“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3, NKJV)
It’s always interesting and even entertaining to watch the ‘little ones’ trying to exercise their independence! And I might add that it takes patience in helping them learn how to do things on their own the right way!
When we take the time to give thought to just how patient our Lord is with each of us, we should forever let Him know just how much we appreciate His patience, grace, and love!
At the top of the list of the Beatitudes is found the most basic of needs that must be met by us if we want to be one of His disciples and citizens in His Kingdom. But it’s just not as easy as it sounds, is it?
Selfishness is a common fault of mankind! It is at the root of all sin! And one of the most colorful of the fruits stemming from selfishness is pride … the marked absence of humility!
“Everyone wants to be a humble servant until they’re actually treated like one.”
The being “poor in spirit” of our passage is a long way from meaning that we are in financial straits! It is not until we realize that without God in our lives we are in the deepest state of poverty, that of a spiritual nature!
Possessing … really possessing … “poverty of spirit” becomes real when we are confronted by the magnificence of God and of our own unworthiness … of our smallness compared to His greatness!
But knowledge of these truths is not enough … this knowledge is to be acted upon by each of us in a way that says we are now willing to totally surrender our will, our very lives to His Lordship!
The challenge of self-will, of self-promotion, is ever lurking in the shadows and is always just a thought away. It is as someone once observed the moment “just when we think we have humility … we figure out that pride just pushed its way into our hearts!”
It can be relatively easy to find the commands in God’s Book … but it is much more difficult to obey them!
- Learning to love our enemies will always be one of the most difficult commands to obey!
- Learning to love the Lord more than our family, friends, will also be one of the most difficult commands to obey that never stops presenting itself!
There are so many valuable lessons to be gleaned from the Book of Job. A very dear brother in Christ, a relative and retired preacher once mentioned in one of our conversations that the patience of Job is certainly underscored throughout the Book bearing his name, but that the higher lesson to be learned pertains to the faith of Job!
It was after the great reveal to Job of the greatness, power, majesty of the Great I AM, and when Job realized that he was out of place with his grilling and questioning God that we find his reaction to the Lord’s rebukes.
In Job 42:3, 6, “You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” “Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
What we see in the words of Job is humility … a change in his heart for the good! And that is exactly what the Lord wants to see in each of our hearts and lives! To be “poor in spirit” is to see our own sinfulness and just how much we need the Savior!
C.S. Lewis is most observant when he penned the following, “pride is the complete anti-God state of mind.”
Perhaps, what is needed now more than ever is less self-promotion in the world and even in the church … and more God-promotion! Wouldn’t you agree? Let’s leave it to the Lord to do the exalting!
To be or not to be “poor in spirit” … that is the question each of us must answer! Answer wisely!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.