When I was a little girl I was led to believe that the really “holy” people made a vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience. I was, for the most part, a compliant type of child who wanted to please my parents and teachers. I didn’t have a clue what chastity meant but I knew what it meant to be poor and obedient. I found both challenging.
My parents worked hard. My mom worked part-time as a telephone operator and my dad worked for various trucking companies as a dispatcher. They both modeled the importance of loving God, family, and country. I will forever be thankful to have had loving parents. They made do in so many ways in order to provide for their three children and to be generous to others as well. In my young mind I thought they were following this call to be poor. I concluded that being poor meant taking care of others before yourself. It was not a bad conclusion or even a bad thing, but it was not correct.
It was a challenging to understand this call to be poor. My definition of poor meant “lacking money or material possessions.” In time, I began to question why God wanted us to be poor. I remember liking what Tevye said in “Fiddler on the Roof”. “There is no shame in being poor, on the other hand it’s no great honor either.” There simply had to be more to this poverty thing!!
Little did I know that the root of that teaching was religion. It was all about good works and earning our way to God.
By the grace of God, at age 33 I was introduced to a ladies Bible Study. I was not only permitted to read the Word, I was encouraged to read it. I was so excited. I fell in love with the Word. I was like a sponge. One of the things I learned was that nowhere in the Bible did God ask me to be poor. In fact, it said God would be my Jehovah Jireh, my provider. Here are just a few quotes from the Word on the subject:
Genesis 22:14 (KJV) And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh (my provider): as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
It seems that God wants to provide for us so we will not become poor. He also wants us to work, be diligent, and even earn a profit. WOW!! I was amazed.
Genesis 45:11a (NKJV) There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty…”’
Proverbs 14:23 (NKJV) In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.
Proverbs 21:5 (TPT) Brilliant ideas pay off and bring you prosperity, but making hasty, impatient decisions will only lead to financial loss.
I don’t know if you have struggled with understanding “poverty” or had the misconception that God wanted you to be poor. If you did, today is the day to be set free from that lie. In life we come across well meaning people who teach us things that just are not TRUTH. If I have learned anything, I have learned to first seek the TRUTH from the TRUTH. I would encourage you to implement His plan and He will set you free from poverty and religion.
Luke 11:9-13 (TPT) So it is with your prayers. Ask and you’ll receive. Seek and you’ll discover. Knock on heaven’s door, and it will one day open for you. Every persistent person will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he needs. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door. “Let me ask you this: Do you know of any father who would give his son a snake on a plate when he asked for a serving of fish? Of course not! Do you know of any father who would give his daughter a spider when she had asked for an egg? Of course not! If imperfect parents know how to lovingly take care of their children and give them what they need, how much more will the perfect heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit’s fullness when his children ask him.”
Matthew 6:33 (TPT) “So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.
Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT) Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”
Patricia Wenzel is the founder and director of a state-wide prayer ministry, PRAY New Jersey Inc., since 2002. The ministry is committed to praying for and blessing those serving in authority positions in our state, particularly in government. The ministry is also committed to equipping the saints to pray for those serving in government. The vision and ministry is guided by the Word of God, in particular, 1 Tim. 2:1-4 and Is. 61:11. Pat is thankful for the ministry of America’s Keswick. She graduated from Women of Character in July 2008.