Poor in Spirit? - The Warrior's Journey®

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“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven … You are to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:3, 48)

If you have any questions about the meaning of “poor in spirit” in verse 3, then ponder for a moment the terrifying requirement laid out in verse 48. “You must be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” That’s what God demands – perfection. And unless you’re perfect to the same measure that God is perfect, then you have no chance of reaching heaven.

How does that make you feel? Does it make you feel hopeless? Do you feel powerless to meet God’s standard of perfection? Has all confidence in your own merit and power vanished so that you’re ready to grasp at any help God might offer you? If that’s how you feel, then you understand what “poor in spirit” means.

Being poor in spirit means you’ve come to the end of yourself. It means that you know you’re a sinner and are powerless to save yourself. And if God would only throw a lifesaver to you, you’d grab hold of it and never let go.

The wonderful news is that if you’re poor in spirit, then God is giving the Kingdom of Heaven to you freely through Jesus Christ. You see, God has no time for people who resist His generosity and love and are determined to earn whatever they receive from Him. If God tries to save such people from their calamity, they’ll fight Him and say, “I’m doing just fine on my own, thank You.” There’s nothing wrong with a good work ethic. But don’t try to apply it to God’s generosity. It’s offensive to Him. We simply cannot earn God’s love and favor.

But the people Christ is looking for are those who are convinced of their own sinfulness and helplessness. In fact, if you read Matthew 5 and fail to catch-on that what God is calling us to do is impossible, you’ve missed the point. Good luck on loving your enemies, blessing those who curse you, and praying for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:43-45). Good luck on never having an impure thought (Matthew 5:27-28) or ever getting angry (Matthew 5:21-22). Good luck on reaching God’s perfection on your own. Hopefully, you’ll come to your senses, realize you don’t have what it takes and return to verse 3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”


How can being “spiritually poor and destitute” be an advantage to us?

How can being proud and self-sufficient be a serious disadvantage to us?

God is not a doctor who refuses to cure people until they get better. He treats the sick and only the sick (Matthew 9:12). But to accept his wonder-working cures we must first be convinced of our own hopeless and helpless condition. We are terminally diseased with sin and only Jesus can save us.

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