Where to Begin
When is being poor a good thing?
Have you ever studied Matthew 5:3-12, the Beatitudes? If you grew up in church, you are probably very familiar with these verses. In our “Go Deeper Today” for yesterday, the passage included the Beatitudes. As I read the passage today, I found myself going back to Verse 3 over and over. I could not seem to get past it in my heart to move to the other verses with any sense of effectiveness. It continued and still continues to play in my mind.
Matthew 5:3 ESV
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
In teachings from my past, I remember that to be poor in spirit is to understand and even own the fact that I am nothing without God. I cannot save myself and I can do nothing of worth without God. I cannot bring Him glory on my own so I must depend on Him for everything.
Belong to Him
This does not mean that I am to hate myself or beat myself up. It simply indicates that I belong to Him and apart from Him, I am ineffective in every way.
As humans, we do things that other humans value and even praise us for. But, they are not to be the object of our service or of our worship.
The Only One
God wants to be the only one we worry about pleasing and the only one that we seek to worship. When I focus my life on Him knowing that I can do nothing without Him, that is when I will please Him.
Easy to Be Self-Sufficient
I find it too easy to consider myself independent and self-sufficient but I am not! I only deceive myself when I live in this manner.
Being Poor in Spirit
Are you poor in spirit? We all are whether we know it or not. The blessing comes in knowing that we are, doesn’t it? If we think we are independent of God, we make it harder for us to live a satisfied life. We also make it harder for us to glorify God.
Why? Because God is the only one who can satisfy us in a lasting way. When He satisfies us, it shows and people see something different about us.
Good to be Poor
So, it is always good to be poor… in spirit. When we can do this, it helps us to stay humble and walk closer with God Himself.
James 4:6 ESV
“But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”
I hope you will go back and read the context that surrounds this verse. It was difficult to leave it out but I am attempting to be concise.
One translations says: God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.
God will not have prideful people close to Him. So my pride keeps me from being close to God which is opposite where I want to be. I want to be close to Him!
Distracted in Pride
I mentioned yesterday that I am extremely easily distracted. I have had so much going on over the last 10 days that I let the most important part of my day slip away.
When I opened my quiet time journal today, I realized that I have not had a sit-down quiet time with God in 9 days! To me, this is an indication of my pride – not aware that I am poor in spirit. I need God every day, not just when I have plenty of time for Him! I need Him to impart His wisdom to me and help me minute by minute.
It really is not good for me in my busiest times to let go of my time seeking God. That is surely when I need Him the most.
Proverbs 16:18 ESV
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
So yes, if I had not repented of this pride, I would be headed for a self-imposed fall. It would be nobody’s fault but my own. I had allowed myself to subconsciously believe that I had too much to do to stop and spend time with God. I was, in actions, saying that I could do things it without Him. And I cannot!!
How are you? Are you poor in spirit – depending on God for everything?
Things to Ponder:
- Am I living in a manner that indicates that I perceive myself as independent, prideful, and self-sufficient?
- How do I avoid this condition?
- How can I keep in mind that I am poor in spirit and desperately need Him moment by moment?