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. (1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV)
I have come to fully believe that the most important characteristics about me is what I believe about myself and what I believe about God.
This week we studied (among other things) how our posture toward God should be: humble. God’s Word has much to say about who we really are without God, and how we should consider ourselves. Yet humility is a hard thing to gauge and a hard thing to “achieve”.
In a world where we are constantly told—even in Christian circles—that we are to hold our head up high, strengthen ourself and be the best person, Christian, mom, and wife we can be, humility can be a challenge.
Thankfully, Peter gives us some components to humility in this week’s passage.
Look for His mighty hand.
Try to imagine your life without the grace of God. You may have experienced the depths of great sin before you came to know the Lord; addiction, betrayal, or other deep, dark valleys. If you have experienced His rescue and redemption in your life in powerful ways, a humble view of who you really are may come easy for you.
Yet, there are many of us (of whom I am one) who have a pretty “clean” past. No arrests to tell of, or addictions to kick. We’ve been faithful and fruitful. The good little girls.
A posture of humility is a difficult place to find if you never see what you’ve been saved from. God’s restraining grace is often over-looked.
Had I dated a different guy in High School, I am certain I would not have been a virgin when I married my husband. Instead, God sent me a boy who was careful about how we spent our time together. This is God’s restraining grace. Though I swore I would never “do it” before I was married, I know now—without a doubt—that if I had been given enough time and opportunity things would be different.
Though much has changed in my life since then, I realize that much is still the same. Just like an un-tethered boat sitting idle in the water yet slowly drifting to the dangers of the open waters, without God’s restraining grace I will desert my babies, get into great debt, become a glutton, or cheat on my husband.
You will, too.
In other words, you are not the good little girl you think you are. It is only as we realize that it is by God’s mighty hand of grace that we are not living a different life. Yes, our choices matter; and yes, we need to be obedient. But we must realize that we are not the mightiest player in the game.
Casting comes with the humbling.
For some reason, every time I read this verse, I want to change “casting” to “cast”. I think it may be because we tend to separate these verses from one another. Verse seven is a great coffee cup verse—one we like to cling to. I’m anxious. God cares for me. Problem solved. Its almost as if we’ve changed it into a promise; let go and let God, and everything will be fine.
Problem is, that is not exactly what the verse is saying. Verses 6 and 7 are one sentence, and when read in context we see that the main command here is not to simply give our cares to God. We are exhorted to humble ourselves and, as we do, casting our anxieties on Him comes as a by-product. It is all one command—one action. We cannot be humble before God and truly recognize His great might, all the while clinging to our worries.
I wonder how many times I have been caught clinging to the facade that I can control what is bringing me angst while trying to be humble before God at the same time?
Remember one of the virtues that makes me precious in God’s sight? A peaceable spirit; being a woman who is able to be at peace. Kinda like when we fall asleep while reading and awake to find the book we were holding on the floor, resting humbly under God’s mighty hand causes our grip of worry to loosen. And as we see what a haven it is to be in His rest, we will willingly throw our anxieties unto our caring Savior.
I don’t know about you, but I would rather rest in the goodness of His presence than cling to the worries of my days.
What did the Lord speak to you in our last passage together? Come and share it in the comments!