MEEKNESS - ITS RELATION TO OUR FEET AND DAILY CHRISTIAN LIVING
Words are the basic elements of communication. Words have definitions that help us understand the world we live in. Words are defined in dictionaries or slang particular to a culture or geographic area. We learn words particular to our profession, technology, trade or hobby so we can more effectively communicate with others. This is one important factor in becoming a professional. It is important that we understand a term and its application; why, how, when and where. Now God has definitions for Biblical words that are absolute, pure, powerful and effective. The words become treasures of gold and silver as we learn how to apply them in our personal lives. We must not look at dictionaries or slang to define Biblical words, we must look at the Bible and the Holy Spirit to define Biblical words. As we desire to be professionals in our secular vocation we must be professional Christians. Philippians 3:10-17
How do you define meekness? To see if you learn something by reading this booklet, now is the time to write your personal definition and give an example of “Meekness.” Ask somebody else what meekness means to them, to define and give an example. In Puerto Rico many say humility and meekness are similar or interchangeable by definition or actual use. You often hear that the poor are humble or meek people. No, the poor are poor people. In Japan a Westerner could think that the Japanese all seem like meek or humble people. Yes, both may be right in the human sense of the word, but not the Biblical definition. Let’s see if the Scripture interchange meek and humble, and why not.
The nine fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 have meekness but not humility. God did not inspire the Apostle Paul to write humility, but meekness. Does the Apostle Peter say in 1 Peter 5:6? “Meek” yourself in the sight of God and He shall lift you up. No – He says “Humble” yourself. From these typical examples we can clearly see that humility is associated with a specific act and time before God or others. Meekness is the formation of character in the inner man, the forming of Christ in me (Galatians 2:20) and you, when the Holy Spirit lives in our body. Meekness within will produce acts of humility toward God and others.
What is the my brief definition of meekness? A decision to take a submissive position in a relation or situation and trust God with the results. Chapter 2 demonstrates how this definition is Biblical.
A longer definition is "a quality of personality that comes from the correct perspective of who God is and who we are, and trusting that God is in control. The effects of meekness are gentleness, kindness and humility. Meekness is never fear or weakness. Meekness is the ability not to defend yourself, when you have the right or authority to; nor or react to decisions or difficulties in the flesh, but to wait patiently on God. It is power under control, self control. The Greek word for meek is PRAUS, used to describe a soothing medicine or by sailors to describe a gentle prevailing breeze. In Spanish meek is translated manso, derived from mansoon.
First - Jesus Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Jesus is approachable.
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
(This is pure, undiluted meekness. The Lord had the power, right and authority you choose the position of submission – to die for our sin)
What is the definition of meekness? A decision to take a submissive position in a relation or situation and trust God with the results.
Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
In this action Jesus did not sin, but also he was meek – how? The Spirit filled life allows for all the emotions that Christ and God feel. There is a great liberty to have our emotions in control and effective to stand for what is right in God’s eyes. Wisdom from above will direct His people as they seek His righteousness. Christian living is like a diamond with many brilliant sides where each side will shine as we grow in Christ and according to His time. We are not robots or prototypes, but each unique and special, dynamic and creative.
Second - Moses in Numbers 12:3 Now the man Moses [was] very meek, above all the men which [were] upon the face of the earth.
A man of courage, power and authority. One who communed with God and it did not go to his head. He could not speak for himself, so his brother Aaron was designated to speak for him. He was angry at the peoples sin when he came down from the mountain the first time and broke the tablets with the 10 commandments. Much the same as when Jesus netered the temple and got angry at the moneymakers in the house of prayer. His spirit said enough – no more, this reaction was in behalf of the God they loved, not for themselves. They did not sin, but were in the spirit of meekness at the same time. Oh, how can the 2 opposites exist at the same time? How can joy exist with sorrow? How can comfort exist with suffering? These are paradoxes of the Christian life and the fullness of God.
Be very cautious. When you get angry ask yourself. Is it for God’s righteousness? Is it our reaction or defense of ourself, in the flesh? Should we be quiet and let the other continue? What is the definition of meekness? A decision to take a submissive position in a relation or situation and trust God with the results.
In this emotional moment exhibited meekness in Exodus 32:31-32 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, “Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” There are many examples of leading in Moses life, of which meekness is a primary foundation.
The Exception of not being Meek that was Sin (Numbers 20:2-13)
One clear exception where Moses was not meek was when God told him to speak to the rock for water to come forth. Instead he was angry with the people and struck the rock twice. He did not sanctify the Lord in his action. The people did not know, but God and Moses knew. Due to this sin Moses could not have the desire of his heart, to enter into the promised land. Do you have a revelation from God for his will and way? Do you desire something good? Be cautious – learn from Moses. Speaking of the value of the Old Testament for living the Christian life today. “All scripture is given by inspiration of
God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Meekness is never weakness, fear, anger or foolishness.
Third - Abraham en Genesis 13:9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
What is the definition of meekness? A decision to take a submissive position in a relation or situation and trust God with the results.
