We as Christians claim to be believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. However, most Christians only believe that Jesus died for our sins and therefore we are saved and that He rose again on the third day and is coming back again. This is true indeed, but God’s children either don’t know or don’t believe any more than this. Hence the constant struggles in life. Struggles with addictions, weakness to face troublesome situations in life, financial lack, poverty, anger, and lack of peace, sicknesses, untimely deaths, anxieties, depression and many other unnecessary afflictions.
But the real outcome of the gospel message is that Christ now is IN YOU AND ME. He literally resides IN YOU. This is what the word of God teaches us. Can you imagine!! If Christ Himself is IN YOU, how can you be depressed, discouraged or afraid? I mean, Christ (God Himself), the Holy Spirit is IN YOU. Shouldn’t you be walking in amazing victory? Shouldn’t your face be full of confidence and joy? This truth is what the devil keeps from God’s children, so that he can oppress them and keep them ineffective in their walk of faith.
On the contrary, if you KNOW this truth, then it is impossible for the devil to keep you down. Yes, he might succeed in battling you occasionally on some days with “many distractions” but you will never be defeated. This is the truth my dear brothers and sisters. Christ is IN YOU. You only need to KNOW this truth and walk like a victor.
Let us see some evidence of this from the word of God.
John 20: 20 – 22:- When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Here we see Jesus saying, “As the Father (God in heaven) had sent Him, He also was sending us.” That would mean that Jesus was expecting us to function like He Himself did while He was on earth. Then He goes on to say “Receive the Holy Spirit”. Wow! This is interesting. Jesus first expected us to function the same way as He did. But He also knew that it was impossible for us to function like Him without the Holy Spirit. He then breathed on the disciples and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”. So He equipped the disciples to live and function the same way He did.
Later on, we know the story. Jesus asked the disciples to wait in Jerusalem till they received power from on high. They did wait and they did receive power on the day of Pentecost. Thereafter, we see Peter, the same Peter who denied Jesus thrice and the same Peter along with other disciples who were hiding locked up in the upper room for fear of the Jews, now suddenly is full of boldness and preached the gospel to the people in public. 3000 of them got saved that day. How did that happen?
John 17:21 – “that they all may be one, as You, Father are in me, and I in You; that they also maybe one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Here we clearly see that it is indeed God’s will that we all be one in Him. In other words, we not only be reconciled to God, but be ONE with Him in the same way as God the Father and Jesus the Son were one with each other. Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father”. In effect, Jesus is now saying that we all ought to be saying the same thing. Do you have the confidence to say “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”? Incredible, isn’t it?
John 14:17 – 21 – the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be IN YOU.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, bereaved, and helpless]; I will come [back] to you. 19 After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 On that day [when that time comes] you will know for yourselves that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am IN YOU. 21 The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].”
This is Jesus Himself saying that the Holy Spirit will be continually IN YOU (ver 17). In (ver 20) He confirms again that He Himself is IN YOU.
Romans 8: 9-11 - However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives IN YOU [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. 10 If Christ lives IN YOU, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives IN YOU, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives IN YOU.
Wow! Did you see that? If Christ lives IN YOU, though your body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive. If the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives IN YOU, then how can you succumb to sickness and depression and other afflictions?
1 Cor 3:16 – Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells IN YOU?
We are not going to become a temple of God in future when we get to heaven friends. God’s word says that we ARE the temple of God right now and that the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) dwells IN US.
2 Cor 13:5 - Or do you not recognize this about yourselves [by an ongoing experience] that Jesus Christ is IN YOU
Col 1:27 – To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory.
Friends, when Christ our Lord died for our sins, at that very instant, our sin problem was taken care of. Sin has no hold over us anymore. Sin has no power to condemn us anymore. The price for our sins has already been paid in full. Sin has no power over us anymore. If you feel overwhelmed by sin, then it’s a lie from the devil. Sin is not our problem. Our real problem is unbelief and lack of understanding of the gospel. People say, most sicknesses are caused because of sin in people’s lives. That is probably true, but only because they have believed a lie. The truth is that sin is no longer a problem because Jesus’ death on our behalf took care of that issue once and for all.
Christianity or the Christian way of life doesn’t start at the cross. It starts at the resurrection of Christ. Because when Christ died for us in our place, it was as if we died ourselves for our sins. Our real “born again” life began when Christ arose from the dead. The bible calls Him the first born among many brethren. If we were born “again”, then we must have died earlier isn’t it? Else how can you be born again? This new born again self of yours has a new life. Your old self that died didn’t have the Holy Spirit and didn’t have Christ. But your new born again self HAS the Holy Spirit IN YOU. You have Christ IN YOU.
