Philippians 4:10-12 "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." (V.13) "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." The Greek word for "content" means to be independent of external circumstances. It conveys the idea of self-sufficiency and competency. Paul's secret of having such contentment is found in verse 13. Discipleship does not depend on our situation or circumstances. Natural and material resources do not provide the power a disciple needs to overcome sin and obey the commandments of the Lord. Only Christ can provide the strength needed to do everything God asks us to do. We, like Paul, will be enabled to face all kinds of circumstances with contentment if we expect The Lord to provide the strength we need. It's a part of this life of living by faith in Christ and the provisions and promises of Calvary for us.
Psalms 25:9 "The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way." The Hebrew word for "teach" literally means "to goad" as with a rod, meaning to instruct and to learn because of the incentive of the rod. (V.10) "All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies." The word covenant is from the Hebrew, "berith" is associated with two other Hebrew words. "Chesed", translated variously as loving, steadfast love, or loving-kindness; is God's love, which binds Him to His people in a covenant relationship. " 'Emeth", is translated as faithful, truth, or faithfulness - indicating God's loyalty to His people. God is the very foundation of truth and faithfulness. In the Old Testament 'chesed' and 'emeth' are found together only in reference to God. He supremely shows steadfast love and faithfulness and His love and loyalty are unique. So when things and people around us seem shaky, we can trust that God's throne is sure and we can count on Him in the most difficult times to stand with us and be the "I AM" of our lives. (V.11-12) "For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great. What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose." The word teach in this verse means to teach by pointing out, as if by aiming the finger, or as an archer shoots an arrow. (V.13-14) "His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant." There are real secrets to living this life and God promises to make known His secrets to those who fear Him. It's one thing to learn the secret of being hungry and another to abound and have plenty. The secret is Philippians 4:13, it's through Christ. It is for want of these secrets so many live defeated, bound, powerless lives. We are to be witnesses to His abounding grace and power to change sinners to saints and of all that He is. But often we are defeated and barren, miserable and a contradiction of the freedom and life of Christ. In John 8:36; Jesus said "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." Many are bound by fear, fear of dying, fear of the unknown, fear of living, fear of everything. How can you live victorious in two different and opposite circumstances, in abundance or in lack? Knowing the secrets of the Christian life and having faith in the One who is faithful to His covenant promises, will allow us to live the Christian life as it was meant to be.
We have already covered three secrets of the Christian life in part one. (1) The secret of first love (2) the secret of faith and (3) the secret of repentance.
Secret 4: The Fear of the Lord: Psalms 25:14 "The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant." This is more than head knowledge of the covenant. . . God will reveal it to those who fear! That we can live in the covenant! Jesus is the covenant. He reveals Himself to us. So to begin with we must know what it is to fear God. Psalms 119:120 tells us what the fear of God is. "My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments." If we fear His judgments for sin, then we will not sin so carelessly and as if it didn't matter. We don't have an attitude that says: "God won't see my sin - He isn't looking," or "God doesn't care - He won't hold me responsible." Why do people sin without concern? Romans 3:18. "There is no fear of God before their eyes." They think they can get by with it and they haven't understood that God sees all things and will judge all things. Psalms 36:1-2 "The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful." His sin is speaking to him within his heart. They are only professors of truth and Christianity without the reality thereof. Titus 1:16 "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." God is looking at your heart and your deeds. Let's see again about the fear of God keeping us from sin. Proverbs 16:6 "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." It's no different than what is happening in society today. Men commit all kinds of crimes and do all manner of evil because they do not fear being caught or going to jail. They know that getting by with the crime is in their favor and even if they get caught they can get off light. In other words, they think what they stand to gain and that what they want is worth the risk. The problem is the punishment is not swift enough and harsh enough to deter crime because of our wicked system in which attorneys can get rich helping criminals go free. Ecclesiastes 8:11 "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." God knows man's heart and what it takes to stop men from giving themselves to wickedness and that is why he set in place laws and punishments for breaking that law. They were to stop men from doing evil! To keep the evil from spreading like a cancer because the wicked continue to do wickedness without being stopped. When one does evil and gets by with it without punishment and others see it, they are strengthened and given courage to also do evil. Our society today has rejected God and perverted His laws and justice and so it can't control crime and wickedness. But know that no will escape God's judgment. Romans 14:12 "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." Jude 14b-15 "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Psalms 98:9 "Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity." Ecclesiastes 11:9 "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." Go ahead, live it up and follow the lusts and dictates of your heart. But know that for these things God will judge you. Ecclesiastes 12:14 "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."
