by Kyle T. Miller | Many Christians who are lazy, disobedient and unforgiving are broke. (Flickr)
The Bible has a lot to say about money and prosperity. Although in the last 20 years there have arguably been wrong motives of some teachings on money, prosperity is biblically supported.
Some preachers and teachers have taught on money in order to manipulate people to give. These ministers have used Scriptures—sometimes out of context—as a means of twisting people's arms into raising big offerings. Because of these abuses, honest Bible teachers have shied away from teaching on prosperity, in fear of being accused of being a "money preacher." Yet we cannot throw away the baby with the bathwater. Just because there have been abuses by some preachers and teachers concerning prosperity does not mean we should stop preaching and teaching on biblical prosperity.
Most People Are Not Against Biblical Prosperity
Thanks to many pioneers in the faith who suffered resistance, ridicule and opposition from religious scoffers as they made gallant efforts to teach biblical prosperity, many people in the body of Christ do not have a problem with Christians being financially comfortable (or dare I say, rich). Many would agree that when God trusts someone with prosperity, that person is in a fantastic position to help others.
Why would God not want us to be able to comfortably provide for our families, live in nice houses, drive nice cars and enjoy ourselves? However, many saved, born-again believers are living by barley getting by. But why? If God has promised us that we will "eat the good of the land" (Is. 1:19) why are so many Christians broke? Although this is not an exhaustive list, I will share with you five reasons why some Christians are broke and how we can shift from poverty to prosperity.
1. Christians who do not tithe are broke. The Bible is pretty clear; if you do not tithe, you will suffer financial setbacks. "You are cursed with a curse, your whole nation, for you are robbing Me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this" (Mal. 3:9-10). I can already hear some of you saying, "Tithing was under the Old Testament law. We are no longer under the law."
There are two problems with this argument: 1) Tithing was established before the law. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek around 2,000 years before Moses enacted the law (Gen. 14:20). 2) Tithing is mentioned in the New Testament also. Jesus said "But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these (tithe) and not to have left the other undone (Matt. 23:22, emphasis mine). In this passage, Jesus was reprimanding the scribes and Pharisees because they were using tithes as a method for getting around taking care of the widows and orphans.
Interestingly though, Jesus didn't say stop tithing. He actually said that when you tithe, you must not neglect your other responsibilities. People will give you lots of excuses for why we are not required to tithe today. Tithing is really a heart issue, though. The Scriptures state that where a man's or woman's heart is, that is where there money is (Matt. 6:21). You can tell a lot about whom and what people love by looking at their checkbook and their debit card statement.
There are a lot of writings out now asking (and attempting to answer) the question of whether we are required to tithe today or not. I would argue that the question should not be "Do we have to tithe?" but rather "Where should we tithe"? Our hearts should be in a place where we want to tithe. And if you feel as though you are obligated to tithe out of force, you probably should not tithe until you can give with a heart of gratitude. Giving out of a heart of gratitude is the only way you will experience increase from your giving.
2. Christians who have participated in the occult are broke. People who consult psychics receive a curse of poverty. Isaiah 8:19-21 says: "When they say to you, 'Seek after the mediums and the wizards, who whisper and mutter,' should not a people seek after their God? Should they consult the dead for the living? To the law and to the testimony; if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. They shall pass through the land hard-pressed and hungry; when they are hungry, they shall be furious and curse their king and their God as they look upward."
This Scripture clearly states that people who consult psychics and mediums (consulting the dead) suffer poverty and lack. If you have ever been to a psychic or consulted mediums, palm and/or tarot card readers, or played with Ouija boards, you are under a curse that includes poverty. You should have someone who is skilled in deliverance to lead you through cleansing prayers so that you can be set free.
3. Christians who are lazy are broke. The Scriptures admonish us as believers to be diligent in everything that we do. The Scriptures also promise us that if we are lazy, we will suffer poverty. Here are some Scriptures from Proverbs that warn us about being lazy:
- "The sluggard will not plow because of the cold; therefore he will beg during harvest and have nothing" (Prov. 20:4).