Therefore, what you perceive to be your limitations and weaknesses are not real. They are lies, which you have accepted as the truth. The word of God is the real truth. Not our experiences or perceptions. If we walk in this revelation of knowing that Christ is IN US, then nothing in this world can steal your joy or steal your confidence. You will then consciously put up a massive fight against sicknesses and anything else that does not conform to the kingdom of God. And that includes your addictions, your bad habits, your anger and anything else that are ungodly. And you will always win every battle, not because you are strong willed or very spiritual, but simply because Christ is IN YOU and the Holy Spirit is IN YOU. Christ can’t lose, can He?
Have you noticed that temptation only comes in areas where there is a command from God? And and Eve had just one command, which was not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve was tempted only in the area of that one commandment. She wasn’t tempted to murder Adam. She wasn’t tempted to leave him and run away? She wasn’t tempted to poison him or stop talking to him. Why not? Even so today…temptation only comes in areas where you are aware of God’s will for you. So, now that you know this truth of Christ IN YOU, be assured temptations will come and try to steal your faith in this area. But Christ is IN YOU and you will always win as long as you remain conscious of this truth.
Have you noticed how you act in faith naturally in day to day affairs? Eg: You go to a shopping mall and are looking for the toilet. You can’t find the toilet and you ask a total stranger for the way. He points you in a certain direction. You simply say “Thank you” and follow his instructions. You had no trouble exercising faith in what that stranger said even though you don’t know that person. Or you are sick and you go to a doctor. You don’t know the doctor personally at all. Yet, you are quite willing to eat whatever he prescribes and you have faith that you will get well if you eat those tablets the doctor gave you. You don’t even know what exactly you are popping into your mouth. Yet you have faith. There are numerous examples of this in your day to day life. But when it comes to God and God’s word…suddenly we want signs, confirmations, etc…before we can believe. Why is that? It’s that sinful nature in us…
This is why we need to KNOW the truth of “CHRIST IN US” and the “Holy Spirit IN US” so we can begin to condition our mind to act naturally to the word of God. We must be so transformed by renewing our mind (our way of thinking) that we act naturally like God’s children. We must change our way of thinking from what the world considers normal to what God’s word says about us, as born again new creatures in God.
Friends, the truth is that Christ is IN US and the Holy Spirit is IN US. We are not acting alone. We are powerful children of God. This is why Jesus said that we would also do what He did. In fact even more. This is why Jesus said “If you had faith as little as a mustard seed, you could say to a mountain to cast itself into the sea and it would obey you”. This is why Jesus said “We shall lay our hands on the sick and they will recover”. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is IN US. IN YOU. So don’t tolerate sickness in your body’s friends. Take authority over it and cast it out. Be healed and walk in divine health. Don’t tolerate bad habits and addictions friends. You have the power in you to cast it out and walk free. You have the Holy Spirit IN YOU.
1 John 4:4 says 4 Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is IN YOU is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].
My dear brothers and sisters, stop constantly seeking for a church leader, pastor or someone else to pray for you. Yes, it is good to receive prayer sometimes, but it is far more wonderful for you to be praying for others. Especially for the salvation of lost people. Do not think that God is somehow closer to the preachers and pastors than yourselves. If you are a believer, then Christ is IN YOU. The bible says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). So it is up to you. You can get as close to God as you choose to. The primary issue with people who are constantly looking for instant miracles and prayers is that they don’t invest time in studying the word of God for themselves.
They live worldly lives, but attend church once a week even though God’s word states that we are not of this world. Since we are not of this world, we will of course be subject to worldly troubles if we become one with the world. The bible states “What fellowship does light have with darkness”? 2 Cor 6:14
The answer to worldly troubles in your life is not prayer and miracles my dear friends. The solution is being separate from the world.
Invest time every day and read the word friends. You will find out that you are a power packed individual for whom all things are possible because Christ lives IN YOU. Walk in freedom. Freedom from oppression. Freedom from sickness. Freedom from lack. Freedom for depression. Freedom from anxiety and fear. Christ lives IN YOU. How can you fail at anything? The bible says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Phil 4:13
God Bless You
The very first thing to understand and acknowledge is that our mind is a battle ground between good and evil. Before we got to know our Lord Jesus personally, this was never an issue. We just did whatever came to our mind. We decided what was right and what was wrong. Some of the things that we thought didn’t harm anyone, we didn’t consider wrong and did it simply to satisfy ourselves. For eg: Drinking, smoking, watching obscene movies, etc. But as soon as we came to know our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, suddenly there arose a battle in our minds. The things we once considered harmless and okay to indulge in has now become a conviction in our hearts because it contradicts with our new nature in Christ. A battle has begun in our minds. Who wins in your battle? Is it you or is it the enemy? In most cases, you win sometimes and at other times, the enemy wins. In some Christian’s lives, the enemy still wins most times.
The very first thing to acknowledge is that our mind is indeed a battle ground for us Christians.
