Power Through Spiritual Poverty

Every human being knows – unless that knowledge has been blunted by circumstances – that he or she ought to be someone important, that others ought to take notice, and that their life should mean something beyond the mundane realities of daily existence. Greatness is in our design, having been built into us by the Designer Himself, our Father God.

The surprising thing is that the path to greatness is opposite of what is intuitive to our fallen human nature. We think greatness comes by effort, by good planning, and by being willing to do whatever it takes to overcome the obstacles in our way. In God’s Kingdom economy, however, there is a different path. It begins with poverty of spirit.

In Matthew 5, Jesus lays out the Kingdom way to greatness, and begins with this phrase: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Spoken at the very beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus then proceeds to live out this principle all through His time on the earth by living in complete dependence upon His Father in Heaven through the power of the Holy Spirit.

He takes the posture of a servant (see Mark 9:35; Philippians 2:7), does nothing without seeing and hearing what the Father is doing (see John 5:19-20; 8:28), and lays down His life for His friends in love (see John 15:13). In other words, Jesus comes to greatness by being fully dependent on the Father’s will and direction by the Holy Spirit.

The basic issue for us is that we find it hard to believe that the Father wants greatness for us, and that He will bring us to greatness if we will follow His lead by the Spirit. Instead, we tend to take over our own situations because we think we know best, and find ourselves grasping in futility for the very thing He promises to give by grace. 

Here’s my prayer today: Father, I want to live a powerful life today, but I can do nothing without Your presence and power in my life. Lead me by Your Spirit into the situations You have prepared for me, give me Your words of wisdom, Your strategies for serving, and grant me the courage to trust Your ways, just as Jesus did.


Gary Wiens, 11/4/2018