Poor in Spirit

As we continue the study of the Sermon on the Mount, remember ‘poor in spirit.’ When looking at his teaching, we will frequently despair, ‘I can’t do this.’  This is normal. This is our nature. This despoir is us trying to do this on our own. We must return to the first beatitude, ‘poor in spirit.’ We cannot become what Jesus requires with our own spirit, our own attitude, our own ideas. We must empty ourselves and stop trying so hard. Later own in our study, Jesus will say in Matthew 7, ‘ask and it will be given you.’ Two older posts on prayer might be helpful. What Do I Pray For? and How Often Should I Pray: The Value of Persistence in Prayer.

Every time we begin to despair or think about the difficulty, we are taking our eyes off Jesus and forgetting to ask his help. We must remember what Jesus said in Matthew 11:30, ‘For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ For more discussion on this you might want to read, The Try Hard Life vs. ‘My Yoke is Easy.

Further difficulty in becoming ‘poor in spirit’ is in having patience to allow the Spirit to perform his work. We accept that we must become poor in spirit and we want to become that way now. In a culture permeated with self aggrandizement that elevates pride to a virtue, where families, churches, and social groups encourage us to be rich in our own motivations, goals, and personal pride; it is often a lonely road to become poor in spirit and many will discourage us and work against us—only a relationship with the risen Savior can get us to the place of poor in spirit. And for most of us it will take time to recognize and stop listening to all the counter messages around us. The quicker we learn to submit, to listen to Jesus in prayer and study, the quicker the Spirit can begin to work in us. How long it takes depends on what he wants us to learn through circumstance, what lessons we need to carry to share with others, the testimony he is building in us, and how resistant we are to giving him full lordship.

The inner war may last a long time and it will be painful at times—mine certainly has, but this will give us a great testimony we can share with those seeking him. Okay, truth is, ‘poor in spirit’ is always going to be a daily choice, but with time it will be a choice we embrace first thing in the morning and throughout the day. In time, we will see that leaning on Jesus is the best way, and we will quickly realize when we stray from this mindset. We need Jesus more than we need air, food, or water. We will know we are poor in spirit when he heals our spiritual blindness.

Next Post

Previous Post

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.