Friday, November 23rd, 2012
The Church (Part 14: Meekness)
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.
Matthew 11:29 (KJV)
I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
Matthew 5:39 (NKJV)
If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
Matthew 5: 40-42 (NKJV)
Meek does not mean weak. Originally, meek meant 'gentle or kind' (Etymology Dictionary). A strong man is a gentle man. God is a Gentleman. Jesus is meek. Therefore, my definition of meekness is strength under control; it's a selective submission.
It's a decision made at a crossroads. It's a cross to which we submit--even in the midst of scorn and smack talk. Why? Because acting in meekness brings guaranteed victory.
'Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today' (Exodus 14:13).
'You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, Who is with you' (2 Chronicles 20:17).
Behind Moses and King Jehoshaphat, the Israelites faced insurmountable enemies. Behind Jesus, we face them today--individually and collectively.
God's advice? Be meek. Turn the other cheek. Giving in to bullies, threats, and unfair treatment just seems wrong. But the Bible shows us times to stand still, times to fight, and times to retreat. God's heroes did all three. The decision about which action to take comes through prayer. But in them all, meekness is shown.
Most of us forget what King David knew well: 'The Lord is my defense' (Psalms 94:22). As for our enemies? The Apostle Paul says, 'Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord' (Romans 12:19).
God not only fights for us and wins, but He also repays our losses: 'I declare that I will restore double to you' (Zechariah 9:12). Our enemies become dust under our feet. 'Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all' (Isaiah 41:12).
Therefore, neither the church nor its members should seek to be big, strong, and mighty. That's God's job. Instead, seek to be meek.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Church series.