Friday, January 24, 2014

Blessed are the Gentle/Meek

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart....
Matthew 11:29a

...In the world you have tribulation, but 
take courage; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33b

Gentle…praus…meek, mild, fair, a blend of spiritual poise and strength, a quiet and friendly composure that does not become embittered or angry at what is unpleasant.  First, it is a disposition toward God in which we accept all His dealings with us as good and therefore accept them without disputing and resisting.  Secondly, it is a disposition toward man that is without self-assertiveness or self-interest.  It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. 

It is not meekness as we typically think of meekness.  It is not timidness, or cowardice, or a sissiness, or an avoidance of conflict.  In the ancient times it was used to describe an animal that had been tamed, a stallion that was now able to be led by a small child with only a bridle.  It is the picture of power under control.  It is not a passive gentleness, it is not a timid gentleness, but a deliberate and determined gentleness.  Therefore in it we see the strength of gentleness, a gentle strength, a tamed strength.

Spiritually, it is a tamed spirit.  It is a spirit under control, a spirit controlled and subservient to the Holy Spirit, a spirit that does not quench the Holy Spirit, but yields to the Holy Spirit. It is a spirit that yields itself to God and restrains itself with men.

It is sometimes used as a synonym for humility, but it is really not.  Humility is a lowliness of mind that considers others more important than itself.  Gentleness is a condition of the soul that because it has yielded or submitted itself to God, it then reins itself in and restrains itself in its dealings with others.  It doesn’t assert itself even though it has the power and ability to do so.  However, humility and gentleness are close companions and go hand in hand or arm in arm with each other.

The reality is that Jesus has overcome the the world, the One who was gentle and humble in heart.  The One who would not hurt a bruised reed.  The One who entered Jerusalem, not on the conqueror's white steed, but on a donkey, and, actually,  the foal (young and not full grown) of a donkey.  

This is not the picture of a world conqueror that would be drawn up in one's imagination, or portrayed in books or movies.  He did not come in power and might, with a mighty army or legions of cavalry, or with shock and awe, but He came gently; and in meekness, humility, and submission to the Father's will, He overcame the world and all of its evil.  In overcoming the world He has set free from the dominion of the world and its ruler all who would come to Him in repentance and faith.  

It is those who exercise this same spirit of gentleness who overcome sin, Satan, and the world.  It is those who exercise this same gentleness of spirit that will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5), and not just the earth of the millennial reign, but the new heavens and earth where righteousness reigns forever and ever.

Is this you my friend? Have you been tamed by the Spirit?  Do you live under the Spirit's control?  Are you submissive to God and restrained towards men?  If not, repent of your rebellion and untamed spirit, and by faith submit yourself to Christ as your Lord.

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