Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 3 and 4- A Meek and Quiet Spirit

The meek woman's confidence is in the security of the truths of Scripture and the faithfulness of God.
Proverbs 3:26 For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Proverbs 14:26 He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress and for his children it will be a refuge.
Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.

The fretful woman's trust is in her own abilites and power to control others and details.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
Proverbs 14:12 There is as way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

I like to be in control. I hate the feeling that I'm not in control. When I feel like I'm not in control of circumstances or even people around me, I feel frustrated and anxious. The deeper issue for me here is being able to trust God to be in control of circumstances and people around me because I have trouble trusting anyone, even God, to be in control. But God is so much better at being in control than I am. He is faithful, and His Word is truth.

The meek woman finds her worth and value in knowing who she is in Christ.
Ephesians 1:3-8 He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless, to be adopted through Christ Jesus, for His praise and glory. We have redemption and forgiveness in Him. He has lavished upon us the riches of His grace.

The fretful woman finds her worth and value in her own accomplishments and what others think of her.
Psalm 49:12-13 But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish. this is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers who approve their sayings.
Proverbs 11:28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
Proverbs 16:18-19 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proberbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.

The sin of pride is the root of so many of my problems. I am guilty of placing a high consideration in how people perceive me. My heart fills with pride when I accomplish something and people notice and praise me for it. The truth of the matter is that I am nothing apart from Christ. Because of Christ, the verses in Ephesians are true regarding me!

Father God, I confess to You my pride which keeps me full of myself and drives me to hold tightly to the idea that I am in control. There is nothing that I can do or manipulate outside of Your control. Thank you for choosing me and redeeming me. Thank You for your faithfulness and the truth of Your Word.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 2- A Meek and Quiet Spirit

The meek will react to circumstances with peaceful trust.
Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

The fretful will attempt to manipulate indivduals or circumstances.
James 4:1-3 What is the cause of fights and quarrels? It comes from wanting something and not getting it. You don't have it because you don't ask. And when you do ask, you ask with selfish motives.
Proverbs 7:21 With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.

Peace is the pursuit of nearly everyone, yet it seems so elusive to so many. True peace is only found in trusting God. The verses from Isaiah are such an encouragement to me. Trust in the Lord forever, for the LORD, the LORD is the Rock eternal. God is my Rock; He is eternal! He is the only one in whom I can trust. Circumstances come and go and constantly change, but God is unchanging. Attempting to manipulate people and circumstances around me fills my heart with strife and unrest.

The meek will make choices based on Scriptural principles.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

The fretful will make life choices based on emotions or fleeting passions of the moment.
James 3:13-18 Earthly "wisdom" leads to selfish choices and produces disorder and sinfulness.
Proverbs 19:16 He who obeys instructions guards his life, but he who is contemptuous of his ways will die.

I don't usually consider myself an emotional person. I'm generally pretty level-headed. But I don't think that I could truthfully claim to base my life choices on Scripture 100% of the time. I know I certainly make selfish choices all too often, and those selfish choices definitely keep me from having a meek and quiet spirit.

Father God, thank you for being my Rock, unchanging and eternal. You are the only One in whom I can trust. Help me to trust You and not attempt to manipulate people or circumstances around me. Thank You for the truth of Your Word. It has everything I need for life. I confess that I often neglect to consider its Truth, Your Truth, when I'm looking for wisdom. Give me a hunger for Your Word, that I may know You more and find wisdom.

Please note: For some of the Scriptures, I have directly quoted the verse(s) from the NIV version. For some of the longer passages, I have paraphrased or summarized. Also, you can find the complete list of characteristics here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Meek and Quiet Spirit

I Peter 3:3-4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

This passage has always confused me, particularly the part regarding the gentle and quiet spirit. I am not a quiet person by nature. I try to conduct myself appropriately in various settings, but I just like to talk...a lot! My pastor's wife recently shared a resource that has helped me with understanding the intent of this passage. It comes from the Revive Our Hearts website, and the resource can be found here.

"Meekness is the silent submission of the soul to the 'providence' of God concerning us."
Matthew Henry

Meekness is another word for gentleness. First, I noted that the I Peter 3:4 refers to a "gentle (meek) and quiet spirit," meaning that I could be a quiet person on the outside and still not be following the command in this verse. The focus here is on what is happening in my spirit, as the quote describes up above.

The meek will be at rest in the storms of life.
Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus invites the weary to find rest for their souls in Him.
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Do not worry over the actions of people around you.

The fretful will be fearful in the storms of life.
Mark 4:35-41 Jesus calms the storm while He and His disciples are in the boat. He asks them why they doubt and whether they are still without faith.

Being at rest when life circumstances are anything but restful is a sign of a meek and quiet spirit that is trusting in God. These verses are very timely for me at this point because the storms of life are certainly raging around me.

Father, I am guilty of being fretful during the storms of life. Forgive my lack of faith. Please develop in me this gentle and quiet spirit that is so precious in your sight. Help me find rest in You. Help me to wait patiently on You for Your provision.