This is what Paul addressed in 2 Cor 10:4-5 – “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,..”
As we continue our lives in this world and go about our day to day affairs, there is an invisible battle going on around us that is not directly associated with our day to day affairs. Most of us are unaware of this battle and quite ignorant about it. The things we see on our way to work such as hoardings, billboards, images and pictures, the things we hear at home, on TV, colleagues talking to each other and to us and random thoughts that come into our minds very quickly and disappear just as quickly. These things subconsciously inserts thoughts into us and disturbs our mental peace. There is an everyday battle in our minds between good and evil. God has given us all we need to always be victorious in these battles, but we have to “engage” in that battle. Most of us simply pray and ask God to take away the thoughts and wait for a miracle to happen. But God wants us to stop being childlike and grow into mature sons and daughters. He has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness. No weapon formed against us can prosper. He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world. There is absolutely nothing we lack to walk in victory every single time. But we have to “engage” in the battle and win. This is why you might have noticed that in your walk with God, there are some areas of your weakness God never takes away. He expects you to win over it by yourself and He says “My grace is sufficient for you”.
Paul asked God to take away a thorn from his flesh which was a messenger of Satan sent to constantly buffet him, but God said in 2 Cor 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”.
No one is born saved. When any person gets saved, there are multiple strongholds in their minds. Not a single person has a pure mind immediately after getting saved. A mental stronghold is a fortress the devil uses to establish his position so he can control our lives. Examples of mental strongholds are fear, jealousy, anger, lust, depression, worry, low self-esteem, etc. These are strong holds hard to break free from because they are “thoughts” and not a physical enemy. The devil knows each one’s weaknesses and uses these thoughts to establish his dominance over your life.
A bondage is nothing but a house of thoughts. Every bondage in a Christian’s life; be it drinking problems, lust problems, smoking problems, always being worried and fearful, having low self-esteem, being depressed, drug abuse, gambling problems and any other bondage is nothing but a house of thoughts. Every kind of bondage is directly related to a preceding thought life. The thoughts that you entertain in your mind long enough will eventually show up in your actions.
I’ve seen good Christian men who are so short tempered that they can’t control their anger. I’ve seen good Christian women who are constantly depressed and have a very low self-esteem. I’ve seen other good Christian brothers who struggle with lust and can’t help themselves from watching obscene movies. I’ve even seen some Christians who can’t stop gambling. Why? These are all mental strongholds. All these people, including myself have a battle in our minds.
Now, before being saved, this wouldn’t be so much of an issue. Because doing what you feel like doing is considered very normal in this world. But after Christ has come into your life this becomes a battle in your mind because by your new nature; you don’t want to do these things, but then you find yourself too weak to resist. Paul address this battle in Romans 7:19 where he says “For the good that I want to do, I do not do, but the evil I don’t want to do, that I practice.”
Read Romans 7:14-24
Before this battle began, it started off as a thought.
James 1:14 says “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin…”
Now because you KNOW the word of God and you KNOW that your thoughts are contradictory to the word of God, a battle ensues. Good vs Evil. That means, if you can change your thoughts, your life will change. Every type of bondage is a house of thoughts. So if we are able to change our thoughts, then we could also be free from this battle. This is exactly what “take every thought captive and bring it to the obedience of Christ” means. Change your thought life.
Jesus our Lord died for us to set us free from this battle and from the lies of the devil. It is very important for us to intentionally change our thought life and that will change our lives, setting us free from every bondage. God’s word is “truth” and every time we hear truth, strongholds in our minds through disappointments, rejections and failures will break loose.
Our minds have been conditioned to think a certain way with mostly lies while growing up and now as soon as we hear the truth (God’s word), the battle starts. Satan approached two perfect and godly people in the garden of Eden and argued against God’s word to them. Did God really say…..? You won’t die if you eat that fruit? You see….he always attacks your mind and gets you to think contrary to God’s ways.
The devil doesn’t really care about what struggles you are having, be it gambling or drug abuse or worry or fear or depression or lust or anything else. He is ensuring that there is something else other than God on your mind. If he can get any other thought to exalt itself over God in your mind, he has enslaved you and gained control. It’s the focus of your mind that keeps you from knowing God.
It keeps you from reading the bible regularly. It keeps you from praying. It keeps you from going to church. It keeps you from focusing on God’s way of life.
2 Cor 10:5 - casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
Any thought that you don’t take captive, WILL take you captive.
We are the door keepers of our thoughts. We have the ability to choose to entertain or not entertain any thought. This ability has been given to us by our Lord Jesus. It’s just that we don’t believe He has and hence have no power when it is most needed. When a thought comes in to establish itself as a stronghold in our lives, it is our role to bring it down and take it captive to the obedience of Christ.