Back to our point. Psalms 111:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." Wisdom begins with fearing God's judgments. One who doesn't has no wisdom, but is a fool. Job 28:28 "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding." The fear of the Lord is more than training in logical thinking or any text book knowledge, the letter of the law. True wisdom is inseparable from the knowledge of God and His nature and character for He is ultimate truth and knowledge. This wisdom will produce a moral and upright lifestyle. Wisdom does not come from man's searching or learning, but by revelation of God. It will cause us to turn from evil and maintain awe and reverence for God and a fear of His judgment for breaking His laws. Wisdom is not being able to explain every question about Biblical things, but believing and obeying God's Word. Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." The fear of the Lord is the starting point and essence of wisdom. It is that which causes us to humbly submit to the will of God. Wisdom comes from a right relationship with God, which can only be maintained by our faith in God and obedience to His Word. There are those which the Bible calls "wise" versus those it terms as "foolish". The wise virgins are obedient and the foolish are not! The foolish know God's Word but don't do it. Fools do not take God into account in their decisions or lifestyles and so live morally corrupt lives. Those who fear God consider knowing Him as the most important part of knowledge and so they commit their lives to Him and would not consider living as if He did not exist.
Proverbs 2:1-13 "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;" Jesus is the very essence of Wisdom. 1Corinthians 1:30 "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" Without knowing Jesus, no one can come to God's true wisdom for He is the very source of wisdom. Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." "Knowledge of the holy" speaks of knowing Him. Knowing His ways and dealings with man. Psalms 18:21 "For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God." Acts 2:28 "Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance." The ways of God are the ways of life. Proverbs 14:26-27 "In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge." Proverbs 19:23 "The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil." Proverbs 16:6 "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." When the mercy and truth of God that is in Christ comes to a man, he will turn from his sin and be purged from them and he will depart from iniquity.
Proverbs 23:17 "Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long." Why envy the foolish? Those who do not fear God will be destroyed. Proverbs 1:20-33 "Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil." The only way we will ever come to holiness is by the fear of the Lord. 2Corinthians 7:1 "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." The fear of the Lord is an important secret to living an overcoming and victorious Christian life.
Secret 5: The Chastening of the Lord! That's a secret? Yes! Hebrews 12:5-7, 10-11 "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." No child of God can come to the throne of God without chastening. You can live a happy carefree life, enjoying the things of this world but you will never come to His throne without enduring chastening. If you reject or despise it, you will never reign with Him. That's what gives you the right to reign. Reigning with Christ is only bestowed upon those who suffer with Him. Chastening is training for children because they want to do all they want to do. They hate to be denied anything. To a child, parents may seem to be against all they desire and want and even against their happiness. Example: As a child your mother wouldn't let you have a pair of scissors. Now at the time you may have thought her mean, a real killjoy, totally against your being happy and having fun. But then later you were allowed to have them. Why? Because they were no longer dangerous to you and she felt you could safely handle them. It's not that mother was against your joy or fulfillment, but we think so and some do so about the Lord. They think God wants to make their life miserable and take away the toys they enjoy, and some even think He is mean for doing so. But it's stupid to think this way. Jesus so loves you He laid down His life for you. When He asks or takes something from you, it is always for your own good. Don't forget Romans 8:32! "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" What things? 2Peter 1:3! "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:" All includes all things that we have need of and that are good for us, both physically and spiritually. But we should not expect the Lord to give us something that would lead to our own fall or destruction for that would be contrary to His love for us and desire for us that we might have "life" and that we might have it "more abundantly" and eternally! John 10:10b "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 17:2-3 "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Whether or not you understand in this life, God does nothing and allows nothing in the life of His elect that He does not use for their own good. Harsh circumstances that brought many to despair even of life and desire suicide, of which I was one, the Lord used to save and give them His love and hope, completely changing their lives for the good for all eternity.
