Spirit & Truth # 295
“The Pauper’s Path”
By Greg Smith
When you offer your service to God, what do you expect your reward should be? Jesus’ disciples had their own ideas. James and John asked if they could sit next to Jesus on His throne. But Jesus had other plans. Instead of making the disciples princes in the kingdom, He made them paupers for God.
In Matthew 10:1-12, Jesus sent seventy disciples on a preaching tour, telling them not to carry money, a traveling bag, or sandals, and not to greet anyone on the road. When they reached the village where they were to preach, they should accept the food and shelter of one household and stay there as long as they were welcome. When it was time to go, they should leave, and trust God for the results of their ministry. Jesus told them to heal the sick and preach, “The kingdom of God has come near you.”
Their mission was to be present for all beings, to bring the Kingdom to all who would hear. To do this, they needed to exchange their prideful positioning for a pauper’s path. Jesus told them to carry no provisions, banishing from their minds all want of anything other than what the Father provides along the way. He told them not to speak with anybody on the road so that they would neither become beggars nor would they become attached to the current events which were discussed by travelers. They should receive hospitality graciously, but be ready to abandon it should their message be ignored. A disciple should be like the Kingdom itself—neither living for, or of, himself.
The first shall be last, and the last shall be first, Jesus said. Treat your body and its demands as if they were foreign, and make ho provision for the flesh. Have no personal and private ends. Let go of yourself. Detach yourself from the world's things, and the Kingdom that you serve will provide for you.
In your daily spiritual walk, you can follow the pauper’s path in the workplace and in your family. At work, you can become detached from the results of what you do, and simply fulfill your mission for the joy of it. If God called you to it, then God will take care of the outcome. You can look not to people for affirmation recognition or compensation or supply, but to God. You can refuse to get embroiled in the current events of the day, but dedicate yourself to the care of eternal things.
In your family you can do the same thing. In parenting, learn to detach from your children's squabbles and simply be the sage who brings wisdom and peace. In your marriage, focus on what you have to give, and let God and your spouse take care of what you’re supposed to receive. Only then can you simply be content and not worry about what you think you need that you’re not getting. It could he that there's a lesson God wants you to learn in being a spiritual pauper. After all, Jesus did say, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:3 NIV).” Being poor in spirit means letting go of yourself, and being perfectly fulfilled. You must decrease, so that God and your family and the mission of God can increase. Don’t see yourself as a prince among people, but be a pauper for God.