Summary: When we find ourselves thinking that what we need is more, let’s commit to becoming less. Don’t submit to circumstances, but to the Lord who controls circumstances.
In Humble Submission
Living in this world does not come easy, everyone struggles. It should be of no surprise as Jesus Himself tells us that in this world we will have tribulations (troubles) in this life. But we often have a tendency to think that if we just had a little more “something”, things would be easier. More money, more prestige, more power, more stuff. If God could just bless us with more, things would be better. That’s what we think. If we could just have more, or be more, all would be well.
But that’s not what God tells us.
I. More Requires less
A. God tells us that more requires less.
…and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward on another, For God is opposed to the proud, But gives grace to the humble… 1 Peter 5:5
a) The Greek word here is derived from egkombomai, (eng-comb-bow'-om-eye) which meant to tie or knot something together and most often referred to a garment with ties or strings.
b) The komboma was an apron a servant wore while working. Peter's meaning in “to clothe yourselves with humility” means to put on the apron and go to work, humbly serving one another.
c) Philippians 2:3-5 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
B. God asks for less me and more thee
a) Young people should follow the leadership of the older people (especially those in authority over them as elders). The elders, in turn, should lead by example. All should actively serve one another (1 Peter 5:1-5).
b) No doubt Peter remembered how Christ clothed himself with humility as he washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17).
c) Peter quoted from Proverbs 3:34 to make his point. Believers must deal with one another in humility because “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble”.
d) Not only does pride keep people from listening to or following God, it also can keep older people from trying to understand young people and young people from listening to those who are older.
e) Humility allows believers to live faithfully on earth with the promise of His grace.
f) The verbs are in the present tense, God continually opposes those who are proud; God continually gives grace to the humble.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
C. To be lifted up, I must knell down
a) Therefore, because God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble, Peter admonished the believers to humble themselves.
b) This would be an act of the will; humility does not come naturally. But when believers humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, they are actually submitting to his power and authority.
d) To truly humble themselves, believers need to accept life’s struggles as part of God’s providence. They must humble themselves even in the face of persecution because God will exalt them.
e) Being “exalted” refers to a reversal of past misfortunes and troubles, triumph over their oppressors, and participation in Christ’s glory.
f) The exalting may be in this life or in the next. In any case it will be in the proper time; that is, in God’s perfect time.
1. It might be in the present life.
2. It will certainly be in the world to come
D. With submission comes acceptance
a) Humbly obey God regardless of present circumstances, and in His good time, either in this life or in the next, He will lift you up.
b) Let us remember that Jesus humbled Himself completely when He died on the cross (Philippians 2:6-11) and that God exalted Him to the highest heaven.
c) The will of God is not arbitrary; it is not negative and reactive. His will is completely trustworthy
E. With submission comes trust
Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 PETER 5:7
a) This verse gives reassurance for believers to humble themselves. It tells us that submission to His will is positive and active. (Matthew 10:28-31)
b) It takes humble submission to literally, “throw your anxieties” over to God and trust that he cares.
c) God is not indifferent; he knows what is going on in our lives. Sometimes we think that struggles caused by our own sin and foolishness are not God’s concern. But when we submit to God in repentance, he will bear the weight even of those struggles.