“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.”

Matthew 5:3-5 ESV

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”….?

This verse always confused me. Honestly, I would skip over it when I would read through Matthew because it would get me so confused.

Poor in spirit.

What does that even mean? I understood poor. I understood spirit. But putting those two words in the same sentence was like putting caramelized onions on top of my chocolate cake. The concept of both easily understood, separately. Both have their time, both have their chance to be the main flavor. But putting them together?

Reading that verse made me feel like I took a big bite of my caramelized onion chocolate cake dessert…unpleasant and did not like the taste it left in my mouth.

Until today.

Until today, I found freedom in this verse.

This past weekend my husband and I went to a marriage confence at our church. It was amazing. Many, many things from that conference we will take with us as we journey through our lives. However, two of the topics the speaker talked about really got my attention.

One: He described body, soul and spirit like this:

  • Body: the world around us
  • Soul: the world within us
  • Spirit: the world above us

Two: Meek: yielding my personal rights and expectations with the desire to serve.

I had been letting these concepts toss around in my mind and in my heart since I heard them. Feeling that the “light bulb” was dimly turning on…

And then came my devotional today. In it is a quote from John Calvin. Typed in beautiful italics across the center of the page, first thing I read;

“He only who is reduced to nothing in himself, and relies on the mercy of God, is poor in spirit.”

I have to rely on the mercy of God. And then Rebecca Faires puts it like this:

“Strength and power insulate us, too—all these things give us the illusion that we are in control. But the “poor in spirit” are those who have no power; they are the demoralized, the dejected. They can be fiscally poor, or lonely, or rejected; but regardless, they have lost all hope of finding power in themselves.”

Oh…me controlling my life is just an illusion…

The poor in spirit lose hope in finding power in themselves.

The power comes from the Spirit who is above us! (Light bulb)

Poor in spirit — have nothing.

Nothingness = the illusion that we are in control.

Which being poor in spirit enables us to rely wholly on God.

(You know the point in the movies where someone goes up to the front of the class and writes a really long answer to a problem that takes them so much time where the music cues in…that’s me right now. Along with the Rocky soundtrack.)

God is so cool!

Confusing sometimes…but I’m learning more and more that it’s me doing the confuse-ing. Things may seem backwards and upside down when trying to look at this world in Heavenly terms. But how amazing is it that God gives us glimpses of the whole picture?

He gives us His spirit to comfort our souls as we live in our earthly bodies.

I pray that you find freedom in this too. That, together, we lift our hands and surrender our control to the only one who deserves it.

JamieLee finds deep-rooted joy being in her kitchen. When she is chopping veggies, stirring soup, watching her bread rise and fall…it is in those moments she can hear God the clearest. She is a passionate gatherer, writer, small business owner and loves talking about food, natural health and the way those things affect us. She lives in North Dakota with her Husband, DJ and dog Porter.

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