Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 227 - Poor in Spirit

Well, it’s 9PM and I’m ready for bed. I was up at 3 this morning, and will be up again tomorrow at 3 as well. Today was a good day. I worked and then had a meeting with our church planting network board. We have just sponsored another church planter. Jeff and Amanda are going to plant a church in Woodstock, and I know that it will become a great church. This couple is awesome. Julia and I have been friends with them for a couple of years. We have watched both of them grow up so much in the Lord. It makes me proud to see where they are and what they are doing. I know that Julia is smiling down from Heaven tonight as well. So we should have a church plane officially going in Woodstock maybe by late Spring 2011. It is really exciting to watch Holy Spirit in action.

I was able to get a run in this afternoon. I tried to read a little, but kept falling asleep so I just decided to watch a little TV. While I was running this afternoon, I was listening to a sermon by Bill Johnson. It was on the renewing of our mind. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Romans 12:1. So before we can transform a community, we have to be transformed. That means our minds have to be renewed. But what does that really mean? How do we renew our mind? I think it starts by being “poor in Spirit”. In the beatitudes I think it says that blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. So what does it mean to be poor in Spirit. Bill said, and I agree that it means to be able to know that you are needy and want more without going negative and turning inward in self pity. In other words, you recognize your need and you know that God is the ultimate source of what it is that will fix that need.

Think about it with me for a second. Isn’t it harder to minister to someone who doesn’t think that they have any needs? It’s easy to minister to someone who is so desperate they will try anything. Look in the Bible. The religious leaders missed Jesus because they had no “needs” that they were aware of. They were confident in their own ability and satisfied with their own position. The tax collectors and prostitutes, on the other hand, lived in constant awareness of their needs. They knew that they were sinners, and needed a savior. We need to be aware of our needs, no matter how far we have come. We have to realize that there is always MORE. We have to continue to go after that MORE. We have to be willing to be embarrassed, and be willing to relinquish our positions in order to get that MORE. In other words we have to remain “poor in Spirit” if we are to see the Kingdom of Heaven.

If we ever come to the place where we think we have arrived, we have just quit the race. We must realize that no matter how far we have come, we will never arrive. There is always more to be had, more to find. God wants us to continue to search out the hidden treasures. He desires us to seek after Him. In order to remain poor in spirit, our mind has to continue to be renewed. But what does that mean. I think that the renewing of the mind comes when we begin to realize that we really live from the Kingdom of Heaven down to here. When we begin to see things as He sees them, our mind begins to be renewed. That could mean that we begin to pull heaven down to earth in our everyday circumstances by declaring and binding and loosing.
As we pray we need to bind up on earth the things that are already bound up in Heaven. We begin to loose on earth the things that are loosed in Heaven. Then we need to declare those things that are not yet as if they were. In other words, as we see what should be in the Spirit, we have to begin to speak it into existence here on earth. This is not easy, but it is necessary. As we do it we will fail, but we will also succeed. We will fail less the more we do it. It’s like riding a bicycle. The more you practice, the better you are. We are citizens of another Kingdom. It’s time we learn the language and the currency of that Kingdom and use it to effect change here in this kingdom.

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