Want Spiritual Power? Pursue Meekness

a brown horse with jockey riding English style jumping a hurdle to display meekness

When our culture describes “strong women” we tend to think of women who are competitive, aggressive, driven, and willing to stand up for their rights and fight for or force their way. Not meekness.

But when the Bible defines spiritual power, it isn’t about worldly power-grabbing, exalting self, or steamrolling others.

One of the most forgotten virtues in the Kingdom of Christ is meekness.

That is not a word we use very often now. And if we do use it, we tend to use it to describe someone who acts weak, wimpy, or “mousy.” But that is not the Bible’s definition.

Meekness Is Not Weakness

This word is largely mischaracterized today as timidity, weakness, passivity, apathy, resignation to fate, or being unambitious.

A weak horse would be sickly, malnourished, and unable to carry a rider or jump hurdles.

Not a very attractive quality if that is the description, is it?

But meekness is not about weakness! It is about profound spiritual strength and it is arguably one of the greatest “keys to true spiritual power” (Elisabeth Elliot).

The Importance of Meekness

Our level of meekness will greatly decide how much peace and contentment we have daily and how well we respond to various trials.

What Is Meekness? How Does It Relate to Spiritual Power?

It is a word that is difficult to translate into our culture today. We don’t necessarily have an equivalent that is all described in one neat little package.

But let me try to define it in words so we can invite God to help us wrap our minds around this spiritual power and discipline:

Meekness is bridled strength, like that of a tamed wild horse. The horse is still strong and possesses all of her capabilities. She chooses not to use her strength to harm people and others.

She places her strength and power under self-control and submits her strength to the will of her jockey.

Meekness is:

  • Gentleness born from strength of character.
  • Patient and slow to anger.
  • Not irritable, touchy, or easily offended.
  • Humble and willing to make itself small to exalt God.
  • Willing to be a servant and not seek the spotlight.
  • Fine with taking lowly roles that go unnoticed by other people.
  • Has the right or power to do something but chooses to refrain from using its rights or power to benefit others.

A meek woman doesn’t strive for power, control, prestige, or fame. She is content being in the background, behind the scenes.

Meekness can get angry. But it gets angry about the right things in the right timing and in the right way in God’s eyes. The things that grieve God’s heart grieve her. The things that hurt other people grieve her.

A meek woman accepts God’s ability to direct events instead of trying to force her way.

Meekness is about submission to the will of God, even if it involves suffering here on earth. It can patiently endure difficult circumstances because of internal strength and spiritual maturity in Christ.

Examples of Meekness

Moses

He was “the meekest man on earth.” Moses didn’t want power. He didn’t use his authority to gain anything for himself but only to do God’s will as God called him to lead His people out of slavery into the Promised Land.

David

He could have killed King Saul multiple times as Saul tried to kill him and had an army pursuing him. But David greatly respected the office of king and that Saul was “the Lord’s anointed.”

He didn’t use his power and strength to kill Saul but trusted God and waited on Him to bring about his own kingship in God’s way and His timing.

David honored God’s authority, which was exactly what King Saul did NOT do. Saul’s willingness to compromise God’s instructions and ignore proper authority resulted in his losing the kingdom and God withdrawing His Spirit from him until Saul went crazy.

Mary the Mother of Jesus

Mary responded with incredible willingness to God’s call to her to become the mother of the long awaited Messiah. She was not divine. She was human like all of us. But she had great faith and trust in God.

Unlike Moses and many other prophets, she had zero hesitation to receive God’s plan for her as soon as she understood it.

In spite of the very real potential risks that she could lose her betrothed husband, her reputation, and even her life, she joyfully and instantly yielded to God’s will for her. Rejoicing in His goodness to her.

Jesus

He was the “meekest” of all. Jesus laid aside His glory and His power to judge and destroy sinners to become a servant to us and to lay down His life for our salvation.

He became obedient to the point of death even though He could have called legions of angels to rescue Him or brought down fire from heaven on His tormentors.

Jesus didn’t enjoy torture and abuse just for the sake of pain. He knew that His crucifixion was God’s will and plan for us to be saved, so He subjected Himself to humiliation, suffering, and pain to accomplish God’s will. He set aside His will for God’s will.

This takes incredible spiritual power and strength.

The Rewards of Meekness

The Bible describes several rewards for those who are meek.

They will:

  • Inherit the earth.
  • Be happy, favored, and blessed by God.
  • Rule in Christ’s kingdom with Jesus.

Verses about Meekness

  • But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. Psalm 37:11
  • “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matt. 5:5
  • Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. James 3:13

Share

Have you learned anything about meekness you’d like to share? Or do you know of some examples of meekness in real life that you are free to share?

Much love, dear sisters! <3

REFERENCES

Got Questions: What Does, “Blessed Are the Meek Mean?”
Bible Tools: Meekness
Elisabeth Elliot’s video on meekness: “Make Yourself Small”
(I also referred to several other resources for this post.)

Got Questions: What Does the Bible Say About How Much Power a Christian Possesses?

8 Powerful Keys to Peace

Want to Be the Greatest in the Kingdom?

3 comments

  1. Very good reminder April! And special insight – “She places her strength and power under self-control and submits her strength to the will of her jockey.”

    I love this – I don’t need to become a mouse – but I do need self control. I read this in Titus 2 this week – older women are to be “self-controlled”.

    It seems this is a key area we struggle in – when we are not submitted to and abiding in Jesus. Lots of things are out of control – routines, spending, speaking, anger, eating, priorities.

    Older women are to teach younger women – but I understand that as a woman who is a fair few years older than April – she is definitely more mature in the faith than me – and especially in the area of godly femininity – and she is further down the road than me in understanding the struggles and yielding to God’s commands for women – therefore I see her as a friend of good character who I will definitely let influence me!

    Through this blog April – you are teaching the ‘younger’ women (not necessarily in age but in spiritual maturity). I am very thankful to God for your gentle, wise and godly influence. xx

    “Older women…are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”

    (Titus 2:3-5 ESV)

    1. Martha M,

      Yes! God doesn’t call us to be mice or wimpy. But to be yielded to His control. Fully yielded to Him. Of course, we learn that more and more as we grow in our faith and we continue to learn as long as we are on this earth.

      I didn’t learn these things intending to teach other wives, but when Greg finally did feel safe with me and saw what God had done and all He had shown me, he asked me to share with other women. And, I believe, God has called me to do that, too. I couldn’t keep these beautiful treasures from Christ to myself.

      May we all continue to grow in Jesus and allow Him to work and have control in our lives. May He be glorified in and through us!

      And may we share the goodness of God with each other.

      Much love, dear sister!
      April

Join in the discussion and share your heart with us.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.