When Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount, He listed eight beatitudes. These are eight blessings we can receive when we follow Christ. The very first beatitude was:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3 NKJV)
Since Jesus is our example, was He poor in spirit? Most believers would quickly reply, “No, Jesus could never be called poor in spirit!”
When I asked the Holy Spirit to teach me what it meant to be poor in spirit, He told me that it meant to come before God completely empty of oneself – that is, completely empty of one’s abilities and resources. The question is: Did Jesus come to earth empty of Himself? The Apostle Paul wrote:
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation (NASV reads: He emptied Himself), taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in the appearance of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV, words in parentheses mine)
Before Jesus came to earth, He existed in the form of God. In order to come to earth, He had to empty Himself of His deity and take on the form of a man. This is when Jesus became poor in spirit: He stood before His Father, without any ability or resources of His own. He was completely dependent upon the Father for everything He did. This is why He said:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son does in like manner.” (John 5:19 NKJV).
This means that Jesus did nothing by His own power or ability. He was completely dependent upon His Father to perform every miracle and healing He did. He said:
“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority (or, ability); but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” (John 14:10 NKJV, words in parentheses mine)
Jesus relied upon His Father for everything He did and everything He taught. He did this so that we would imitate Him. He wanted us to rely completely upon the Father, just as He did. If God has to help us with everything we do, then all the thanksgiving will go to Him. Someone made the comment: God will do great things through people who don’t mind if He takes all the credit for it!
When Jesus came to earth, He did not seek to do His own will, but only the will of His Father. He said:
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38 NKJV)
God wants us to follow the example that Jesus set before us. As we grow in the Lord, He wants us to learn to seek His will in everything, and follow His plan for our lives. When we are poor in spirit, we will also acknowledge that we have no ability to chart our own course. We need God to direct everything we do, so that we won’t just please ourselves. When we put His will first in our lives, God will many times also give us the desires of our heart, as long as it doesn’t conflict with His plan. Isn’t that wonderful to know?
When Jesus came from Heaven, He humbled Himself and took on the form of a bondservant, so that we might also do the same. Even though we are sons and daughters of God, He wants us to also be His servants. He wants us to be eager to do what He has commanded us to do, and to also serve one another. This how we can live a life that is pleasing to God!
When Jesus was in Heaven, He was surrounded by all the wealth of His glory (you may recall that even His streets were made of gold). However, when Jesus emptied Himself of His deity, He gave up all the riches of Heaven that He enjoyed. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV)
Jesus became poor, so that we might become rich! When we are poor in spirit, all the wealth of the Kingdom of Heaven becomes available to us. God now becomes our source for everything we need. He doesn’t want us to look to anyone else for help. Yes, God does use people to assist us, but He is the One who has to send help through that person. Then He gets all the praise for it! This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:
“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NKJV)
This not only refers to your financial needs, but every need you have. Now that you are poor in spirit, everyone of your needs are met by the resources of the Kingdom of Heaven. Everything you have came from God in the first place. Give Him all the glory for it!
You are holy, dear saint!
Post Script: As a prophetic teacher, my ministry is very simple: I simply teach what the Holy Spirit has taught me. Since I claim that the Holy Spirit has taught me these things, you need to ask yourself the question: What is the Holy Spirit teaching me through this message?
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]