Let’s look at the first character quality that Jesus talked out.

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

I am going to breakdown this teaching into four parts.

Part 1: Knowing who we are apart from Jesus: Dependency

Turn with me to John 15:5, where Jesus is speaking to His disciples at the Last Supper on bearing fruit.

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches, He who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

That’s right, apart from the empowerment by the Holy Spirit we can’t do anything for the kingdom of heaven sake in terms of fruit bearing. Notice how the branches are totally dependent on the vine for bearing fruit. We can plan, scheme, strive with all your might, but in the end our work is fit for the dung hill. You can either take Jesus at His word or go through it the hard way, like I have done many times. The reason for this is our carnal nature is full of pride of self, we really believe that in our flesh, meaning our natural man’s strength and wisdom can produce fruit unto the Lord. See the Old Covenant held to the natural man, it was all about self-effort, human willpower, and determination through the flesh. The Lord just required the Jews to keep the regulations, rules of the law. As I said in my other posts, the New Covenant is one of grace that is activated through faith. Victory is attained not by my natural man, but through humility and helplessly coming to the throne of grace to get help.

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

How dependent are we on the Lord today? To be dependent on the Lord we must have full confidence in Him, but must come to the end of ourselves. Lose all confidence in all our ability and strength. See ourselves as spiritually bankrupt apart from the empowerment of God. Turn with me to Romans 7:18.

Romans 7:18 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells.”

Here is that word again, nothing. Do you believe that today? The Lord wants you not only to believe it, but to know it. You will go through many failures and disappointments in the flesh. Paul had this tiresome struggle in his flesh to get the victory over sin, listen to his words.

Romans 7:24, 25″O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?””I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

The word wretched is from the Greek word talaiporos, which means to be harassed and miserably tired from overwork, yep sounds like the carnal flesh to me. Struggling, striving, and working to get something accomplished. I believe Paul literally came to the end of himself, and just give up, since he said these words in verse 25. Paul wrote a similar thoughts in Galatians and 1 Corinthians.

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”

Paul understood that what faith he had in himself was not much, but came to that place where he was living by the faith of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. It is by that faith that always gets the victory and that faith is received by the humble. The Lord will purposely place us in situations were our faith is too small to overcome the obstacle. He does this to humble us, so that we might come to Him for grace in order to overcome. So that His faith becomes our faith, and He becomes the very source of strength and wisdom for our lives.  Think of Peter when He denied Jesus, his pride was broken and sensed an inward weakness and a poverty. That is the work that Jesus is trying to work in our hearts. A sense of poverty in our spirit, that we will lean upon the Lord. The Lord wants us to admit our weakness and constantly go to the throne of grace to receive help.

Let’s take a brief look at the ways Jesus was dependent on the Father. Turn with me to John 5:19.

John 5:19 “Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”

The example that Jesus followed was the Father. Everything Jesus did was under the Lordship of His Father. Listen to these words.

John 6: 57 “As the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father.”

John 6:38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

John 7:16 “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.

John 8:28 “That I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.”

Whether it be the words, doctrine, will, and the very life of Jesus was lived for the purposes of the Father. Jesus rebuked Philip, after Philip wanted to see the Father.

John 14:9,10 “He who has seen Me has seen the Father, so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?

We can say that Jesus was consumed with the Father, that He could make the statement that He who has seen me has seen the Father. Oh that they would said such things about our lives that he who has seen us has seen Jesus. That our words, doctrine, will, and very life would be an example of Jesus to those around us. Secondly, Jesus often was found praying to the Father for either direction or power to overcome. Turn with me to Luke 6:12.

Luke 6:12 “He went out to the mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God.”

I believe many of us fall short in this area, prayer, not suggesting about the length of time we prayer in each seating, but rather it should be the first and not last for us to do. Usually, we try to make something happen in our own strength and cleverness, but when that fails we turn to God in prayer. Notice Jesus didn’t select His disciples on what He immediately thought or what He saw in the natural, but went to the Father to seek direction. Also before He went to the cross, He prayed fervently to the Father.

Isaiah 11:3 “His delight is in the fear of the LordAnd He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears.”

Jesus also prayed fervently that He would overcome temptation, so He wouldn’t sin, which would lead to death. Turn with me to Hebrews 5:7.

Hebrews 5:7 “Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.”

Sounds like dependency to me! Jesus placed His deliverance on the Father. Jesus understood the weakness of our flesh, saying “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). He also understood the serious consequence of sin and failing to do the will of God. May we have this attitude that Jesus had, where Paul reinforced this by saying:

1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

Conclusion: Dependency on the Lord teach us to trust Him and bear fruit worthy of His kingdom

Part 2: First Step to Obedience

The major point I want you to grasp from this section is that humility is an act of the will. It is the first step towards obedience. Turn with me to Philippians 2:8.

Philippians 2:8 “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Jesus going to the cross, first required Him to humble Himself. Again, it was an act of His will. Jesus could have said forget this, I am God and I am not going to give my life for people that deserve to go to hell. Jesus reinforced this point in Luke 14, where He was talking about how to take a seat at a feast. We can either take the best seat in the house or the lowest seat.

