God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
-Matthew 5:5 (CEB, NLT)
The blessings of God are laid out sequentially, by Jesus. They build upon each other. Each one of these are called by him, 'fortunate situations to be envied': that is what 'blessed' or 'happy' means here.
We first agree with God that we are hopeless and poor without God and then begin living our lives as 'happy mourners'. We live in the kingdom of God, receiving its treasures. And we live with broken hearts that are continually comforted by our Father.
After these fortunate states have been established in our lives, we are in a place where we have been humbled. We now have a measure of humility from which to live. And the reward for a life of humility towards God is inheriting the earth.
Jesus way and Jesus words are the complete opposite of the way of the world and the way that many in his first audience and today's audience are expecting to do life. There are several ways we say this today in Christian circles, but what it comes down to is an elevation of self, for the glory of God.
'God loves a winner', really is not the message. 'God loves loves losers' or 'God loves failures', is a lot closer to the truth. Jesus says, "Blessed are people who have been humbled by God". We are hopeless without God and we are mourning our hopelessness, and this has been profoundly humbling.
If you have not gotten in touch with your hopeless state and if you have not been grieving your hopelessness; then you probably have not been humbled and this saying of Jesus does not resonate with you.
If it is true that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble, where does that leave the Christian who is not humble?
The most powerful person, who had every reason to be proud, was also the meekest person to ever live. Jesus is our example, our forerunner and the one who teaches us how to live and then lives that life out through us, as we yield to him.
To the ones who would say that we have to harness politics to get God's way or that we somehow need military or political power to do God's will, comes these words of Jesus:
- Embrace your hopelessness and encounter the kingdom of God.
- Mourn the hopelessness and be comforted by God.
- Let these humble you (be humbled by God) and receive an inheritance of the earth.
Most everywhere we look in Christianity and pseudo-Christianity and even in the cults, is this idea that we can do this and God will do that. There are all sorts of teachings that do not necessarily agree with each other, but they have that same bottom line: do this and God will do that.
But, Jesus says something very different and the whole Bible is behind him. Jesus says to trust God, follow God, give your whole life to God; because of who God is. Then Jesus says that we are to stay in that relationship with God as God the God and God almighty, while God does not do what we want him to do, whatever it is, and to stay with God; and thereby be humbled.
Jesus says to let yourself be humiliated by God and to still follow him. This is a hard saying and Jesus deliberately says these things to wake us up to the seriousness of following him and being his disciples.
I suspect that many Christians are not happy and are not content because they have not gone through the first steps of letting God humble them and have never gotten this message.
What is this humility, this meekness that Jesus speaks of that we are to have?
- Accepting God's dealings that are contrary to what I want without complaining, resisting or rebelling.
- Living in 'Thy will be done', from a bowed heart; toward God.
- Believing that God is sovereign and has a way that often is not my way.
- Not being provoked to 'tit for tat' payback.
- Meeting evil with good.
- Not being irritable, but being at peace, in God, no matter what people do.
- Not demanding being, or feeling, entitled to being treated positively by others.
- Always satisfied
- 'Having nothing, possessing everything.'
- 'All things are yours.'
- You can not make yourself meek through a vow of poverty or becoming a monk.
- Only the Holy Spirit can make you meek.
- You can not do it on your own.
- All Christians have The Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit is our helper who helps us know our hopelessness and points us to the kingdom, and stands by our sides in our mourning, to receive comfort from God; and fashions meekness in our lives in the shape of Jesus.