We are entering a time when wealth will be shifted to Kingdom minded Believers for Kingdom work. We know the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof (Psalms 24:1), yet much of it remains under the direction of people who aren’t in line with God’s heart. One of satan’s greatest deceptions has been to trap Christians in a poverty mindset that rejects wealth as carnal and dangerous. As long as this spirit remains, the Church will be ill equipped to walk in the fullness of their calling. Equally as bad is the unhealthy fascination with riches and the rich that many Christians have fallen in to. Truth must be spoken and mindsets must shift so that Believers have a healthy relationship with money and are able to steward it for God’s glory.
It is in this need that Kris Vallotton has written his dynamic book on the subject of “Poverty, Riches & Wealth”. This is a book that is as prophetic as it is practical. A book of principle as much as practice. It is a spirit moving, mind altering shot to the small thinking poverty mentality or selfish prosperity obsession that grips much of the Church….and you should absolutely read it.
As those of you that follow my writing and teaching know, this is a subject that God has laid on my heart recently as well. I believe that the Kingdom of God is one of Peace (Romans 14:17) and I was tired of always fighting the “tension” of balancing poverty and prosperity. Surely there was an answer that resolved the battle between the extremes of taking a vow of poverty and believing God wants everyone to be millionaires! It was during my desire to study this that the Gateway Church Stewardship Ministry leadership asked me prepare the three part series I recently taught on “The Poverty Gospel”, “The Prosperity Gospel”, and “The Provision Gospel”. In the same way that served as confirmation of the need for this message, this book does as well. There is such a need for truth in this area within the Church!
During the first week of my teaching series, a couple came up after the class and told me about this new book from Kris. I was familiar with Kris Vallotton as I regularly podcast his messages from Bethel and had heard him teach on portions of this. I even had one of his quotes in the 2nd week of my teaching! As soon as the book was available I ordered it and read it as quickly as time allowed.
What I found in “Poverty, Riches & Wealth” is a well-balanced and theologically sound look at what the Word says about Poverty and Prosperity. The book is heavily weighted to understanding the truth about how God views wealth and emphasizes the abundance of the Kingdom while not straying into the much maligned “prosperity gospel”. There are a few chapters at the end that focus on practical application of business principles, but this isn’t a self-help book with “10 steps to wealth” or similar clichés. Rather, this is about breaking through the deception that cloaks the subject and aligning your heart with how God views possessions. While books on budgeting, leadership, investing, etc. are all important and needed, they must be layered on top of a firm foundation of truth. Otherwise, we run the risk of budgeting, leading, and investing our way deeper in to a poverty or prosperity mentality!
Having a healthy relationship with God and our position in His Kingdom is fundamental to our lives as Believers. Whether talking about marriage, work, church, or finances, an “identity crisis” is often the root of much of our wrong believing. Kris begins by defining our position as nobility in the Kingdom, through Christ. From there, we can operate in confidence with no need for worldly validation or fear of lack. He then defines the differences between wealth and riches, which is a subtle yet fundamental understanding that clarifies much of the dissonance translated to the “prosperity gospel”. As we understand the broader impact and role of our position in the Kingdom on our surroundings and future generations, our approach to wealth is shifted to one of abundance, generosity, and possibility.
I highly recommend this book as a foundational primer on our heart and mind toward finances. It captures much of the same message God has laid on my heart and for me personally it served not only as confirmation that God was speaking this message to the church, but that I had heard right message as well! I encourage you to buy a copy and get a couple extra for friends. Read it through slowly and prayerfully, then read it again. The truth of God’s Word it contains will transform your mind and help you walk in to new levels of freedom in Him!