The Latter Rain Update
Blessed Are the Poor?

Everyone can agree that when you’re poor, it is not a good thing. You lack something; usually a lot of things. Why, then, did Jesus tell his followers that happy are you when you are poor… in spirit? He even stated that those people who are poor in spirit will inherit the kingdom of Heaven. What did Jesus mean by this statement?

The answer to this question can be found in Pastor Ron’s teaching entitled, "Poor in Spirit."

When people are poor in spirit, they realize that they need something greater than themselves to sustain them. They realize that they need God, and they rely on their continual relationship with Him as their daily source. They realize that they are, and forever will be, inadequate without Him. They put their trust in Him daily for life, joy, and peace. They seek the Kingdom of God above all else. Nothing can ever replace their need for God - not money, people, nor possessions. They are like a cup that forever needs to be refilled, a thirst that never gets quenched. They are poor in Spirit, and people like this will inherit the kingdom of Heaven.

What hinders people from being poor in Spirit? The main obstacle is having material possessions or riches because people tend to exalt their riches above the Lord. People who are rich in material things generally do not seek after the kingdom of God. They are deceived into thinking that they are self-sufficient. Their money supplies their material needs, and they put their trust in their riches rather than God. People who are self-sufficient are prideful.

They begin to equate their having possessions with being better than other people who don’t have those things. Rich people, who aren’t poor in spirit, are concerned about their image and what people will think about them being a Christian. They fail to see that riches will fail and are meaningless when it comes to what really counts in life; knowing the Lord Jesus.

From studying the Word, we learn that God wants us to be rich materially. In fact, it is He who gives us power to get wealth, that He might establish His covenant on this earth. He wants to give us life more abundantly than we have it. Is God then entrapping us into distancing ourselves from His kingdom by helping us to become rich materially? By no means; rather, He wants us to be blessed materially yet remain poor in Spirit.

Oftentimes, as Christians, we come to God with lack. We begin to learn how God wants us to prosper financially. We are taught that God does this through our obedience in sowing into the Kingdom of God that we might reap; we begin to tithe. Over time, the Word of God proves itself true in our lives as our financial situation improves through our faithfulness in tithing and in being a good steward of our finances. We begin to prosper financially. Here is where the opportunity to stumble comes in. Although we become prosperous financially, we must remain poor in Spirit. After all, it is God and His Word that has caused us to prosper, and it is only because of Him that we are who we are. Our relationship with God should not change because we have acquired material possessions. God wants us to "have all sufficiency in all things" (II Cor. 9:8).

 

He doesn’t want us indebted to the world, but He also doesn’t want us to allow the blessings to become a stumbling block to us by our exalting them above Him and His Kingdom.

How do you know if you are becoming "rich" rather than "poor" in Spirit? Here are a few warning signs: You begin to esteem your things or your activities above the Lord. This is manifested in how you share your possessions with others, since we are to manifest our love of God in our actions and attitudes toward others. Are you more concerned about your possessions getting dirty than you are about your brothers and sisters in the Lord? Do you put restrictions on your brethren so that they do not "ruin" your possessions?

Does going to church begin to take a lower priority than other activities in your life? Do you suddenly find that you would rather be home to watch the Super Bowl or do yard work rather than to be at church? Do you think that you are better than your other brethren because you have possessions and they do not?

We must constantly be on guard against becoming rich in Spirit. If we allow this condition to manifest in our lives, it will distance us farther and farther from the Kingdom of God. When people are rich in spirit, they are deceived into thinking that they don’t need God.

Whether we are prosperous financially, or we have not yet reaped the benefit of the covenant of the law of the tithe, we all need the Lord daily to sustain us. It is Him and His Word that will give us what we need in life. Don’t let riches deceive you; remain poor in Spirit, and never let the hunger for God be satisfied in your life. Always seek for more of Him; that is what really counts in life.