Monday, May 21, 2012

happy are the helpless

I recently have been reading the Sermon on the Mount, over and over and over and over again. And then when I think I’m moving on, I read it again. The truth is, there is so much in the Sermon on the Mount that I’m becoming overwhelmed by revelation and wrecked by its empowering Truth! I’m convinced it is one of the greatest messages preached in all of history, probably because Jesus was the one giving it! Everyone who knows me well knows one of our greatest passions is to see believers walk into their identity. Want victory? Identity. Want freedom? Identity. Want truth? Identity. Want more to know your purpose? Identity.  This is why I want to share some of the things that have rocked me and  ruined me forever. I found the teachings of Jesus to be the stake  I personally needed, entering into the reality of who I am called to be. I believe the Beatitudes are the KEY for a believer’s walk to move from “striving” to “thriving” in their identity in Jesus Christ.

I want to start by quoting Heidi Baker, a full-time missionary to Mozambique, in her book Compelled by Love, “Believe it or not, our lives are much easier than yours. You see, where I live they are sick and hurting; and so they come and give their lives to Jesus by the hundreds every week around the country. But in your nation, your poor do not know they are poor, and your sick do not really know they are sick unless they are dying of a disease and no one can help them. They look confident, and they appear as if they are altogether. But maybe they are not. So your job is a lot harder than ours.”

Since America was young we were taught to be independent and self-sufficient. For a large portion of us that grew up middle-class, we learned from our youth that America is about equality, fairness and declaring and living out our rights as human beings. We were taught well how to be worth something in society by educating ourselves, pursuing a good standing career, and keeping things sustainable so we can build the dream of the big house, the happy family, the toys to keep life fun and looking good. I recently came to a wall in my own ideologies of what I believed “happiness” looked like. You see, unless I become “poor in spirit” nothing this world has will ever satisfy me. In fact, many of these things fight for my heart. Why is it hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

"Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs in the Kingdom of Heaven...." Matthew 5:3

Why does the Kingdom break forth in such power among the poor here in Mozambique? It’s because the poor rely on each other. They need each other. They live in a community of interdependence. They have to share with each other just to survive. Those who have much are often quick to accumulate and slow to give away. They often give without remembering; they receive without forgetting. The poor are truly rich for the simplicity of their devotion.” (Heidi Baker’s Compelled by Love)

Does selling everything and living simple make you poor in Spirit?  No, but there is certainly something to be applied here. It is the condition of the heart, but we must become like those who are physically poor in the same manner in our hearts.

The Greek word for “poor” is ‘Ptochos‘,  and it literally means” having nothing, reduced to begging, like a beggar, totally broke”.  Just as the poor understand they cannot survive without the one who will give to them, so we must come to the understanding in our hearts that Jesus is the Giver of true life.  Because the word "poor" is a term that is not physically poor, but is to be poor in spirit, likewise it is not saying we need to beg God, but to become "like a beggar. Being poor in spirit means we are desperate for God, recognizing our complete need for Jesus. We don’t live in the “whatever”. We live in the constant devotion and pursuit of all that He is. We are hungry for it and nothing will stop us from this obsession.  This is BIG! Think about it! Jesus is saying if He becomes our EVERYTHING, He will give us EVERYTHING! The Kingdom of Heaven is freely given to those who will freely receive. If we do not recognize are need, we do not receive.

This is the heartbeat of what makes God tick.  They are attributes that Holy Spirit is drawn to.  God has a lot of workers but he has few lovers.  Being poor in Spirit would be hearing God and obeying. When a poor person asks you for something they ask humbly and they are not afraid to ask because they will die without it. My heart must say, “Lord, I will die without knowing you, seeing you, touching you! I am so hungry for you! I am in need of your love, your life and your constant supernatural presence!” I believe what it means to be poor in spirit is complete dependence on Him alone. It certainly goes against the grain of what we were taught and what our nature is, but I am convinced it is the ONLY way to live.

 I leave you with the words of Mother Theresa,

“Hungry for love,  He looks at you.
Thirsty for kindness, He begs from you.
Naked for loyalty, He hopes in you.
Sick and imprisoned for friendship, He wants from you.
Will you be that one to Him?”

What are your thoughts? What do you think it means to be poor in spirit?

Some more verses for thought:

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."Psalm 34:18

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."Psalm 51:17

"For this is what the high and lofty One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: 'I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."Isaiah 57:15

This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.Isaiah 66:2

Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, "God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess." And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.Luke 18:9-14

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