Luke 14:11 “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Finally, Peter exhorts believers to humble themselves.

1 Peter 5:6 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”

This goes along nicely what Jesus said in Luke 14:11, the humble God will exalt. So people of God today, humble yourselves and obey the Lord!

Conclusion: Humility is the First Step to Obedience that leads us to the will of God

Part 3: Quality of the Mind

An important part of being poor in spirit is to be reduced to low self-important. Go back with me to Philippians 2:3.

Philippians 2:3 “ Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

A misconception that people have about being lowly in mind is that we have to admit lies, like this person is more spiritual than me, but that is not what Paul is referring to here. Paul is talking about here of not esteeming our importance above others. How can we be a servant if we have high self-importance? It’s impossible. Turn with me to 1 Samuel 15:17.

1 Samuel 15:17 “So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?

The context here is after King Saul disobeyed the commandment of the Lord, Samuel came to him to give him the word of the Lord. We see that it was when King Saul thought very little of himself that he was anointed King of Israel. After King Saul disobeyed the word of God, he constructed a monument for himself, which signifies that he thought much of himself. It is very easy to start thinking highly of ourselves after times of victory and blessings.  Turn with me to Matthew 18:1.

Matthew 18:1 “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

I am sure the disciples were hoping that he would call one of their names. Carnal men look at things only in the natural and their reference is the system of the world.  How much money do you have? What type of house do you live in? What type of position do you hold? We also have to be careful, because their is a thing called spiritual pride. How big is your ministry? How many people did you lead to Christ? What are the signs and wonders going on in your ministry? Again, it’s all about the external and quantity. I am sure the response of Jesus surprised His disciples.

Matthew 18:2-4 “Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

I truly believe that Jesus only calls nobody’s, people that have a little child level of self-importance. When we have low self-importance, we are more pliable and more willing to yield to obedience. Humbling ourselves is an emptying process, meaning we need to give up our pride, way, and will, which are flesh desperately hangs on to.

Philippians 2:7 “But He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”

Here we see that Jesus had to empty Himself of His reputation in order to be a bondservant. Oh how our flesh holds on to our pride. Our flesh hates to look weird, lowly, poor, and weak in the eyes of our peers, but my friends that is the way of the cross. That is the main reason that people fear man, we are still holding on to our pride in this world. We don’t want to be despised and rejected by men. Friends let’s humbles ourselves and go the way of the cross, so we can receive the praise of God rather than the praise of men.

Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

Galatians 6:3 “ For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

Our flesh will deceive us if we go along with it’s desires, the flesh nature has a tendency to think more highly of oneself. Let us put to death high-minded thoughts about ourselves. That it is what caused the devil to fall, he thought he was something of himself, but was really nothing, since everything he had was given to him by the Lord. That goes along with what Paul is talking about in Romans 12:3, God has imparted to us a measure of faith, meaning our sufficiency comes from Christ.

Conclusion: Low self-importance is necessary to be a servant

Part 4: Revelation of the Glory of God

Isaiah 57:15 “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

An amazing passage of scripture! Even although the Lord is a great King, who who inhabits eternity and is set apart from all, His dwelling place is among the humble. The revelation of the Lord’s wisdom and power is reserved for the poor in spirit. Turn with me to James 2:5.

James 2:5 “Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love him.”

When we become poor in ourselves, there is a richness of Christ that enters our hearts, it is the very life of Jesus. We need to remember that the kingdom of heaven is not some far reality in the future, but is in our hearts (Luke 17:21). Yes there is a fullness to the kingdom of heaven, where we will see all things in subjection to Jesus. The kingdom of heaven is not a thing of the flesh, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). The kingdom of heaven belongs to the humble and it is hidden from the proud of heart.

Matthew 11:25 ““I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.”

When Jesus refers to the wise and prudent, He is talking about those who are proud and clever in their own wisdom.

1 Corinthians 1:26-28 “ For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.”

Jesus chooses the foolish, weak, base, despised, nothings, and nobody’s of the world, so that nobody can say that it was my own wisdom and power that accomplished this great work. The Lord is looking for those who will humble themselves to become zero’s for His kingdom.

1 Corinthians 1:29 – 31 “That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

You see when we become poor in ourselves we exchange our weakness for His strength. Paul states that Jesus becomes to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. The God wants the life of His Son to build His church. Not talking about a church building, but the building that is going on in our hearts.

1 Peter 2:5 “  You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 12:9,10 “ And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. “

Paul came to an understanding that when he was weak in himself he was now qualified to receive the power of God. Folks, Jesus will only work with power through a weak and humble person. Remember, the Holy Spirit comes to glorify Jesus not man. Saints of God let us not run away from our weaknesses, but boast in them, since that is the place will be most glorified. I want to close for this verse out of Philippians 2:9

Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

A person who is living in a state of humility receives his exaltation from God Himself, not from men or even from himself, which it is in direct contradiction to the ways of the world. By Jesus doing the will of God, He received His exaltation from God the Father.

God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.

James 4:6