Weakness and Meekness

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

When I began this article, there were seven young boys and their soccer coach still trapped in a cave in Thailand. They knew that they could not save themselves, to get through the water that had blocked their passageway. Four were brought through the waters by an international team of rescuers, but the others waited. (As we publish, all have been rescued.)

Could they have shared their thoughts as they waited, no doubt they would admit their weakness in saving themselves and their total dependence on anyone who could save them.

In our natural state, human pride pretends to be strong, rather than admit its weakness. It is in cases of despair that men will admit their weakness, and in meekness, cry out and accept help from anyone who can save them.

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10

The apostle Paul followed in the footsteps of the Master as he endured the hardships of the Christian life. He admitted his weakness, but rather than let his weakness keep him from his work of the gospel, he endured in meekness as he counted that “the power of Christ rested upon him.”

As a disciple of Christ, he suffered in his “infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, and distress” (2 Corinthians 12:10) for the sake of Christ. If the only result of his suffering was endurance, we might not be impressed, but he understood the reason for his weakness, so that he would experience the “strength that is made perfect in weakness.” His pleasure was through his suffering as he experienced the strength of Christ in his weakness. When the little “I am” is submitted to Him, the great “I AM” proves His strength.

Beyond a mere Christianity, the sum total seems to be: weakness plus the power of Christ equals pleasure in the presence and power of Christ, no matter the circumstances. No wonder Paul lived a life of meekness, in total dependence on the Lord.
He understood the Master’s words in John 15:4,“without me you can do nothing.”

 This “power of Christ” that rested upon Him was the humbling of the Lord in his weakness, enabling him to submit in his weakness to the strength of Christ. Even in prison, he and Silas worshipped; prayed and sang praises unto God.

“I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

Paul understood the role of the creature in relationship to our Creator. He made us weak, so that we would need Him. When He left our first parents alone to their free will, He proved they were unable to take care of themselves and to fulfill their purpose. It is only when we come in our need to the Savior, in weakness admitting our nothingness and need for Him, that He can save us and be all to us that our Father planned for Him to be. We must in meekness, in true humility, come to Him and experience the difference He makes in our lives. If we mumble through, thinking we can accomplish anything on our own, we miss the true nature of the Christian life. To be humble is the only means of going beyond a mere Christianity to discover the power of Christ and His abundant life within us.

“It is the indwelling Christ who will live His life in us, meek and lowly. We must long for this, above everything, seeking this holy secret of the knowledge of the nature of God as He works all. We must set aside our ordinary religion to secure this, the first and chief of the marks of Christ within us. And begin to praise God that there is opened up to you in Jesus a heavenly humility of which you have hardly known, and through which a heavenly blessedness (which you possibly have never yet tasted) can come into you.” Andrew Murray ~ Humility, the Beauty of Holiness

Dear heavenly Father, how blessed we are that you call us your own, having saved us in Christ, your Son. We praise you that even meekness is the work of your Holy Spirit within us. Enable us to see and admit our weakness and our need for you, so that we can glorify you even when we are afflicted and in distress, taking pleasure in your presence and power with us always. In Jesus’ name we pray and praise you. Amen.
And the Lord Said Unto Me ~ Scripture Tunes
(Suggested Reading: A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility
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Humility and Contentment

How do we relate humility to contentment? Think of humility as the Alpha and contentment as the Omega of the Christian life. Humility leads to contentment. There can be no divine contentment without humility. The Spirit of Christ, supernaturally working in the heart and life of God’s children, produces them both.

Pride and discontent are the root and fruit of the natural life.

The new birth brings us with a new heart to a new start ~ the Alpha ~ where He teaches us what He intended in His work of creation. The humility of Christ that enabled Him to give Himself as a sacrifice for us is the same humility that His Spirit works in us; so that through us He can demonstrate the humility of Christ in the world.

Andrew Murray in his book, Humility ~ The Beauty of Holiness,* stresses the need for us to understand the power of Christ’s life and work for and in us.

“Nothing can avail but that the new nature, in its divine humility, will be revealed in power to take the place of the old. It will become as truly our very nature as the old ever was.’’ Andrew Murray

Humility at work in us depends on three things:

  1. The teaching (revelation from the written word and the Holy Spirit) and Christ’s example.
  2. Our convictions, our desires, our prayers, waiting on God in faith for His promise.
  3. The reality of the Spirit of Christ living in us and producing His own nature and disposition.

Humility and contentment are divine traits of God’s kingdom, and gifts of God’s grace to His children. Even as our natural and spiritual births are beyond our doing, humility and contentment are His work alone, and all to His glory.

