Now that you have acknowledged and owned up to your poverty, you need to take the next step.
Note: I have tried to condense the last two parts into one here, so this PARTS 2 & 3. Avoid skipping any sentence because there is something hidden right in the middle. There is a treasure right in the very middle.
2. Plead Against Poverty
Plead your case. How do you plead your case? God showed us how and Jesus reiterates this as well, so we are never left without a witness of God’s will for our lives.
God told Elijah during a drought that there will be rain. “After a long time, in the third year, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: ‘Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.’ So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.” 1 Kings 18:1. A little later, he told king Ahab to “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” And he did, but what about Elijah? He went to plead with God.
This is one major reason why so many Christians are not receiving breakthroughs in their lives. A man speaks to them and they rest their lives upon it, then they go to eat and drink, because some man said “for there is the sound of a heavy rain”. What stops them hearing it from God themselves? Of course, it is good to believe the words of a prophet. But should not be all.
This is the most important part, whether it was God that spoke to you first hand as in the case of Elijah or a prophet spoke to you as in the case of Ahab, there is still work to be done. You want to get rich? Here is the crux of the second step. Ask – until it happens!
Elijah did not go home to eat and drink. He went to the place of prayer. How did he pray? Taking the posture of a travailing woman, he prayed earnestly. He prayed with every fibre in his muscle, he sweated and his sweat was as thick as his blood; he groaned and cried. But why did he have to go through all these? Did God not specifically say, “…and I will send rain on the land.”? Yes He did. Then what is Elijah doing in the place of prayer when he is supposed to be eating and drinking? Elijah, being God’s friend, knew it wasn’t time for time eating and drinking, something has to precede that.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Ch 7:14
Jesus also declared the importance of this when He told us the story of the persistent widow in Luke 18 vs 1-8. Jesus said, “…continue to cry out for help…” (The Message). God wants to make your blessing quicker than you can imagine. For “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” (Ephesians 3:20 The Message).
Ever heard of the prayer of Hezekiah? He was a man on the death row. God said be ready to die, but he wasn’t. For some reason he wanted to live longer. What did he do? Succumb to a wish of physical poverty? Oh no, not a man who knows the benevolence of God.
He cried out to the God of Israel (Isaiah 38:1-3). If you are seriously interested in being rich, you must humble yourself and cry out to the Lord – call upon Him with all passion, and if you must, do so for the next two days or seven years or even 25 years. Just don’t stop believing He will do it for you, too.
Abraham spent 25 years believing his time would come, then Jesus visited him with two angels and made him a father of many nations. Hannah cried her heart and eyes out to the Lord for years, too. Then God made her a mother of seven! But do you notice a common denominator with those who cry out to God? They received, and their answers are usually precious!”
3. Present Your Empty “Vessels”
It is not just enough to acknowledge your poverty or cry to the Lord for help, you must present Him with vessels to work with.
Jesus turned water into wine, but He was presented with vessels; He fed 5000 free of charge, but He was given 5 loaves and 2 fishes to work with.
Let us go back in time to see the case of a very poor woman who was laden with debt and was about to be declared bankrupt. Quickly, she acknowledged her problem and pleaded for help. God asked her to go and use the “one talent” she had in her life, because she came empty-handed during her moment of plea.
Her only “talent” was a small bottle of oil. She was told to go and borrow as many “jugs and bowls” as possible, from anywhere and everywhere. Can you imagine her humility in asking whoever was willing to lend her a jug or bowl?
“Not again,” a neighbour shouted at her as soon as she heard her voice asking to borrow a jug. “The bowl of rice you bought on credit last week, you have not paid back, and now you’re asking me for an empty jug, scram!” Undeterred, with her children, they borrowed from as many as were willing to lend to them.
Following instructions, she experienced her desired breakthrough. See 2 kings 4: 1-7.
But notice when her miracle actually stopped; when she ran out of empty vessels. This is the secret of maintaining your riches. When you become full and have no empty place for God to fill with blessings, your miracle will stop. This was why Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
If you say you are hungry, it means your stomach is empty; for as long as your stomach remains empty no matter how much you eat from the Table of the Lord, you can be assured that you will always be fed.”
4. Working Smartly
After Elijah became successful, then his greatest problem surfaced. A woman – terrifying woman named Jezebel threatened him and it was a real threat, because she has the power of the Israeli army to back her up. Then Elijah ran. He was not smart enough to handle the threat. Why? He was a lone ranger. He ran for his dear life!
Many people fail because they are lone rangers, they think they are James Bond and can single-handedly save the world. Friends, you need people around you. Even if it is one person, you need people to support, encourage and advice you.
It is much easier to succeed at anything in this information technology age than 50 years ago. There are tools and resources available at your disposal to accelerate your endeavour. There are places like Google where you can make a search for any information you want, there are places like FaceBook, you can use to link up with people across the world. With one email, you can write to more than 1 million people at the click of a button; there is a vast amount of resources too numerous to count.
