Sometimes it is hard to feel like we have enough. Enough time, enough energy, enough resources, enough money—you get the picture. When feelings of scarcity rise to the surface, our gut reaction is to control, conserve, and react with anxiety.
Typically, our mindset fits in one of two categories— an abundance mindset or a poverty mindset. In our natural state, most of us are prone to the latter. A poverty / scarcity mindset is based in fear and causes people to see the world through a limiting lens. Someone with a poverty mindset often feels trapped and convinces themselves that there isn’t enough. However, an abundance mindset is based in faith and causes people to see the world through a limitless lens. Someone with an abundance mindset typically feels free and confident that there is more than enough.
God’s will is for you to glorify Him by living a life marked by trust and abundance. In an effort to help you have an abundance mindset, this article will cover:
- What are spiritual strongholds? (And how to tear them down!)
- Scarcity Mindset vs Abundance Mindset
- How to adopt an abundance mindset and walk in God’s calling for your life.
What are Spiritual Strongholds?
I’ll let you in on a secret: most people I’ve met who have an abundance mindset have had to work for it. It typically doesn’t come naturally. We have strongholds in our life that try to lock us into a scarcity mentality.
Luckily, 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 says this:
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
The Greek word for stronghold translates as follows:
- a castle, stronghold, fortress, fastness
- anything on which one relies
- of the arguments and reasonings by which a disputant endeavors to fortify his opinion and defend it against his opponent.
So, when the Bible talks about strongholds, it’s referring to your own debilitating beliefs that the enemy uses to work against you. They are literal fortresses that you rely on for a sense of safety, power, or control, for example. Strongholds are built brick by brick by the lies you tell yourself, and they are not aligned with the Truth of God. So, in order to demolish the stronghold of a scarcity mentality and adopt an abundance mindset, you’re going to have to change some of your beliefs.
With that, here are a few examples contrasting a scarcity vs abundance mindset. If you struggle in one of these areas, you can use the corresponding scripture as a tool in prayer to demolish strongholds in your own life.
Scarcity Mindset vs Abundance Mindset
Scarcity Mindset: I may not have enough, so I will hoard.
Abundance Mindset: I have more than enough, so I will give.
“Give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom for with the same measure that you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38, ESV)
When we give from a generous heart, we will receive. In the same way that what goes up must come down, this is a principle of Kingdom physics. It applies to money, yes, but it also applies to how we share our time and talents with others.
If you are having trouble with generosity, talk to God about it. Do you believe Jesus’ message that when we give, we receive? Pray through Luke 6:38 and ask him for opportunities to be generous. Changing your mindset in this regard is part prayer, part action. When you make a practice of giving, the weightiness of hoarding will lift off of you and peace and joy will take it’s place!
[For more teaching on how God brings wealth to you, check out the following blog: Break Your Manna Mindset]
Scarcity Mindset: I am my own provider, and my stress gives me some control.
Abundance Mindset: God is my provider, so I don’t have to stress.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:25-30, ESV)
Anxiety isn’t just a problem in the 21st century. Apparently, people were struggling with anxious thoughts thousands of years ago, too. This encouragement from Jesus is extremely helpful to return to—He affirms that God is a Provider who will give us everything we need. If He takes care of the wildlife and plants, He will certainly take care of you!
Do you know that one of the meanings of the Greek word for anxiety is “to seek to promote one’s interests?” A lot of times we become anxious about things that really don’t matter. When you start to feel anxious, process your stress with God. Write down the things that are making you anxious, whether they be your budget, schedule kids, or purpose. Ask God to show you where your anxiety stems from a desire to control your preferred interests or outcomes. (Control issues are major indicators that you’re operating from a scarcity mindset.) Then, as you release control, pray for the Peace of God to fill the gaps.
On Problem Solving
Scarcity Mindset: There is no solution other than my current reality—I am stuck.
Abundance Mindset: There are multiple ways to solve a problem.
“Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.” Psalm 147:5, NIV)
““Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” (Jeremiah 32:17, NIV)
“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NKJV)
We serve a limitless God, yet our perspective is often limited. In order to align our spirits with God’s eternal perspective, we have to have faith. This means that we have to humble ourselves, admit we don’t know it all, and realize that we have access to supernatural solutions through Christ. Oftentimes, we are limited by our own need for control. When we submit ourselves to God’s omnipotence and authority, we start to see our situation from different angles.
Scarcity Mindset: I need to work for God’s love. Only when I earn it will he bless me. [And when I work hard, I’m entitled to a reward.]
Abundance Mindset: I don’t need to work for God’s love because He has already given me everything I need. He wants to bless me because He loves me.
“Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm has already been lavished upon us as a love gift from our wonderful heavenly Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus—all because he sees us wrapped into Christ. This is why we celebrate him with all our hearts!” (Ephesians 1:3, TPT)
God has already given you every spiritual blessing. It is a free gift of grace, and you could never earn it. Also, God’s calling for your life is irrevocable. So, the key is to learn to live out of the abundance He’s already given you—not to grasp for more. Pray Ephesians 1:3 over your life and ask God how to apply the spiritual blessings you already possess.
God’s will is for you to experience the fullness. We thrive when we operate out of trust, not anxiety and control. I hope this article has empowered you to choose an abundance mindset this week. I’d love to hear from you—what are some scriptures or practices that help you overcome a scarcity mindset?