Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth – Jesus (Matthew 5:5)
God’s power shown through His meekness
Jesus created the entire universe. Man was created through Him and for Him. Yet, it was man that crucified Him. Jesus had all power and authority to destroy the earth and all mankind, but He chose to restrain His power. Instead, He went to the cross in meekness and humility. The strength of God’s character and restraint is evident in His meekness. David, too, could testify of the meekness and gentleness of God. Having been delivered from the hand of his enemy, he indicated the secret of his success: You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. (Psalm 18:35). He was no longer a shepherd boy but king, and he ruled with mercy, truth and lovingkindness. Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne. (Proverbs 20:28).
Question: How do you exercise the power and authority you have? As a parent, husband, wife, worker, manager, Christian etc. are you merciless in your pursuit of justice; or can those over whom you have authority testify of your mercy, gentleness and lovingkindness, despite their mistakes? We need to exercise discipline as God did, with meekness.
Prayer: Father of mercy, You say that the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (Psalm 37:11). We confess that through exercising authority and power in ways that are not merciful, gentle and loving, we have stood in judgment of others, and have even at times, represented You as being merciless. Please teach us meekness in all our ways. Teach us how to correct and discipline the way Jesus did.
Meekness is strength; not weakness
Meekness is not powerlessness; it is power under control: the restraint of power for the accomplishment of a higher cause. Meekness should not be confused with weakness. Weakness is the absence of strength and power; meekness is restrained strength and power. One chooses to be meek for redemptive purposes, for love. The most vivid illustration of the difference between weakness and meekness is seen in Jesus’ response to Pilate in John 19:10-11: Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.” Pilate thought he had power, but compared to the power possessed by Jesus, he was weak. Jesus had all power, but He chose to be meek. He restrained Himself in order to fulfil God’s redemptive plan.
Question: We each have a measure of power and authority. What are you doing with yours? How are you exercising your authority? Do you sometimes misuse the power given to you? We need to know how others experience our leadership. Ask those with whom you exercise your authority how they view your way of handling issues. It may be painful to hear, but do not defend yourself. Instead, in meekness, take their response to the Lord in prayer, and ask Him to show you the areas of your leadership that He wants you to change.
Prayer: Father in heaven, I confess that sometimes I lord my power over others. Sometimes, I exert my authority to suit my own ends. Please teach me by Your Holy Spirit how to be meek and gentle in my leadership, like You.
The gift of meekness
Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’S anger. (Zephaniah 2:3). From man’s inception, he has resisted meekness. Pride, the love of self over God, manifested itself in the Garden. Man’s fall led to violence and oppression. Abel was murdered by his brother, Cain (Genesis 4), and violence continued to spread throughout earth until the flood (Genesis 6).
Even after the flood, violence reared its ugly head. The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah are good examples of this. Still today, violence rules: it rules in our hearts, our attitudes and in the way we think about ourselves and others. We need to be on constant guard to the violence birthed from pride, and remain in submission to the Holy Spirit.
Many people hate themselves and hurt themselves – cutting themselves, for example. Many people hate others and hurt or abuse them. Hurting, destroying and oppressing are all about control; the antithesis of love, which is grace, gentleness and meekness.
No one is more powerful than God. He is Almighty! Yet, Satan tried to gain control over God and His kingdom. Ever since, we have done likewise. Our fallen sinful nature lords our power and authority over others trying to rule them, control them, and manipulate them.
Task: Take time today to ponder the violence in your own heart. Do you struggle with frustration and anger? Most of us do. We all need God’s gentleness and love to drive out the fear that rages in our hearts. Record times when anger and hardness of heart got the better of you. Allow the Holy Spirit to show you instances of this. Pray over each incidence, and ask God to forgive you when you have hurt others. Pray for God’s meekness and lovingkindness to increase in your heart and life.
Prayer: Father of mercy, thank You for Your grace towards me. I can see my shortcomings clearly. Forgive me my hardness of heart, my anger, frustration and need for control. Forgive me for wanting things my way, even small matters. Please teach me true humility, and create in me a meek and gentle heart. May the words of my mouth glorify Your Name in all circumstances.