Poor in Spirit
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3)
Thus begins the most famous hillside sermon ever spoken. Before all of the other life-giving, revolutionary truths He would teach, comes this fundamental truth – if you want to be a Christ-follower you must be poor in spirit.
When we realize we have nothing apart from what we have received from God, and that we are, literally, nothing except for the grace of God. When, emptied of my selfish will, desires and lusts I become open only to God's will and purpose, I move toward a poverty of spirit.
Being poor in spirit isn't automatic, it doesn't come with baptism or confession, it is not something you just decide to be and it's not something you can just 'will'. Rather, it is the fruit of a continual denial of self.
No longer will I operate in my own strength, cleverness, skill-set or even gifting. No longer will selfish pride fool me into thinking I am something that I am not. I will repent from prideful 'imaginations of my heart' as Jeremiah wrote (Jeremiah 23:7).
Someone who is poor in spirit will depend wholly and completely on the mercy and grace of their Lord and Savior, for everything, and receive everything as a gift from Him. They watch carefully to see what He is doing, then do that. They listen for His voice in the scriptures, through the beauty of His creation and through others, humbly following His lead in healing a broken world.
Jesus is our example, for even He, the Lord of Lords, willingly remained under authority to His Father. "Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing . . . I can do nothing on my own authority . . . (John 5:19, 30)."
Will you begin now to truly follow Christ? Abandoning the lust for the pleasures of the world? Start here, and you will be blessed beyond what you can imagine. For blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.