The Essence of Discipleship (part 3)(by Wil Cunningham)
The Essence of Discipleship (part 3)
Reading: MAT 5:5 We spend much of our lives trying to influence or change the outer world. It is obvious, on close examination, that while we may be able to influence some things we are still quite inadequate to envision and shape reality to a suitable format. If we work hard to make circumstances what we believe they should be, and achieve our goals, we are bound to find that they still are not quite what we would like them to be. Scripture provides for us another way of approaching life. It encourages us not to change the outer world but to change the inner world. To be meek in the biblical sense is to accept what God gives as good and to only accept what God gives. It is to understand that all things are allowed to be as they are by Him, that everything that exists does so according to His ultimate plan and design. As such, while we are unable to know what occasions or circumstances are truly best, God knows all things. So to be meek is to accept that it is God alone who can say what should be and how it should be. The only thing that we truly have the power to change, is how we respond to His working. The proper response to all things and circumstances is thanksgiving, since God only gives what is good, and works all things for good to those who love Him (ROM 8:28). If we want all things to be as they are, knowing that God planned them that way, then we would not wish anything different. If this becomes the case then the second part of the verse has become true. If I accept all things as they are, then the world has become a gift to me, for I would not desire that it change in any way, until God Himself changes it. There is then no place for dissatisfaction, no place for unhappiness; for all of creation is as I want it to be. We ask then “what about all of the pain and injustice in the world?” First I must recognize that until God decrees a change nothing I can do will change anything (Psa 127). We work to heal hurts and find justice not because we alone are able to do so, but because this is what God has designed for us. If I try and fail, I thank God. If I try and succeed I thank God. Both are dependent on Him, and both are gifts from Him. So in all things I act, not for the sake of the outcome, which is God’s, but for the sake of the character inherent in the action, which is mine to keep. Also I act for the sake of Him who gives all things, that I may find Him pleasing, and that He may be pleased with me. My world is the inner world, where I trust in His plan, live in His love and rejoice in the love for others that He is able to give. There is in this life no frustration, no disappointment and no regret. All that is, is a gift from God to me, and for that I will forever thank Him.