Poor and Needy
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
If you have spent much time reading the Psalms, God’s special affinity for the poor and needy and his disinclination for the proud and independent should be clearly communicated. This aspect and revelation of God’s character doesn’t seem to get the attention from us, God’s word gives it. It is my belief that this love of His for the poor and needy is one of the most crucial revelations of who God is, for those of us who are seeking closeness with Him, closeness with our Loved One.
God is so different than we are. The sin within us is so inclined to love the world and ourselves, as spoken of by John: 15 Don’t love the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love isn’t in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn’t the Father’s, but is the world’s. 17 The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does God’s will remains forever.(1 John 2:15-17) Even we who claim Jesus, and greatly seek Him as our One Great Desire and Love are very much inclined to mix our own remaining sinful love of the world and ourselves with our Christian faith. John’s warning seems to be saying to us, that we must come to love God much greater than we love the world and ourselves, as to make our remaining sin, and misplaced love, as nothing in comparison. Though this misplaced love may hold us at times, the overwhelming Love of our loves is obviously Jesus.
When Jesus began His great Sermon on the mount, he began with these words: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.(Matthew 5:3) I believe, this poorness of spirit, is not simply a stage we pass through before or during our conversion. This poorness of spirit, is an intrinsic quality of those who are the most blessed by God. Those I believe, who are presently most poor in spirit, in the way the Lord is speaking of, are presently the most blessed persons on earth. The poorness of spirit, is a knowledge of our own poorness and neediness for God, our neediness for Jesus, for the Spirit of God, and more fruit of the Spirit of God. God fills the poor of spirit, though they will remain poor of spirit even when filled to overflowing.
This poorness of spirit is the driving desire and mover of us. This is what moves us to seek God, to seek union and communion with Jesus. As our poorness of Spirit increases our knowledge of and closeness with God is most likely being increased by His gracious Spirit and working on and in us. As our poorness of Spirit is decreasing we are most likely moving further from, or being turned away from our Lord by other so called “needs” or desires. The cares of life, the anxieties of the world, the desire to be accepted or fit in with this world and others, may be supplanting our actual One True Need.
I want to encourage the freeing of your self from the expectations you yourself, the world, and even other believers place on you. I want to encourage you that you are free to be poor and needy. We can admit and live in the truth of our poorness and neediness of Jesus. We do not need to cast that expected image of ourselves, for others to see. We do not need to become or present ourselves to others as those who have it all together. God does not require us to be successful people, the way the world defines successful people. We are free to be seen as deceived and stupid radicals in the world’s eyes, we are free to be looked down upon by others, we are free to be seen as weak and pitiful by others. We are even free to be disappointing to our friends, families and loved ones, when God’s Spirit leads us to please Him at the displeasing of others. I believe, if we embraced this freedom, we would find and experience much more joy, peace, and love in the Lord.
We too often are stuck in the middle. We know, or I hope we know our need of God, Our Love. We do not however allow this need this poorness of spirit to define our lives. We want to be needy for God, but we do not want others to see our poorness and neediness for God. We want to be seen by others as being without need. We often times want to be seen as successful, attractive, happy, self-sufficient, confident, needed, loved and desired people. This is what most all people desire and seek. As children of God, lovers of the King, we are meant to have better desires, and different desires.
When we become children of God, we become children of a totally other world and kingdom. Children of God and lovers of King Jesus, we are set free to be free from the loves, desires, mindsets, priorities, cares, worries, and fears of this world. We are not required to maintain a certain level of “world-cred” if you will. Through the gentleness and kindness of Christ in us, we should be as considerate and pleasing as we can as sojourners here. However, most of us take this way to far. We sacrifice our freedom to be who we actually are, poor and needy children and lovers of God. If we would take all our masks off, and be who we truly desire to be in Jesus, with much less pretense, and fear. We would have much simpler lives.
Allowing ourselves to be led by this poorness of spirit and neediness for God, Our Love, as our root driving motivation without shame. We will begin to be have our person’s and lives prioritized by God, or more clearly, we are allowing God to prioritize our lives Himself. We will be seeking God, rightly with the right (Jesus given) motivations. We will without shame be seeking, receiving and loving our One True need.