2 Cor 10:4 - The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
You say, “Santosh that is a lot easier said than done. No one can control thoughts”. Yes, you are right. And you are right because no one can delete a thought or remove a thought from their minds, but you can most certainly “replace” it. This is something to “learn” and discipline ourselves. It doesn’t happen automatically just because we became Christians. This is in fact, the key to victory over the battles in your mind.
The Word of God is not just religious teachings. It is a life changer AND a spiritual weapon.
Ephesians 6: 10-17 – The armour of God speaks of God’s word as a weapon, a sword of the Spirit.
God’s word is a powerful weapon. In the spiritual realm, God’s word is like a nuclear weapon against which nothing can stand. Even Jesus Himself used this weapon against the devil in the wilderness when He encountered every advance of the devil with a “It is written….followed by God’s word”.
The underlying problem of all mental bondage's is spiritual. Consciously choose to walk like a Christian, a saved person who lives by the Word of God and not by worldly standards.
The solution to the battles in your mind is simply “BIBLICAL MEDITATION”. When you intentionally decide to practice “biblical meditation”, victory will be yours from any mental stronghold and it will be easy. It’s instant if you do it regularly enough and you will experience freedom instantly. It’s a practice and something that needs to be done regularly so that it becomes just a way of life for you.
When we meditate on the word of God, we are bringing the word of God into our hearts and into our minds. We are letting the word of God reprogram our minds.
God’s word says if you meditate on the word of God, you will achieve good success in Joshua 1:8.
“The book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Everything you put your hand to will prosper in Psalm 1.
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
Why? Because when you meditate on the word of God, you will suddenly understand relationships, you will understand money matters, you will understand marriage. You will understand life in its entirety. When you meditate on the word of God regularly, you begin to succeed because the mental arguments and the strongholds will instantly begin to fall. You get reprogrammed with truth. God’s word, the “truth” will set you free.
Jesus said, You will know the truth and the truth shall make you free.
How to meditate:
Wake up in the morning and read the bible. There are many bible reading plans you can download from the net or simply google for a reading plan. Even better if you simply google “Bible reading plan for ……(mention whatever your area of struggle is). You will find a reading plan for it and choose that to start off your mornings. Read the verses for the morning and keep muttering them under your breath, so you can keep dwelling on its meaning. Eg: Everything I put my hand to will prosper if I delight in His word and meditate on His word. He said He is the way, the truth and the life. But the bible says “The word became flesh”. That means, He is the word. So the word must be the truth and the life. So if I just walk in the truth, all things will go well for me. Keep saying these things. That’s how you meditate. Do likewise with other verses depending on your situation.
Some of you might be feeling unworthy or condemned and depressed. Keep meditating on things like “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I am not accepted and loved by God because I am perfect and righteous. Christ is my righteousness. He has won the victory over everything for me. His victory is my victory. I am loved by God the Father because of my faith in Christ. Not because I am good on my own.” Keep saying such things and meditating on His word.
Meditate means to “mutter” under your breath. So don’t just “think” in your mind, but mutter it and speak it out quietly. Go for a walk if you can’t find a quiet place to be alone.
Through the day, remind yourself on your phone calendar to read that same verse again and again. During tea break, during lunch or any other time. If your job allows, you could go for a short walk after lunch meditating on that verse.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. “
Interesting that God asks us to teach our children the word of God on those 4 times of the day. When you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.
Why? Because those are the best times for meditation. Most people don’t have a battle in the mind when they are working or concentrating on their jobs or doing something productive. For eg: If you are a computer software developer by profession, then you probably won’t have a battle in your mind about lust when you are busy coding an interesting software program. The battle usually is when you are idle, doing nothing or driving and see something on the way or when simply lying on your bed with no particular plans for the day.
It’s not a sin to be tempted with thoughts. Thoughts can come and go and sometimes the devil puts thoughts into your mind. But when you linger on that thought, it evolves into a battle. When you get a bad thought, then that is the exact time you should pull out a bible verse and begin to meditate on it. Yes, I understand. It takes discipline, but that’s the way to be free. Most people have no problems with discipline when it comes to dieting or going to the gym. That’s because they made up their mind to be physically fit or healthy. How much more important is your spiritual health? So why not be disciplined about this as well?
You cannot take a thought out of your mind. You can only replace it with another thought. This is the secret to winning the battle in your mind. The key is to “replace your thought” with God’s word. This is how you take every thought captive and bring it to the obedience of Christ. Some people use will power to do these things but they soon wear out. The bible says “Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in you.” So you don’t need will power so much. What you need instead is to learn to be led by the Holy Spirit in you. When you are about to get angry, you have this prompting within you to stop. When you are about to watch a dirty movie, you have this prompting inside you to stop. This is the Holy Spirit leading you. Learn to listen to Him and obey.
