Blessed are the meek: Surrender and Shaping

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  Matthew 5:6

Meekness is not any one thing.  To be meek is the personal living out, in the many and varied experiences of life, one’s total dependence upon God and one’s sorrow for self-sufficiency.

Meekness includes joyfully receiving life as God allows it to come to you and responding to God and people accordingly.

Surrendering to God as He allows life to come to you is conjoined with you and God shaping your life together.

The meek person surrenders and shapes their lives.

For the meek, the surrender/shaping paradox is a type of dynamic tension.

  • Sloppy surrender becomes careless, directionless, and lazy.
  • Over shaping becomes arrogant and controlling resistance to God.

The surrender/shaping paradox of meekness is established upon discernment. 1 Cor. 12:7-10, 1 John 4:1

“Discernment: is the heightened ability to read or hear a teaching, to encounter a problem, or to consider a proposed course of action, and then determine whether the source behind the teaching, problem, or action is divine, merely human, or satanic.”   Dean and Laura VanDruff

  • Surrender and shaping are conjoined, meaning they come as both/and.
  • One can’t answer, “Which comes first?” To surrender is a function of shaping and to shape is a function of surrender.
  • Consider the surrender/shaping paradox in the magna carta of prayer, “The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).”
    • Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. Surrender.
    • Give us. Shaping.
    • Forgive us. Shaping.
    • Deliver us. Shaping.
    • For thine is the kingdom and the glory. Surrender.

The narrative of Job’s experience is an extended surrender/shaping discernment conversation.

Job must determine if his experience is something he should surrender and/or something he should shape.

  1. Discerning the source of the experience.
    1. Is it sourced in God? Acts 10:9-16
    2. Is it sourced in the evil one? Isaiah 54:17
    3. In Job’s case, it was sourced first in God and secondarily in the evil one. Job 1:8
  2. Discerning a wise response when the experience is sourced in God.
    1. Surrender to God.
    2. Shape the experience through conversation and negotiation based upon God’s scriptural revelation.
  3. Discerning a wise response when the experience is sourced in the evil one.
    1. Prayer for wisdom
    2. Deal with any “foothold” you are giving to the evil one.
    3. Rebuke
    4. Resist
  4. Discerning a wise response when the experience is first sourced in God and secondarily in the evil one. Job 13:15