Be Humble, Not Proud

1 Peter 5:5-7 ESV

“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ 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.”

We should never be prideful. Pride is something we all have to guard against, especially when we are under attack. Now, we can counter lies with the truth as Jesus did, and as Paul did, but we as humans should never raise ourselves up to try to make ourselves look good or superior to others, for we are all human, and we all came into this world as sinners, and it is only by God’s grace that any of us can be saved from our sins. Amen?

So, we are supposed to clothe ourselves with humility. And that means that “humble” becomes who we are, not as an outward garment that we wear to try to impress others, for that is fake, but as something that is a part of our character. We apply humility to our lives by humbling ourselves, by choosing to not be proud, and by taking the lesser position. For we all need to have a proper (fair) perspective (opinion) of ourselves in the eyes of God.

We are not to be going around exalting ourselves. Now, this is not saying that we lie about ourselves in order to appear humble. We can be truthful. And this is not saying that we can’t share our testimonies of what Jesus Christ did in our lives as long as our testimonies are centered on what Jesus did in our lives and not on our own fleshly accomplishments. And this is not saying that we can’t be bold in our witnesses for Christ and his gospel.

Humility is not shrinking back and refusing to share Christ because you might be accused of being self-righteous. Humility is not refusing to speak the truth in love because you might be accused of being judgmental. Jesus was humble but he definitely spoke the truth, in love, but in boldness and with no apologies for the truth that he told, either. It doesn’t mean you think you are better than others just because you talk about sin, repentance, and obedience.

Sometimes when we are under attack it may be tempting to try to prove our attackers wrong and to exalt ourselves. Now, again, this is not saying that we can’t defend ourselves from false accusations. Jesus did. Paul did. But we must remember that Jesus Christ went to the cross with people thinking all kinds of evil about him, and he willingly suffered wrong for you and for me, and he allowed himself to be thought of as evil so that he could die for our sins so that we could die to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.

So, we need to allow the Lord to exalt us in due time, at the proper time, when he is ready, and when it comes from him and not from ourselves. For people are going to think evil of us sometimes. Sometimes they will form wrong opinions of us and they may even spread those to other people. And we really have no control over what others think about us or what they say about us, and we have minimal control over what they do to us.

1 Peter 5:8-9 ESV

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”

Now, one of the biggest ways in which the enemy seeks to devour us is to try to trip us up, to bring us down, to try to get us to fall and to fail and to blow it in what we say to others. So he will set traps for us, and he will use other humans to do his dirty work. And so we have to watch out, for people on the internet especially will try to bait us, and they will try to get us to lose our cool and to get angry and to say things we shouldn’t.

Satan will use other humans to try to rile us up so that we respond in the flesh and not in the Spirit, and so they will have cause to accuse us and to try to destroy us in the process. And it may not be that we get angry, but that we answer in the flesh and not in the Spirit and thus we answer wrongly and so they have cause to find fault in us to accuse us in hopes to discredit us so that people will stop listening to us share the gospel.

Now, before we get on the internet and on blogs and Christian forums and Facebook and Twitter, and the like, we need to be prayed up, and we need to be spiritually healthy, and we need to be walking in holiness and righteousness because we are going to be bombarded with all sorts of stuff on there – all from trying to tempt us to sin with our thoughts to trying to get us to react to something in an ungodly manner, etc.

And we need to be humble so that we don’t react in pride when people come against us, for if we are speaking the truth of the gospel we will be opposed, and there will be people, some of them plants, whose goal it is to try to trip us up with our words. We don’t have to answer everything. We need wisdom to know when people are just trying to bait us into a fruitless discussion, too. And sometimes we just need to walk away from conversations.

1 Peter 5:10-11 ESV

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

We are going to suffer in all kinds of ways if we are following Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands and if we are walking in his ways and in his truth, and if we are living holy lives which are separate from the world and unto God. We are especially going to be attacked if we are sharing the truth of the gospel, the whole counsel of God, and if we are calling people to repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord.

But as followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to a life of suffering, so this should not surprise us, and we should not let it take us out (discourage us). For suffering for Christ and for his gospel and for the sake of righteousness is what we are called to, and one day our suffering will be over and we will be with our Lord for eternity, and God will wipe away all the tears from our eyes, and there will be no more sorrow or pain.

In the meanwhile we will suffer, but with each suffering the Lord is there to comfort, to encourage, to strengthen, to help, to nurture, and to mature us in our walks of faith in him so that we may grow to maturity in Christ. He will give us all we need to endure whatever it is he allows us to go through, whether it is something physical or emotional, or whether we are being persecuted for righteousness’ sake. We can count on him to be there.

So, when we go through these times of suffering, and when we come under enemy attack, and when we are being accused falsely of things we did not do or say, we must remember all that Jesus Christ went through for us so that we might be delivered from our slavery to sin and so we might walk in his holiness and righteousness in his power and strength. And so we should give God all the glory for all that has done and is doing in us and for us. Amen!

Worthy is the Lamb

By Darlene Zschech

Revelation 5:12b-13b

Thank you for the cross Lord
Thank you for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came
And gave amazing grace

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious
High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

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