But you cannot remove a bad thought from your mind. You can however replace that thought with another. All it takes is a distraction.
Let me give you an example. Most of you have surely seen a black and white dog. Is there a black and white dog near where you live? Does any of your friends own a black and white dog? Is the black and white dog you know of, friendly or ferocious? Have you ever got bit by a black and white dog? Most Border collie dogs are black and white isn’t it?
Or do you know of someone who owns a brown cat? Perhaps a friend or relative of yours who owns a brown cat? Brown cats are quite common isn’t it? Brown cats are beautiful if they had black stripes on them. They would look like small tigers. Have you ever seen one?
See, how the brown cat replaced the thought of a black and white dog? That’s how you replace your thought by another thought, which in this case should be the word of God.
When you are worrying or angry or depressed or lustful and someone comes over and asks you to stop doing that, you end up doing it more. That’s because you cannot remove a thought. Only replace it. Replace thoughts with God’s word every single time. Practice doing this and you’ll be free from battles in your mind. Biblical meditation is how we win every battle in the mind. If you practice biblical meditation, then it will soon become a part of you and it will become your default defense mechanism and it always wins.
Of course friends, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, none of this will work. The very first step then is to invite Jesus Christ into your life as Lord. He loves you, died for you, rose again from death and is alive today. He is not an idol or a photograph or a holy person. He is God and when you pray, He hears and replies back. He is one God with whom you can have a personal and intimate relationship. He is Almighty, He is all powerful and He is returning back soon to take us all who believe in Him to be with Him forever.
Bless you all my dear brothers and sisters. Feel free to comment or post a prayer request. I will most certainly pray for you.
Isn’t it a sad thing, when we claim to be children of the most High God, who owns everything in this world, who lives in a place where even the streets are made of gold and yet we ourselves are always in need and never having enough to live a fulfilled and content life? I mean, we call Him our “Father” and yet live like as if our Father doesn’t care at all for His beloved children. It’s a sad thing to see God’s children always pleading for more money, when He has given us ALL things pertaining to LIFE and GODLINESS through the knowledge of Him who called us. 2 Peter 1:3
The most common prayer request is God’s children seeking financial provision. Sometimes it is money to just pay all bills and at other times it is to pay off debts. But whatever the reason, the money is never enough because bills keep coming and debts keep building up. Many marriages that started off really happy ended up bitter and cold due to money problems. The need for money has destroyed many relationships, split friend’s apart and stolen peace and joy. Have you noticed that it is really hard to worship the Lord joyfully when you have money problems? In fact, you can’t even concentrate on prayer or reading the bible, let alone worship.
Surely, this is not the will of God for any of His children. He would want all of us to prosper in all things and be a blessing to the poor and the lost (who do not know the Lord). How can we be a blessing if we ourselves are always looking for a blessing?
Being in lack is a curse according to the word of God. It is not a good thing to be in lack or being poor. Read Deut 28:15-68 – The list of curses for not walking according to God’s ways include never having enough, not having a home, being hungry and being thirsty.
Proverbs 10:15 – The rich man’s wealth is his fortress; the ruin of the poor is their poverty.
But Praise the Lord, Galatians 3:13 says that Christ has redeemed us from this curse of the law. Praise God! Our Lord Jesus Christ has completely redeemed us from poverty and lack. We are blessed in Him. We are able to live a great fulfilled and satisfied life through Him. We need to start thinking this way to see it manifest in our lives.
2 Cor 8:9 – Amplified – “For you are recognizing more clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His astonishing kindness, His generosity, His gracious favour), that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich (abundantly blessed).
See friends, our Father in heaven is a loving “Daddy”. He wants every single one of His children (including you) to live a fulfilled, content and satisfied life without any stress, anxiety or lack. Why? Because only then can you see His love and truly worship Him in spirit and truth and only then can you be a blessing to others. You can never be a blessing to anyone by being poor yourself. Many times you have passed by a hungry poor beggar on the street side, but you couldn’t do anything to help. You just continued walking and going about your life. Why? It wasn’t because you were insensitive or uncompassionate, but because you couldn’t afford to help and be a blessing.
A child of God needs to be living a fully satisfied life and his/her generosity should be a witness unto the Father’s love. If I claim to be God’s child, then I should live like I am the child of the King of kings. I can afford to be generous because I can never ever be in lack if God is really my Father.
I too was ignorant and stupid with money. I started off my career with a decent job in a computer firm in Bangalore back in the 90s. But I didn’t know God or Jesus or the bible. I wasn’t wise at all. In fact I was immature, stupid, proud and arrogant. I carried an attitude of “I know it all”. It was a good job and I earned a salary. But by nature, I wanted to satisfy all of my desires at the very moment I felt like doing so. I spent much of the money as soon as the salary came in, usually on clothes, eating out most days, drinking, buying things I didn’t need, etc. Then the banks introduced credit cards. So now, I was spending way more than what I was earning. With credit cards, I could buy whatever I felt like buying whenever I wanted to. I convinced myself that I could always pay it back little by little when my salary comes in.
