Angi and I were exploring Bodega Bay and saw this crab fishing boat. Best name ever. Except, perhaps, for the UK’s new polar research vessel, named by popular vote, “Boaty McBoatface,” which is just awesome. It made me think about what God has taught me over the years (the provider part, not the McBoatface).

I struggled most of my life trusting God as my provider, opting instead to put fear in charge my economy. Not the best plan. Fear would make me focused on money, or the lack of it, and create a mindset that wasn’t prepared for the worst, but expected it. I tried to change how I thought, but always did it in my own strength, which focused on behavior instead of relationship.

It took me a long time to realize a spirit of poverty isn’t actually about finances. It’s a love deficit. A financial lack might be a consequence of a poverty spirit, but it’s not the root. A poverty spirit doesn’t believe God can be trusted to care for your life. It’s a disconnect between a head knowledge about God’s goodness and heart experiences with it, and with His kindness, grace, peace, joy, hope, provision, and perfect love.

If you let doubt in His love for you control your mindset, then you have to deal with your circumstances from the limits of your own mental and emotional strength. When you agree with any thought that’s contrary to who God is, or how He thinks, you put a limitation on your life in the area of that thought. Every new negative circumstance drains from your ability to manage that place until you’ve got nothing left. Even if you’re the most intelligent, well-adjusted person in the world, there’s just never enough to cover all the parts of your life.

That’s the core of a poverty spirit: there is never enough. That controlling lie wants to make you see everything with the heart of an orphan. It tells you there will never be enough, so take whatever you need to survive. Don’t fully trust anyone. Guard what you have like you’ll never get more. You’re on your own, so either hide from anything more powerful than you, or learn to attack it. Everything you encounter is a potential threat to protect yourself from, even an offer of God’s love. The poverty spirit points at all the rejection you’ve experienced, and all the suffering you’ve seen. God might love some people, but you’re not going to risk your heart on it.

But God is unrelenting in His love for you. He never gives up on you. His grace, healing, peace, joy, goodness, blessing, and favor are always there, waiting for you to let Him teach you to receive them and give them away. Because there is more than enough. That’s your new paradigm. That’s your new mindset. There is always more than enough, because Jesus is always with you. You never have to do life on your own. You are not an orphan, and you never have to think like one. You get to learn His thoughts, which are focused on loving you into all you are capable of becoming in Him.

Take a few moments and hold out your hands. Symbolically give Jesus your old mindset. Ask Him to forgive you for believing the lies that have kept you in your box, and to set you free from it. Ask Him to teach you how to receive His love so it displaces the ways you used to think. Then just thank Him. Look around your life and thank Him for all the things you have. One will lead to another to another to another until you start seeing just how rich you really are.

“For I know the thoughts that I intend for you, says the Lord: not one of misery, but all of peace, wholeness, and prosperity, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29.11).

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