Monday, February 25, 2013

Be Happy-Tudes #3 - The Meek

Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth! ~Matthew 5:5 (AMP)

We all know them--those good-hearted folks with the patience of a saint. They seem to have more than their fair share of troubles, but take it all in stride and keep on going.

The word "long-suffering" really sums them up well, doesn't it? Moses, the leader responsible for bringing over two million people out from under Egyptian slavery, leading them through the wilderness, and finally to the edge of the Promised Land is described this way in Numbers 12: Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. (That's so not the picture I have in my mind...thank you, Charlton Heston...) But talk about a man who endured. Can you imagine the pressure of listening to two million whiny and grumbling Hebrews on a wilderness walk for forty years? Just shoot me now...

Meek people make meekness look so easy, but in reality, we know it's not. After all, it takes a lot of strength to keep your cool when life is pelting you with lemons. One thing meekness is not is weakness. I must confess, any meekness I have seems to come equipped with a breaking point. I can endure only so long, then "Whoa...Nelly..."

Speaking of whoa, I've often heard the analogy of a horse with a bridle used in defining meekness. The horse may be spirited and strong, but the bit in his mouth brings him under control. There is only one problem with this analogy. The horse doesn't bring himself under control, but the person does. Self-control is one of the fruits of God's Spirit, and therein lies the key. When we voluntarily relinquish control to the Spirit, He is able to bring us under control.

I think there's also a connection to humility here--the ability to stay controlled and humble, even when the world gives you accolades, realizing that anything good in us is only there because of Christ.

Here are a few more verses on meekness and self-control to meditate on:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ~Matthew 11:29

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. ~Proverbs 25:28

But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. ~1 Peter 3:4

But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. ~Psalm 37:11

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. ~Romans 12:14

Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. ~James 1:21

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, ~Colossians 3:12

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord. ~Zephaniah 2:3

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. ~2 Peter 1:5-7

Oh, Lord, how happy and spiritually prosperous I would be if I could only learn to do things Your way. Help me move past my tendency to explode under pressure. Lord, help me to remember that any good in me is not my own achievement, but Your mighty work of grace in my life. Help me to moment-by-moment relinquish control of my life to Your Spirit. Produce that fruit of meekness in my life, Lord, so that I might better represent Jesus to this lost and dying world. Amen

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