Why The Beatitudes?

Recently on a trip to “The Kings Ranch” (a ranch in Southern Minnesota started to give opportunities for Christians to connect with nature and hunting) the Lord spoke to me about understanding His values and Character.  Of course at the time (like usual), I failed to understand the significance of His timing.  But I did put out a call to like minded men to seek out God’s purpose for this revelation.  I offered this as a challenge to myself as much as them to see how the Lord would use the beatitudes to draw us closer to Him.
Do you believe in the Lords timing?
Do you believe that He is speaking to you?
I guess we all have a pat answer to these questions, but I am not asking for your pat answer.  I am challenging you to dive down deeper and really think and understand what they mean to you.
Often times I hear people (even my beloved wife) say that if God was speaking this you and it involves me then don’t you think He would have spoke to me as well?  I guess that would seem to be a logical response.  The only problem I have is that what if He was speaking to you and you failed to hear Him.
Here is another one to think about:
Are we to only respond to the Lord when everyone agrees?
I would say to that question if we are all together in spirit then yes!  But again, what if we are not all together?  What if we are not all in the spirit at once.
That leads me to the beatitudes and the revelation that those who are poor in spirit are actually better off than those who are rich.  Now at first glance, this seems backwards doesn’t it?
I received a CD from Pete Couper (one of my closest friends, and a board member of Breakthrough Ministries) who was given this CD from someone who is a warrior for the Lord.  I do not know the author but his teaching has led to an even deeper understanding of the beatitudes.  I will share some of his thoughts as well as my own regarding the revelation that is now becoming so clear.  This is extremely powerful revelation so hang on tight.
Alright, let’s dive into what the Lord put on me this morning regarding how God blesses those who are poor in spirit (the first beatitude).
The beatitudes are the higher values and represent the very character of God.  Pay close attention to what Jesus says about what Father values because that is what He blesses.  Did you hear that?  God’s is revealing His value system.  That system is different from ours and if we want His blessings, we must put ourselves in a position to receive them by living by His values not ours.
In Proverbs 2 it says,, “My children, listen to what I say and treasure my commands.  Tune your ears to wisdom and concentrate on understanding”.  So, I am going to ask you to do just that.  Tune into what is being said.  How?  By tuning out everything else.  Tim Hatt a Pastor at Hosanna! (my church) and Paul Yadoa (a pastor from the Philippines) speak and teach about this subject.  They call it soaking.  We must realize that we hear three voices.  Satan and his demons, our own voice and that of God.  We must tune out the others to hear God (if you want more information on this subject, let me know and I will connect you with these men).  When we hear God and only God we will start to understand how God speaks to us.  It is in that for which we will be able to understand that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Jesus says we shall be perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect.  It is at this point that God confronts us with His standards.  God is confronting you of this!  We are to cultivate the beatitudes into our heart so they become the very fragrance of our lives.  That is to say the love for purity, meekness, righteousness, and poor in spirit which is the lifestyle of God.  In 2 Cor 2:15 it says “our lives are a Christ like fragrance rising up to God”.  We are only the fragrance of Christ to the degree that we cultivate the beatitudes.
Matthew 5:3 “God bless those poor [in spirit] and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of heaven is theirs”.  This whole article has been written because of this one verse, rather three words – “poor in spirit”.  Those three words have inspired all of this thought.  Isn’t the word of God amazing!
To attain a genuine love for God and righteousness we must continually acknowledge in the depths of our hearts that we are in great need of help.
Alright, this is deep and EXTREMELY critical.  “Poor in spirit”actually means we are to seek a poverty of our souls from now until we die and that we are to grow in the increase of our poverty before the Lord and in the depth of our heart as we mature in Christ.  Did you get that?  Here is where I pray that you review Proverbs 2 from above.  We need to recognize that we are in great need of help from God and that He is our only chance.  We are disabled in such a way that we can’t do it on our own because we have NOTHING to offer God!
There is a reason this is the first beatitude.  It is critical to our growth as Christians.
How do we become poor in spirit?  Again, God is confronting us with His standards and Jesus said to be perfect as His Father is perfect.  We DON’T become poor in spirit by comparing ourselves with others only by comparing ourselves with Jesus.  This forces us to examine ourselves against perfection.
If you are attached to the vine (God), you should be producing fruit.  If that is true, then the fruit of growing in the true God fearing knowledge of God is you becoming more and more poor in spirit. Again, this is EXTREMELY critical to understand.  Let me give an example.
First let’s see how the dictionary defines pride:
1. a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
2. the state or feeling of being proud.
3. a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
4. pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself: civic pride.
5. something that causes a person or persons to be proud
As you grow in your knowledge of who God is, if you get puffed up with pride (which is the opposite of this spirit) you are actually growing FURTHER away from the Lord.  Get the point?  To further illustrate for understanding.  Matthew 19:30 says “But many who are the greatest now will be least then, and those who are least important now will be the greatest then.”  Jesus turned the worlds values upside down.  Consider the most powerful or well known people in our world – how many got where they are by being humble, self-effacing, and gentle?  Not many! (NLT).  Remember, this is the beatitude of God, His values.  In the world view we grow we gain but in Kingdom view we grow and in this case we lose (or least become poor in spirit).
What is “Poor in spirit”?
Paul prophesied that there would come a nameless and faceless generation that would come forth.  In doing so, they would not be rooted in pride (where as they would not search through the magazine articles to see how many times their name was mentioned or to see pictures of themselves, rather they would search to see that Jesus was glorified) rather they would be rooted poor in spirit.
We don’t want to be the ones to draw attention to ourselves. We want to have humility clothed all over us.  We don’t want to use our giftings and talents to get the praise of many.  We should want to rip that attitude and rend our hearts.
We also don’t want to walk around in condemnation with the realities of our sin rather boldly confront them and call it what it is.  That is where our deliverance will be found.  It is here that we start to become poor in spirit.
Ask yourself if you are moving toward God or away from him.  I would suggest that we all analyze ourselves.

David Engman

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