“And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.”
Luke 6:20-23 NASB
Living right side up in a upside down world
The measures of success in this world are based on the pride of life. Self worth is based on the acquisition of money, property, people, and the building of a good reputation. Gaining all these things means having to focus on a goal and sometimes being willing to step on anyone who gets in the way. We are living in a world where the bad boy is king.
Significance is the currency of this world. People desire to be big and notable, pride is the driving force as those seeking higher status elbow and claw their way to the top. There is much carnage as the weaker ones fall by the wayside or are destroyed outright.
Humility is not valued.
In God’s economy, the down is up and the up down as His ways are not our ways. Only the humble can come before the throne of God. Only those made small may enter in to the presence of a Mighty Creator God.
There is poverty of spirit as the sinner sees his sin and surrenders to his need for a Savior.
In my past I was so self-assured. I marveled at my mind, my ability to reason, my talents, and my accomplishments. I strutted on the inside, thinking myself all that. I even took pride in my self-assessed virtue. I thought myself a good man. I was truly a white-washed tomb full of deadman’s bones.
Encountering the Most Holy and Righteous One blew my world apart. In His brightness I began to truly see myself. I did not like what I saw. The clean, virtuous surface of my life , showed stains and scuffs belying the rottenness below. The virtue I thought was so grand, turned to rotting filth. My accomplishments faded in comparison to the saving work that Jesus had done for me. I struggled with the idea that He had done it all, that there was nothing from me. It was His grace.
Where I thought myself rich, I became poor. The closer I got to the Lord, the poorer I became. The more dependent on Him I became as I realized I could do nothing on my own. In that spiritual poverty came the blessing of God. My treasure was finite, His wealth infinite! I exchanged the fake riches of my own effort for the true riches of God’s grace.
As I entered the world, with a new view the reception was less than good. I became the freak, the rebel, the outsider. God was claiming my life for Himself. I couldn’t help but speak of what He was doing in my life, to share the message of the Gospel. The Good News was bad news to people invested in the economy of the world. “How dare you turn your life over to a God you can’t see!” I was mocked often. His work in me was inside, but it’s effect was made manifest in the transformation of my life shown through my actions.
Not only did I experience mocking in the world, but also in the church. In my journey of faith I have encountered some who profess Jesus, but seek to set limits on how much control or change He brings into their lives. They seek to hold on to favorite sins or attitudes that they enjoy. I became an affront to them. There are people who hate me, not because of something I have done, but because of Whose I am.
There are still others who mark my steps and whisper in their cliques about me. I was regularly amazed at the gossip that was banded about in my former church, and for a time in my current one. Praise be to God that He has ways of dealing with those who seek to harm His servants.
In my poverty I have developed a hunger for the things of God that is insatiable. For years the Bible was the only book I read. I pored over it, soaking my heart and soul in it, seeking transformation.
There is certainly a price to pay for such attention to God, but the blessings are immense! I would not change a thing. A life sold out can be a life of solitude in the flesh, but a life of Christ’s presence in the spirit. He meets me every morning and instructs my heart and transforms my mind.
My world is right side up! There is great peace as I make my way through this world. People around me are being crushed.
Today can be the day that you begin seeking the Lord. If you know Him, seek to know Him better. If you don’t He can forgive your sins, convert you and transform you. He will turn your world right side up!