You need to connect yourself with others in one form of the other, that is network, let them know what you are doing, share with them, it may be that you need prayer support, you have a product to sell, or just want to present the gospel in a new and refreshing way. There is the video opportunity, you can create, upload videos and share them for free.
Elisha was faced with the same problem that drove Elijah hundreds of miles away from his home. He was threatened by the king. He said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!” 2 Kings 6:31.
Where was Elisha and what was his reaction at the threat? He was right in the middle of fellowship with his friends and partners. Listen to him, “Don’t you see how this murderer is sending someone to cut off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold it shut against him…” He was not alone.
What about Paul the Apostle? He partnered with Silas and together they headed a team that turned the world upside down with the gospel of peace (Acts 17:6). A bunch of guys terrified the devil around the world. God is looking for such people (who want to be spiritual millionaires) again today!
Are you sick in your body with a disease? No disease is too nasty that God cannot take care of; you say, “I’ve prayed and prayer for years and nothing has happened.” Call on the elders. Get online contact the Church of God around the world, ask them to join you in prayer. Elders are not just within a four walls of a local assembly.
5. Be Wiser Than the Devil
God has packaged an abundance array of blessing for you. But you need to know it through His Word to enjoy them. If you don’t have a first hand understanding of this, the devil will repackage them and add his terms of sales with it for you. And as they say, he has no free launch – his apples have worms in them.
He repackaged God’s Word for Adam and Eve and they fell into sin. He tried the same with Jesus but Jesus was just too wise for him. Jesus proved that He had much more than the devil was offering – God’s true riches – His Word.
How do you go about being wiser than the devil? None better than the advice of the second wisest and richest man who ever lived. Look at the words of the wise man in Eccl. 11:1.
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. (KJV). Check these other versions, too.
Be generous: Invest in acts of charity.
Charity yields high returns. (The Message)
Ship your grain across the sea;
after many days you may receive a return. (NIV)
Send your grain across the seas,
and in time, profits will flow back to you. (NLT)
Put your money into trade across the ocean.
After a while you will earn something from it. (NIRV)
Invest what you have,
because after a while you will get a return. (NCV)”
You must be wise with whatever God gives you. Invest what you have been given. Remember the parable of the talents? God is expecting a return. That poor widow in 2 Kings thought she had nothing, but she had a “miserable” small bottle. Her riches was bound in the very bottle she overlooked. Get active and do something with what He’s given you. Be wise and use it with purpose.
Are you sick and bed-ridden? Use your mouth, is the disease affecting your mouth, use your mind, talk to God like Elijah. Is some sin troubling you? Get on your knees often, like Keith Green: “One sleepless night of anguished prayer, I triumphed over sin…”
In being wise with what you have, know this, it is better to give than to receive. The Message Bible says, “Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns.” Wherever you turn or decide to invest, do so wisely; pray and let the Lord direct you. Otherwise you may be casting your pearls before swine. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matt. 7:6
The best riches can be earned through a life wholly surrendered to Christ. It is called a more excellent way or being rich towards God.
You may gain this worldly wealth and have a thousand houses, if you lack true riches, you are will be a miserable character, empty of the joy of life. As a 40-year old, you may be as healthy as a toddler, complete with fresh non-wrinkly face, smooth skin and strong bones. If you lack the true riches you’re just another Humpty-Dumpty waiting to fall.
Many want to be rich spiritually, but Jesus says, “if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Luke 16:11. Giving to God is not just to so-called churches, it is by “Pure, unstained religion, according to God our Father, is to take care of orphans and widows when they suffer and to remain uncorrupted by this world.” James 1:27. In essence, help the very needy, the downcast who can’t repay you. It is not by giving to the rich mega churches. Invest where you will get the most returns!
Paul invested his entire life in the work of the Lord and he made himself constantly hungry for Him saying, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Phil 3:10
PART 3. MAKE GOD HAPPY
Do you want God to be happy with your riches? Here is what He says, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Dan 12:3) True riches will make you to shine FOREVER!
As you may have seen, you can be rich in your health, finances and spirit. Just applying these principles in these areas will help boost your bank balances. But the heavenly bank is the safest and the best.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,” Eph 1:18
To be wiser than the devil means patience with God. Patience and persistence wins the day. Many have ruined a promising life and gone straight to hell because of impatience with God. King Saul was impatient and lost the kingdom. Gehazi was impatient and lost a double share of the power of God. Adam and Eve were impatient and they ate the forbidden fruit!
Paul, towards the end of his life said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2Tim 4:7-8
It shakes me to the core of my bones to see people having a problem for a year or two and then getting discouraged and turning to witchcraft for help. Child of God if you do that, you’re heading for hell! I have to be blunt and tell you the truth.”
I would rather die of my predicament than bow to the devil for help. Should I die in that poverty, when I get to heaven I will ask my Father why He refused to grant my plea, and I am sure He would have a better answer than I can imagine.
Are you poor? You can be rich! What riches are you running after? The choice is yours. God does not want you to live a miserable life, He owns the whole earth (not the system of this world) and wants you to enjoy all it has to offer, but He warns:
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17