Monday, June 18, 2012

What Does It Mean To Be 'Poor In Spirit'?

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit!

By Abraham Israel

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 5:3).

To understand what it mean to be 'poor in spirit', we need to see what does it mean to be poor financially first.

I have seen poor people from my childhood days, most of them come with nothing to boast about in their own. When they see us the first time we give with much sympathy, then whenever we see them or they see us, they see with a longing eyes to know whether we will be again be compassionate enough to give them something with which they can survive for that day.

Then when they know that we are compassionate consistently atleast for some time, the next time they expect from us to give more or atleast the same thing we have given them as before.

Many poor people have a thankful heart when they receive something good from a compassionate person, whom they feel as though they care for them.

Every time the poor beggars see the compassionate hearted people, they get joyful and excited to know that they are going to give them something substantial.

I have seen beggars who survived on begging who would come every morning, standing before the gate of our home, morning after morning crying to receive something from us because we showed compassion towards these poor people. You know why they come, they know for very well the deep poverty they are in and that they realize that they cannot survive without the help of people who support them daily.

Poor beggars have this minset, they never look beyond that day in to their future.

Applying The Natural To The Spiritual 

Now let us apply it in the spiritual realm these truths to understand what is mean by 'poor in spirit?'

The spiritually poor people are those who have nothing to boast about as being done in their own stength
(1 Cor 15:10).

The first time we realized that God is compassionate enough to forgive all our present, past and future sins, all at one time through Jesus Christ, we believed God and received salvation through God's mercy
(Eph 2:4-6, 8-9; Heb 10:10, 12, 14). Then once we came to understand the compassionate heart of God in forgiving us unconditionally, we started to approach the throne of grace every morning as a spiritual beggar to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of our need (Heb 4:16; Psa 145:8-9).

Though many times we do not feel like we are going to receive anything good and substantial from God, because of knowing that the compassionate heart of God never changes, we get joyful and excited through our trial in advance because of expecting God to give us something good at the end of our trials
(James 5:11; 1:2, 5). We believe that no matter what we are going through at the present time, we expect something good for God to give and we believe that surely we are going to get something substantial because God never fails to give those who ask Him persistently in faith (Matt 7:7). Even when we do not see our bad circumstances change immediately, we still keep believing that God is working behind the scenes for our good and is bringing something good to give at the end of the ordeal (Rom 8:28). Truly we are spiritual beggars!

We come every morning to believe and receive that his mercies as they are given new every morning, and that we keep believing that God's faithfulness is so great that it will never ever fail no matter how many new morning we come to Him in hope. We know that yesterday we survived in our spiritual life because God did not fail to provide spiritual bread of sustenance through His Word and Spirit, we expect the same today so that our sins might not consume us
(Lam 3:21-23; Prov 19:3). O saints we are truly spiritual beggars!

Seeing the sinful condition of our heart, we bewail to the Lord about our spiritual poverty when He shows about it in details privately
(Jer 17:9-10; Rom 7:17-20). We cry to God trusting Him to deliver us from the fears and oppression of sin, and he compassionately delivers us from our fears and sins (Psa 50:15; 56:3; 61:1-2). Then when we continue to cry to Him in desperation to shun away the presence of sin in us, he promises us that no matter how much sin tries to defeat us, it cannot keep us under its hold because we are already not under any rules of men or God, but under the awesome power of God's son who sets us free whenever we cry to Him (Rom 6:14; John 8:32, 36; 7:24-25).

As time goes by, we realize we are poorer than before that we cannot live without trusting the compassion of the Lord for even a minute
(Psa 62:8). Accordingly God also responds to us and supplies his righteousness every time we approach him by faith and makes us get justified in His righteousness (Luke 18:13-14; Rom 5:1; 4:5-6). Remember, justified means just as if we have never sinned at all! Praise the Lord! Then we are happy and praise the Lord for his righteosness (Psa 7:17; 119:164; 71:19; Isa 42:21).

Seeing our spiritual beggarism and our dependence on Him and his righteousness for prosperous living, God himself gets excited about us and says,
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." (Matt 5:6). In other words, God is saying that because of our spiritual beggarism, we have come in to the blessed category where we will always receive and get filled with His righteousness because of our faith. Then humbly we start to boast in the blessedness that God has given us (2 Cor 11:30). Never forget saints, truly we are still spiritual beggars!

Unlearning To Really Learn 

We must never forget the deep poverty we are in spiritually, inorder to live in the prosperity of the resource of the kingdom of heaven. We must not fail to remember that God is the greatest giver and we are the greatest beggars who receive and receive. We humbly need to acknowkedge it, so that without shame we can boldly go to God and take whatever that belong to Him by faith. This is why God says, that He gives grace without fail to the humble who acknowledge this poverty in the spirit they have inside them
(Jam 4:6, 7-10). We are truly indeed spiritual beggars before God! And we must be proud to say that we are!

We cannot survive in life without God's love, compassion, mercy and grace. He is always ready to give it to us, if we are ready to acknowledge it. Are you a spiritual beggar? I am one, and I am proud of it!