Little did I realize I was getting into a vicious cycle. I never was able to pay the credit card debt off and I found myself always chasing a massive balance. On top of it, all of my necessary expenses such as vehicle maintenance, petrol and other bills still needed to be paid. I was getting poorer and poorer even though I had a good job with a decent salary. After one year of work, I had no money in the bank and still owed money on my credit cards. 12 months of working, earning a salary every month and after 12 months, I had zero in the bank.
Solution? Look for another job that paid me higher salary. I complained that my company didn’t give me enough bonus or didn’t appreciate my work and give me a raise, etc. I blamed the boss, the government, the economy and everybody around me, except myself.
I jumped from job to job, earning more each time, but it didn’t change my situation. Just earning more didn’t make me rich. I only spent more and accumulated larger debts. There was a time, I used to sell my bike every 6 months or so simply because I got bored of it and got a different bike just because I love bikes. How foolish!! I wasted a lot of money God placed in my hands. But then I didn’t know Jesus.
I loved my wife and daughter. We lived comfortably, but in a “rented” house. I didn’t own anything and my net worth was zero. If I had died then, I wouldn’t have left my wife and daughter with anything. I was never able to be a blessing to anyone or enjoy a holiday without borrowing money from the banks or using the credit card. I didn’t know how to be a responsible husband. I didn’t really know how to be a good dad. I obviously didn’t know how to handle money either. Bad!!!
But then, in 1997, I met Jesus. Read my Road to Damascus story here. I learnt that despite my stupidity, pride and arrogance Jesus still loved me. Things did not change immediately for me, but as I was getting to know Jesus personally more and more and as I spent time in His word and prayer, I started getting wiser and smarter. I began to look at money as a tool in my hands to do good, rather than be a slave to money. Eventually God taught me how to handle money. I learnt that it is possible for anyone (literally anyone) to begin to prosper irrespective of how much they earn. Even a laborer living in a small hut can begin his journey to prosperity if he lived God's way. And God showed me through His word that it all starts off with trusting Him more than trusting money and then “saving” and then "giving". God is not in the microwave business. I didn’t prosper immediately or get rich quickly. But when God takes you into prosperity slowly and surely, the prosperity STAYS and you can never ever be in lack again.
The issue is not the size of a man’s income. The issue is the size of his mind. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, you can be prosperous with all your needs met and still have some left over. All you need is wisdom and the bible says “Christ is our wisdom”. 1 Cor 1:30. How then can I not prosper?
If only I had the wisdom to start saving from my salary and living God’s way back in the 90s, I would be very wealthy today. But I had no Jesus in my life and I had no wisdom either.
Proverbs 6:6 – TLB – Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy fellow. Learn from their way and be wise. For though they have no king to make them work, yet they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.
Proverbs 21:20 – TLB – The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.
Let me share with you three points on how the Lord has made me prosperous. Yes, I am prosperous.
Depend on God. Don’t depend on money.
Hebrews 13:5 says “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
1 Timothy 6:10 says “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
1 Timothy 6:17 says “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”
Most often, we strive to work more so that we can earn more. We have this mind-set that if we can make more money, we can be prosperous and debt free. Subconsciously we depend on money to get our perceived happiness, rather than depend on God. We say we are Christians, we believe in the living God, we claim to be His children and even call Him our Father and yet we don’t trust Him to provide for us. We need to change this way of thinking and start thinking less about money and more about God our Father. The more you get to know God through knowing Jesus our Lord, the more wiser you become and the more wiser you become the more prosperous you become.
Solomon asked God for “wisdom” and God was so pleased that along with wisdom, He also gave him an abundance of wealth. What you lack is not money. What you lack is wisdom. The bible says “Christ has been made unto us wisdom”. 1 Cor 1:30 . So if you get to know Jesus Christ, you will also be made wise. If you have Christ's wisdom in you, even the small amount you have will multiply. You will cease from making unnecessary purchases and you will become wise with your resources. Trust in God for your provision and stop striving to make ends meet. This doesn't mean you stop working, but make a decision to live by the word of God in all aspects of life. Not just when it comes to religion, but also in handling money. Make a decision to do it God's way according to what the bible says and test out God's word. It is the truth, the way and the life and it will always work. It CANNOT fail because it is Gods word.
Spend less than you earn
I am obviously assuming you are working, either for someone or for yourself. If not, the very first thing to do is to get a job.
