Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:3)
Jesus starts off by giving us this amazing statement telling us blessed are the poor in spirit. We know in (Isaiah 57:15-16 it says For this is what the high and lofty One says he who lives forever I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit , to revive the spirit of the lowly and the heart of the contrite). This tells us that God dwells with those who are poor in spirit. God’s Word translation states blessed are those who realize they are spiritually helpless another translation even says blessed are those who are humble minded (Micah 6:8, Luke 14:10, Luke 22:26, Romans 12:3, 1 Peter 5:5) are all scriptures that support that. So what does it mean to be spiritually poor in spirit? I’ve heard many people state that being poor in spirit means to be spiritually bankrupt before God. While I do believe this scripture implies an idea that this similar to this I believe that it isn’t quite it. The reason I believe this is bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean that you are broke at all. For example two companies I’ve worked for United and American Airlines both filed for bankruptcy at different times. This didn’t mean they had no money at all but what instead what it allowed them to do was protect their assests. When we are spiritually poor in spirit we realize that we truly have nothing in the bank to really give God that equals or merits his righteousness. It means we have nothing in the bank or reserve that would give us the amazing privilege we have to be called disciples. To really understand what this means I like to think of it as being at the feet of Jesus with nothing to cling to except him. The question I have for you as we examine this is does that describe you?
Throughout the scriptures there are many examples of this the first I would like to discuss is found in (Mark 5:22-23) this is the passage of the synagogue ruler Jarius coming to Jesus pleading that his daughter would be would be healed. Look at how he falls to Jesus feet despite a crowd being there. When you are poor in spirit you don’t care about what the crowds think you only care about what God thinks and your father in heaven. You may ask yourself how does caring about what people think and being poor in spirit correlate. The two correlate because a person who is poor in spirit realizes only God has the answers. The only time a man really has the answer is only through the provision of God. Notice in (Mark 5:35-36) when Jarius is tempted to get fearful and not believe, the Word of God tells us that ignoring what they said Jesus told the synagogue ruler don’t be afraid just believe. I think this sets an amazing precedent because I believe Jesus was getting the Jarius to focus on what God could do and that’s what someone who is truly poor in spirit does they stay focused and understand that only God can lift them from there poor state.
Furthermore this passage let’s me know that it takes faith to remain poor in spirit. Jesus tells him just believe. In the course of my discipleship I have not always adopted a poor spirit. I’ve actually been quite rich in spirit not looking to God’s power but instead my own power. I’ve been in numerous situations and found myself depending on my own abilities and not God’s. Instead of praying I act quickly and rashly by allowing myself not to be directed by God’s Spirit because I have not allowed God to intervene through prayer. I put before you a prayer less person can never be poor in spirit. When someone is poor in spirit they find themselves at Jesus feet not because they have exhausted all options but because they realize unless God intervenes their options have already been exhausted. This is what I called being empty handed before God. Someone who is poor in spirit comes to God empty handed however because they have empty hands God is able to fill them. We must realize that before God our works are filthy rags.