The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth
The Lord is looking for lowly ones in the earth right now. He isn’t searching for those who love attention and push their way to the top. There may be many who perform for the applause of men, while so few do it all for the applause of One. Even so, Jesus says that the meek will inherit the earth rather than the aggressive or assertive ones. Author J.R.R. Tolkien displayed this in his books about Middle Earth. It wasn’t the men, dwarves, nor elves that made the biggest impact. It was the small hobbits that changed the course of history. I believe this is because Tolkien knew that in God’s perspective, the least likely to be celebrated in this life would be held in highest honor in the one to come. Jesus tells us in Mark 10:31, “The greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” It is clear that the way we live here and now will affect the way we live then, but so many people are living only with this life in mind. If we truly grasped the briefness of our lifespans compared to all of eternity, we would live different. I believe we would sober up, so to speak. We wouldn’t waste time serving ourselves, instead, we would set out to do the will of our Father.
When we said yes to Christ, we gave up our right to direct our own life. We said no to going our way, and yes to following Him. And while it is perfectly normal for a Christian to struggle in the area of sanctification, God does not want you to be stuck in immaturity. He wants you to keep going higher and receive freedom from sin’s power over your heart and mind. Jesus wants you to be a excellent manager of your emotions as well as skilled in strengthening your inner man of the Spirit. It was never God’s will for the Israelites to wander in the wilderness for 40 years and negate their inheritance of the promised land. And if that wasn’t His will for them, why would it be His will for you? Remember that the Church is grafted into Israel, and has all of God’s attention.
My plea for my readers today is that you would surrender yourself more and more to Him, and be set apart. If you have gotten off track, don’t wallow in shame- just run to the throne of grace! Receive forgiveness and reconnect with the Father. It is never too late to come back and run into His loving arms. Many times the enemy whispers lies in our ears that we need to hide from God when we mess up. There is this expectation that Satan advertises as God’s, that you have to be perfect. God never expects perfection, but He does expect our obedience. He is progressively teaching us how to manage our inner world with Him. As we are learning how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, He transfigures us into an image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). It is clear in scripture that the Lord commands His children to, “be holy, for I am holy.”
Let’s begin to unpack the word holy before going any further. What does it mean to be holy? Maybe we are overfamiliar with that word, yet cannot explain what it means in our own words. Many would agree that holiness is related to one who is morally perfect, but there is much more to it than that. God is unique because He is powerful, majestic, good, and the source of all life. This holiness of God is dangerous to those who have yet to become purified in the blood of Christ, but it is carried by those who have become His sons and daughters.
We have been made ritually pure by the sacrifice of Christ, and therefore, we can be in the presence of God without fear of danger. The veil being torn was a symbol of Christ removing the impurity of sin that separated us from the Father. So, when God commands us to be holy, He is saying to us that we are to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God. We must study His Word to get His definition of justice, goodness, and humility, so that we can continue on a journey towards being set apart and living holy.
Psalm 1 – The Tree of Life
To find out what it means to be holy, let’s turn to the book of Psalms. If you take the time to dive into the Psalms, you will realize the depths to which they are filled with emotions. Every song of praise is planted inside of the scriptures to connect us to the heart of God; and they are God’s precious music traveling right into the soul. Each melody is inspired by the breath of God, and there are four main themes of melodies in the Psalms: poetry of prayer, poetry of wisdom, poetry of prophecy, and poetry of Christ. There are also 5 books within the Psalms, each with a different purpose.
- The Genesis Psalms, Songs of man and creation (Ch. 1-41)
- The Exodus Psalms, Songs of suffering and redemption (Ch. 42-72)
- The Leviticus Psalms, Songs of worship and God’s house (Ch. 73-89)
- The Numbers Psalms, Songs of our pilgrimage on earth (Ch. 90-106)
- The Deuteronomy Psalms, Songs of praise and the Word (Ch. 107-150)
As you can see from the list, the titles of these books follow something known as the Torah, which are the first five books of the Bible. They were the law of God to Israel under the old covenant. And while we are living within a new covenant through Jesus Christ, we would be wise to keep reading over those stories, because they tell the story of our Savior. Jesus demonstrated through His life, how a man can fully submit themselves to God and be set apart. Scriptures tells us that the law of the Torah was limited by the weakness of human nature (Romans 8:3), which is why Christ came to offer us the “law” of the Spirit through the new covenant.
