The process of forming meekness in any of us usually involves a series of stages, with some of them almost inevitably traumatic. I have long been convinced that only God knows the true identity and destiny of any given individual. Only God (or those who speak with an understanding of His opinion) can communicate to a person with the necessary authority to establish them in settled truth concerning who they are. If it were our natural inclination to listen to Him and receive His opinions as real and true, the journey to meekness and power would be less troublesome.
However, for most of us the process of discovery is shot through with trouble. We have this inclination to try to make something of ourselves, to prove something to God and everyone else. We want to be great apart from relationship with Him, and the simple fact is that it does not work. The only way to lasting greatness is the way of Jesus, and sooner or later we must choose that way.
Someone might consider the options and decide that ruling their own life apart from God is still preferable to submitting to Him. A famous man once stated “I would rather rule in hell than serve in Heaven.” It is a stunning admission of the self-centered rebellion that characterizes the fallen human soul, but frankly that sentiment is not uncommon. The tragic deception is this: no one will be ruling in hell, not even Satan. The Biblical presentation is that hell is a lake of fire where there is nothing but eternal and excruciating torment for those who choose to go there. Make no mistake: Satan and all those who choose his way will be in a literal place of eternal torment by their own choice. There is no life and no authority apart from God, only agony.
So, as I said, sooner or later we must choose God’s way. Most of us choose it later rather than sooner. And because God is the patient Father that He is, He allows us the choices that invariably leave Him out, at least at the beginning. So we try to become “Somebody” and often find ourselves hating what we’ve become. Or we succeed for a time, and then cannot figure out why everything crashes down around us. Or perhaps we reach the pinnacle of the mountain we were trying to climb, only to find that satisfaction has eluded us, and we are no more fulfilled than we were at the beginning of the journey.
You see, we can never genuinely serve people until we come into agreement with God’s way of doing things. We must become convinced that God will honor and reward those who are meek, who use their strength to serve and bless rather than to control. Until we believe that the meek will inherit the earth, we will either strive to gain control of our world by the exertion of our own strength, or we will give up and decide that power and authority are beyond our reach.
God’s purpose in these issues of life is that the frustration of our attempts to fulfill our goals should bring us to the place of calling out to Him for help. He knows that we can never reach our power potential without His input, because having designed us and made us, He holds the secrets of our identity and destiny. But He will never impose that knowledge on us. His desire is that we choose Him and seek for Him as a child would seek after their father, or as a lover would seek after their Beloved.
Some people, in the foolishness and stupidity of their own pride, keep banging their heads against the wall of self-discovery, thinking that they can keep doing the same old routine and maybe this time there will be a different result. It’s really insanity in action! Those folks will never know who they are, where they came from, where they’re going, and the authority that is theirs for the asking. They are stuck in their foolishness, and as long as they persist in it nothing will change. Others give up in hopelessness, tired of striving but too disappointed to trust God anymore. They roll over and die inside, convinced that God is powerless, or worse – cruel and uncaring. They say this: “He will use me, but He won’t answer my prayers.”
Still others, however, whom the Scriptures call wise, learn to call upon the Lord in their times of distress. Consider this representative list of steps that characterize those that are coming to the place of meekness:
• Having seen that apart from God they do not have what it takes to attain the greatness for which they were made, they begin to acknowledge their poverty.
• Having faced the rebellion in their own hearts toward God and His Son Jesus, they begin to grieve and mourn over their own sin and the pain it has caused Him.
• They begin to pray, to ask God’s forgiveness for their self-centered rebellion.
• They begin to search the Bible for clues about their existence.
• They begin to hang out with people who are discovering that identity and destiny are rooted in what God says about you, and that apart from that reality there can be no fulfillment in life.
• They begin to spend large amounts of time just thinking about the person of Jesus, reading about His life in the Bible, and asking the Holy Spirit to help them become like Him.
• They learn to worship God and thank Him for the way He has led them to Himself, and for the blessings that He has in store for them as they follow His ways.
• They begin to serve one another as Jesus served the people around Him.
The wondrous thing is that as we give ourselves to activities like these, God begins to reveal the truth concerning who we are and what we are about. Our sense of destiny begins to emerge, along with the authority we need to come into our full inheritance of power, both here and in the coming age. This change happens super-naturally from God. Little by little, from one level of glory to the next, we begin to look and sound and act like Jesus. The more we become like Him – treating people like He did, serving instead of demanding to be served – the more we step into our own place of authority. The more we taste of this life, the more we hunger and thirst after it. Having become meek, we begin to inherit the earth.