Much has been written and preached about the “Beatitudes.” Some of which will leave you more confused than when you began. God is not the author of confusion, so with the help of the Holy Spirit, I hope to make God’s Word apply to your life.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I think all of us would agree that we would like to be counted as one who is blessed. God has offered us a life that is full, complete, and happy. Yes, we will have trials, but our trials are not meant to define us. God offers us a blessed life if we follow His conditions.
In order to understand this verse we must look at another verse for contrast. In Revelation 3:17, God was addressing the lukewarm church of the Laodiceans. Here are His Words: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” The condition of the Church at Laodicea was not one of “poor in spirit,” but rather rich in spirit. Their earthly blessings had blinded them to their need for heavenly blessing. Unfortunately, many Christians gauge their success – not in the amount of Spiritual blessing – but rather in the amount of earthly accumulations. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the earthly blessings that God has given. When we take God’s blessings as proof that we are okay, and not in need of spiritual things, it makes Him sick. God said of these Christians that He would spew them out. How wicked are we to use God’s blessings on our life as an excuse to not serve God?
Our trials are not meant to define us.
To contrast the Church of Laodicea, we look at a Christian who is poor in spirit. I see the publican who prayed earnestly as opposed to the pharisee who prayed with a prideful heart. The publican knew he was poor in spirit. His heart was not filled up with pride, but empty — waiting for God to fill it. Simply stated: a person who is poor in spirit is one who comes to God empty. Their heart is not rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing. The poor heart realizes that it is empty and in desperate need of God to fill it. His prayer may go something like this: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalms 119:18)
A person who is poor in spirit is one who comes to God empty.
It is very human to be proud and to think that we have it all together. God is there if we get into trouble but – for the most part – we have it. It is contrary to our humanness to humble ourselves before God. This, however, is what God desires of all his sons and daughters. He wants to bless our lives, but He will not put new wine into old bottles. It is our job to keep ourselves malleable, fresh, and new. We can not do this on our own, and we desperately need God’s help. Being poor in spirit does not me we drop to our knees one time and ask God for guidance. The only one time prayer is the prayer for salvation. Being poor in spirit is talking about a lifestyle that is empty before God waiting for Him to fill it.
How wicked are we to use God’s blessings on our life as an excuse to not serve God?
Lets say you wanted to be healthy. So you ate one healthy meal, and then went back to an unhealthy diet. That one healthy meal would do little to improve your life. We expect to live Godly once or twice a week, and are surprised when we are not blessed. God is talking about a lifestyle change. Daily or even several times a day we must come before him empty asking Him to fill our spirit. These are the Christians who will enjoy the kingdom of heaven. These are the Christians who will live a life that is blessed. It takes work and commitment on our part. It is true that we are not on our own, but we must put forth the effort. The sad thing is most people will not. Some will even read this and be inspired, but only for a short time. Oh that we would open our eyes. Ask yourself this question, “Is God gagging on me right now, and am I okay with that?”