Today we’re whipping out our bibles and doing a little study together. I’ve chosen a scripture which has always confused me. Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
I want heaven, but this scripture is telling me I must be poor in spirit. So lets get this straight right here, I have no desire to be poor in anything. I’ve been poor, it wasn’t fun. There was a time we parked our truck in the garage because we knew the repo man was on patrol. There was a time we received a coupon for a free Chic-fil-A sandwich, and my son and I split it and savored every bite. Somehow that single sandwich filled both of us fully, to the point we couldn’t eat the last bite. It was like a real life scenario of Jesus feeding the crowd of thousands with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. I remember that Christmas we couldn’t afford to buy a single gift, so we made crafts for each other. Hmmmm, somehow thinking back being poor wasn’t always bad, some of our most precious memories were made then. But what’s worse than being poor financially is being poor in attitude.
I’ve been that girl plagued with PLOM Disease. Have you heard of it? PLOM Disease. P-L-O-M. It stands for Poor Little Ol’ Me. It’s a sickening disease of playing little when we were created to live a big life. It’s a disease of attitude that causes us to wallow in pity and dwell on worst case scenario. And let me tell you, it can make the prettiest of women straight up ugly. There’s nothing more unattractive that a strong case of being pitiful.
Do you think Jesus died for you so that you could be pitiful? Do you think he rescued you from sin and shame, sacrificed his everything, so that you could play little? A poor attitude is worse than a poor financial status any day. When you’re playing “poor little ol’ me”, you’ve sacrificed all your power, the power offered to you by God almighty, and resigned to pity instead. Then like the disease it is, it steals your joy, rots away your potential, and leaves you a shell of the person you were created to be. You can never be pitiful and powerful at the same time.
PLOM Disease: Poor Little Ol’ Me. The disease of feeling sorry for yourself, seeking sorrow, wallowing in worries, and refusing to get better. And let me warn you, that PLOM Disease is contagious. Don’t hang around with pitiful people. What they have will rub off on you. In the presence of complainers and wallflowers, you too will begin to grow pitiful and powerless.
Protect your power. You are not pitiful. A poor attitude is the ugliest and most undesirable thing you could possibly put on.
So, why does this scripture tell us blessed are the poor in spirit? Is there a difference between a poor attitude and a poor spirit? Yes. Let’s dig in deeper.
The Message Translation of our scripture reads like this: “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”
Ahhhhhhh, there it is. Poor in spirit is when there is less of you and more of God! Poor in spirit is recognition of our inherent need of God. Poor in spirit is our confession of “God, this won’t happen without you.” Instead we get a puffed up spirit. A spirit that says “I’ve got this God, I’ll let ya know when I run into trouble.” Don’t we often treat God like our ‘get our of jail free card’? We’re running full steam ahead under our own power, until we get knocked to our knees and then we’re like “oh God, I need you!”
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Those who fully acknowledge God’s hand at work in every detail of their lives. Those who know without a doubt every good thing you have in your life is as a direct result of the Almighty. Those who know your every breath is dependent upon Him. Those who know any plan you can come up with on your own will pale in comparison to the plan God can conspire WITH you.
This is what it looks like to be poor in spirit. To seek the richness of God, knowing on our own, we are nothing. When we’re puffed up in spirit, all self-righteous and sickeningly proud of own selves, we’re pushing God right out of our lives. Any success obtained like this will be short lived. Be very careful my friend, if you’re doing all this under your own power, your fall will be hard.
Let there be less of me, so there can be more of God. This is where true success comes from. This is how I climb to the next level of living without falling to my own demise. This is how I fulfill my purpose. When I’m at the end of my rope, at the end of what I can do on my own, this is where God does what only he can. And this is a blessed place. Remember it says “you’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope.” Are you there … at the end of what you can do on your own? Maxed out? Hanging by a thread? This is where you are blessed my friend, not cursed. This is where you understand in your poor spirit, the richness of God. You’ll never understand his richness without your own lack.
Let there be less of us and more of God today. This is our blessing. This place where only God can create the breakthrough. This place where our limited capabilities are met with God’s unlimited power. Here, at the end of our rope is exactly where we’re supposed to be. Maxed out on what we can do, fully reliant on what only he can do. With less of you, there is more of God. And when there is more of God, there is peace, there is power, there is potential beyond your wildest dreams.
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Those who know they NEED God, every moment of every day, we need him. And the good news is, every moment of every day, he’s right here!