Things that give you purpose
By Teresa A. LeNeave
A lot of people want to know how to study the Bible. When I study, I like to pick out what is relevant for the time. Relevancy seems to have more of a lasting impression on me than reading just to be reading. To me, Bible study is like an old suitcase you find in an attic. You open it up, pick up one item at a time and examine it carefully. Curious people, "junkers and collectors" will know what I'm talking about. Some things you put stuff back into the suitcase because you may need it later. Some you set aside because you don't really think it affects you right now. Other things you take out, put it on, and use all the time. Things that give you purpose and direction. When you open the Bible, the suitcase, pray and ask God to direct your mind and thoughts to what he has for you at that particular day.
I unpacked a verse like that this week. It's found in Zephaniah. It says, "Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD's anger" (Zephaniah 2:3).
A time of worldwide judgment is coming. Even Hollywood producers believe an end is inevitable. We know that because so many movies have plots that lean toward world destruction and a hero that comes in to deliver. In spite of coming judgement, believers in God have hope. Zephaniah said, "It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord's anger". One thing is sure, he takes us through it or delivers us from it. If we go through the fire, he'll be with us. That's a verse you can unpack and use daily.
In Revelations John wrote, "Because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth" (Revelation 3:10).
Zephaniah said, "Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth ... It may be that you will be hidden." I always think of a meek person as one who has reigned in his/her strengths to the degree that they get good results. Picture a powerful stallion. Full of fire, vigor and strength. In the wild it runs haphazard, bullying its way through life. But, when it's tamed, it has learned how to harness its power and be "gently strong". It learns how to be useful.
Taming a horse does not make it any less powerful. It has no less vigor. Its powerful muscles are just as strong and just as dangerous, but training has taught him controlled power. He directs his power in a meaningful and effective way. In the same way, a meek person has controlled power which him/her more effective.
To me, that's what "meek" means. You are no less the person you were, but you know how to be "gently strong." You learn how to be useful. The meek person has learned how to reign in their emotions, their conversations, and their power. They don't use their position to push, but to lead. They are effective. They get results. Jesus said, "The meek shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5).
"Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice." The meek stand strong and uphold His justice. Not their own justice, but God's. Choosing between what God says is right and what your own opinion are, can be a hard thing to do because we look at things different than God. Our opinions may sway by the circumstance, but God is just. He always does the right and just thing.
A meek person is teachable and willing to learn. When you discover the will of God, (which to love God and treat people right), we just run in that direction. Which is more pleasant to be around? The wild horse or the tame horse? One who is useful or one who stomps around meaninglessly without direction or purpose? In the end, focus and purpose gets better results.