Proverbs 10:4 says “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
You know how much you earn. Make a budget or at the very least, ensure your expenses are “lesser” than your income. Choose a house to rent according to your income, not according to your liking. Choose a car or a bike according to your income, not according to your liking. There is no need to impress others at the cost of losing your joy and peace. Always ask “How much can I afford to spend” before making any purchases. Sacrifice your personal likes and desires at the start and you will be able to live luxuriously later. Be patient and wait.
Proverbs 13:11 says “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”
Proverbs 21:5 says “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
It is often the case we automatically assume that we need to buy the “best” of everything. We often go by our eyes and want something that is appealing to us, be it a car, a bike, a house or anything else. Just because we have a job and earn a salary and have a credit card, we assume that it is okay and that we can pay the debt off little by little. This is unwise my friends. If the purchase has potential to exceed your earnings, then hold off. Wait for another opportune moment. Alternatively, find something else that you can afford and is within your earnings. Eg: If you plan to buy a car on finance, then the first thing to do is to add up all your monthly expenses including groceries, electricity, water, phone and all the absolutely essential expenses first. Then check what you are left with from your salary. The balance is all you’ve got. If that balance is sufficient to pay back your installments, then it is OK to make the purchase. If it isn’t, then you just can’t afford it right now.
Get on a budget – Luke 14:28 says “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?” Most of us when we pray and ask God for money all the time, we’re basically saying “Lord, I am totally incompetent, I am unwise and don’t know how to handle the little you’ve given me, but send me more money.” The answer is an obvious “NO”. Read the parable of the talents. He took away the talent from the one who didn’t manage it well and gave it to the one who managed it well.
Get out of debt – Proverbs 22:7 says “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Your most powerful wealth building tool is your own income. This has nothing to do with your salvation of course. You can have a MasterCard and go to heaven, but would you want to? Get rid of your credit cards and for the next few months, don’t use it at all. Instead focus on getting out of debt. Pay it all off so you can have a clean start.
But that’s just the start. Spending less than you earn. There is an even better way; God’s way.
The 10/10/80 Principle
This is a life changing principle God taught me. As soon as you receive your salary, give 10% of it to God (your local church). That way you are expressing your gratitude to God for everything you have and He will make sure you are blessed. Then take another 10% and transfer it to another bank account. Do not touch this. This is your saving for emergencies and luxuries. Then plan your living expenses on the remaining 80% of your salary. Calculate your 80% and then apply the “Spend less than you earn” principle. Feel free to use your credit card, but service the credit card from the 80%. I use my credit card, but I never leave a balance on it. Every month 20th, I pay off the full balance and that way I don’t pay any interest at all. I am able to do that because I don’t spend more than I earn. A debit card is best.
Keep doing this every month for 6 months and suddenly you will become more confident in your life. You will begin to feel more financially secure. Why? Because you will actually begin to SEE that you have some extra cash in the bank and it is GROWING every month. This has nothing to do with how much you earn. Be it $200 or $20,000, the principle is the same. Even if you are earning very little; say $200 per month. Before learning this, you spent over $300 a month. That is more than what you earn. But now, you give $20 to God, save $20 and live on $160. Do this for 6 months. Now you suddenly have $120 sitting in the bank which you never had before. Do this for a year, 2 years, 3 years, and so on. After a couple of years, you probably have enough cash to plan a holiday, without having to use your credit card. That’s with $200 per month income. What if you earned $2000 instead or perhaps $5000?
Proverbs 13:22 says “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” If that be the case, then the good man must be very prosperous isn’t it?
Proverbs 21:20 says “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil. And a foolish man devours all he has.” Wise people save money. Save for a rainy day. What if you lose your job? What if you suddenly have hospital expenses?
Some of you have been working for over 10 years or more now and still don’t have any significant balance or net worth. I was one of those myself. I’ve seen many of my Christian brothers and sisters who have been working for decades and still don’t own a home. Can you imagine, if only you had saved 10% for all those years, how much better off you would be now? You would probably be owning two or three homes, renting out to others.
This is how God would like His children to live and as you continue doing this, God blesses you with more. As you faithfully give the 10% to Him and also at the same time, show your faithfulness in handling the money He has given you, He will bless you with more and more. That is the secret to prosperity.
Luke 16:10 says “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
Read Genesis 41:25 – 43 – This is the story of Joseph who was sold as a slave to the Egyptians. He was bought as a slave with nothing by Potiphar, the Egyptian.
Gen 39: 2 says “The Lord was with Joseph”. That’s all we need. The Lord was with Joseph. He was bought in as a slave boy with nothing, but the bible says “he was a prosperous man” simply because the Lord was with him. Prosperity is not about how many cars you have or the size of the house you live in. Prosperity is not about the material things you can count. It is in your spirit. Joseph was a prosperous man and was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
This man Joseph was put in prison and even there God’s favor caused him to prosper. But in one moment, we see that Joseph was just 30 years old and he was made the Prime Minister of Egypt. Why? Because Pharaoh saw that Joseph was very wise. He predicted a famine in Egypt coming after 7 years and advised Pharaoh that the way to overcome the famine was by saving 20% of their produce for 7 years. It was God that gave Joseph that insight and wisdom. Today Christ is our wisdom. Isn’t that awesome!!
