There have been many times on my travels, especially into communist countries where supplies were low, or developing nations where they were non-existent, where I encountered overwhelming poverty. In some places we were able to bring supplies with us or buy goods in the country ourselves. Always, always we blessed people’s food/store cupboards in prayer. We claimed land, removed curses, blessed the seed, and the water supply. I have chopped down trees, thrown them into polluted rivers, and prayed for the water. Then, of course you have to be the first to drink it. For a few days you are a human Petri dish, and everyone observes your stupidity or faith, fellow missionaries and all! If you’re not dead or vomiting by the third day, everyone happily drinks also.
I have located underground water supplies by words of knowledge and dug out wells, moving communities in Africa to new land that could provide food and sweet grazing for cattle.
In these situations our own contentment with God is a powerful weapon against the enemy. Contentment must be passed on. When I see people in poverty I am not content to leave them there. My own contentment militates against a spirit of poverty, and I have to contend against it. Supplying food is one answer. Teaching farming and animal husbandry is another. Buying land and building orphan communities around farming and businesses is a better model. People need a self-sustaining lifestyle, not a succession of handouts. I believe in emergency feeding, but self respect and dignity comes with enlargement.
When I am in the midst of a poor community, I do not feel guilty for my own prosperity. God does not do guilt. I allow my own contentment to be released in a warfare capacity. The Kingdom is concerned with the business of warfare. A Kingdom mindset is the same as a business mindset. How do we create wealth so that we can kill poverty? We do not give to people so they can remain poor. We must ensure that our generosity does not empower people to remain in crisis. We teach them to abound so that they can enfranchise another individual/family/community out of poverty into contentment.
Contentment maintains delight. God makes us glad. Gladness of heart is a powerful weapon against the enemy who has no access to joy — it’s a Fruit of the Spirit. His only happiness lies in misery, poverty, human degradation, and enslavement. A glad heart gives joy and respect to people.
We live in a world geared towards discontent. Most advertising is built upon creating a need based around dissatisfaction. An unreal world is created, of which we are not a part, unless we purchase the product that makes us acceptable. Retail therapy is supposed to make us happy. Our self worth depends upon being seen in the right places with the right people. In order for someone to be “in”, someone else, by definition, has to be “out.” Hardly Christian, and not worth the effort.
Contentment is so much more than possession and recognition. How we perceive ourselves is an assessment best derived from a revelation of God. When we know who the Father is in Himself we get a true idea of value. The Holy Spirit teaches us to see ourselves in the person of Jesus. As He is, so are we: made in His image. We give life to one another by our perception. We create a value that can embrace people in the love of God.
Contentment: the capacity to live in a state of peaceful happiness with the Lord, yourself, and others.
- What are your current areas of personal discontent? What would contentment look like for you?
- Where are the areas in relationship where you have not been accepted?
- What would you most like to change about yourself?
- What is the Father’s perception of you? Summarize.
- Write a psalm of thanksgiving to the Lord in joyful recognition of all His good thoughts about you.
Feel free to share your thoughts or revelations with others in the comments section below! This activation is an excerpt from Qualities of a Spiritual Warfare. If you would like to continue learning about the impact of contentment and how delight can defeat the enemy, don’t miss this book!