“Humility is simply acknowledging the truth of our position as man and yielding to God His place. It is the sense of entire nothingness, which comes when we see how truly God is all, and in which we make way for God to be all. Such humility (the humility of Christ) is not a thing that will come on its own. It must be made as the object of special desire, prayer, faith, and practice.” Humility

What Murray says of humility can be said of contentment, as we continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

When all is yielded and we live in faith, for Him to be all and to provide all that we need, contentment will be the result.

Humility and Contentment Work Together

“Humility is like the lead in the net, which keeps the soul down when it is rising through passion; and contentment is like the cork which keeps the heart up when it is sinking through discouragement. Contentment is the great support; it is like the beam which bears whatever weight is laid upon it. It is like a rock that breaks the waves.” The Art of Divine Contentment   Thomas Watson

Do we experience divine contentment in Christ? If not, let us look to Him, with conviction of the need for humility, the desire in prayer and supplication, in faith through His Word and Spirit, waiting for this “mystery of grace, which teaches us that as we lose ourselves in the overwhelming greatness of redeeming love, humility becomes to us the consummation of everlasting blessedness and adoration.Humility

Dear Father, how do we thank you for so great a love that displaces our sin and old life with the graces of the Spirit of Christ in us. Let us be so overwhelmed so as to bow in thankfulness and humility for all you have done for us in creation and our salvation. Make us to know the power of your Spirit to humble us; let us wait patiently with a new heart’s desire for all that you have prepared for us. Let us live content and praising you for all things working to your glory, our good and joy. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

*A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility
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A Year for CONTENTMENT

youre-invited-mingle-before-you-jingle1-1r5pkol-1Knowing my own need, the Lord is leading me in the year of 2017 to continue in my desire and search for the contentment that is found in Him alone. It is easy to read about, to talk about, to search for its meaning and to hope and pray for it. Like “humility” which was our subject for 2014, and “meditation” for 2015, “contentment” has not only to be sought after, but prayed for, desired with the whole heart, soul, mind and strength, and more importantly, waited for with patient endurance.  All of these are possible only by His working them in us as His family in His kingdom.

This is our plan for this New Year, and we invite you to come with us, to help us to discover what the Lord wants and has prepared for us.contentment

Contentment is a subject not only to be studied and pursued, but can be described in many ways. It is the desire of most people, but misunderstood when it comes to knowing how contentment is achieved. Since the beginning of time, we learn that contentment does not come from the things of this world.   Without even using the word or a definition, our first parents experienced what I call a seventh sense (we will look at this later) in the Garden of Eden. They were content, until Satan convinced them that they needed more than God had given them.

We live in the same environment as our first parents, but with a greater need. Contentment is a state of being. No one is born with it. Like the apostle Paul, it must be learned, and the lessons do not come from other human beings. The enemy supernaturally instilled the spirit of discontent, and only one who is stronger than he can deliver us from it.

Divine Contentment

For many years Thomas Watson’s book, The Art of Divine Contentment has been a source of study and delight. You can download free and read with us or download free MP3. Unlike our review and study of Andrew Murray’s Humility, we will not be reading through this book chapter by chapter, but we will use some of Watson’s quotes.

We want you to come with us through this year and to add your comments. We will be posting one, two or three times a week. Not every post will be titled contentment, but relating to it in some way, as we continue our search for this precious state, which our Lord desires for us. He died to deliver us from this horrific power of oppression and discontent, which is opposite from life in His kingdom.

Our posts will relate also to a book that we will be finishing this year. Thriving Under Oppression is relative to the spirit that keeps us from contentment and the life for which Christ has saved us. Soon we will publish God Is Our Goal. This too is relative to the life that is lived here in anticipation of the eternal life that is ours in Christ.  Who knows; maybe this will end up being a book, and you will have helped me write it (Proceeds always designated for missions and charity).

We encourage you to share this invitation with your readers or others you would want to be a part of this movement for 2017.
YES ~ let’s call it a “movement for contentment” ~ long needed for the Christian community.
What effect would our contentment have upon the world?

“Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who in Christ, has blessed us
with every spiritual blessing
in heavenly places.”
Ephesians 1:3

Gracious Father in heaven, it is you who has created us so that we may delight ourselves in you; who has redeemed us and restored us to an even greater estate from which we fell. Only you can bring us from the power of the oppressor to you, to know your presence and power, to work in us supernaturally this contentment for which you saved us in Christ. Draw those that you want to be a part of this year’s blessings as you lead us and teach us by the power of your Holy Spirit. Open our hearts, our minds, our ears, our wills, to you, to our Lord Jesus Christ and your Holy Spirit, so that we do not miss anything you have prepared for us. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.
invitationImage from Related Article: Contentment