Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Outlaw, The Cowhand and The Ranch Owner’s Son.

        Have you ever seen the poverty spirit on the face of friends or yourself?  It tries to deflate the power and joy of walking with God.  It takes a highlighter and emphasizes our struggles to scribble out a new story line of why this or that is happening.  Slowly the disappointment creeps in  and it wants us to beleive we can't and even shouldn't expect anything better. We can't always erase our struggles, but sometimes we do need to adjust our mindset.

What is a poverty spirit? 
-  For simper terms: it is an attitude of lack:
lack of time, lack of physical health, lack of finances, lack of Godly intimacy, lack of self worth, lack of joy - the list goes on and on. Worse than the un-honoring spirit of poverty, is our attitude toward it. We just learn to accept it, like it's our lot in life.

It is kind of like addicts that recover from addiction that still need to learn that anixouness and manipulation don't need to exist anymore. The one that has lived on the streets and has suddenly found a home and job has trouble believing they are safe and secure. Physical problems have evaded them, but the mental scars still need adjusting. They have to discover the new person inside that matches their new life.

 As a Christian, when we enter that world of spiritual poverty, we have lost our spiritual identity. We should be walking in abundance as God’s sons and daughters – how do we forget this? - After all there is a new person inside of us! Have you ever felt like Haggi when he said, “And he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.” Translated into present day lingo – that poverty spirit sounds a lot like this: “if you have time, you have no money and if you have money, you have no time,” “you pray and pray and nothing happens, but it always works for others,” how about “those hits just keep coming -one after another and don’t they come in threes?”  (can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that one)

I have entitled this little message The Outlaw, The Cowhand and The Ranch Owner’s Son. You can have a poverty spirit like an Outlaw that is always on the outskirts of blessing, or perhaps you find yourself like me (more times than I like), as The Cowhand trying to work my way to favor. I’m trying to dump those mindsets and darkness for a much wealthier place – The Ranch Owner’s Son.  How does the poverty or wealthy spirit work when it comes to how we live, our things, finding comfort or believing for a miracle? 

               When it comes to living –
The Outlaw mindset lives in the past and remembers how good it used to be and hopes to steal a piece of anything of value.
The Cowhand is doing everything for today.  He has to hurry up and get one thing after another done because time is wasting.  If he doesn’t do it nobody else sure will. He is his own keeper.
The Ranch owner’s son lives with eternity on his mind.  He dreams about Kingdom value instead of earthly possessions.  He is interested in people not tasks. 

              When it comes to gifts or things –
The Outlaw is a hoarder of even the littlest of things. The underlying issue is fear of lack. He no longer even sees it as a problem as stuff just piles up. He is drenched in the fear of "what if's?"
The Cowhand - finds himself buying things on credit - and "I'll works it off later" mentality. He is proud of his accomplishments and what his talent and hard work can do or purchase.
The Ranch owner’s Son – is a giver.  He knows his father is wealthy. He knows he can’t out give what has been given to Him.

             When it comes to finding comfort –
The Outlaw retreats and isolates himself when faced with crisis. He knows he is vulnerable and wants the dark shadows to hide his pain. He beleives he deserves what he gets.
The Cowhand – tries to fix it himself – by a great diet plan, encouraging people, upbeat music, a good movie and the list goes on and on.
The Ranch owner’s son knows that he abides under the shadow of the Almighty and that the Owner of the Ranch has given him a book of promises in the word of God. 

             When it comes to miracles-
The Outlaw says God doesn’t do miracles anymore especially for people like me
The Cowhand says God could or maybe do something but just not sure if God wants to do it for me
The Ranch owner says God loves to do miracles.

I’ve noticed a pattern when that poverty mindset steps in.
It’s when things “have me” instead of “me having things.” 

The wealthy or the Ranch Owner’s son searches for God’s place in every circumstance.  I want to start a practice of doing this –It's really just practicing His presence in my life (one of my favorite books by the way) Either when I encounter difficulty or when someone tells me their woes, I’m gonna ask that question out loud, “where is God in all of this and what can He do?” For believers, hopefully it repositions us from Outlaw or Cowhand to Ranch Owner’s Son. When I ask the unsaved, perhaps it will open a door to a wealthier way.

For right now -here’s my call to action:
  •  Renew my mind – through his word and putting   good input in front of my eyes.
  •  Give hilariously – find creative ways to bless others – a note, sharing a talent.
  •  Give my first fruits – I’m tired of giving God my left over time or squeezed in time. I gotta remember that ALL of my income belongs to Him and He so graciously gives me 90 % of what is rightfully His!
  •  Be diligent – Old habits die hard – I’m gonna remind myself of the Outlaw, Cowhand and Ranch Owner’s son – Who am I today?
Thanks for letting me process my conversations with the Ranch Owner!  So glad that I am his daughter- The Ranch Owner’s son!  Who are you?