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“Blessed  are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:3-12 NKJV

Many days,  I feel like a dead man walking. I examine myself to show myself approved and I find myself unworthy – I realize where I fall short of bringing glory and honor to God. I look at His perfect, blameless example and in comparison when I examine close enough, there always seems to be a blemish to be found in myself. So if perfection is my goal, I am doomed,  and my life is worth little more than being a warning to others about the wrath of God. Yes, this is the mentality that religion plants in our heads when we only get as far as measuring ourselves.

He searches the world for those poor in spirit, not those standing proud and strong under their own type of “goodness” under their own striving – because our works are filthy rags before a perfect, holy, and righteous God.

What do the proud, perfect, comfortable and secure of this world have to mourn about? But His Saints, we have much to mourn about as we walk this foreign land as strangers trying to swim against the current of a multitude of sinners chasing their passions and addictions and vices and pleasures in this world. I say trying because we too will slip at times when wearied and distracted and caught with our eyes off of the prize.

So we are humbled by our need for mercy,  and in realizing our own need for mercy,  we can keep ourselves level at the foot of the cross with everyone else. We can extend mercy instead of condemnation towards those who are trying, who are trusting God even when they cannot trust themselves.

Yes, it is our hunger and thirst for righteousness – a hunger for it, not the full possession of it – that leads us towards that eventual goal where our hearts might be profited so that we could see the face of God. But we are not discouraged by our constant measuring and examination and finding our shortcomings one after another. We are praying for the refining fires, the trials, the persecutions where we can demonstrate peace, where His Holy Spirit can be manifest in our life in face of the enemy traps.

The world would say, you fool, pray for wealth and success and health and a long life. But that prayer is for those who love their lives and love this world. We long for our Lord, and He is the only portion and prize that will satisfy our hunger and thirst. We have nothing of worth but our testimony about His Good News and our garments washed by the Blood of the Lamb – because this life is of no value to us until we are in His presence where we will be judged for every word and action.

We will be judged by our heart itself – by the source of our true desires – because faith does not exist in our words or even in our works. Faith exists in the truth about our guiding Spirit – and everything hidden in darkness will be brought into the light. Every secret, every hidden thing of our heart will be laid bare upon the altar of the Lord to reveal who we really are that day.

Lord, teach us, change us. Don’t let us remain in those old ways. Kill this old man of flesh that battles us daily, overcome these enemies that attack is from the shadows daily, and feed, nourish, and strengthen our Spirit to be in agreement with your Holy Spirit. Amen.