fulness of life. Agreeing with satan will only bring us chaos and destruction.
When we see and experience poverty in its many forms we can be sure that there have been both personal and corporate agreements with satan; ultimately in the biggest picture sense, poverty is simply the outflow, the evidence, the result, the fruit, of agreeing with satan.
As with any strongholds, while we cannot battle the entirety of poverty systems, we can begin with ourselves. We can begin by assessing our own agreements, “Where have I agreed to the lies and destruction of the enemy?”
Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think,” spent nearly three decades interviewing millionaires around the world to find out what separates them from everyone else. What he found is a vast difference in the mindsets of people regarding life and money.
Below is a small sample of the difference in thinking. On the left we have how the average person thinks, on the right we have how the non-average person thinks — what in North America we call middle class or world class thinking.
Middle Class Thinking or World Class Thinking
competes versus creates
avoids risk versus manages risk
lives in delusion versus lives in objective reality
loves to be comfortable versus is comfortable being uncomfortable
has a lottery mentality versus has an abundance mentality
hungers for security versus doesn’t believe security exists
sacrifices growth for safety versus sacrifices safety for growth
operates from fear and scarcity versus operates from love and abundance
sees themselves as victims versus sees themselves as responsible
slows down versus calms down
Now, from what I can tell from all my years and experience, the column on the left looks like the lies of the enemy (in our very thoughts) and the column on the right sounds more like what I read in the Bible and what I know of God and how he calls us to think and live.
Let’s see what scripture has to say about these things:
- avoids risk (and who by worry can add a single hour to his life, Matthew 6:27)
- vs. manages risk (the parable of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30)
- competes (do nothing from rivalry or conceit, Philippians 2:3)
- vs. creates (whatever you do, work heartily as unto the Lord, Colossians 3:23)
- lives in delusion (the god of this age has blinded … 2 Corinthians 4:4)
- vs. lives in objective reality (think of yourself with sober judgment, Romans 12:3)
- loves to be comfortable (in this world you will have tribulation, John 16:33)
- vs. is comfortable being uncomfortable (endure hardship, 2 Timothy 4:5)
- has a lottery mentality (do not store up treasures on earth, Matthew 6:19-21)
- vs. has an abundance mentality (sell your possessions and give to the poor, Luke 12:33)
- hungers for security (for whoever would save his life will lose it, Luke 9:24)
- vs. doesn’t believe security exists (though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Psalm 23:4)
- sacrifices growth for safety (for God has not given us a spirit of timidity, 2 Timothy 1:7)
- vs. sacrifices safety for growth (unless a grain of wheat dies, John 12:24-25)
- operates from fear and scarcity (do not wear yourself out to get rich, Proverbs 23:4)
- vs. operates from love and abundance (be devoted to one another in love, Romans 12:10)
- sees themselves as victims (all day long he craves and craves, Proverbs 21:25-26)
- vs. sees themselves as responsible (each of you must take responsibility, Galatians 6:5-7)
- slows down (therefore we do not lose heart, 2 Corinthians 4:16)
- vs. calms down (peace I leave with you, John 14:27)
I don’t know about you, but I want to have world-class thinking. I want to be reaching for all that God has for me, I want to be giving my life away for the betterment of our communities and nations. I want to be settled into His truth for me. What about you?
The agreements with the enemy, or our agreements with God, and how these things play out in our lives are subtle, very subtle. And so this is why we are admonished by the Lord:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:9-10
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
“And we tear down every proud idea that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We also capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
We can tell what is in our hearts by the thoughts in our minds, and we can tell the thoughts in our minds by the emotions and judgments of our hearts. Agreements with either the enemy or with God show up in our judgments of life and the conclusions we have made about many things. These conclusions, our judgments, the emotions of our heart, our thinking, all either lead to life or lead to death.
We do not want to live according to “life will always knock you down” but we want to live by “I have plans for you, a future and a hope.”
We do not want to live according to “I just can’t figure this out” but we want to live by “he is our help in times of trouble”
We do not want to live according to “All the other people are just lucky” but we want to live by “He who is faithful with a little will be faithful with much”
And more. We could go on and on. Bringing our thoughts and our judgments captive to obedience to Christ is nothing more than receiving God’s worldview deep into our beings and is a work that we must all be aware of and open to.
If we want our lives to express and actualize the grace and bounty of our Lord (in heart, mind, spirit, and body), then it does us good to eradicate from our thinking and from the judgments of our hearts all that is against God and the truths that he reveals to us. We want to agree with God.
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