Lowly or Lifted Up

Michael Beck

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

Lowliness of heart is the rarest of qualities. Jesus was not boasting when He described Himself in this way. He knew Himself. He knew that He had set aside His glory in heaven to descend to the earth and become flesh and blood. He knew that He who was King of heaven had become the servant of all upon the earth. He knew that He who was worthy of all honor would die as a condemned criminal. And knowing this, He purposefully let go of all He was, and all men glory in, and became something despised in the eyes of men, so that He would win the praise and honor of the only One who really mattered. In doing this He found the greatest peace.

We live in a day when men’s spirits are lifted up, but not upright. (Hab. 2:4) They demand to be respected. They will not tolerate anyone’s “abuse.” They indignantly attack and “cut off” those they believe have not properly regarded their person.

As man’s self-love increases so does his retaliatory and vengeful spirit. We hear people saying how they’re not going to “take it” any longer. But what do we read in scripture: “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” (1 Peter 2:20) According to Peter, there is no glory found in an attitude that refuses to “take it.”

No, this is not a matter of turning a blind eye to injustice and oppression. We need to lift up our voices for those who are being drawn away unto death. (Prov. 24:11,12) But in the process of fighting injustice, men so easily become the very thing that they hate. Those fighting oppression become oppressive. Those judging others become guilty of the same crimes.

Jesus alone overcame the evil of this world. He did so because He was meek and lowly of heart. He did so because He let nothing move Him but His Father. He did so because He walked with a single eye and only sought approval from above. He knew He would return to the earth as a Lion to set the larger world in God’s order, but first He must come as a Lamb to bring the hearts of men into that order.

If we would share the yoke of the Prince of Peace we would know His rest in our souls. If we would set aside our glory, we would be clothed with His greater glory which receives the approval that comes from God alone.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.