04 February 2017

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
      ~Matthew 5:3 NKJV
The poor in spirit will see God because they recognize their need. Those who believe they've got it all figured out walk through life in a self-satisfaction that prevents God from getting any closer to them; these operate in poverty and an orphan spirit. But I can't imagine anything further from the heart of Jesus than the idea that we need to operate in poverty in order to receive more of him. We are children of the King--heirs to all that the father in with Christ Jesus. Our inheritance is vast, and one of the most miraculous aspects of the gift Jesus offers us is to begin to receive that inheritance NOW--not in the hereafter. When we recognize our need and ask God to fill it (which is his longing!), we begin to walk in the abundant life that was one of the main reasons Jesus came and conquered sin and death.

Like so many other areas, spiritual hunger is the opposite of physical hunger. Physically, you have to go without eating in order to be hungry. But spiritually, the more you receive, the hungrier you get. Not because you lack, but because you begin to see the limitless nature of God and the unending potential we each have in the Holy Spirit.

Our walk with our infinite God has no end--so our hunger for more of him can be continuous even though we may have received so much already that we overflow in an abundance that blesses others. When we cry out in worship, "We want more, Lord! More, Lord! More!" he rejoices greatly that we are giving him permission to satisfy the longing of his heart, and he and pours out more for anyone ready to receive. Being poor in spirit is an attitude of recognizing our need for God and being willing to receive. It's not about lack or poverty, but about awareness and humility.

God does not want us to go hungry spiritually in order to be hungrier for him--just the opposite. He wants us to be so full and so ready to keep on receiving that he can pour through us like a raging river and transform the world around us. I can't tell you how EXCITED I am to see that happen more and more in my community!

Father God, thank you so much for your unending love for your children. Jesus, thank you for the love that motivated you to so what you have done--just so we can draw close to you once again. Thank you for abolishing everything that stood between God and man, and for sticking closer than a brother. And thank you for your spirit that connects us to you and blesses and guides and empowers us as we pursue relationship with you. You are so good! Amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!