Have you ever hit a wall? Have you ever found yourself so low you wondered if you could ever find your way out? God will allow these times in our lives to bring us to a place of utter dependency and utter awareness of our weakness. Then and only then are we ready to begin to understand what Jesus meant when he said,
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
What is the practical result of this blessing?
If we are poor in spirit, we have an honest assessment of ourselves. We don’t inflate our résumé or boast about our position. We know how difficult it is to work with people who cannot learn, grow, or accept correction because they are trying to maintain an inflated picture of themselves. So we commit ourselves to honesty about ourselves. This type of attitude is essential to a follower of Christ. This attitude frees the Holy Spirit to reshape the way we view ourselves, thus reshaping the way we see others. We begin with an egocentric (self-centered) view of the world and we end with a Christocentric (Christ-centered) view of the world.
Why and how does being poor in spirit result in the kingdom of heaven?
While the phrase can be broad in meaning, “kingdom of heaven” essentially refers to Salvation. This happens in three parts. First of all, being justified. Justification is the momentary act of God upon repentance when Christians are infused with God’s grace and receive the indwelling Spirit of God. Secondly, being sanctified. Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit changes Christians. We become more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire. Finally, the kingdom of heaven is completed when we are glorified. Glorification is the future and final work of God upon where God transforms our mortal physical bodies to the eternal physical bodies in which we will dwell forever. It’s important to note that as we moving toward Glorification, we become more heavenly minded. Becoming heavenly minded in turn ushers in the attributes of heaven (the beatitudes) into our everyday life.
How do we become poor in spirit?
Here are four things that we need to do to ensure we can be poor in spirit.
Why is it hard for people to believe they have no spiritual merit?
How have you attempted to earn your spiritual reward?
What will it take to switch your thinking from earning to embracing spiritual rewards?
How could you incorporate the removal of pride into your prayer life?
Who could hold you accountable?
In what way could you begin to reflect on how to remove pride?
How could you better find assurance through Christ than self?