Forth – The Early Church Because the spirit of meekness was well developed in the elder Stephen and Apostle Paul both could readily say at the appropriate time these humble words, Acts 7:60 As Stephen was being stoned to death, on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do lay this charge to their account.” In 2 Timothy 4:16 the Apostle Paul says “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”
The doctrine of meekness is important to understand and obey for our eternal life in 3 aspects. Our initial salvation, our spiritual growth and future reward when our Lord returns. This is demonstrated in the following scripture:
First – The Role of Meekness in Our Initial Salvation and the Salvation of Others.
Zepheniah 2:3 3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger. It is awesome to see how righteousness and meekness go alongside one another. A great example is when our Lord was angered in the temple at the moneymakers.
James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
I Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
II Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
Numbers 12:3 (Now the man Moses [was] very meek, above all the men which [were] upon the face of the earth.)
Psalms 45:4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness [and] righteousness. Psalm 85:10,11 A prophecy of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Extend this action to everybody, Titus 3:2
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
James 3:13 Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
I Peter 3:4 But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Psalms 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Mathew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Both verses above place the virtue of meekness as an activity to learn and maintain in this life now, with a future reward.
Genesis 18:4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: (An act of kindness)
Exodus 30:19 For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet (These are the priests where we are all priests today, those that are truly saved)
1 Samuel 25:41 the servant had the duty of washing the feet of superiors..
Psalms 22:16 they pierced my hands and my feet. (Prophecy of our Lords crucification)
Song of Solomon 7:1 How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs [are] like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Habakkuk 3:19 The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
Matthew 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast [them] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. (This is serious business, although we are not to literally apply this illiustration)
Luke 7:38 And stood at his feet behind [him] weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe [them] with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed [them] with the ointment.
John 13: 1-15 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; 3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Consider the New Testament ceremony of the Lord's Supper. The Lord’s Supper should include foot washing, as Jesus the Christ washed the feet of the Apostles (even Judas), that the Elders of the local assembly of saints should be servants, according to faith in the Scriptures and our Lord’s example.
Jesus was approachable as he permitted the little children, sinners and poor to come to him. Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Yet, he was strong when necessary. Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.
Revelation 1:15-17 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. (Meekness was and is complete, perfect and eternal in the person of Jesus Christ)
Where, when and how are feet go should follow the example of our Lord Jesus as we grow in God’s grace.
Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
I Timothy 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
Where, when and how are feet should not follow the example of our wickness of sin that lead to a fall.
Mischief: Proverbs 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked maginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief
Wicked feet: Isaiah 3:16 Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing [as] they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
Violence: King David cut off the hands and feet of Israel's enemy. David knew the Lord God but followed his own ways. His feet were quick to violence in a seemingly right thing – done in the wrong way. This is one of 5 times mentioned in Scripture where David’s heart was going away from God, hardened, and eventually leading to his downfall of adultery and murder, as well as him not being granted the privledge to build a house for our God.
1. Is meekness evident in your personal life? Do you prefer one another, without partiality?
This is where we practice “living out” what is in our hearts. The family is the core institution of church government and society.
Is it the meekness of Jesus Christ, Biblical meekness?
Are you confident of your salvation and relation with God?
What will your parents, brothers and sisters, children, co-workers or other students say?
Write examples of when your meekness and ask another to evaluate
Does the Holy Spirit bear witness of a clear conscience?
2. Is meekness evident in your local congregation? Do you prefer one another, without partiality?
The local church is where we learn to be Christ-like from the Elders or leadership. Disciples must have teachers.
This is where we practice “living out” the Christian faith. Then it extends to other believers, friends, and the
Ask somebody from your church who normally attends
Ask one close to you (family, Christian, friend) who attends your church
Ask those who attend your church periodically
What examples do leaders show meekness toward those in the congregation, other congregations.
Does the Holy Spirit bear witness within the assembly of saints?
3. Meekness and good works are also directly linked. I Timoteo 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
4. In many ways meekness is the opposite of pride. Jesus demonstrated meekness during His three temptations in the wilderness and during the trials before his death on the cross in a very clear manner. Let us judge ourselves first, and each other, today. Now we have a chance to before our Lord Jesus does in the future, and he will not be nice, but with justice according to His Word. Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
5. Beware of man’s philosophy and interpretation of meekness without the guidance and trust in the Bible. The result could be a watered down, mediocre, wishy-washy, inconsistent Christian life. Beware of this world’s philosophies entering your life and church. Meekness is one of the 9 fruit of the Spirit, as well as the spirit of meekness. This is one of the doctrines of the Bible; not dogma, but doctrine. You don’t need to understand this doctrine to be saved, but it is important for our practical sanctification and eternity.
What is the definition of meekness? A decision to take a submissive position in a relation or situation and trust God with the results. This concludes our study in the fruit of the Spirit, meekness.
Article inspired to and written by brother and elder Bill Heath
Fajardo Puerto Rico, 1995