As a child I heard what are called the “Beatitudes” or the Sermon on the Mount over and over. I could pretty much recite them but I had no idea what they were actually talking about.
For instance: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) How could you be poor in spirit and why would that give you an inheritance in God’s kingdom?
I finally understood what it meant to be poor in spirit when I was on my knees before God, totally depleted of any human ability to manage my own life. It was a bankrupt feeling and I’ll never forget it. Bankruptcy seems pretty bad but spiritual bankruptcy is in reality a door of hope. We can’t (or don’t) seek God as long as we can get along on our own.
That must be why Jesus said such people are blessed. Spiritual bankruptcy motivates us to seek the great exchange. We acknowledge our poverty so we can exchange it for God’s riches. The poorer we are the more room we have for his fullness-his kingdom.
Are you doing pretty well on your own right now? Can you still manage? Do you still have a few tricks up your sleeve before your poverty is fully exposed? Too bad. You’re not yet “poor in spirit.”
On the other hand, would you like to inherit the “kingdom of heaven”? Are you running on empty? Good. You’re blessed. You are ready for the Great Exchange!