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This article has two purposes. Firstly, it is written to help bring deliverance to those who are under the power of the spirit of poverty. Secondly, it is written to show how to keep the spirit of poverty away from those who are prospering and self- sufficient.

Before I go any further, I would like to pause and show you how to identify the presence of the spirit of poverty in a person’s life.

I will give you a number of points. From the list, you will be able to see how serious and wide spread the influence of this wicked spirit is.

What you are about to read is not intended to put anyone down or make you feel bad. Rather, you should be happy that God is revealing your problem, so you can deal with it.

A person is under the influence of the spirit of poverty when:

• Money has to be borrowed to meet day-to-day expenses.

When you borrow money in order to feed yourself, put gasoline in your car, go to school, buy school materials for your children and other essentials, there is no doubt that you are under the influence of the spirit of poverty. In Deuteronomy 28:12, the Bible says:

“The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.” David said in Psalm 37:25: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

If you have lived in America for a considerable length of time, you will surely remember that there was a time when grocery stores did not accept credit cards for food purchase. Today, it is normal to go to the grocery and buy carts full of food with credit cards. Some who purchase food this way spend months and even years paying their credit card companies for food they have long eaten, digested and flushed down the toilet. This cannot be God’s design for His own. So, if you buy bread on credit or worst still, if you go around begging for bread, in all likelihood, you are under the influence of the spirit of poverty.

Paul wrote in Philippians 4:19:
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” “My God...,” not the credit card company.
“My God…,” not the high interest- charging companies.
“My God…,” not the lady next door that sells rice and other grains on credit.

Paul believed that God supplies not some, not many, not most but all the needs of the believer. He can use whoever He chooses to meet the needs, but the needs will not be met in violation of Deuteronomy 28:12 and Psalm. 37:25. The believer will not go about borrowing or begging for bread.

Let me be quick to say that I am not against every form of borrowing. I am only talking about when money has to be borrowed to meet daily expenses.

I believe that it is a wise step when money is borrowed in order to inject capital into a business venture. As the Lord blesses the business, you are able to pay off the loan and even be a blessing to the Lord’s work and to those in need around you.

• An individual is also under the influence of the spirit of poverty when repayment of money borrowed becomes impossible.

This is always a very embarrassing position. What can be as embarrassing as a Christian’s telling his children to tell creditors that he is not at home when in actual fact he is? It is situations like this that make people check and double check caller IDs before they pick up their phone.

God is too loving to put his children through situations such as these. If God is not the one behind such things, then the enemy has to be.

• Another indicator of affliction from the spirit of poverty is borrowing money to pay back borrowed money.

I have seen situations where a person borrows money from someone, and ends up borrowing money from another to pay off the first loan. This can become an endless cycle. It affect money borrowed from banks and credit card companies also. It is the spirit of poverty at work!

• Yet another indication that someone is under the influence of the spirit of poverty is the impossibility to meet financial obligations. There are recurring monthly obligations such as light, gas, telephone bills, and so forth. Other major monthly obligations may include car notes and rents. When your house rent or mortgage becomes past due for two to three months and you cannot pay, you know that is trouble. The landlord will bring an eviction notice, and the mortgage company will start repossession procedures. This cannot be the good Lord at work; this is nothing but the work of the spirit of poverty.

There are those who manage to pay before the month runs out, but have to pay hefty late charges month after month. This may be better than the scenario just described, but it is still an indication that the spirit of poverty is at work.

• Yet another indication that the spirit of poverty is at work is when monthly salary is spent before it is received.

There are those who borrow money in September against their October pay check. That is poverty at work.

• When expenses are more than income, then we are sure the spirit of poverty is at work. In most cases, these expenses are unavoidable ones.

• The spirit of poverty is at work when unexpected expenses always surface any time money comes.

I have seen many people under this type of affliction. Before money comes in there are no expenses, so they begin making plans on how to save the extra money they are expecting. However, the spirit of poverty has another plan. It is simply to divert the blessing from their hands and cause the money to be spent on unbudgeted emergencies. When these expenses surface, they will be things that cannot be refrained from being paid. It is an indication that the spirit of poverty is working against your life.

• The presence of uncompleted projects can also be an indication of affliction from the spirit of poverty.

I once traveled to an African country. On approach to the airport, I looked out of the airplane window and saw scores of uncompleted buildings. Some of them had four walls and no roof; others had skeletal roofs but no coverings. Others were stopped at the decking of the ground floor. You could tell from the discoloration of the cement blocks that the buildings had been abandoned for some time. The Lord spoke to me that the spirit of poverty came against the owners of those properties and forced them to abandon their projects, which many of them had started with great enthusiasm and deadlines for completion.

If your life is a history of one uncompleted project after the other, you may want to do warfare against the spirit of poverty.

