The new you… poor in spirit; part 2
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
In many ways, “poor in spirit” is the opposite of self-sufficient. For the true believer, this is a mindset fixed upon the sufficiency of provision to be found only in relationship with God, through Jesus.
Scripture provides us with a perfect example of the opposite of “poor in spirit.”
One day, the young man we know as the Rich Young Ruler, approached Jesus to resolve a problem that was a constant plague to his soul. In the conversation that transpired, Jesus revealed the one issue that prevented Him from discovering the longing of his heart. And it wasn’t his money! The rich ruler’s problem was that he was self-sufficient. He could easily and readily provide for himself. He did not really need God for what he needed, or wanted, in life – even though, deep down, he knew that his life was not fulfilled or satisfied (which is why he sought out Jesus!).
Jesus exposed his need. Jesus identified the great barrier that prevented him from being blessed. Jesus gave him an alternative – a new way to live his life that would lead him to discover the fullness of everything he was truly seeking.
But, in the end, the rich ruler turned away from the One Who promised him an abundant life (as well as eternal riches!) – because he could not imagine a life of utter dependence upon God.
The challenge before the rich ruler is a challenge before us all. Now, we may not be swimming in wealth – but it is never the amount of money that defines our inner attitudes. You can be “dirt poor” and still maintain a spirit of being totally self-sufficient – too proud to seek help from others (even God!).
Jesus is telling us that the “blessed” are those who have come to that place in life where they realize their own abilities and resources are never going to be enough. So the wise course is to abandon all notions of self-dependency, and place our confidence in the care of the One Who possesses all things!
We cannot forget Jesus’ promise to those who are “poor in spirit:” “theirs (already possessed) is the Kingdom of Heaven.” This means that everything the King owns belongs (now!) to those who belong to Him!
This is a vital truth: God, the King, will only place His Kingdom into empty hands!
We cannot be holding on to the things of this world, and expect the fullness that He offers. We cannot be trusting in our own abilities and resources, and expect the fullness of His abilities and resources.
At the heart of being blessed is a total reliance upon the One Who has pledged to provide for our every need. Being blessed begins by being “poor in spirit!”
Prayer focus: God, help me to see, and eliminate, all self-sufficiency from my heart!