Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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23. Strength Under Control – Part 2

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

In Psalm 37 the aging King David compares and contrasts the lifestyle and outcomes of the wicked and the righteous. Between those who live to please only themselves and those who have surrendered their wills to God. He reminds us that while the wicked may appear to prosper, they will soon fade like the grass. Though they draw their swords and bend their bows, and rely on violence and human strength, their day of accountability is coming and like smoke, they will vanish away. David reminds us that those who commit their way to the Lord, who take delight in His will and His ways, who choose to be still before Him and not take matters into their own hands, who patiently trust in Him, refraining from anger and forsaking wrath have this promise in verse 11: “The meek shall possess the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” So what does this Psalm have to teach us about meekness? That we need to commit our way to the Lord, and when we trust in Him He will act, verse 5. Meek people are not weak people they are those who trust God and have the blessed assurance that He is for them and not against them. While they may not know what tomorrow will bring, they know who holds tomorrow. Verse 6 reminds us that, “He will bring forth your vindication as the light, and your right as the noonday.” Meek people are those who instead of trying harder are trusting Him. Instead of taking matters into their own hands they have given their burdens, their fears, anxieties, frustrations, and worry over to God and are trusting in Him to sustain them. Verse 7 instructs us to, “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.” Meek people are willing to wait patiently for God and trust in his timing, instead of exploding with anger and frustration or allow bitterness and resentment to simmer in their hearts over the apparent triumphs of those who oppose them. Instead of trying to justify themselves they leave matters in God’s hands, exhibiting a quiet confidence that He has their life circumstances firmly in His loving care and will work all things out both for His purposes and their best. Since “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof”, meek people know they do not need to try to grab at it or try to take it by force, because ultimately it is the blessed inheritance of those who have made the Lord their God and in His time it will be given to them. In James 1:19-21 we read, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 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.” Here James is referring to two kinds of people, those who seem to live on the defensive and are easily irritated and quickly become angry without taking the time to really hear what another is saying. The word of God is often lost on them because they take that word as a personal attack. And those who are meek, and by contrast chose to listen carefully, because they are teachable. They allow the word of God to soak into their souls as they reflect and ponder on that word so that God’s righteousness might be revealed in their lives. It is important to note that this passage clearly states that the meek are “slow to anger”. It does not state that the meek never get angry. In fact, at times they do and they need to because not all anger is in and of itself a bad thing. There is righteous and unrighteous anger. Remember that when Moses, the meekest man on earth, came down from Mt. Sinai with the 10 Commandments he had received from God and saw the people dancing around and worshiping the golden calf they had made, in holy and righteous anger he threw down and broke the stone tablets. When Jesus went into the temple in Jerusalem and saw the cheating and corruption of the money changers, He was consumed with Holy anger. He made a whip out of ropes, threw over the money changers tables and chased them out of the temple courtyard saying, “My Father’s house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it into a den of robbers.” When the meek get angry, it is not because their personal feelings have gotten hurt or because their noses have been bent out of shape, remember instead of getting hung up on their hurts they take those hurts and heartaches to the Lord and allow Him to heal them. They give no place to the enemy and don’t allow hurts to stir up bitterness and resentment because “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God”. No, their anger is based on the Almighty, they are angry over what angers Him. There are some things that should anger us when I see people abusing women that should make me angry. But the key becomes what we do with that anger so that its emotional energy becomes productive, not destructive. Is the result of your anger destructive or constructive, is it profitable or just painful? Are we being like Jesus, who turned God’s house from a place of profit into a place of prayer? As Matthew 5:5 states the meek are blessed and truly happy, for they shall inherit the earth. You see the meek are able to be at peace because they know that God has everything under control. And even if they have to endure some adversity here and now, they know that ultimately His purposes will be worked out. They trust God and are confident that wickedness and evil will not have the final word, but that truth and righteousness will prevail. Meek people understand that the earth and all that is in it remains the property of the Lord and that He has chosen to make it the inheritance of those who chose to walk in humility with Him. Contrary to the lies that the world wants you to listen to, the truth is that the mighty are those who are meek. What about you, are you following in the footsteps of Jesus and walking in meekness or are you trusting in self and striding in pride. As we submit to the supremacy of Christ he starts to cultivate a heart of humility in us and mold us into people of strength as He takes us from weak to meek.