Do we know what it’s like to be “Poor in Spirit”? Jesus said that those who are poor in spirit experience the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the very first lesson Jesus teaches us. It is an introduction to how our attitude should be before we continue to practice the Kingdom. But, what does it really mean? Let us consider the following statement by Warren Berkley:
What does it mean to be “poor in spirit?” It is that fundamental characteristic of realizing that you are spiritually empty, and that only by depending upon God can you fill that emptiness. This is about knowing you are spiritually poor, therefore you know your need.
It may help to think about the opposite of “poor in spirit.” The contrast would be “proud in spirit;” self-sufficient, arrogantly independent. There are individuals with the attitude that says “I don’t need anybody to give me any direction in life. I can do fine without any moral standard from a divine source.” This is the modern spirit of humanism. In the Glossary of Humanism the concept of is defined this way: “…a view of life that is centered on man and his capacity to build a worthwhile life for himself and his fellows here and now. The emphasis is placed on man’s own intellectual and moral resources, and the nation of supernatural religion is rejected.” Humanism says man doesn’t need a Savior; shouldn’t rely on the gospel, and doesn’t need any spiritual blessing. This is opposite of “poor in spirit.” To be poor in spirit is to have the disposition described in Isa. 66:2 — “But on this one will I look; on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My Word.” By Warren E Berkley, From Expository Files 7.10; October 2000.
In other words, recognize the reality that I have a need that only God can meet. This world, no matter how much it tries to convince me that I should be self sufficient, proud, and independent, does not offer me anything that gives me true blessings. This world offers limited, temporary happiness. God offers everlasting blessing.
I think about all the time that I have forgotten the love of God, simply because things go my way. The minute I am in a crisis, either financial or social problems, then I look up and say, “Help me God!” or I say “Why me, God?” Either one of those responses is an indication that I am acknowledging the presence of God and my limitation. Even if I question God, I am recognizing his unlimited power. Some people say that thinking that “God is on my side” is ignorance and arrogance. My thought is that thinking that I do not need God, even if my strength is truly limited, is truly ignorant and arrogant. I HAVE to recognize the presence of God, even if I am angry at Him. Jesus taught us to continue to depend on God, to avoid being arrogant, and be “Poor in Spirit”. God bless you.