Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
By Jill Coombs
12:30 in the morning: Darkness engulfs me as my heart and mind engage in battle once again. Covetousness is the thorn that has pierced my spirit. But praise be to God! He has not left me to my own devices to overcome my flesh. The Holy Spirit faithfully convicted my heart of its desperate need and the Holy Spirit leads me gently to His mercy seat.
I am all too familiar with the cry of a sinner left to his or her own devices. Often I find myself pacing back and forth through the streets of my city praying for and praying with the prostitutes of the inner city. Broken, filthy, unwanted, however one might see them, I can surely testify, as the ones who are the poor in spirit. They are broken and they know it!
There I sat clutching her frail trembling hand with my left hand and embracing her with my right. Her tears drenching my hoodie while she cried out to Jesus for mercy. Though the circumstances are grim, I could not help but be overcome with joy, for there in my arms sat a child of The King broken to the point of repentance relying solely on the grace of God. The joy that illuminates my heart in moments like these must be but a glimmer in comparison to the heart of God. (Luke 15:10) "...there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."
My beloved, is God not righteous? Did His hands not make the heavens and the earth? I am afraid that all too often, we go about our lives with our heads lifted high perceiving our own righteousness, our own good works. But my friends, "...all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;..." (Isaiah 64:6). "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8). My friend on the street corner knew her state before her mighty righteous God. Do we?
I often catch myself praising myself for the good work I did for this person, or the obedience I displayed in that situation, or how together I appeared under the scrupulous inspection goggles of that dear sister... Oh how this line of thinking distracts from the immeasurable beauty of Jesus. Oh how I must grieve the heart of God!!! He died for me. Not just the sins in my past but my future as well. He died for my self-righteous Pharisee heart that refuses to give Him the glory that He alone deserves.
Perhaps some of us think of repentance as drudgery, enslaving ourselves to the bondage of sin instead of life. But I would like to argue that with repentance comes regeneration. Repentance prepares our heart for the cleansing that only He could perform through His death and resurrection.
I thank God for His convicting Spirit. It is because of the Holy Spirit I can lay my covetousness before His throne as I am reminded that I too, am a sinner in desperate need of my Redeemer.
Praise God, I am still in contact with my friend on the street corner. A year has passed and she is a fruitful branch of the Vine. I am pleased to report, she is a sister in Christ and her name is written in the Lamb's book of life!
May our hearts praise God for He is sovereignty. Might our knees bow before His throne while He still lendeth us breath. May we be of the poor in spirit that His Glory might be made manifest in us. (verses taken from the KJV)
Jill is from Manitoba. She's married and a homeschooling mother of three. Her one desire is to be obedient to the voice of God which presently takes the form of inner city ministry and child evangelism.