I PETER 5:6-7: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: What is humility? The Bible calls us to a life of humility. To experience the power of God in our lives, to be “exalted” (lifted up from our previous state), requires humility. So to understand what it means to be humble is very important.
Many times I find that I confuse the concept of humility with weakness or timidness. Humility is neither. Humility is understanding the true source of power and surrendering to that power. Peter lays out three things to be considered in our understanding of humility. There is the mighty hand of God, our personal anxieties, and God’s care and concern for us. It is important to understand all three, and I find it helpful to look at them in reverse order.
God cares for me! Paul writes in Romans 8 – “If God is for us (me), than who can be against us (me). I know that God so loved the world (me) that He sent Jesus to die in our (my) place, take the penalty for our (my) sin, defeat death by rising again in newness of life – so that we, by believing in Him, could become His children, living with Him eternally (John 3:16). If God loved me this much, then why do I struggle to believe that He is concerned about every aspect of my life. The truth is – God cares for me! Again, Paul reminds us – “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 ESV)
Since God cares for me, I am not called to simply “struggle” through life. I am not left alone to find my way without His assistance or care. Anxiety is no longer my master. Anxiety is defined as – “A feeling of worry or dread with respect to a future or uncertain event which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a painful state of uneasiness.” This is a mind and heart that is not walking in the assurance that God cares. The mind and heart that knows that God is for them, that God cares, that He desires to graciously give them all things – casts their anxieties upon the Lord. Jesus calls each one of us to do this each and every day:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)
Finally, we understand that the power is not within us, the power is in God’s mighty hand!! There is only one who can save, there is only one who can heal, there is only who can deliver us from the power of sin, sickness, death, and the devil – Jesus Christ our Lord! When we recognize that, when we understand His great care and love for us, when we let go of our anxiety and cast all of our cares upon Him – we enter into the true understanding and exercise of humility. Humility in essence is simply knowing that He alone is God and it is futile to try and live this life within our own strength. Moses embraced this fact when he led the children of Israel from Egypt toward the Promised Land. Trusting daily in the Grace of God the Scriptures declare –
“Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3 NKJV)
Mose was not weak or timid. Moses was just fully aware of Who had the power! Understanding Who holds the power is the key to humility, freedom, and victory! The rest of I Peter 5 now becomes both our assurance and our prayer!
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (I Peter 5:8-11 NKJV)
God of all power, Father of all mercy, Lord of all strength – perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle me today – for Your glory!
In Jesus Name!