You remember the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapter 5. Matthew records, “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him: 2 and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:1-3) Note how Jesus says that the “blessed person” (the happy person, the one with divine favor person) is a POOR person.
Jesus mentioned a lot of spiritual characteristics – mourning, meekness, hunger and thirst, mercy, purity, being a peacemaker, even being persecuted. Yet the first is poverty. It is not of little import that the first beatitude mentioned is poverty.
To be “poor in spirit” has to do with being utterly bankrupt. It’s a picture of someone who is poverty-stricken, one who has a depleted spirit. Somebody who is with “spirit” as the discussion goes is like a spirited horse – a SPIRITED HORSE is uncooperative, it’s going to buck and balk. It refuses to yield or submit. That’s the opposite of what Jesus is talking about.
There is something to be said for man’s dependency upon God. Jim Cymbala tells of a great time of discouragement in his book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. “That evening, when I was at my lowest, confounded by obstacles, bewildered by the darkness that surrounded us, unable even to continue preaching, I discovered an astonishing truth: God is attracted to weakness. He can’t resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need him. Our weakness, in fact, makes room for his power.”
Now is time, more than ever, God would have us to be “poor in spirit.” May each of us reflect such in our prayers. Give it God and let him deal with it – He is more than capable.