This chastening or child training is vital and necessary and a secret of the Christian life. If we are not ready for it we will live defeated, bound lives. God must deal with sons who will reign with Christ with discipline and training as a parent a child they love and want to protect.
But what the Lord speaks to me, He may not speak to another. When the Lord speaks to one to give something up, we think everyone else must also, it's all or none. But what may be an idol to one, to destroy them, it won't the other. So He may ask of one what He doesn't of the other. It's individual training to individual needs and circumstances. Any loving parent knows that they must sometimes withhold seemingly good things for the ultimate good of their children. Likewise our heavenly Father is much more concerned with our eternal destiny than with giving us temporal pleasures in this life. And unlike earthly parents, the Lord knows exactly what we each need in our lives for our eternal benefit. Just because God may allow others to do something, doesn't mean it is right or good for you to do it, or that God is being unfair or unrighteous in denying you something that He allows another. Because He doesn't allow you something doesn't mean it is wrong or a sin for others to have or do. God deals with us all as individuals, as any parent does and must differentiate between children. That is not because you are showing preference or love one more than the other, but because they are different individuals, with different needs and a different character and personality. That's why salvation is a personal walk of faith and individual and why we are told to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2:12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." This verse is in the present tense. It is a continual working out of our salvation, by not walking in sin and presumption against the Lord, but in the fear of His judgments for sin. "Work out your own salvation" does not mean to "work for" your salvation. This is not teaching salvation by works. The idea is to progress to the place of finishing or completion of our spiritual growth and maturity, that we might "grow up into him in all things." Eph.4:15. This process is what the Bible calls "sanctification."
One problem is that for some reason many think they have an inalienable birthright to blessings in life, and especially the things they want and desire. So when they are deprived these things they feel they have a right too, they take it as a personal insult and injury. We think we have a right to be happy. People say things like, "well, doesn't God want we to be happy? Doesn't God want me to enjoy life and have fun?" So when they are denied the thing they want and feel is their birthright, they get angry with God and others around them they might perceive as responsible in their being denied the things they want. They do not understand that God is more concerned with their character and eternal destiny than their short-term temporal pleasures and enjoyment that they could have in this life. We humans tend to see things from a purely physical natural perspective instead of from an eternal one. We need to understand the reality and need of a long-term, eternal perspective. 2Corinthians 4:18 "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." Going on. . .
Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." "Teaching them to observe all things." Make them disciples! What is a disciple? One who is a learner and is under the discipline of what he has learned and been taught! Simply put, a disciple is one who is disciplined by the Word of God. 2Timothy 2:3 "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." Endure or suffer hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. A soldier is disciplined and trained so that he will become a good soldier. (V.4-5) "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully." The Greek word for strive is ath-leh'-o, it's an athlete who competes in competitive games. The Greeks and Romans were know for their athletic competition. Now an athlete is one who is under discipline. He must discipline his body and go through rigorous training.
