Why Are We Called To Be “Meek”? (Article 17-16)
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” Christ tells us (Matthew 5:5). In other words, “Happy you will be if you serve thy God and others,” for if you do, you will find true joy, peace and fulfillment here on earth.” Christ presents the concept of “meekness” as His second beatitude on the Sermon of the Mount, building on the first and very important spiritual concept of spiritual poverty (humbleness) – that being, knowing who we are in relation to God and our need for Him in all things. His call for us to be "meek" is the second rung to climb as part of His blueprint for our spiritual maturity (Article 17-11 on this website). The question remains, why is being meek (having a spirit of servitude) important to our Lord and Savior? After all, the world teaches and conditions us to take charge of our lives and the situations we confront. We are taught to rely on ourselves and to take charge of our destiny. How is this all to happen if our calling is to be meek and serve?
We Must First Learn Follow Before We Can Lead
When I was in the military, a leadership principle that permeated our culture was that “to be a good leader; one must first be a good follower.” In short, “good leadership” is contingent on good “followship.” How true I found this to be. It takes great strength to submit and serve, for we are not at the center of our will, but to serve the will of others - even at times when we do not know where it will take us and affect us. The question remains though, why must we first submit in order to lead? At first glance, this seems contradictory. It’s similar to James telling us “count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2). This may make no sense to many who read it. It doesn’t and won't make much sense if you don’t interpret it in a spiritual realm.
To Be Meek is to Be One With God
As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, our purpose in life is to be “one with God.” There is no higher calling. Oneness with God was the focus of Christ’s entire ministry while here on earth. In all His parables, miracles, and works, Christ exalted God. God's Will was at the center of Christ's intent and everything He did. In fact, the only prayer Christ teaches us to say, the "Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), He tells us “Your [God’s] will be done here on earth as it is in Heaven.” At the time of His last meal on earth, Christ rose from the table and girded Himself. He knelt down on His knees and with a basin of water in hand, washed His disciple's feet (John 13:5). In Christ's time of great spiritual suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, just days before His crucifixion, Christ fell on His face and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). The above scriptural references are not examples of humility, but rather meekness. See, Christ already knew who was in relation to God and His need for the God in all things. In short, He was already humble. What He was teaching us was the importance of being meek - the importance of servitude and being in the absolute center of God’s will. He's instructing us to abandoned our “self” and carnal (fleshly) desires and look outwardly with a selfless heart. We are being instructed to not seek for ourselves, but rather to give to the Father and the ones He loves – us! Is not every spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) – love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – to benefit others? Do not the attributes of love (1 Corinthians 13:4) call us to abandon the “self” by being kind, free of jealousy, humble, respectful and to be peacemaker to others? Do not both the attributes of spiritual fruits and love focus outwardly, with the beneficiaries of our acts not being ourselves, but rather others? The answer is yes. We are called to serve our Lord and Savior, our Father in Heaven, and the ones He loves - all His children, regardless of race, gender, age, nationality, socio-economic standing, life-style, and intellect.
We Are To Serve As the First Apostles Did
God calls us to serve. The Apostle Paul emphasized this point over and over. Look at how he begins His epistles. In 1 Corinthians, he begins by saying “...an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God,…,” (1 Corinthians 1:1). In Romans 1:1, he begins his epistle “Paul, a bond servant (slave) of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.” In Ephesians 1:1, Paul states “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,.” James also understood the importance of servitude when he begins his epistle with “James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ,…” The Apostle Peter begins his epistle with “Simon Peter, a servant, and apostle of Jesus Christ,…” We too are called to be Christ's Apostles and with it, exhibit the same spirit of servitude as the original Apostles. To do so, we must abide (dwell) in Christ (John 15:4), for we can only have a spirit of servitude by submitting to and allowing His spirit (the Holy Spirit) to guide all that we feel, do, and say.
Meekness Prevails Over Evilness
Yes, our call is to sacrifice and serve; however, we are not to serve those with evil intent. We are however, called to confront it. For example, Moses confronted evilness when he courageously commanded the Pharaoh to let God's People be set free. When Moses confronted Pharaoh, he did so with great confidence and boldness. God gave him the words to speak. God gave him the strength to be steadfast. God gave him the strength to persist. God gave him the strength to lead the people out of Egypt and into Jordan. All this was accomplished by way of God's divine strength. Joshua led God's people from Jordan into the Promised Land and conquered all that stood before him. Both Moses and Joshua accomplished what they did by submitting to and trusting in God. They were men of great strength, meek in their approach. We too are to rely on God for our strength by way of the Son, our Lord and Savior.
As disciples and bond servants (slaves) of Christ, we must go forth with a spirit of meekness and serve. We do so with the knowledge that we pleasing our Lord and Savior. We do so with the a yearning to remain at the center of His Will. We do so to be one with our loving and gracious Father.