Saul is the perfect example of not ending well. Compromise, jealousy, and laziness all contributed to the pride problem, the self problem. If you want to become poor in spirit you must surrender the self at the Cross. Jesus has made it possible to live the selfless life through His example, sacrifice, and miraculous resurrection.
Meditate upon the following words of A.W. Tozer (from Born After Midnight) and desire the life God wants for you:
“Yet for all God’s good will toward us He is unable to grant us our heart’s desires till all our desires have been reduced to one. When we have dealt with our carnal ambitions; when we have trodden upon the lion and adder of the flesh, have trampled the dragon of self-love under our feet and have truly reckoned ourselves to have died unto sin, then and only then can God raise us to newness of life and fill us with His blessed Holy Spirit. It is easy to learn the doctrine of personal revival and victorious living; it is quite another thing to take our cross and plod on to the dark and bitter hill of self-renunciation.”
Now to David.
David is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. He is known for his great victories at war, his faithfulness in the court of King Saul, providing for the construction of the temple, and contrasting dismal family life. But there were periods of David’s life where he was used greatly of God while showing his character of being poor in spirit. There is much to learn about the man who was the apple of God’s eye (Psalm 17:8). The humble shepherd boy became a mighty king because he knew where his strength came from (2 Samuel 22:33). Read the Psalms that are attributed to David and they will give testimony to a heart going after God and living as one poor in spirit.
Alan Redpath in The Making of a Man of God commented on David’s years before he ascended to the throne of Israel:
“All of God’s dealings with him, as also His dealings with you and me, are designed with one supreme objective: to bring us to the end of our own resources.”
Never think you can become poor in spirit in your own efforts. It is all God’s work when we surrender our will to His.