It had been an especially long, difficult week and I just wanted to run away and escape. Not that I would, but I have to admit that I was in the thick of this temptation when my phone notified me of a text. A very precious friend who had no idea what was going on in my life explained that the Lord had just laid 1 Peter 3:3-4 on her mind for me, and so she was passing it along.
It said, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3:3-4, KJV).
I was challenged to evaluate my own “hidden man” or nature, and so I looked up the words meek and quiet in the Strong’s Concordance. As I studied, I was overwhelmed at the way the Holy Spirit was directing me through the temptation.
The word meek (G4235 and G4239) means gentle, humble, mild. The Outline of Biblical Usage in the Strong’s said, “Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isaiah 41:17, Luke 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Galatians 5:23).”
The word quiet (G2272) means “tranquil. Akin to sit. Keeping one’s seat (sedentary: inactive, deskbound), still (undisturbed, undisturbing).” It is from G1476: “Sitting, sedentary; firm, immovable, steadfast.” And from G2192: “To hold one’s self to a thing, to lay hold of a thing, to adhere or cling to, to be closely joined to a person or a thing.”
I cried because I had to admit that the hidden nature of my heart was not adorned with meekness. I was relying on my own strength and was not trusting in God’s goodness or His control. My heart was convicted as I realized how I had become so occupied with self, full of finding a self-solving solution, which if I complied, would leave a wake of destruction behind me.
And then I had to laugh! The Holy Spirit was literally telling me to sit down and shut up, to fully rely on God and let Him take care of everything, even the bad or difficult things that have happened or are happening. There would be no running away for me! I chose my Faithful Father’s way of escape that would come through fully surrendering myself to Him and allowing Him to work in me, to change me (1 Corinthians 10:13).
I realized that no matter what others have done to me, no matter what situation I find myself in, no mater how I feel, I must not take matters into my own hands or try to fix it even if it sounds like a good idea or the right thing to do. God is using all these things, even the evil that others may have done to purify that hidden place in my heart, to change my old nature into His new nature. I must let all that go, crucify it, and die to myself. I must stop all selfishness and selfish plans and ambitions. I must trust God’s goodness to take control of the situation, and must not trust my own will, but rather be obedient to God and His will. This is the example that Jesus set before us through His life and death.
God’s will was clearly telling me to sit down! Be still and deskbound, be firm, immovable and steadfast (committed, dedicated, persistent, unwavering) in being so joined to Jesus that I adhere myself to Him, cling to Him, relying on Him, trust in Him, and obey only Him.
I must remember that this is the work of the Holy Spirit in me. And yet the Holy Spirit will not work unless I choose to disengage myself from self, and to engage myself in clinging to Jesus, sitting at His feet, choosing to stay there, immovable, and deskbound in studying Him and His Word. Until He tells me to move.
Matthew 5 came to mind. Jesus left the crowds of people behind and went up into a mountain. After He was set, after He had been there awhile, the disciples went to Him and He began to teach them. Meekness is one of the beatitudes that Jesus taught. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). I can see myself sitting on that mountain being taught and trained by Jesus like the disciples were. I don’t know how long they sat there. I don’t know how long I’ll sit here. But I choose to trust in and rely on the Holy Spirit for my strength and guidance. I choose to crucify my way and to be obedient to God’s way. I choose to be joined to Jesus, to follow Him. Amen.