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Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 ESV

Besides Jesus, is there anyone poorer in spirit than Job? Poor in Spirit are those who have nothing to boast about. Those who are weak yet find contentment in weakness because they have tasted the rare honey from the darkest parts of the valley. Pain and brokenness turn to poor in spirit. But, there is a look-alike called bitter in spirit, which takes on the image of poor in spirit but does not have contentment.

Keep the promise in mind while reading this—theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The poor in spirit who have the Kingdom of God look a lot different from the bitter-in-spirit-people. The one who has the Kingdom speaks about the nearness of Jesus, whereas the bitter ones speak of changing their situation. To be poor is to empty your own image so you may be filled with the image you came from. The valley tends to be the place poor-in-spirit people are forged from. Don’t curse the valley—empty your spirit in the valley so you may get the Kingdom of God. Valleys are just small mountains when nearness to Jesus is your goal.

The centerpiece of the Kingdom is the Lamb of God. Jesus is the treasure of those who are truly poor in spirit. The litmus test to see if you are bitter or simply poor is by asking yourself this question. “Do I want the circumstance to change and I am running to God so He will do it, or do I want Emmanuel’s presence, and if that means it’s in the valley, well then let me stay in the valley because I want to be with Him?”

He is the Kingdom of Heaven. You get Him. If He answered your bitter prayer about your circumstance, then He would exit the situation as well. He is there with you. Don’t pray away your messiah, see Him in it. Bankrupt your spirit so you may inherit Jesus.

The happiest people are those who have the Kingdom. They have Jesus rather than the dopamine hits from food idols. They run to the gardens where Jesus walks instead of the social platforms that feed their insecurities. Poor in spirit people are on their knees in the secret place, trusting God will pick them up instead of running around a busy schedule so they can avoid the pruning. Poor-in-spirit people smile in valleys, shout for joy even when the house is in disorder, and use laughter as a weapon because Jesus is filling their emptied spirit with His.

The pathway is not a monastery, it’s your house. It’s not a quiet prayer room; it’s chaos. Poor in spirit can be had when the flesh surrenders its need to control and allows the Waymaker to illuminate the next step. When triggers hit, and addiction kicks in, the poor in spirit use the temptations as reminders to drop in dependency. Little moments throughout the day form the poorest in spirit.

You can’t learn the Kingdom’s benefits in one day. Inherit the Kingdom by admitting your kingdom around you is falling apart. Boast in your inability to accomplish what you have been striving for and receive the Kingdom of God–blessed you will be.

Josh Bramos is the Worship Pastor at CityRev Church in Pembroke Pines, Florida. He is a songwriter, worship leader/pastor, and founder of Village Hymns. He is passionate about connecting people to Christ through worship and community. He and his wife, Mackenzie, live in South Florida with their four children.

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