Impoverished. Owning nothing.
I love the beatitudes in Matthew 5. As I read them I see a particular pattern, a progression of conditions Jesus is trying to teach us in order to be disciples of His.
The first step is to become poor. Not poor in material possessions. Not poor spirited. But poor in spirit. As I read these gems of Jesus I believe He is teaching me that the place to start as His disciple is emptying myself of every pre-conceived notion of my own about what it means to be one of His disciples. To empty myself of all desires to exercise my free will. Getting rid of everything that might stand in the way of discovering God and who He is in my life.
Jesus teaches this foundational discipleship principle in other parts of the Bible. In Luke 9:23, Jesus says,
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.“
I have to deny myself every day, not just once, but over and over.
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29
For me self-denial is not a one-time proposition. I must admit I can’t live in a constant state of choosing God’s will for my life over mine. Often times my possessions and people I love get in the way. They come before my love and devotion to Jesus.
1 John says,
” For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”
So mine is a daily struggle to disavow the lust of the flesh, the pride of my eyes and the pride of life in this world.
To be poor. In and of myself broke (and broken) and seeking to be rich in God’s grace, mercy and blessings.