The Beatitudes, Part 1 - Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

Saturday, October 29, 2016

blessed are the poor in spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:3

This is the first of what is called "The Beatitudes". The Beatitudes are not a list of things to do so we can be happy. I believe that they are a list of lifestyle characteristics that if adopted, will lead to a life of peaceful contentment which goes beyond the mere feeling of happiness. These characteristics are not about being happy, because happiness is not the goal, but rather the result or the payoff. Americans are consumed with being happy, yet are increasingly more depressed, angry and unhappy than ever before. Happiness is an elusive thing. I am finding that you don't find it--it finds you. Happiness is a result of achieving a much loftier goal--Christ-like character. I believe that is what the Beatitudes are really all about.

This first Beatitude is strategic. It is listed first for a reason. The ability to achieve the rest of the list hinges on establishing this first one. This is the hardest one and the most painful because to become poor in spirit means that we have to come to a complete end of ourselves--total surrender of ourselves, laying claim to nothing in life except God alone. Being poor in spirit is not taking a vow of poverty or becoming pious and holy. It is a realization that without God, I am nothing. It understands that I rely on Him for everything, laying claim to nothing. The hardest thing we can do is live a life where we chose not to rely on ourselves and rely completely on Him. When we live like this, the reward is that He gives us everything. Not everything we want, but everything we need.

If you truly want what God has for you, you will have to let go of what you have. It will not be easy, but the payoff is huge. God, help us to be poor in spirit today, to lay everything down for Your kingdom.

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