I find myself just saying the words to this song over and over and over. “More than the air I breathe, more than the song I sing, more than anything, I need you Lord.”
Even the Psalmist and King, David understood this great longing when he said in Psalm 69, “But I am poor and sorrowful; Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high…..And you who seek God, your hearts shall live. For the Lord hears the poor….”
Oh to celebrate with thanksgiving and longing to be “poor in spirit”! What a mystery and a transformation that has happened in my soul….
Only the transformation of Christ could ever make me long to be poor in any way. I don’t know about you but there is something unsettling about celebrating poverty that rises up deep within me and screams, “NO!” I don’t like the idea of it and in fact, my natural tendency is to run from it. Perhaps I continue to compare the Biblical ,”poor in spirit” with an impoverishment of life that I have observed and even experienced and never want any part of again? Perhaps I have seen “poor in spirit” as a sign of weakness and defeat, associated with provision-less living or perhaps just apathetic and weak? Is poor and the impoverishment I have referred to the same thing?
In my studies, I have come to see that impoverishment is a condition of depletion. It means poor in quality and productiveness; to weaken.
The word “poor” in scripture is defined as:
- reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms
- destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour
- lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches
- helpless, powerless to accomplish an end
- poor, needy
- lacking in anything
- as respects their spirit
- destitute of wealth of learning and intellectual culture which the schools afford (men of this class most readily give themselves up to Christ’s teaching and proved themselves fitted to lay hold of the heavenly treasure)
- as respects their spirit
If everything in God’s kingdom is moving us towards enrichment, advancement, freedom and empowerment by His transformation. What then does He mean? Why did God choose to use the word “poor” when talking about our blessed state in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven“? Especially when He sent His Beloved Son into our lives to specifically address the poor with the gospel….
When I read the following passage, from Revelation, I begin to see more clearly what God is revealing about poverty.
“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked– I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Rev. 3:17-18
I believe the truth of it lies in the pursuit. Poor in spirit is really about acknowledging my need. It is about humbling myself, acknowledging my need for God, continually, and yielding to His transforming power. To my surprise, acknowledging my impoverishment or acknowledging my desperate need for Him, produces within the very core of who I am this incredible richness and value and strength. It brings the kingdom of heaven to me. It’s my very acknowledgement of my need for Him that brings with it this tremendous wealth. Wealth of relationship and camaraderie and salvation and hope and understanding and provision and peace. It brings with it the very life of God. This enriches my life and then it begins to flow to me and through me with life in every way. My poverty of spirit in my pursuit yields living product…. My approach in poverty brings Him and that yields anything but impoverishment!
If in my getting
I then have no need
I am just miserable, poor and deceived.
But, if in my getting
I acknowledge my need
I am the richest I ever shall be!
“There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.” Proverbs 13:7
You may need money, friendship, inspiration, liberty, peace, strategy or maybe even salvation. Whatever your need, Jesus Christ is your SUPPLY! Make yourself poor with me and cry out to Him “poor in spirit”, in our great need of our God and His life and transformation in ours.
Oh God, I need you desperately. I need you more than the air I breathe. I need you more than the song I sing. I need you more than anything else in this world. I need you, I need you, I need you. Help me to see my need for you today. Help me to seek you. Help me to live. In Jesus Name, Amen.