It doesn’t matter where you are working or how much you are earning. If the Lord is with you, He can cause you to prosper. Christ is our wisdom. What is the wisdom of God telling you to do?
People tend to just continue to work, work, work, earn a salary and not do anything different to change their life style or spending habits, but expect to become prosperous. These are the one’s always praying for financial provision. Things don’t work that way friends. Make some changes and observe the results. God’s grace will help you make the change with ease and you will be amazed in just a couple of months. But you need to make that decision to change your spending habits and discipline yourselves to follow God’s way. It is a trap of the devil to keep you locked down in that state of lack. Break free in Jesus name and live the God kind of life. You be the master over your money and don’t let your money be your master.
I have been doing this for at least 10-12 years now. And God has blessed me and my family amazingly. We never owned our own home and always rented. We never had enough money for family emergencies or holidays or any urgent purchases. We always relied on the credit card as most people do. But not anymore my friends. Today, by God’s grace we are fulfilled, satisfied and live a content and joyful life. We own our own home and an extra home that we rent out. We also are a blessing to others. I don’t mean to boast in any way at all. I've already mentioned how stupid I was with money. I share this with you only to help you grow in the Lord and prosper in all things just as the Lord has prospered me.
When I initially started giving 10% to God, I actually had hardships in my job and I wanted to quit. I was earning quite well, but I was living in a rented house. I also had a credit card balance. I actually took up a job at our church, with a significantly reduced salary. But I still kept giving 10% to God, trying to save 10% and living on 80%. I did this consistently and there came a time when God blessed us with our very own house. Despite the lower income, I didn't have any credit card debt. Today I still serve at our church, but work in the corporate world and still continue the same discipline. We give to other people in need and support other organizations and individuals serving God. We give away a significant portion of our income every year and yet God ensures that we never lack anything. This is why the Simply-Jesus blog is totally ad free and we don’t seek any donations for its upkeep. Freely I have received and therefore I freely give.
It is not God’s will for anyone to be in lack friends. No matter how much your salary is, start being faithful in the little. Start the 10/10/80 principle and you will literally see yourself coming out of poverty and begin to step into prosperity.
You say, but brother Santosh, “You don’t know. I am already in huge debt. I cannot afford to give 10% to God and save 10% because I have to pay back my credit cards first.” Or perhaps, you say “Let me pay off all my bills and debts first and then I’ll begin saving”. Friends, this is exactly the trap you are in. The way OUT is to step out and start living God’s way. I was exactly in the same position and I gave little bit when I went to church, just to feel like I’ve contributed something. I made plans to get out of credit card debt. I made plans to pay off my credit card balances first and I promised to myself that I will live God’s way as soon as I am debt free. That’s the trap we all fall into friends. The way out is to simply start living God’s way and He will ensure we step into freedom. That is exactly what I did. I began when I was still in debt and before long I was free.
I know, some of you might debate, tithing is not for us. It was in the Old Testament and not valid anymore, etc. Friends, it is not a question of whether tithing is in the Old Testament or New Testament friends. That is a theological debate and I will address that in a different blog. It is a principle of honoring God. Honor God, and trust in Him to provide for you. Remember the very first principle in this post? Depend on God. Don’t depend on money. Freely and joyfully giving away 10% back to God is evidence that your trust for your financial provision is in Him and not in your own capacity to earn more.
Let me conclude by saying this. Money doesn’t make you happier. It only magnifies what you already are as a person.
If you are a jerk and get money, it’ll make you a bigger jerk. If you are an arrogant and proud person and you get money, it’ll make you much more arrogant and proud. You will treat everyone around you like dirt. If you are an always complaining type of person and you get money, you will start complaining all the more and get stingier and stingier, making you more miserable. On the same note, if you are a generous and compassionate person and you get money, you will be super generous and super compassionate. People will call you a philanthropist.
The bible says in Acts 20:35 “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Luke 6:38 NLT says “Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down, shaken together, to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
The wonderful thing is that you can decide to do this TODAY and start your journey into prosperity. Things will not change by itself, unless you change something. You can decide to make the change today if you wish. Unfortunately, many won’t and they will remain where they are five years from now. But those who do, they will be well on their way into prosperity in the same five years.
Bless you my dear brothers and sisters. May the Lord grant you the grace to prosper in all things and make you financially secure.
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.
True freedom is freedom from self-centeredness. Dying to yourself, your wants, your desires and to what gives you pleasure for the sake of others is more liberating than you think.