With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (NKJV)
The Lord God is speaking through the prophet Micah to the nation of Israel and the questions He is asking in this passage are in response to the acts by which the Israelites thought were required by God in their mixed-up theology in order to come before the Most High God. The Lord does answer the question as to how to approach Him, and the answer is to be poor in spirit and the particulars are in verse eight of the passage. Let us examine how each part relates to being poor in spirit.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you. The good news is that God has already revealed in His word, the Bible, what is required of any person who wants to come before the Himself. It is all contained in His Word. We never have to go outside His Word for anything to find how to live before God.
May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence [virtue]. (2 Peter 1:2-3, Amplified)
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NASB)
To do justly. By acting just a person is poor in spirit because they do right both in the sight of men and right by God’s standard, for God is just. When we act like Christ we develop Christ-like character and part of the character is just living; and the character we are pursuing is poor in spirit, characterized by submitting to the Lord in all things, including living justly.
…there is no other God but Me, a righteous God and Savior; there is no one except Me. (Isaiah 45:21, HCSB)
So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, Amplified)
To love mercy. In the same way we develop our character by being merciful as the Lord is merciful in His character.
For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not fall you or destroy you or forget the covenant of your fathers, which He swore to them. (Deuteronomy 4:31, Amplified)
To walk humbly with your God. The sweet reward of developing the character of poor in spirit is so we can walk, day in and day out, with our God. Every moment we can enter the Lord’s presence. Every moment we have access to the loving Father in prayer. Every moment God is there to protect us. Every moment we can be assured that we are in the Lord’s will. It is a daily walk that we desire with our Lord and Savior. Develop into a person who is poor in spirit and it shall become a reality.
Memorize Micah 6:8 and meditate often upon it, praying always to apply this verse to your life and you will soon become poor in spirit.