|As we begin the process of reflecting on the Beatitudes as the measuring stick for those who are being qualified to have authority on earth as it is in heaven, the first thing to notice is the order in which they are given. There is a purpose to that order, a progressive encounter with God’s character requirements that must be embraced that we might fulfill that which is His desire for us.
Therefore it is significant that the first requirement for heaven’s authority to be released is poverty of spirit. There is no great mystery to what the words mean. Poverty is a condition of having no resources, of being totally dependent upon the resources of another. One who is poverty-stricken is one who is at the end of their means, who has no hope of changing their circumstance by their own strength. For most of us, living as we do in our affluent culture, poverty is something we see at a distance, something that rarely touches us except in a second-hand way.
However, once in awhile some circumstance emerges that allows us to touch poverty more personally. In the late summer of 2005, a massive hurricane named Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast of the United States, bringing great destruction to a huge region of the nation. We sympathized with those who were forced to leave everything and escape the storm’s fury. We watched with horror as people who had made the decision to stay in their homes rather than evacuate experienced the terrifying reality of nature’s strength. It was a gripping scenario, and for days the nation’s news agencies were riveted on this story.
In the midst of that event, one vignette that captured my attention involved a group of people who had been vacationing in New Orleans. They were people of means, but suddenly their wealth meant nothing as they were completely unable to make arrangements to get out of town. They had paid $25,000 to charter a bus to come into the city to take them away, only to find that the armed forces in the city commandeered the bus before it could get to these folks. In that circumstance, these people had no recourse, and though they eventually found a way out, the anger and frustration that is rooted in fear was obvious in their faces as they told their story.
Poverty of spirit is like that. It is the sometimes shocking awareness that when it comes to living up to the values and expectations of God’s heavenly kingdom, all of us are weighed in the scales and found to be too light. The statement of Paul the Apostle in Romans 3:23 is pointed and powerful: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Poverty of spirit is the realization that nothing I can do will set me straight with God, or produce the kind of powerful life I was created to live in and enjoy.
This excerpt is taken from "Reaching Your Power Potential: Authority on Earth as it is in Heaven"
By Gary & Marie Wiens; available in the Kindle Store on Amazon.com