One misunderstanding of one particular manifestation (fruit) of the Spirit may explain why we’re still struggling in our faith.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
HAVE YOU BEEN “MEEKED”?
As Christ purges His Church in order to build it, I believe He will bring us back to the basics. In the end, it’s all about walking in the Spirit, because if we do this, everything else will fall into place. The evidence will be the fruit we bear—the fruit of the Spirit. Among this fruit is gentleness, sometimes translated meekness, which we usually misunderstand because it didn’t always have the connotations we give it today. To us, a meek person is weak, shy, timid, and unassertive, but this isn’t even close to its meaning in Scripture. The Greek word for meekness is praotes, which means not easily provoked. In 1 Corinthians 13, the great love chapter, verse 5 says that one of the characteristics of agape love is that it is not easily provoked.
Meekness and Love
It seems that meekness and agape love are directly connected. If we are filled with the love of Christ, we will respond in meekness as He did, especially when suffering unjustly. Perhaps He best demonstrated this fruit of the Spirit when, on the cross, He said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” He was always seeking the best for others, even when they were giving Him their worst. He had the power to rain down fire from heaven on His accusers and tormenters, but that would have to wait. His current mission was to seek and save the lost, even those who were crucifying Him.
A “Broken” Horse
A once-wild horse that has been “broken” is a great picture of meekness. It retains all its majestic power and speed, but it has come under the complete control of its master. A horse that has been “meeked” to respond to certain cues no longer thrashes and bucks but has become so gentle a child can control it. Jesus had chosen to be under the complete control of His Father, even to death on a cross.
AS I SEE IT
So, why did Jesus say that the meek will inherit the earth? Why does He want us to be like a “meeked” horse? The more we study the word, the more we realize that a person who has been “meeked” by God is easily directed by Him, and consequently displays the qualities of God, including gentleness. But, at the same time, by walking in the Spirit, that same person bears all the power of Christ, including His power to rise from the dead.
An Attitude of Submission
What Christ wants to build in us is an attitude of submission through which He can display His power whenever He chooses. If we are to be Christ’s bond-slaves, we must submit completely, holding back nothing. We must trust Him completely to work everything together for good. Why? Because we demonstrate our love for Him by our obedience, knowing full well that we were called according to His purpose, not ours (Rom. 8:28).
Jesus demonstrated His own meekness to His Father when He testified that He could do nothing by Himself, but only what He saw His Father doing (John 5:19). Meekness is, in fact, a prerequisite for learning the things of God. In Psalm 25:9 David tells us that God teaches the meek (humble) His way. Let that sink in. The person with a spirit of meekness recognizes his unworthiness and inability to accomplish anything on his own. Yet, he also knows that all the power of Christ resides within him. The choice to use it lies with his master, not himself. Meekness expresses itself as we deny ourselves, take up our cross and submit to our Master, Jesus. It should characterize every Christian, regardless of our temperament.
Meekness Draws People
It was Christ’s meekness that drew people to Him. If we are to draw people to Him in the difficult days ahead, we must develop an attitude of meekness within us now, so He won’t have to do it the hard way later. Once we have been “meeked,” we will be among those He can use to accomplish His purpose as He build His Church.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time because you won’t have a leg to stand on.
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