Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs (Matt5:3).
In Heidi Baker’s words, the sermon on the mount is God’s formula for revival. The Beatitudes are His recipe for His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
There are a good number of desperate, broken people in the world—including many here in Appalachia—who have become the poor in spirit, recognizing that every breath, meal, hope, destiny, and comfort comes from the Lord.
There are also multitudes of Jesus-loving people in this part of the world who long to be more dependent on God but find it hard to find the time or the inclination in a culture inundated with stuff and distractions.
Finally, there are many—especially here in the global west—who are poor and naked and miserable and blind, but rather than becoming poor in spirit with a holy desperation for God, display a proudful poverty and self-sufficiency, having enough stuff to avoid desperation—and thus avoid God…
So how does the Sermon on the Mount become God’s formula for revival? By calling us all to be poor in Spirit, recognizing that it is the truly blessed place to be, and by calling us all together to learn from the Blessed and be set free from the rest…!
People like me—with too much stuff and too many distractions MUST spend time—and a lot of it—around the Blessed poor in spirit. Time spent with those who have nothing-but-Jesus is our best hope for being rescued from the curses of stuff and self-sufficiency!
Bringing together people who are poor—the rich who don’t know so, the poor who think they have it made, and the Blessed poor in spirit, allows the Lord to convict and reprioritize our lives in a way that demotes stuff and promotes Jesus as the one and only Lord in our lives.
As we go forth into Appalachia, much of what we are to do involves bringing folks together—so we can see things from the bottom up, so we can meet the people around us who are most gloriously the poor in spirit, and so we can pray with those who live in poverty, but who are not blessedly “poor.” Everyone comes out transformed, and revival is released!