1Corinthians 9:24 "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." The awarding of a prize for successfully running the race following strict training indicates the judgment in view has to do with service and rewards, rather than salvation versus being lost. Salvation is a gift of grace, but our eternal rewards are earned through obedience and service to the Lord. 1Corinthians 9:25 "And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible." "Temperate" means to exercise self-restraint or self-control. (V.26-27) "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." Now Paul speaks of his own body as his opponent or enemy against which he is fighting and running this race. By self-discipline he brings his body under subjection and makes it his slave, rather than being the slave to his physical body's desires. Why? So that he will not be rejected and castaway by the Lord. The Greek word for castaway is adokimos, and means unapproved, rejected, worthless (literally or morally) and is translated as castaway, rejected, reprobate.
What is this discipline of the Lord? The Lord will exercise you with His discipline and training, but if you don't want it then you disqualify yourself from your inheritance and are rejected by the Lord. Remember that the Lord disciplines and chastises all that are His legitimate sons. Those who are not chastised, or do not receive it, are considered illegitimate, or bastards who do not belong to God or possess His life and salvation. How will God discipline you if you are prepared for His discipline and willing to accept it? He will do it through circumstances, through relationships, through bosses, through friends, through family and many other various ways that He chooses to use to train us, but many times we don't recognize it. The school of Christ is not in Church, but in everyday life, everywhere. He deals with our rebellion, our unteachableness, our anger, our pride, our lusts, our every weakness and tendency to sin. God deals with us and uses these things in our lives to change us into the likeness of Jesus. That is His purpose in all His dealings with us. Romans 8:28-29 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." The Lord can and will use anyone or anything to deal with you to knock off the chips and rough edges in your life, and especially the saints, those in the same church body. Can you humble and serve them and make mistakes and own up to it before them. Chastening isn't joyful but grievous, but it is to teach us how to behave, to stay still, to shut up, to speak, and to yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Then later you will be thankful for that discipline and training. Are you ready to say to the Lord, "here I am, I need your training and discipline, I want to take that yoke and be a disciple"? A yoke is a yoke and a yoke is not pleasant. But you can't be a disciple without the yoke of the Lord. 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." The only way we can learn of Him and learn His ways is to be under the yoke of His authority, in subjection to His Lordship.
Philippians 3:10 "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." If you want to intimately know the Lord and the power of His resurrection, then you must be willing to know the fellowship of His suffering because they are two sides of the same coin and you can't have the one without the other. Colossians 1:24 "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:" This is another dimension of chastening and training for service, the fellowship of suffering. It's like graduating from elementary to middle school. So few enter the fellowship of suffering. These are afflictions for us to experience. Galatians 4:19 "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you," Travail, agony or anguish of child birth. What is he talking about? Little children, again! He was in travail for them once before, their spiritual birth, and now again. That Christ be fully formed in them. What is this? Where are those that will travail? We just want to come to church and be like a sponge and absorb and go. This is something only the Holy Spirit can conceive in a believer, birth. And it will never be fulfilled except by the fellowship of his suffering. Our meetings are dead because of no travailing. Those that 'sow in tears, reap in joy." Not theatrics but a gut burden that is enormous that causes you to cry within and your words are the smallest part of the burden, spiritual travail. We need men and women to travail before the Lord for souls and the saints. I thank God for those who have travailed for me. Have you travailed for a soul? This is a spiritual secret.
Secret 6: Humility: Humility is a rare quality among God's people. Some who claim to be the humblest are in reality the proudest. They could write a book on "Humility and how I obtained it." But Humility is absolutely necessary if you are going to live the Christian life. What is humility? It is not only a virtue, but an attitude of mind that realizes that one is without any reason for distinction in God's sight.
Luke 14:11; 18:14b; "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." Matthew 23:12; "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." James 4:10; " Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." 1Peter 5:5-6 "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:" Are you proud? If you are proud, then God resists or opposes you, and that's terrible. If you're proud and have an unteachable spirit, God resists you. Do you want to come to the throne and reign with Christ and live an overcoming life? You must humble yourself. How can you humble yourself? By recognize that you're nothing, by getting on your knees and being honest with the Lord. Paul said, I "am less than the least of all saints," (Ephesians :8) and "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (1Timothy 1:15).
Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." If you're proud, you will fall flat on your face. It is better to humble before the Lord. Psalms 147:6; "The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground." Psalms 149:4 "For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation." What is humility? Humility is not saying, "I'm no good, I'm unworthy, I'll never be any good . . ." Humility is being able to say "I am what I am by the grace of God." (1Corinthians 15:10) That's how Paul and John could boast in their apostleship. They weren't proud but recognizing what they were before the Lord, by the calling and grace of God, yet having no confidence in their flesh or abilities (Philippians 3:3). Humility is to not to see yourself as more or as less than you are, but what you are in Christ. Humility will always make us dependent upon God, then we will draw all from Him. Our life, grace, strength, faith, love, ... Another word is Meekness. Most think meekness is weakness, having no spine, being a coward. Why he's so meek, he couldn't hurt a fly. But that is not true. You can be meek and yet be a strong ruler or leader with authority.
Numbers 12:3 "(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)" Moses was a great military man in Pharaoh's army according to Jewish literature. Highly decorated in campaigns against Ethiopia. Why was he called the meekest man on the earth? Because every time Moses and Aaron were in trouble, they fell on their faces before God. Why? Didn't they know what to do already? The secret is this. They had knowledge but not wisdom. Knowledge is the facts, wisdom is how to use that knowledge, how to use and apply it in a given situation. It's how to apply the law that God has given you. One of the qualities of Meekness is teachableness. If you are teachable, then you are meek. If you are unteachable, then you are not meek. Yet many resist teaching. I know, I know, don't bother me with the facts - hey your preaching to the choir." Moses was called meek not because he was a pushover with men or an easy target to manipulate of deceive, but because of his attitude before God. Exodus 3:4-6, 10-16 "And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. . . (V.10) Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:" What we truly are is what we are before God, not before men. Moses was meek before God. He had total reliance and dependence upon God to show him what to do and to fight his battles for him. That is another quality of meekness. You don't fight your own battles, but you give them to the Lord and put your life in His hands. To be humble is to empty yourself before God and allow Him to control your life and circumstances and give you direction for your life. Yet, the Bible tells us, "the righteous are bold as a lion" (Prov.28:28). Because Moses was meek before God, he was bold as a lion before Pharaoh and the people. It was a boldness that came from God, from knowing that he was doing only what the Lord told him and nothing of himself. Numbers 16:27-33 "So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation."
Paul was a meek man. 2Corinthians 10:1-4 "Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.)" Like Moses, Paul did not fight his own battles and told us we are not in a battle against flesh and blood, against other men, but against the powers of hell of which we are no match in our flesh. Paul showed both boldness before the people, like Moses, and yet gentleness like a mother. 1Corinthians 5:3-5, 9-13 " For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. . . (V.9) I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person." That is Holy Ghost boldness, not fleshly boldness and arrogance because of pride.
Peter was also bold before the people. Acts 5:3-9 "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out." But this is not Peter's judgment or doing, any more than when Moses spoke to the rebellious Korah and company, whom God took live into hell. The Bible is filled which such examples of godly men who were bold before the people, but not because it was of themselves or of their flesh. It wasn't because they knew they were somebody special or full of pride because of the position, which God had given them as Old Testament prophets or New Testament apostles. They were bold because God strengthened them and anointed them to stand before the people. Ezekiel 3:8-12 "Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place." Jeremiah 1:4-10 "If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove. And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory. For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities. Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant. For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us. And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul."
Matthew 5:5 "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Blessed are the meek. 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." This is one way in which pride will cause a man to fall. When we point the finger at others, with a attitude of "I'm better than you or holier than thou" and are judgmental of others, it will put us in the place of being tempted by the devil and open to him. James:3:13-16 "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." Envy and strife come because of pride.2Timothy 2:24-25 "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;" Humility and meekness are great secrets of the Christian life and necessities for Christian ministry.
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