We should learn to look to the Lord daily for our spiritual sustenance and do not need to look beyond that as we are truly beggars who need to wait on God's door daily
(Luke 17:8-9). When we receive grace and do great things for God, we should learn to say that, "We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do." (Luke 17:10). The following couple of verses conveys it all.

"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors." (Prov 8:34).

You have to listen and watch daily through prayer at the posts of God's door in heaven in order to receive your riches of God's grace for that day on earth.

" 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matt 6:25-34).

Don't worry about tomorrow but live abundantly every moment of today because all you need is to look to the Lord today and seek for your spiritual righteousness, peace, joy of the kingdom inorder for you to live rich by having all your physical and spiritual needs met supernaturally daily (Matt 6:9-13; Rom 14:17). God has promised that the day's trouble will be filled with God's supernatural grace of the kingdom. What more you need saints than God Himself, His righteousness and super abundant grace of the kingdom of God!

The Real Wise-man Among The Wisemen

I would like to tell you a story about a king and his wise men who were greatly known for their goodness and wisdom in ruling their kingdom, in order to convey to you this truth further. Are you ready? I know you are!

The story is called the "The Real Wise-man Among The Wisemen". There was king who was a godly righteous man who inherited his wealth from his father when he died because of his old age. Once he became a king, he saw that all the wise men of his father's time have become old and were finding hard to cope up with the needs of the kingdom. So he decided one day to select wise men himself from all over his kingdom.

Because this young king was a wise godly man who always took advice from good counsellors, he knew that true wisdom for ruling his kingdom properously can only be found among poor men who do not care to acquire riches, but instead are sold out to live for God righteously
(Prov 11:14; 13:10; 15:22; 24:6). Then he went in disguise as a poor man himself and kept searching for wise men among his kingdom. Then he found some of the wisest men who were there hidden among the common people in his kingdom. Then finally he also found a wise poor young man who saved his part of the city from falling in to the hands of the enemy kingdom in the past, but all the people have forgotten to help him later to thrive prosperously in life. The king found him nearly in a beggarly state, but was so joyful to have found him because of his great wisdom (Eccl 9:15).

Then he revealed to them that he was the king of the whole kingdom and that he wants them to live with him in the palace. They were so joyful and amazed by this that they nearly lost their breath at that moment! Then he announced to the whole kingdom about his selection of wisemen and the whole kingdom celebrated along with the king.

Then these godly wisemen became truly the strength and pillar of the prosperous kingdom of the king, that many nations around the world sought for wisemen like them. Then as the king got older and older, one day he told the wise men to come, and then announced to them that whatever they ask from him, he will give to them because they have faithfully served him all their lives. The wisemen were overjoyed to hear the king announce this good news to them.

The king had no child, so he intensely desired one of these faithful men to inherit all his riches and be the king. As the king gave nearly a week to think about and come with an answer, one wise man came back and told the king that he wanted mango grove, another wanted the hilly tea and cofee plantations, still another wiseman wanted great gold and silver that he enjoyed to have and do buisness with, then another one came and told that he wanted to have power over cities to help people prosper under him, then the king had kind thoughts towards all of these wise men and then gave all that they asked for.

Then only one wise man who was lastly chosen stood with tears in his eyes. When the king asked why he cried and what he wanted, he said with a heavy heart, 'Dearest King, You know that I was nearly a beggar on the road ready to die, but you took mercy on me and brought me to your own palace. You have given me everthing I needed till today. I have never been in need of anything more in life than you yourself, because your friendship was what that have brought joy, love and peace to my heart. Then you gave me a beautiful wife and I have now a blessed family with many children because of you. Then I live prosperously because of you, so I need nothing more than you and you alone.'

The king was moved with tears and gave him his wish to continue in frienship and intimacy with him. And this wise man continued to serve the king joyfully along with every other wise men who became powerful and rich. Then one day the king died suddenly and tho whole kingdom was looking forward to know what the king has written in his will, as he had no children to inherit the kingdom. Then on a particular day, as the king had instructed the wisemen, they came together to open the will and see for themselves who will be the king to rule over his entire kingdom.

They were all excited and each one thought that the king would have written their name in the will. Only the one wise man who chose friendship with the king as the only reward in life, who also loved the king with his whole heart felt so bad about these men who were actually coveting for the king's authority and riches. Then to their biggest surprise, the king had not written the name of any of the wisemen except the one who chose frienship with him as his only reward.

The whole country celebrated the wise choice of the king and rejoiced to have this new king who humbly served them all the days of his life.

Now I hope you have understood what it means to be 'poor in spirit' through the life of the wiseman who chose friendship with the king over authority and riches for himself. Hence the word,
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 5:3).

Truly God is ready to give all his riches to those who love him humbly with their whole heart, because they are called according to his purpose
(Rom 8:28, 32). Are you ready to serve God faithfully by being 'poor in spirit'? If you are, already all the kingdom riches of God belong to you.

"To be poor in our own sight and in God's sight is to be actually rich in the sight of all people." — Abraham Israel


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