I can only imagine how the Lord Jesus must have been waiting in anticipation for the opportunity to share the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven with His disciples. Here in the sermon on the mount He gets straight to the point with the beatitudes which give us the attitudes that characterise those who will enter heaven.
The very first beatitude is: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3
Being poor in spirit means knowing that we are spiritual paupers who daily are in desperate need of God’s grace. It means knowing that our hearts are deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) Or as Paul put it, knowing that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing. (Rom 7:18).
The most dangerous mindset to have is that of thinking that we are spiritually rich and have need of nothing. (Revelations 3:17) When we have such a mindset, we become spiritually unteachable and unchangeable. The Grace of God which brings salvation (Titus 2:11) effectively cannot teach us, because we think that we already know everything.
My heart is very sore these days. I interacted with people of various religious groups over the course of the last few weeks. Each group has a multitude of Bible verses which they quote to support what they preach. The teachings of each group, however, is vastly different from that of other groups. Yet, each of these groups are convinced that they and only they have the truth. None of them are willing to even consider the possibility that they might be wrong or that they might be lacking. None of them are willing to cry out to God with the attitude of a pauper asking Him to reveal Himself to them.
God promises in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not”.
After I told a member of one of these groups on WhatsApp that I am praying for them, he responded, “Please, you don’t need to pray for me. I know I have truth. My brain is washed as you may say. It has been cleansed of all untruths”.
So sad that people can get to the point where they think they do not even need the prayers of others. When we are poor in spirit, we will pray for ourselves and desire the prayers of others for us. I am reminded of the words of a song which says, “Not my brother, not my sister, but its me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer”.
It is heart-breaking that people can become so brainwashed by false teaching that it is virtually impossible to get through to them with the Gospel of God’s grace.
We live in a time of many false prophets who are leading multitudes astray. (Matthew 24:11) Please let us not just blindly follow leaders or crowds of people. Let us not follow prophets, no matter how good they may seem or how many Bible verses they use. Remember, Satan also quoted the Bible when he tempted the Lord Jesus.
The Gospel is all about living in a personal relationship with God. (See Philipians 2:12-13)
May God grant us the grace to seek God ourselves. Let us cry out to God to reveal Himself to us. Let us seek Him in His word, the Bible. Let us allow Him to teach us by His Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus promised us His Holy Spirit who will lead us into all the Truth. (John 16:13)
May we never get to the point where we think we are something and that we need nothing. May we not find our comfort in the fact that there are many people who believe and act the same as we do. May we always desire to know God better and to be changed more into His likeness.