Unless God is lying, meekness is the secret to inheriting the earth. Therefore, the root cause behind our inability to inherit honor and the richness of life on this earth boils down to the lack of meekness. I can say this confidently because this is what the bible teaches. Since God is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23:19), we can only conclude that the reason our meekness today is not yielding the result we want in life is because what we think is meekness is not meekness at all.
For example, there was a time I thought “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” meant that taking hold of heaven required that I had to be weak, listless, and fatalistically surrendered to whatever life threw at me. I thought it was God’s will for me to be a victim in life. I carried on thinking ‘poor old me, Jesus just wants me to suffer in life for Him‘ until I came to the realization that our faith has made us victorious in life (see 1 John 5:4). This does not mean that we will not experience suffering, trial, and tribulation in life. What it means is that we have been granted the power to overcome any trial and tribulation the world can throw at us (see John 16:33).
Popular View of Meekness
A quick search for the meaning of meekness in the dictionary reveals words such as ‘overly submissive’ and ‘humble’. The online dictionary further describes a humble person as someone who has a modest opinion of themselves.
A survey that asked people what it meant to be meek or humble revealed statements such as: Someone who does not highlight his/her achievements, a person who is submissive to others; a person who has a modest opinion of themselves, and who is weak compared to others. In other words, the survey revealed that a person is seen as humble if the individual downplays their achievement, is seen as vulnerable, and is borderline apologetic about who they are or have become to others.
The issue with this is that the view of man is often tainted with feelings of jealousy, fear, insecurity, and inadequacy. Conversely, the view of God is always right, just, honest, and pure. In other words, the assessment of a meek person can never be based on our assessment but on God’s assessment. So, the question to be answered now is this: how do we know who is truly meek or humble?
I. True Meekness
That the measure of meekness should not be based on man’s opinion is nowhere better highlighted than in Numbers 12:3. Here, Moses writes of himself that he is the meekest man living on the face of the earth (see Numbers 12:3). Since Moses did not know every single man that lived on the face of the earth at that point, to us this statement certainly seems misguided at best and prideful at worst. Today, most people would regard Moses as being ‘full of himself’.
But when we realize that all the words that Moses wrote were inspired of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Timothy 3:16), then we see that Moses simply wrote under the guidance and dictate of the Holy Spirit. Hence, it was not Moses that wrote Numbers 12:3 about himself but it was the Holy Spirit that wrote it about him. Moses was just the vessel for the Holy Spirit’s penmanship.
In fact, what Moses wrote under the guidance of the Holy Spirit took great humility. He had to completely forget about his feelings concerning what he was being told to write but chose to completely submit himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit. In writing Numbers 12:3, he decided to let go of his opinions and bow to the opinion of God. So, we see that Moses was ‘overly submissive’ to the Holy Spirit and had a ‘modest opinion’ of his own feelings about the words he was writing. Moses must have said to himself ‘well, if You say I am the meekest man alive, I chose to submit to that assessment no matter how I may feel about that’.
For Moses not to have written what the Holy Spirit told him because of what others would have felt about it would have revealed pride. It is pride in the sense that he would have been saying to God, ‘I think what You are asking me to write is wrong and that people will not receive it as You intended. I know better than You God and so I will just leave this portion out’. In truth, the only reason Moses would have left out Numbers 12:3 is if he was thinking about himself and about how others viewed him; he would have left it out in selfishness and in pride!
What Moses wrote in Numbers 12:3 reveal to us that true meekness requires that we completely surrender ourselves to God’s word and that we totally submit ourselves to the leadership of the Holy Spirit; that we die to our own thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
Hence, it is true meekness to believe and agree with God by saying ‘I can do all things through Christ’ instead of saying ‘I just do not have the ability’. While the first statement is aligned with the truth of word of God, the latter is aligned with the doubt that comes from taking our eyes off the ability of God and instead placing it on our own ability. While the first is a statement rooted in faith, the latter is a statement rooted in unbelief.
In other words, meekness or humility is the key that allows us to walk in the faith that gives us access to grace (Ephesians 2:8 tells us that grace comes through faith). Indeed, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (see James 4:6).
Pride is the end of paying close attention to man’s thoughts, opinions, and ways but humility is the end of paying close attention to God’s words, opinion, and ways.
Food for Thought: True meekness is what enables us walk in the power (grace) of God onto inheriting the earth.