When we live poor in spirit we position ourselves to receive the limitless grace of our heavenly Father. To be poor in spirit is by definition to acknowledge our immense, total need of God’s help. And throughout Scripture, God declares that his heart is for those who acknowledge their need of him. Isaiah 66:2 says, “All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” God’s grace is for those poor in spirit.
Paul demonstrated this truth in 2 Corinthians 12:9 where God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And exhibiting the proper response to God’s truth, Paul says, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” I long for the power of Christ in my life. I long to live entirely by his perfect grace. And Scripture declares to you and me today that the way we access the fullness of God’s grace is by living poor in spirit. We must open our eyes to see the true state of our spiritual health, not in comparison to others, but in comparison to Jesus. And we must allow a revelation of our spiritual depravity to lead us to a continual acknowledgement of our need of God’s grace.
The truth is that to be anything but poor in spirit is to live under false pretense, to live a lie. Our humanity screams of our depravity. Our weaknesses are vast and plainly visible. But society tells us we need to work to cover up our mess. Even the church often values appearance above reality. Rather than being a hospital to the weak, needy, and spiritually depraved, church is often a club where only those who speak the lingo, dress accordingly, smell nice, and never speak of their problems feel welcome.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Fitting in to the cliques of this world is nothing in comparison to an abundant life filled with the limitless grace of God. Getting a slap on the back from the world for looking like I have it all together is nothing in comparison to the freedom of coming before God openly and honestly.
James 4:6 simply declares, “God gives grace to the humble.” May we be those who have the courage to live honestly. May we have the courage to look at ourselves for who we truly are with all our faults, weaknesses, sin, pride, and immense need of help. And may we discover the wealth of life available only in the grace of an all-loving, sinner-accepting, and help-giving God.