Summary: Part 4 - When God is in control, I don’t have to be.
Who likes to be in charge? Be honest, how many of you like to be in charge, you like to be in control? Most of us, even if we don’t like the responsibility, do like to be in control. It’s a natural thing.
That doesn’t mean it’s right, but it is natural.
We like to have our way. We want what we want. All of us were that way when we were children and many of us haven’t changed at all. That’s why so many people complain or whine or gripe all the time. They are unhappy because they are not in control.
Our desire to be in control leads to anger, strife, discontentment, unhealthy competition. And it also leads to a lot of fear and a sense that if we don’t assert ourselves we’ll miss out on what we deserve.
Really, our desire or need for control is a misdirected attempt to find security. To find a place of stability and peace where we know we are safe. And as long as we attempt to find security by being in control, we are going to find ourselves frustrated and angry.
So, what did Jesus teach about being in control? What did he have to say about that build in need to have control, this natural human desire for security in our lives? How can we live at peace and find true security in a culture described as “the rat race?”
He gives us the answer in his upside down approach to life. The upside down way of God, as laid out in the beatitudes reveals to us where we can find real security…and it doesn’t lie in our being in control…
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV)
BLESSED ARE THE MEEK FOR THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH.
Jesus’ pronouncement of blessedness is more than a just saying that we are “Happy.” It is an exclamation that happy, joyful, fulfilled are they because they are on the right path…they are experiencing the presence of God here and now. (WE’VE COVERED THIS THE PAST TWO WEEKS)
So this happiness…this blessedness…that Jesus talks about is a result of being on the right path…moving towards God.
So how does being meek move us towards God? To understand that, we have to first understand what Jesus means when he says blessed are the meek.
The word “meek” in English has come to have an entirely different meaning than what Jesus intended.
Here is a list of synonyms for meek that you find in contemporary thesauruses.
Needless to say, none of these are terribly positive. None of these are what people aspire to be known for. We like power. And to be meek…spineless, timid & wishy-washy, doesn’t speak of power or strength.
So is Jesus telling us to roll over and be the world’s doormat? Is he telling us that those who choose to follow him must be weak and spineless and timid?
Willful surrender…not capitulation
Meekness is understanding your power…your strength and submitting it to the authority of God. It is taking your power and letting God have control of it. Meekness is not spinelessness or a lack of strength. Meekness is not a lack of power, rather meekness is POWER UNDER CONTROL
It means you aren’t overly impressed with yourself. You have an honest appraisal of who and what you are (poor in spirit) and you aren’t overly (nor underly) impressed with yourself.
It carries with it the idea of not having to be in control, but being surrendered to God and letting him be in control because you trust him. Meekness is a matter of being submissive to God.
The Greek word from which we get meek is a word that describes taming a wild animal. It describes POWER UNDER CONTROL. Those large Clydesdales down a grants farm are a beautiful illustration of meekness. Those are some very powerful animals. They can carry a heavy load…they were bread to be powerful. But they are meek. Their power is under control. They are tamed.