• When a person has to live a “managed” life, then the spirit of poverty is at work.

Let me illustrate what I mean by “managed” life.

When a family of eight has to live in one bedroom, they are living a “managed” life. When you have to do “zero, zero, one,” you are living a managed life. “Zero, zero, one” is skipping breakfast and lunch and eating only dinner because you cannot afford three square meals. When you have to drink tea without milk and sugar because you cannot afford them, you are living a “managed” life.

• Yet another indicator of the presence of the spirit of poverty is when one has to take up jobs not commensurate with one’s qualifications.

I have seen many with a master’s degree working as gas station attendants. I have seen Ph.D. holders doing minimum wage security jobs. I have seen others with good degrees working as cashiers in department stores. It is the influence of the spirit of poverty.

• Another indicator of the presence of the spirit of poverty is when you pay off a large debt only to get into a larger debt in a matter of weeks and months.

• Inability to live an independent life is another indication of the presence of the spirit of poverty.

There are people who at the age of forty are still living with parents or other relations. They are forced to do so not by choice but because they cannot afford to live on their own.

• The spirit of poverty also will make a man to be less than his equals.

It makes a man to have less to show for what others of same qualifications and remunerations have.

• When money-making ventures become money consuming ventures, then a man can be said to be under the influence of the spirit of poverty.

I have seen people with taxis that consume more money than they bring in. I have seen people with rental properties that consume more on repairs than they bring in from rents. I have seen businesses that sell frozen fish lose all their stock to freezers that constantly break down. Let me not even dwell much on those whose entire stock is carted away by thieves.

• When prosperity is in appearance only.

Do you know that even people who seem to be rich may actually be operating under the influence of the spirit of poverty? A man may live in a fine house, drive a nice car and yet may be under the influence of the spirit of poverty.

Those are the type of people you look at in the church and you think if anyone is in financial need, they are in a position to help. However, what you don’t realize, is that after he makes monthly payments on everything he owes, this seemingly rich man has nothing left. And then you go to him and say, “Brother, please loan me five hundred dollars until next Sunday.” He looks at you and says he does not have fifty, talk less of five hundred.

You may walk away from him thinking he is tight-fisted when in actuality what he told you is the truth. All he has is his car, his house, and his clothes. From the outside, he seems to be doing well, but you are actually better off than he is. He does not even have any money in the bank, his salary comes in and it goes out.

The point I am trying to make is that sometimes those that appear to be living comfortably may very well be operating under the influence of the spirit of poverty.

• An inability to pass important professional exams.

In most cases, passing professional examinations will lead to more income. What the spirit of poverty does is to block success in these examinations so as to hinder the individual from financial betterment in life.

I know of a medical doctor who had to start a cleaning business because he could not pass his professional examination. I have seen folks trained as registered nurses working as LPNs because they could not pass their board examinations. I have also seen lawyers, accountants and engineers in the same predicament. It can all be traced to the operation of the spirit of poverty.

How about those who learn one trade or another? After learning a good trade as a carpenter, mechanic or mason to get a job in that trade becomes a war. Everybody else is finding a job, but you cannot find one in your field because the spirit of poverty is warring against you.

• Profitless labor is another indicator of the influence of the spirit of poverty.

This is why many exert much effort in labor but have little or no fruit to show for their efforts. They work hard, but at the end of the day they have nothing to show for their repeated efforts.

Let’s say for example a mechanic works hard to fix the cars of his clients. If the spirit of poverty is against his business, every car that he fixes is always brought back with a fault connected to his work. He is forced to re-fix the car at his own expense. The time he could have used on new business, he has to use on correcting a problem that should have been fixed because of the spirit of poverty.

A pastor, who was also a businessman, once approached me for deliverance. He had a company where small engines are repaired. His business was booming because he knew his job well and was a very honest brother. However, a witch was angry with him because he would not allow her to minister in his church. She publicly threatened to deal with him in the area of his business. He took the threat lightly and did not engage in spiritual warfare against the threat. She sent the spirit of poverty against his business. From that time, every machine he fixed was brought back with the complaint of it being a sloppy job. He lost all of his customers and was about to shut down his shop when someone led him to our ministry.

• I have also seen the spirit of poverty come against people by bringing them into nail-biting losses.

The enemy can manipulate some to invest in worthless stocks, sell stocks just before the stock rises in value, or buy stocks that will lose value the next day.

I have also seen cases where a man wins a lucrative contract but does not have money to fulfill the contract. The goal is all the same…to keep money from coming. I can give you many more indicators, but I have many other thoughts to share with you. I am sure these indicators are clear enough and you probably have been able to identify whether you are under the influence of the spirit of poverty or not.

This article has been extracted from Dr. Itiola's book: Victory over the Spirits of Poverty and Delay. To purchase a copy, click here.

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