- "He becomes poor who deals with a slack hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich" (Prov. 10:4).
- "The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent will be made fat" (Prov. 13:4).
- "How long will you sleep, O sluggard? When will you arise out of your sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep—so will your poverty come upon you like a stalker, and your need as an armed man" (Prov. 6:9-11).
- "He also who is slothful in his work is brother to him who is a great waster" (Prov. 18:9).
And in the New Testament it says this: "For when we were with you, we commanded you that if any will not work, neither shall he eat" (2 Thess. 3:10).
Remember this as well, procrastination is a first cousin to laziness because it puts off today what should be done today until tomorrow. When God gives us directions to do something, we should be immediately obedient to what He says.
4. Many Christians who are disobedient are broke. In Deuteronomy 28, God gives us a promise of wealth and prosperity when we do what He asks us to do. But when we disobey His commands, the Scriptures promise use that we will be cursed and live a life of poverty. "Now it will be, if you will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I am commanding you today, then the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth" (Deut. 28:1).
Isaiah 1:19 states, "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land." God has promised us blessings and prosperity when we are faithful to do what He has told us. However, we can expect poverty, lack, and insufficiency when we disobey Him.
5. Many Christians who walk in unforgiveness are broke. Unforgiveness is probably the most common transgression that people commit. This is primarily because not forgiving someone feels good to our flesh. When we do not forgive people in our flesh, we feel vindicated because that (those) person(s) hurt us. Not forgiving makes us feel that we are getting back at that person.
What's so deceptive about unforgiveness is this: Not forgiving somebody does not hurt the other person. Usually the person who hurt you has no knowledge that they hurt you. And if they do, most of the time, they do not care. Holding on to unforgiveness only hurts you because God says if you do not forgive the person who offended you, He is going to judge you—not the other person.
When Jesus asked His disciples, "How many times should you forgive somebody?" Peter replied "Seven times!" Peter thought he had really said something profound. However Jesus corrected him and said, "No. You forgive 70 times seven" (paraphrase of Matt. 18:22). In essence, Jesus was saying that we need to forgive people unto infinity. Jesus then gave a warning about people who refused to forgive others. He said that those who refuse to forgive will be delivered to the tormentors (Matt. 18:24).
This word "tormentors" may also include demonization. In 15 years of facilitating deliverances, I have seen many, many cases of people who were tormented by demons because they refused to forgive someone. In this Scripture, Jesus is very clear on this issue: People who walk in unforgiveness will not be forgiven their debts. "His master was angry and delivered him to the jailers until he should pay all his debt" (Matt. 18:34).God is saying here that He will allow us to remain in debt until we forgive. Have you been praying for supernatural debt cancellation? According to the Scriptures, it won't happen until you remove all unforgiveness.
These five reasons for why Christians are broke are by no means exhaustive. If you have been an offender of one, some or all of these reasons, repent. Repentance is not just saying you are sorry, but making a conscientious decision to do better. So if you were moving down and you are supposed to be going up, you move in the opposite direction. Or if God has told you to go east, and you are moving west, you turn around and go east.
God says in His Word that He wants to prosper you: "But you must remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to get wealth, so that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is today" (Deut. 8:18).
When we are prosperous, we demonstrate to the world that God is real. When we are wealthy, we establish God's covenant (promise) in the Earth. God has promised us that He wants to bless us to produce wealth. So be it!
Kyle T. Miller has been called to the marketplace as a musician, play producer, and educator. Kyle has been prophesying and interpreting dreams for almost 15 years. Kyle is also a scholar, obtaining a Masters of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and a PhD in Higher Education Administration from The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Kyle's theatre production company, Positive Images in Christ, has directed and produced over a dozen shows since it was founded in 2004. Please visit his website at prophetkyle.com.