How Desperate Are You?
"The first beatitude is the foundation stone upon which all the others are build. It’s the “alpha” of the Christian life and the “omega” to self-achievement. The sum of life is truly hidden in these opening words: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” pg 24
The sum of life is hidden in these words?! That is a bold statement, one that should get our attention. If this first beatitude holds that much significance, I think it would be wise for us to have a true understanding of its meaning and ask God what He is trying to teach us.
I remember a phone conversation I had with a friend almost 9 years ago. We were studying the book of Romans and she was talking about sin. She was sharing her take aways from the lesson … “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God glorious standard.” Romans 3:23. She continued to tell me about her need for Christ. Her words were passionate... they almost sounded desperate. As I was listening to her I quietly thought to myself, “I wonder what she is referring to? She must of done something pretty bad in order to have such a conviction.” As I got off the phone my mind started to wander. Do I have this deep conviction of my sin? Do I feel desperate for Christ?
The next thought came, it was almost like I pulled out a rolodex.. a list of all the sins I had committed recently. As things would run through my mind I would think “Well… I mean I haven’t done anything that bad. I haven’t killed a person. I try to do my best most days. I mean, I am a pretty good person. No one is perfect, I am far from it but compared to others, I think I am doing a-okay ” As I would scan through my imaginary rolodex, I started to acknowledge times that I would partake in gossip, maybe having one more glass of wine, acted out in anger, recognizing not all of my words were God honoring. As I would acknowledge these “sins” I would ask for forgiveness and thank the Lord for the ability to be forgiven. However the question was still lingering inside of me, why am I not sounding as desperate as my friend?
God has each of us on a journey, one that will last a lifetime. He is always working, always speaking and always eager to grow us “up” in Christ. That is what sanctification means, the process of walking with Jesus. Little did I know at the time, the questioned that lingered within me wasn’t really from me, it was more from God and He had my attention.
Fast forward a few years later, I was scrolling on instagram I came across a short video clip of a young man singing a song. I was captivated by the lyrics and also this young boy’s conviction and passion. He almost seemed desperate… Here are some of the lyrics from the song Jesus,…you are all that I want, all what I need, Jesus you are everything…. Nothing else, nothing else, nothing else will do” (Click here to watch the clip…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMt_UR-Vgbo) I must of watched the video clip a dozen times. I even shared it with my three daughters; noting his passion… even at such a young age.
What was God up too? What was He showing me? Why did this video clip have such a impact on me? Little by little God was opening up something new inside of me. He was bringing an awareness, He was showing me who I really am with God and who I really am without Him. He used hard and uncomfortable circumstances which showed me my need for Christ. I began to see that I not only needed Christ, I was desperate for Him.
God has had me on a journey, pointing out my poverty of spirit. I can easily live in the space of “I can do all things” .. only to realize how greatly I fail and fall. Fall into sin, fall in letting others down, fall in being prideful, fall thinking its up to me to do something. But each time I fall, God is patiently waiting. Waiting to pick me up, dust off my knees, pat me on the back and put me back on the path again. The more I fall, the more I realize my need. Each time it happens, I find myself living in greater dependence of the One who holds all things.
No wonder poverty of spirit is the bedrock to our relationship with Christ. If we don’t see our need to be “saved” who needs a Savior? The people who are poor in spirit are the ones who see themselves under the Lordship of Christ not above. The one who sits at Jesus’s feet, coming to Him, understanding who gives the strength in “I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 HE is in us and He enables the doing. However, He can’t do anything if we don’t yield and let Him take over. That happens when we open up our hands and completely surrender to Him as Lord and Savior. God in His goodness is chiseling away the fleshy ways of our selves, only to reveal more of who He is within us. The chiseling at times can be painful but as you trust your maker, the end result will be better than you ever imagined.
"And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6