During my high school days, I was involved in Cadet training and reached the rank of sergeant in Form 5 or grade 11. I thought that becoming a Platoon Commander or higher would be so easy in Form 6 or Grade 12 so I just played around and didn’t take the Cadets seriously during the early part of the next year. Shortly after, the new ranks for cadet officers were given out in a grand parade and I was demoted to Lance Corporal. This was a humiliating rank for me as those in lower grades/forms were given higher ranks that year.
I hated cadets for a while but I learned a valuable lesson that Pride comes before a fall and humility will bless you. We all want to be blessed by God. We all want the supernatural favor of God to be upon our homes and families. But do you know that God will resist the proud? But He will give grace to the humble?
“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” Verse 5
The proud person says, “I can do my own thing; I can run my own life”. DON”T FIGHT AGAINST GOD.
The Greek word for “Resists” means to be in battle array against someone. So what this is saying is that if we are proud and not humble, then God will be against us in battle array until we humble ourselves. Andrew Murray said, “Water always fills the lowest place”.
- Humility will open doors like nothing else can
- Humility is your pathway to a glorious future
This passage helps us to know how humility works: 1 Peter 5:5-10
1. Humility is the clothes we wear – Verse 5 Be clothed (Aproned)
The Greek word for clothed is to wear an apron (as an attitude). What does it mean to wear an apron? You are ready to cook or clean or do something of service. People can recognize the atmosphere you carry.
Jesus washed His disciples’ feet (John 13). Jesus did not hide behind His title. He did not hide behind His authority. He simply got down on His knees and washed His disciples’ feet. This is the kind of attitude we should have.
I don’t ever want to be a pastor where people carry my bible, carry my stuff everywhere and the people can’t speak to me because I am too high. I don’t want to be put on a pedestal.
Without God, we are nothing…without God we can do nothing.
I thank God that during Communion, I see members of our church – a van driver, a pilot, a shipping manager and an executive manager all coming together serving communion. It’s really touching to me when we can forget about titles and pick up our towels and get our basins and wash each others’ feet during communion.
2. Humility is the choice we make – Verse 6
“Oh God, please humble me”. I hope that you have not prayed that prayer. There is a difference between God humbling you and you humbling yourself. The bible says that we are to humble ourselves…not for God to humble you. If you humble yourself, it will be easier and better than if God humbled you.
Matthew 21:44 Better for you to fall upon the stone and be bruised rather than the stone fall upon you and crush you.
Every time we face something, we have to choose between humility or pride. Our normal way of reacting to anything is pride…but we still have to choose to humble ourselves and trust God and He will exalt you in due time.
I know a person when his father died, he looked up to heaven and cursed God. I was a bit shocked and encouraged him not to blame God for his loss.
It is very hard to remain quiet and submissive, especially when you are being treated unfairly. But it’s a choice we make to surrender that unfair and difficult situation to the Lord. It says, “The Mighty Hand of God”.
3. Suffering is part of being humble – Verse 9
As part of the Christian family, sometimes, we will suffer for our faith in Jesus or we go through some kind of suffering.
The early Christians were persecuted and they suffered a lot. But even in their sufferings, they were reminded that God is in control and He is allowing the time of suffering (After you have suffered a while), to perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you. THERE IS A PROCESS, AND SUFFERING IS PART OF THE PROCESS.
It is really not about just suffering. It is also about HOW we suffer.
- People persecute you – Do you forgive them and pray for them?
- Friends betray you – Do you still love them and forgive them
- When you are suffering from a sickness – Do you face it bravely or do you let fear and bitterness take over? Do you stand in faith and trust God to heal you and keep you strong?
I don’t know who is reading this right now, but God is telling you – Don’t ever quit. Don’t ever give up. This time of suffering will end and God is in control and He will perfect you…
4. It is the True Grace – Verse 12
We have so many teachings about grace. But the true grace is this. Humble yourself. Be clothed with humility. Even if we have to suffer, be humble. If there is a true grace, then there is a false grace.
A local pastor in Nadi, preached in crusades and evangelism but didn’t pay his rent for months. We take God’s grace for granted. We need to be true to God in every area of life. Sounds hard but we live by God’s grace in every area of life.
A NZ pastor once told me his impression of another local pastor. He said, “That pastor is one of the most humble men I know”. But this same humble man was beating his wife and stealing tithe from his church members.
This is deception. To act humble in appearance but to live un-righteously in private. Humility must cover every aspect of life. We need to display true grace by humbling ourselves to follow God’s word and God’s ways in all areas of life.