The very beginning of the Psalms is where we are going today to get a closer look at what it means to be set apart. Just as with the book of Genesis, we are taken into the garden of Eden in the first song. There are two trees made available to man, and the author of this Psalm is telling us that we must separate from the tree the wicked choose and instead choose to eat from the tree of life.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;”
The word for blessed comes from the Hebrew word esher, meaning “to be happy.” It is clear that refusing to eat forbidden fruit will pay off in the end. What I found interesting about the rest of that verse is that there are three positions of this man from the Psalm: he is refusing to walk, stand, and sit. Let’s look at what he is rejecting.
Refusal to Walk
Proverbs 4:14-17 warns against turning to the way of the wicked by describing how it creates in us this insatiable and destructive hunger. That hunger is perpetuated by what the path offers along it: the bread of wickedness, and the wine of violence. You see, sin is addictive. Which is why we must refuse to partake. Taking one step off of God’s path may seem harmless, until you end up in a swamp with the monsters. Trust God- sin is a trap to enslave you. If you are truly going to resist sin, you will have to get over your fear of man’s opinions, and this is because refusal will cause others who do partake in the forbidden fruit to hate you. It is a similar situation as we see develop in the very first murder between two brothers. Cain was taught by his father Adam how to connect with God by building an altar, and giving to God the first fruits and best of his labor. Cain chose to rebel against his father and God, giving to God the leftovers. Meanwhile, his brother Abel brought an offering that was pleasing to God. When Cain saw that God was pleased with Abel’s obedience, he got angry, and anger brought him to hatred, and hatred brought him to rage, and rage led him to murder his brother. We can avoid this nosedive into evil by becoming more concerned with pleasing God than pleasing man. Here are some questions to ask the Holy Spirit:
- Who am I getting counsel from in my life?
- Are they actively living in sin?
- How should I walk away from seeking the counsel of those who rebel against You? What does that look like for me?
When I asked my children what they thought walking in the council of the wicked meant, they said, “Listening to people that don’t love God.” What a great answer! I continued to tell them that it could be anything in our lives that has influence over our heart outside of God’s design, especially from people who are in rebellion against God. This is why it is important to know the source of the information we are getting, and we need the Holy Spirit to guide us in our discernment. One example that we thought of were Disney movies, and especially the very popular movie “Frozen.” We had talked about that movie in previous times because as we were reading about witchcraft in the Old Testament, my daughter found out that Elsa was practicing the occult in the movie. When she started singing in the second movie, a portal opened, and her dead parents appeared to her, and you see them giving her some sort of power. This is necromancy, and it was forbidden to God’s people. The punishment was death! It is a serious offense to God, and so my daughter was urged by Holy Spirit to purge her room of anything with Elsa. She did not want to be influenced by witchcraft!
Refusal to Stand
Standing refers to lingering continually. Jesus ate with sinners, but He did not invite them into His inner circle of influence. We must protect our hearts from being influenced by people who are not walking in God’s ways. Here is some questions that you can ask the Holy Spirit:
- Who is influencing me?
- Are they standing in Your ways?
Refusal to Sit
The word Scoffers, refers to those who openly mock God and faith. Jesus refused to stay in any place where people rejected the Kingdom of Heaven. He taught His disciples to shake off the dust and leave. Here are questions to ponder with the Holy Spirit:
- What does it mean to shake off the dust and leave in my own life?
- Is there any place where I am sitting with scoffers?
- If so, what steps must I take to leave?
The Holy Spirit is extremely practical, and so I would encourage you to really press into those activations. We cannot be only hearers of the word, but must also do what it says!
Our divine call to Walk, stand, and sit
When we reject something, we must learn to fill it with something else, or our souls will look for satisfaction in things apart from God. Instead of walking in the ways of the wicked, the Apostle Paul tells us to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). This means that when others are saying that a situation is hopeless, we chose to stir up our faith and remember our anchor of hope in Christ. Likewise, instead of standing in the presence of sinners, we are commanded to stand in warfare. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). And we must use spiritual weapons to fight this battle, ones that are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (2 Corinthians 10:4). Finally, instead of sitting in the fellowship of scoffers, we must be seated in heavenly places with Christ (Ephesians 2:6). We must learn to engage the world and release heaven on earth now. This is the mandate that Jesus presented to us, those who enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. If we are in the Kingdom, we live by His every word and carry out the responsibilities that He has called us to. Don’t be foolish and bury what He gave you in the dirt. Be bold and take courage, for Jesus has overcome the world!
Heavenly Father, I want to be set apart and holy, but I don’t know where to begin. Would You, by Your Spirit, show me the first step to take in this area. God, I invite Your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares. Show me who has influence in my life, so that I can cut off any influence that would lead me away from You and Your heart. I want to please You, but I don’t know how. Show me what brings you pleasure, and refine my heart to find pleasure in Your tree of life. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.