Today’s Scripture – August 17, 2016

Matthew 5:5 (NIV) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

The meek, the kind, the considerate, have frequently been written off as those who will ultimately fail, while the aggressive, the proud, and the go-getters have been held up as those most likely to succeed.  In the realm of the natural world, there is some truth to this paradigm.  After all, in a contest between a lion and a lamb, there is little doubt as to who will come out on top.

But in God’s kingdom, things operate on a different paradigm altogether.  In God’s kingdom it is not the strong and ruthless that God supports, but those who are completely submissive to His will and who follow His commands fully.  This can easily be seen in the history of the kings who ruled over God’s people.  Those who trusted in their own strength and their own intelligence to figure out what to do ended up without God’s support or guidance.  On the other hand, those who turned to God in every trouble, even though they were as strong and as clever, and who followed God’s commands were the ones who were given peace and plenty.

But there is more here than just a difference of attitude.  Those who are self-reliant tend to look to their own resources first when trials come, and not to look to God until they have run out of all other options.  By that time, they have usually gone far outside of God’s will in the situation, leaving no easy path back.  But the ones that God can grant success to are the meek, the humble, those who turn to Him first in any situation.  They are the ones that He can steer through every trap, the ones that He can share His wisdom with so that they walk exactly in line with His plans.

God has a plan for everything, even the “small stuff” that comes into a person’s life.  What God is working to create out of every one of His people is not someone strong and clever enough to stand on their own, but someone who is just as humble and completely reliant on God as Jesus Himself was (cf. John 5:19).

Father, it’s interesting that we tend to view spiritual maturity in much the same way as we do physical maturity – greater independence and autonomy.  But Your ways (as always) are exactly the opposite.  Those who are the most spiritually mature are those who have grown into complete dependence on You, so that we look to You, listen to You, and follow You completely every moment.  Help me to grow more and more like Jesus in this way, too.  Amen.

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