Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Matthew 5:1-3
I was reading a book by Henri Nouwen recently, and he talked about God having a special place in His heart for the poor. I started thinking about the first of the Beatitudes, but that’s not what Jesus was talking about. My mind was simply wandering, and I believe God was prodding me in this direction.
We can only come to God when we are broken. Our soul needs to know that we need something more than what is in our power to obtain. As I have heard several people express it lately, our soul has a God-shaped hole in it, and only God can fill that hole.
Thus, the poor in spirit are those who know they need God to fill a void in their lives.
I read a few James Dobson books when I was a young parent. Once your child wakes up and does something different that you have no answer for and never expected, you realize how much of parenting is invented on the fly. So, I turned to someone who was a noted “parent,” James Dobson. The gist of some of the things that I learned was that you must break the child’s will without breaking their spirit. It is odd how modern educators and writers seem to speak in parables.
That sounds wonderful, but what does it mean? I understand the concept, but is it even possible? What if your strong-willed child has so much WILL that five nuclear detonations at your child’s will cannot cause a single, solitary scratch? Forget will versus spirit, you just want to break something!! Not that the child hasn’t done so already.
But if God has elected a strong-willed child unto Himself, God can peel back the layers of that child’s soul like an onion. And like an onion, there may be many tears shed in the process.
But, when you humble yourself before God, accepting Jesus as your Savior, trusting in Him for life itself, your brokenness in spirit becomes whole. You are poor in spirit, in and of yourself, but rich in spirit when Jesus enters your life.
Getting back to the poor, instead of the poor in spirit, they may have a better grasp on the concept of being helpless to fill a hole in their life, more so than the rich man, but realizing that they are poor in spirit is another thing. As for the rich man, I cannot remember who told this story, but a man of God was asked to come to a rich man’s private island in the Caribbean. While there, the man of God was treated to the finest of everything that money could buy. Then the rich host broke down in tears and said that in spite of having everything he’d always dreamed of, he was empty.
It doesn’t take being poor to be poor in spirit, but do we answer the call when God provides the opportunity to ask Jesus into are heart?
With the inspiration to write this little “Thought on” style message, I thought that I would continue through the Beatitudes.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.