Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

5 Beatitude Blessing – Part 5

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Matthew 5:5 – “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”

After looking at the model of meekness now we need to ask ourselves how do we cultivate meekness in our lives? Several years ago there was a popular reality TV show called “extreme makeover.” Each episode featured two candidates whose looks were changed in an effort to transform their lives and make their dreams come true. This was accomplished through the skills of doctors, a plastic surgeon, an eye surgeon and a cosmetic dentist, along with a talented team of hair and make-up artists, stylists and personal trainers, known as the “Extreme Team.” At the end of each episode, the participants return to their friends and families to reveal their total transformation. While the show focused on an external transformation Jesus focuses on an internal one, God wants to give each of us a meekness makeover. So how do we become meeker? First we need to be a:

  • Student of the Savior

In order for us to grow in meekness we need to do life with the Master. If we want to grow in meekness we need to start studying under the Savior. In Matthew 11:28 we see Jesus who not only modeled meekness, but invites us to come and learn from Him and lean on Him: “28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” We will never have a meekness makeover unless we submit to being students that study under the Savior. Christ calls us to come and rest in Him, to roll our burdens on Him. He calls us to trade our yoke of trying for that of trusting. Until we yield to Him and take His yoke we will never model meekness. It was only when the ox accepted the yoke that it modeled meekness. The yoke didn’t take the animals power away it just channeled it, making it power that was productive because it was under the control of another. We need to accept the truth that apart from Him our power will always be a problem, instead of being productive it will poison. We need to stop wrestling with God and start resting. This is not just about coming to Christ with our concerns but being connected to Him. This is more than just taking our trash to Him, this is trusting Him and teaming with Him. This is a call to work together and walk through the trials of life as one. Jesus is saying, “As you yield to my yoke, you will learn from me, discovering not only that I am meek, but gradually become more gentle yourself. Are you walking side-by-side with the Savior? Have you surrendered and said yes to being His student? Are you showing up to Christ’s class to study or are you skipping to serve self and sleeping in? A.W. Tozer once said, “Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is his method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort. The rest Christ offers is the rest of meekness, the blessed relief that comes when we accept ourselves for what we are and cease to pretend” Not only must we study under the Savior but we must also:

  • Walk out the Word

We are not just students learning principles we have to put them into practice. We have to walk out what we know. If you want to be meek, then we must cultivate a submission to Christ and His Word. The Bible is the bit and bridle that controls our wayward wills. James 1:21 tells us not only to receive the Word but to respond to it: “So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” The word accepts here means more than just agreeing it means welcoming with humility. When it comes to the Word many of us receive it as fact, yet we don’t allow it to filter our hearts, letting it remain head knowledge. How about you are you welcoming the Word, regardless of what it says? Or are you basing things on your wants? If we want to grow in meekness we must submit to Scripture. Along with being students of the Savior and walking in His Word we must also:

  • Submit to the Spirit

Galatians 5:21-22 mentions meekness as a fruit of the Spirit, fruit that can only come from the Holy Spirit. Now we need to remember that fruit is not something we do, it’s what we display. Our responsibility according to Galatians 5:25: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” is not to work harder, but to worship, not to try more, but to trust more. Meekness is the result of surrendering to the Spirit, and manifests itself in a gentle spirit based on an unshakeable confidence in God. Meekness is not merely the absence of pride it’s the presence of God, where pride cannot hide. Developing meekness also entails:

  • Practice patience with people

In his book, “Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them.” John Ortberg makes the point that we’re all weird and pretend to be healthier and holier than we really are. He says that we’re a lot like the porcupine, with over 30,000 quills attached to our bodies. Each quill can be driven deeply into an enemy. As a general rule, porcupines have two methods for handling relationships: withdrawal and attack. They either head for the hills or lock and load. Ortberg says that each of us carry our own little arsenal of quills. Our barbs have names like rejection, condemnation, judgment, resentment, arrogance, selfishness, envy and contempt. A meek person will not only avoid flinging quills at others, when barbs come his way, but he will absorb them without lashing back. While it might be easier to get closer to those who have no quills, the truth is we all have them. We all have the capacity to attack others, but a meek person seeks to give grace not hold grudges. Are you willing to be patient with imperfect people? Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” No one is perfect, except God. Your spouse will let you down, your friends will disappoint, even your family will fail you and that includes your church family, even your pastor will fail to meet all your expectations. There will come a time where you will be right and others will be wrong, when you have been clearly hurt, and this is when you come to the crossroads of meekness. Which path will you take? That of pain and punishment, where we let others have it, as we lash out and launch our quills of condemnation? Or will we take the greater path, that of grace and gentleness? Are you going to grant grace or try to get even? Abraham chose to model meekness when he could have made it about himself. He gave his nephew Lot the first choice of the land, even though he had received the promise of blessing, was the leader of the expedition and the oldest. Why did he do this because he didn’t want the quills to fly. Genesis 13:8 says: “So Abram said to Lot, ‘Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers.” Abraham trusted God and as a result he put the interests of Lot ahead of his own. You have a choice, you can live your life constantly disappointed in people and all of their problems, where you end up angry with everyone around you or armed with the advantage of meekness? It’s not by accident that meekness follows being poor in spirit and being blessed when we mourn. For it is here that we finally realize that we have nothing with which to fight. In and of ourselves we are bankrupt but in Him we are blessed. This Beatitude contains a shocking promise, that the meek will “inherit the earth.” Those that harnessing God’s power for holy purposes will receive the reward. Meek may seem weak now, but remember it will be the meek who come marching in to possess the promise not the proud and the powerful. What about you are you ready for a meekness makeover? Are you ready to study with the Savior? Are you willing to walk out the Word? Are you serious about submitting to the Spirit? Are you ready to practice patience with people?

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