As we continue our journey through the Beatitudes which are the very beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, I would ask that you open your heart to their deep wisdom and open your mind to what often seems common sense…..yet often is not practiced because worldly wisdom would tell us it’s not practical. The Beatitudes are often misunderstood. Let’s unpack them one-by-one and understand them in a real world-today context, just as Jesus shared them thousands of years ago in a real world-today context to His listeners.
Jesus said in verse 3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Being poor in spirit before God is the foundation upon which we build our life. HELLO….Jesus tells us this FIRST. He starts out his greatest discourse with the attitudes of our hearts, the Beatitudes, and then starts the Beatitudes with “Blessed are the poor in spirit”. I am always amazed at Jesus’ teaching. This is the beginning of a journey to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Life….not death…..is the beginning of our journey to the kingdom of heaven.
People who have this attitude find happiness, joy and satisfaction REGARDLESS of their circumstances. What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? It doesn’t mean to be “poor spirited” and it has nothing to do with financial position.
It means those who recognize their total dependence on God–acknowledging that without Him…we are nothing. And note that Jesus tells us that “theirs IS the kingdom of heaven.”–in the present tense. Believers CAN and ALREADY DO share in the kingdom (as far as it has been revealed) by living out Jesus’ words.
The world recognizes self-reliance, self-confidence, and self-direction. According to worldly wisdom we either make it on our own or we fail. It puts all the pressure ON US to live a happy and fulfilled life. If we recognize the greatness of God and submit totally to Him, the pressure is off us. Like the birds of the air, we can free ourselves from worry because we know that God will give us what we need.
Matthew 6:26 (TNIV)
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Matthew 5:3 (TNIV)
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
My prayer as that as you ponder this absence of self-pride in the face of God, as you ponder giving HIM control of your life, that you will recognize that like all things, it is a process. Ask God for guidance and ask God for that strength to allow you to trust totally in Him. Realize that each day you wrestle with this….you will become stronger like the wrestler. Realize that we are nothing without God. He loves us and wants the best for us. That does not always equate to money, power and prestige. BUT….it does equate to love, fulfillment, joy and satisfaction.