Like most Christ followers (and pretty much anyone who goes to church with a fair amount of regularity), I knew about the Beatitudes. And even though I found them slightly confusing, I also knew that they represented a high bar or standard that I had to strive to attain as a good Christian.
Then, one day, the Bible teachers I listen to were talking about the Beatitudes at the same time. Intrigued, I decided to pay closer attention to what the Holy Spirit might be trying to teach me about these (what I considered) somewhat vague golden Christian standard principles found in Matthew 5:3-10.
Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Interpretation: Blessed are those who realize that without God, they are nothing; He is our All in All. This understanding is what prompts us to accept Christ as our Savior and enter His kingdom.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Interpretation: The only thing that causes sorrow in God’s Kingdom is sin or separation from our Father. We are blessed when we mourn our sin and turn to God, who is ever ready to comfort and welcome us back into His fold.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Interpretation: Blessed are those who humble themselves before God, for they shall receive the inheritance of God’s favored.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Interpretation: Blessed are those who hunger for God, who makes us righteous, for He will come and fill us with His Holy Spirit.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Interpretation: Blessed are those who extend the same mercy God has shown us, for it keeps us in the center of His mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Interpretation: Blessed are those who never fail to confess their sin, for they shall be cleaned from all unrighteousness and stand before God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall see God. Interpretation: Blessed are those who follow Jesus’ example to bring peace between God and His creation (no matter the cost), for they are truly God’s children.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Interpretation: Blessed are those who suffer for God’s sake, for they will be received into His kingdom.
Paying attention did bring me some additional clarity into these principles. But it was something one of the teachers said that opened a burst of light in my understanding. He said, these beatitudes are not about what you can or cannot do; they represent what God is doing in and through you.
Philippians 2:13 says it is God who works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure. Only God can bring a soul to repentance, and only God can stir us up to show mercy, work for peace and suffer for His Name.
So, those high and mighty golden standards? All I have to do is let go and let God have His way in me. Not the easiest thing, I agree. But I think easier to focus on than all those golden principles.
The Be Attitude of God’s Kingdom is Surrender.