We are on the path to finding peace and contentment. Absence of peace brings about depression which is brought on by negative thought patterns. Clinical studies show that depression is a result of an overactive amygdala (grey matter in the brain that is responsible for emotions and the way we respond to things especially fear). So the more negative your thought patterns are, the more this part of the brain goes into overdrive (constant fight or flight response). I am not opposed to seeking a professional’s opinion when it comes to depression; however, the cure is only temporary. The good news is that there is a permanent cure and it is based on constant reliance on God and his words.
Satan is the father of lies, an expert at mind manipulation and all he does is ensure that we never attain the peace of God (John 8:44). One of the ways in which we give our minds over to depression is opening the door to the spirit of mammon (money). We have to be conscious of what we do the moment we come into possession of money. Jesus Christ warns us about the spirit of mammon, in Luke 16:10-14 and his words must be taken seriously. What is the spirit of mammon? It is a demonic spirit that attaches itself to money and is opposed to the Spirit of God. This deceiving spirit is there to test your trust and confidence in God with regards to finances. What are the characters of this demon? The spirit of mammon buys and keeps, it is selfish, it is afraid to use money, it (cheats, lies and steal), it promises false (security, power, independence, and freedom), it wants to take the place of God and it brings fear of the future, thus keeping us in constant bondage (depression).
As an example; Michael lived in poverty for 5 years, now he has been blessed with a job with amazing benefits. Michael is happy about his new life but begins to fear that he may return to poverty if extra measures are not taken. The spirit of mammon comes in as a result of his thought process to convince him to find new ways to make more money to avoid the life he lived 5 years ago. Michael spends extra hours at work, he wants to explore all that money has to offer in this world, he finds it offensive when asked to donate to the church and he gets frustrated when his brother or sister asks for money.
The bible mentions that poverty comes from laziness, dishonest living (Ephesians 4:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13), oppressing the poor, hoarding riches (James 5:1-4; Luke 12: 15-21). New Brunswick Canada (Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation) says poverty is fear for the future, it has many faces and it varies depending on where you find yourself. Poverty is lack of shelter, hunger, no access to education, jobs and or medical care. I am glad that non-biblical writing defines poverty as fear of the future. This fear gives way to the spirit of mammon and it comes from our lack of trust in God.
My husband said, “a man can only be truly free from bondage if he lets go mentally”. Jesus has rescued from the pit (bondage) of poverty. Instead of taking time to appreciate where we are, we become obsessed and spend the rest of our lives resenting the fact we were ever in that pit. We get so busy avoiding the possibilities of falling back in the pit by continuously chasing riches while already having more than enough. So, we never truly spiritually and or mentally escaped the pit and all we have done is replace one form of the dungeon for another. In other words, you can have all the money in the world and yet remain poor because of your fears. So many people have lost their lives and have remained in depression because they were obsessed with money.
Is money evil? Money is not evil; rather it is the love of money that is evil. 1 Timothy 6: 10 says “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”. There is nothing wrong with earning or having money, as long as it does not turn us away from the almighty God. Our God wants the best for us and he desires to fill us with every good thing (Psalm 84:11; Matthew 7:11; James 1:17). However, people are afraid to allow God to lead them in their finances, thus they are never satisfied and they never know when enough is enough. 1 John 2:15-17 says “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever”. Are you willing to remain in fear and depression over money? Do you really want to find yourself outside the bounds of God’s grace because of money?
When you become engulfed in the spirit of mammon, you also become involved with its accomplices or spirits named pride, greed (Luke 12:15) and surprisingly sometimes poverty. Yes, I said poverty because whatever the spirit of mammon promises always leads one back to the pit they were delivered from.
- Pride does not acknowledge God for his blessings because it tells you your hard work is the reason you have all these. This is the spirit that led to the fall of Lucifer (Satan) and it causes us to turn away from God.
- Greed causes us to hold on to all that we have in this world or want more. When God tells us to give, it is always for our own good because greed always leads to lack (Psalm 50:7-15).
- Poverty, on the other hand, causes us to be ashamed of God’s blessings and gifts because of our lack of trust. This spirit contradicts the word of God which says in Psalm 118:23 to declare openly his gifts to us.
An example to show these three spirits is;
Friend: Wow Chi you have such a beautiful home”. Instead of saying thank you, I give God the glory;
Chi (the spirit of pride in you): Yeah I paid a lot for this one and it is the best on this side of town.
Chi (the spirit of greed): Yeah, although I would have preferred something bigger.
Chi (the spirit of poverty): It was actually quite cheap, not much to look at.
I urge us all to seek the peace of God through his word. Study it day and night to learn his wisdom and will for us. Do not follow the trumpets of those who make money speedily or tell you here is a faster way to make money because it will only shorten your life and lead you to destruction. Proverbs 21:5 says “The plans of the diligent surely lead to profit, and everyone who is hasty surely rushes to poverty”. If you are blessed with money, appreciate where you are and ask God to lead you so you do not hoard more than what you need. Proverbs 11:24 says” One person gives freely and gains even more; another withholds more than is appropriate but comes to poverty”.
I experienced lack in so many ways during my years of study in South Africa and God has seen me through it all. I needed to go through that suffering because God wanted to see my heart and also to empathize with those going through hard times. If you are going through poverty right now, I have news for you. It definitely ends my friend. So, before you go rushing to the nearest money making scheme, remember that God promises to make a way (Isaiah 43:19; Romans 8:28). Look around and you will see one who has gone through poverty and is now experiencing a financial breakthrough. Be patient and wait on God for your time because his time is the best (Jeremiah 29:11-12; Habakkuk 2:3; Lamentations 3:25-26; Proverbs 3:5-6; Ecclesiastes 3:1; Isaiah 40:31).
If you are already working, do not spit on the job because what you reject will be given to others. Do not worry about your horrible boss because he or she will answer to God about how they treated you (Proverbs 11:1; Leviticus 19:13; James 5:1-6). You just have to focus on being your best because then you are working as if you work for God (Colossians 3:23). Do not get caught in the notion of “I am not willing to work for anyone”. If you are blessed to have your own business, all well and good but do not resent working for others. Jesus was humble and he showed this humility in service to others (Matthew 23:11; Mark 10:45; Hebrews 6:10). Proverbs 28:19 says “One who works his land will have an abundance of food, but one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty”.
Many countries, especially in Africa are experiencing an increase in poverty and Satan has capitalized on this to bring many into bondage. If you are a fan of Nollywood, please take in the messages revealed in some of those movies because they are real-life situations. Anyone who has made money dishonestly rushed into the get rich quick scheme or gotten themselves into the occult always end up back in poverty and depression. This is a cycle that never ends and the only way to break free is to seek peace through the word of God.
We need to ask God to open our eyes to any indicators of the spirit of mammon and its accomplices present in our lives. Jesus wants us to look to him for our security and source of provision, rather than money (Philippians 4:19). Proverbs 11:28 says “those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf”.