Before the Lord created man, He created a world of beautiful things, pleasant and wonderful, for man's delight, only for external use. In the deep heart of man was the dwelling place, a shrine, a holy place where only God was worthy to dwell. Man was the dwelling place of God. God would come, on a daily basis, and commune with man. But sin introduced complications and ruined everything by removing God from the heart. Those things that were created for man's use had taken God's place in his heart. Every time we kick God out, disaster strikes.
Jesus, in Luke 18:9-14, tells a story about two men who appear before God, a pharisee and a tax collector. The pharisee appears before God and thanks Him for not being like others - robbers, etc. The tax collector says "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." You see two men appear before God with different attitudes. The tax collector leaves the presence of God justified, but the pharisee, what did he get? We come to the Lord poor. Verse 20 says,
"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours in the kingdom of God.."
We must approach the Lord exhausted, in despair, defeated, with our failures, with spiritual emptiness. When we come to the Lord with this attitude, we find mercy. Something will happen to you as a result when you come to the Lord broken, poor, empty-handed. The peace of God will descend upon you. Restoration and reconciliation with God, inner peace will happen. Blessed are you if you are spiritually poor. The kingdom of God is yours. Sometimes we live as though there is no such thing as the Kingdom of God.
How do you perceive living for Christ? The grace of Christ, the boundless and most gracious love divine, will come and make a difference. You are invited to understand what it is like to be poor in spirit, the Christi-centered poverty, and hunger and thirst. Jesus Christ said in verse 20:
"Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied."
Hunger and thirst as physical sensations may become real pain. It has been the experience of countless seekers of God that, when there desires become painful, they are suddenly and wonderfully satisfied. When we go to the source, God, the Lord will wonderfully satisfy us. Today, most of us are so cold, so content with our wretched conditions, that there is no vacuum of desire into which the blessed Spirit can wash and satisfy us. We long for things like money, attention, a good job, but there is no more desire or longing for God, and we are going down. We are powerless and empty. The Holy Spirit of God is no longer in control. We need to say "Lord, quiet my soul, and fill me with holy longing again." I don't want to be contented with my present condition. I want all that God has for me today.
We trust the Lord. That is what we do as believers. We don't fight, we don't reprimand. We get down on our knees. The blessedness of possessing nothing is Christ-centered poverty, Christ-centered hunger, and Christ-centered sadness. The Lord can give us joy again.
"Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you, and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven." (vs. 22-23)
In order to follow Jesus Christ faithfully, we must die to our desire for people's approval. Just stop trying to please everybody. To be right with God has often meant o be in trouble with people. Focus on the Lord, on the prize. This beatitude is the longest, and hardest one, the blessing no one wants. When we arepersecuted because we are serving Christ, and being faithful to God, there are blessings for us. God blesses us with things, but don't be arrogant about them.
God truly blesses those people whose spirituality, whose inward connection with God, is so evident that other people want to be around them. They are the people who know God, who know how to talk to God. Those are the deep people. There is always something Godly about them.
Isaiah Chapter 6 tells us that the man who God blesses must be undone. He must be humble and pliable. There is something about not having too much in this world, but you can still be a deep person because there is some profound knowledge, something holy about you, the way you live your life, the way you serve God. When people look at you they say, "That is exactly the way I want to live." You may not have much, wealth, a good education, people may look down on you, but deep inside you, oh,,,,breath of God, breathe on us Lord, cleanse us, purify us, and deliver us.