To be poor in spirit is the opposite of being full of pride. The poor in spirit recognize that they are spiritually bankrupt before God. They have come to recognize the righteousness and holiness of God, the sinfulness of their own heart, and have acknowledged their own inability to please God. The poor in spirit have totally emptied themselves of self, and have asked God to totally fill them with His presence.
Christ promised the kingdom of heaven to the poor in spirit. He does not force it upon anyone, but willingly gives it to those who acknowledge their own nothingness and humbly seek His help. Christ said, “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). How truly blessed are the lives of the poor in spirit!
How is it possible to succeed in this difficult world while seeking to be poor in spirit?
- The first step is to accept God’s estimate of yourself. As you read your Bible, notice what God says about you as a child of God. Accept what it says and act upon it. When Moses, Gideon, and Simon argued with the Word of God, it led to defeat. When they accepted the Word and acted upon it, it led to victory.
- The second step is to yield yourself to God daily, and draw your strength from Him. Spend uninterrupted time in prayer and meditation on God’s Word. The Word of God will transform your mind so that you will have “the mind of Christ.” It is only as the mind is transformed by the Word that we can ever cultivate true humility and poverty of spirit.
- The third step is this: focus on Christ and His blessings. Too many people think that humility comes from studying their own sins and failures, but this is not true. The more you focus on the blessings of Christ the more you will realize how unworthy you are of His blessings. As you meditate on His blessings you will grow in humility and poverty of spirit.
- Look for opportunities to serve others. Humility and service go together. The proud person looks for others to serve him, while the humble person looks for ways to serve others.
Now we come to the reward of the poor in spirit: “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”