#4 July 26, 2005
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3
When we hear the word "poor" most of us would conjure up a picture in our mind of those who have no home or food or clothing. Pictures of the homeless on our streets or the persecuted, starving people in Sudan come to mind. However, when Jesus spoke these words, "Blessed are you who are poor (Luke 6:20) in spirit (Matt 5:3) he was referring to someone entirely different.
Being poor in spirit is the opposite of being proud in spirit. It is a person who has recognized their poverty in spiritual things and have allowed Christ to meet their need. (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Moody, c1962). I like the way the Message says it: "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and His rule."
We cannot walk the Christian life alone. We have to be connected to Jesus through His Holy Spirit who lives on the inside of us. We do not have the power or ability to do anything without Him. Jesus said, "Apart from me, you can do nothing." (John 15:5)
I love to spend time in God's Word studying and finding out how He wants me to live my life. I take in all of His commands and say, "Yes, Lord. That's great! I want to be like that. I WILL be that today!" But I have learned a huge lesson. If I go out in my own power and forget to invite the Holy Spirit to come with me and live through me, I'll foul up every time. I will show annoyance, be rude, gossip, hurt other people, be selfish and not be a good witness for Christ to my unbelieving friends. If I go about my day without consciously being aware of Jesus in me, (the hope of glory, by the way), I will fall every time.
This happens because we CANNOT do it alone. We are incapable and unequipped in our own power. We are only who we are because of Christ. He made us to operate that way.
We need to pray continually, in every situation that we encounter, for the Holy Spirit to be strong in us. Acknowledge Him when caring for your children, going to your job, having lunch with friends, before going to a party..in everything! If you don't, you're going in your own power.
The Christian life is only hard when we're doing it alone. Jesus said, "..my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:30) A yoke is a wooden bar or frame by which two animals are joined at the head or necks for working together. (Merriam Webster Dictionary) A yoke was meant to be carried by TWO - never alone.
We can't save ourselves. We can't atone for our own sin or gain access to heaven by ourselves. What makes us think we can do anything else alone? Be poor in spirit. Be so poverty stricken that before your feet hit the floor each morning you cry out to Jesus - "I can't do this day alone. Be with me Jesus. I need you!" And then throughout the day, invite the Holy Spirit into your conversations, work, play, and every situation that you face.
He will answer that cry of your heart and honor that prayer because after all, that's what He wants. That's His will. I seem to recall a vine and a branch story....oh, well, that's for another day.
Send the Holy Spirit your invitation...He's waiting to RSVP...No regrets...He'll be there!
Until next week,