The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3
… a synopsis of A.W. Tozer’s writing
Before God created man, He prepared a world filled with things for man’s use and enjoyment; however, within the depths of man’s heart was a shrine where only God was worthy to inhabit.
With the entrance of sin, a perversion occurred that made those very gifts of God a potential ruin to the soul. Problems began when God was forced out of His central shrine in the heart and “things” were allowed to enter and control.
“There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets “things” with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns my and mine are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. Things have become necessary to us, God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by this monstrous substitution.1“
Jesus Christ shone the light on this “tyranny of things” when He called upon His disciples to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
There is a “self-life” whose chief nature is its possessiveness, and to allow this adversary to live is to lose everything in the end. To conquer and relinquish it for Christ’s sake is to lose nothing, but to preserve everything unto life eternal. And the only effective way to vanquish this foe is by the Cross.
Abraham’s heart was put to the test when God asked him to offer his son Isaac for a burnt sacrifice. By his obedience in not withholding his son, Abraham removed Isaac from the temple of his heart, and allowed God to reign there unchallenged. He became a man utterly surrendered and obedient to God.
Wealthy in worldly riches, Abraham had everything, yet he possessed nothing. After that bittersweet experience on Mount Moriah, the words “my” and “mine” never again had the same meaning for him; the sense of possession which these words connote was removed from his heart. Abraham realized that his real treasures were unseen and eternal.
The blessed ones, the happy ones, are those who have renounced every external thing from their hearts, so God can reign there unrivalled. And though free from all sense of possessing, paradoxically, they gain all things because God is their treasure: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Reference: A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, in the Public Domain in the United States, Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, Gutenberg.org electronic book, pp.30-45
Footnote: 1 Ibid, p. 31
*** Photography by Sergey Ivanov