Understand the Warning
After we enter the kingdom with a poor spirit and the blessing starts, we must maintain our awareness of our spiritual poverty. If we don’t, we’ll be in trouble.
Here’s the danger: Things go well for a while as God works wonders through our service, but then we get used to blessedness. There comes a time when, subconsciously, we have an opportunity to take control. If we’re too comfortable and not carefully keeping watch, we take charge. We look back over several years of spiritual poverty and blessing and we lose touch with it. Instead of seeing ourselves through the eyes of spiritual poverty, we see ourselves with material wealth.
Look at Revelation 3:14–17.
Isn’t it amazing how different the Laodicean’s view of themselves was compared with Jesus’ view? They were the church. They started their Christian lives by being poor in spirit and receiving God’s blessing, and cool things started happening. But then they got to the point where they didn’t need Jesus anymore. They would never say it out loud, but their actions betrayed them. They started believing they were rich and wealthy, thinking, We don’t need anything. We’re self-sufficient. We’re self-confident.
If that could happen two thousand years ago, it can happen today. I try never to read about other people’s mistakes and say, “Oh gosh, look at them!” I just say, “Man, only by the grace of God am I not in their position.” We must stay watchful and listen for the warning.
How do we maintain kingdom living and kingdom blessedness? By remembering that no matter how successful we become in our Christian effort and ministry, it’s all for Him, through Him, and because of Him. When we do, it drives us to our knees. We cannot lose sight of Him. We need to look at what the Lord has done in our lives and recognize that it’s all because of Him, not us. It keeps us humble. It keeps us poor in spirit.
Steve Berger is Senior Pastor of Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork, TN. He is the author of Have Heart: Bridging the Gulf Between Heaven and Earth and several Bible Study guides.