Matthew 5:5 says that the meek will inherit the earth. Jesus even calls Himself “meek” in Matthew 11:29. But what does the word mean? And why is this a quality that would define those who are counted worthy to receive life in the ages to come? I believe that God showed me an analogy through a dream that explains the concept. It also helps us see the warning of becoming the opposite of meek and how to live our lives in light of it.
What “Meek” Does and Doesn’t Mean
Usually when we think of the word “meek,” we think it has a negative connotation. The words “weak” or “spiritless” come to mind. We picture someone who is a doormat, letting everyone else walk all over him/her or even a wet noodle, bending and twisting depending on the situation. It can even describe someone who is timid and fearful.
But the Greek word for “meek” is “praus.” It means “strength under control.” It’s not about weakness but allowing God to be our strength. It’s not about a lack of spirit but about remembering the Spirit from whence we come. And it’s not about being cowardly but of knowing when to stand up for ourselves and when to allow God to fight our battles for us.
The Dream That Gives the Analogy
Nearly nine years ago, Jesus came for me in my lukewarm state and called me into a real relationship with Him. Gone were the days of talking to the ceiling. I spoke to God, and He spoke to me through the pages of His Word and sometimes even through dreams. My very favorite dream in my whole life came from God right after He made me a new creation.
The dream started with me going back to college. It was the third period of the day, and I had somehow forgotten my schedule. I was heading across a parking lot to a computer lab to look it up when I got into the passenger seat of a car (I guess meaning to cross through to the other side). The car started going forward and backward in a rocking motion, and I fell asleep (in my dream). I woke up and looked out the window. There was God!
In my dream, God was a very tall, thin man with red hair, a red beard, and a big smile. When I saw Him, I got so excited. I started bouncing in my seat, begging Him to come into the car with me. He got into the driver’s seat, his long legs kind of crunched up against the steering wheel as He barely fit inside. He turned to me and clasped both of my hands in His (congratulations-style). I never felt so much love and acceptance in my whole life. Then the dream flashed to later in the day. I found out that something terrible had happened on campus while I had been in the car with God.
Interpretation and Analogy
The dream was a picture of my salvation. I invited Jesus into my car (my life), and He got into the driver’s seat (into a position of control). While I was with Him, I was safe from any harm, and He poured out His love for me and showed me His acceptance there.
From this we see that our lives are like a vehicle. Before we meet Christ, we drive ourselves wherever we want to go. We decide how fast or slow we want to travel and which route we take to get to the destinations we decide. After Jesus comes into our lives, we are no longer the ones in charge of our journey. He chooses where we’re going, how we get there, and even how long the trip will last. God takes control.
Those Who Are Meek Submit Themselves to God’s Will
Jesus called Himself “meek and lowly.” Even though He is the Son of God (who is God), He still sought to do God’s will above His own. In John 6:38, Jesus says, “ For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” In Matthew 26:39, Matthew 26:42, and Mark 14:36, Jesus asked for God’s will to be done instead of His own. And in Philippians 2:5 and 9, Paul asks us to have the same meek and lowly spirit of obedience to God. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
The opposite of meek can be described as “overbearing,” “assertive,” and even “impatient.” It describes those who refuse to allow God to call the shots in their lives.
In Light of This, How Shall We Ride?
Don’t Be a Backseat Driver – We must have faith that His ways are best.
If you have ever been the driver when someone kept giving instructions from another seat in the car, you know how annoying it is. In life, we can’t keep telling God how to drive. We can humbly make requests, but when it becomes apparent that His way is not our way, we need to learn to be quiet and enjoy the ride His way. John 14:6 says, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” After a while, the landscape will start to matter less and less when we realize that when Jesus is driving, we can be sure to reach our heavenly Destination – and we just might see some amazing sights along the way!
Don’t Try to Take the Wheel – It’s important that we submit to God in every area.
As a passenger, it’s dangerous to try to grab the wheel from the driver. It can cause an accident when two people are trying to direct the vehicle at once. Instead, we must allow God to make our choices for us, seeking His will in every area and striving to please Him. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” In this life, 1 Corinthians 13:12 says that we “see through a glass darkly.” That just means that as humans we don’t always know the full picture of things. But God sees the end from the beginning. He knows the where the potholes and barricades are and how to avoid them. He knows the stops we need to make to get the most out of our trip.
Don’t Shout “Fire Drill” – God must be our God to the end.
When I was a kid in the 1970’s, it became a fun prank to switch drivers at a stoplight. Someone would shout the phrase, and everyone would get out of the car, getting back into it in a different seat. But kicking God out of the driver’s seat means kicking Him out of our cars. God doesn’t ride in the passenger seat, the backseat, or the trunk. If we want God in our lives, He has to be the one driving. Matthew 7:21 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Doing things God’s way is a requirement, not an option.
The Meek Will Inherit the Earth
Only those who are in complete submission to God will follow Him into eternity. Our lives must be about finding out His will for us and doing it in every situation. It will take strength to submit, but the joy of the Lord is our strength. It will take a strong spirit to resist our own desires in favor of His, but the Holy Spirit will be there to teach us the way. And it will take courage to live our lives in faith when we don’t always understand where our journey leads. But God will always be right there close to show us His love and comfort, and He will get us where we are going right on time.
Enjoy analogies? Try 3 Last Days Object Lessons From Shopping or Born Again: All About that Butterfly Life. Please sign up to receive my blog in your email in-box. You can find that at the upper right of your screen (or at the bottom on a phone). Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.