Walking VictoriouslyPublished Feb 01, 2017 | Precious Truths, Bill Jenkin III
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness. . ." (Ephesians 4:1-2).
From my earliest days as a believer I accepted—by faith—that the Bible is God’s Word. When Pastor Foust stood and read the Bible, I just believed it, and that was long before knowing anything of Second Timothy 3:16 or Second Peter 1:20-21. With that simple belief came some new and radical ideas, such as the great qualities of Christian faith listed in Ephesians 4:1-3.
As a new Christian I began learning (and continue to learn) that in order to walk as I was supposed to, I should be lowly; ". . . in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves" (Philippians 2:3). Well, that certainly got me thinking! I knew humility couldn’t mean the cowering, cringing, preconceived idea I’d attached to lowliness. So as I studied, I was fascinated to learn humility was a new concept which the Christian faith coined. Before the time of authentic Christianity, there is no word or concept for humility which did not have some connotation of groveling attached to it. Yet it’s thrilling that Christianity comes along and sets it in the very forefront of the virtues. You see—we really are different!
So then I had to ask, when it comes to this Christian humility, how can I cultivate it? Part of the answer comes from knowing ourselves (Psalm 139:32). As we face ourselves we see our weakness, our selfishness, and our failures. Humility also comes from setting our life beside the life of Christ and in the light of the demands of God. As long as we compare ourselves with others (second bests), we may come out of the appraisal well. But our Christian standard is Jesus Christ.
Then I was introduced to meekness! While I knew very little about anything biblical, I knew David said the meek would inherit the earth, Jesus repeated it, and Moses was the meekest man among men. So it couldn’t be bad concept! Meekness couldn’t mean weakness. The experts say the Greek word is beyond translation by any single English word, therefore it has two mainlines of meaning; it is the right proportion between two extremes. Meekness is defined as the balance between being too angry and never being angry at all. Therefore, the one who is meek is always angry at the right time, and never angry at the wrong time. That brings me to this rule of thumb: The man who is meek is kindled by indignation at the wrongs and the sufferings of others, but is never moved to anger by the wrongs and the insults to himself.
Another use of the word helps define my understanding as well as my pursuit; it was used of an animal which has been trained and domesticated until it is completely under control. So the one who is meek is one who has instincts and passions under control. Yet it is not right to say that we are self-controlled, because such control is out of our reach and beyond human power.
This really makes me smile; if that is the case—that it is beyond our human power— then what’s the use? Where is the confidence to go on? The pleasant truth is that since it is beyond our control, it is right to say and expect that the truly meek man or woman is God-controlled. What a delight to know that as we yield ourselves to Christ (Romans 6:13) and allow Him to live through us, we can walk victoriously in humility and meekness.