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What is humility?

1 Peter 5:5-11

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,

But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.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. 10 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. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

To exhibit true humility is to allow another to speak into your life, particularly to your challenges. When we express humility toward another person, the grace of God that is in that person will supernaturally be drawn out toward us. This is one way that the Grace of God manifests in our lives.  Furthermore, in order to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God we must cast all our cares upon Him. To cast our care carries the image of one removing a heavy bag from their shoulders and placing it on a horse, donkey, mule, camel, etc. If we take a moment to examine this notion more fully, we will have a very real, very clear, and very applicable picture of it.

    When one carries a backpack, they generally do not carry every one of their belongings in it. Rather, it is a small cross-section of those items they feel will be essential to survive whatever adventure or challenge they are stepping into. For instance, if I wish to spend a day hiking in the mountains I would likely pack food, water, an axe or hatchet, compass, communication source like a phone or radio, fire starters, flashlight, map, survival poncho, first aide components, sweater, etc. These things do not represent a comprehensive collection of everything I own, but rather have been deemed essential to survive in a mountainous day expedition. Think about it, they are all items that are in the “what if” category. They would be my way of being prepared in case some event occurred wherein I needed immediate and emergent help. This is exactly what this verse is talking about. The word “Cares” in the first half of verse 7 refer to any situation that causes anxiety, fear, stress, pressure, pain, worry, etc. If we use our backpack contents as a physical representation of the verse, we see that all of the items delineated therein would be specifically applicable to a situation that would cause anxiety, fear, stress, pressure, pain, worry, etc. These “tools” would be our way of solving the problem in the same way that we attempt to develop a “tool kit” to manage the stress of not having enough money, say or dealing with an intolerant child. 

    For clarity, let us discuss the issue of finance. Let us say that we spend a large portion of our savings to purchase a replacement car. It is not a new car, but it is new to us. Then we say to ourselves, “I must save some more money because that car may not make it very far and I need to be ready to replace whatever will break down on it.” Is this attitude prudent and wise? Yes, as long as it is what the Lord has instructed to be done. However, without the Lord’s direction, we are exhibiting that we are in fear of “what if” and that is precisely what leads the wicked one to us. Fear is the drop of blood that the wicked one can smell from a mile away. Fear, is what turns the “may devour” into “will devour.”  

    God, our Father, cares for us. He is meticulous in His attention to us and our lives and it is prideful to think that we “can handle it” on our own. When we are faced with any situation in life that may or that is likely to present stress, anxiety, fear, worry, pressure, etc., we must go to the Lord and cast it on Him and asking His advice on how to proceed! Only then are we walking by faith and not sight. Only then are we walking in faith and not sin. 

    We are admonished to remain sober and vigilant. Sober means simply to abstain from wine or alcohol or drugs we could say. The reason for this is excessively human. Meaning, when a human is stressed or anxious about a thing, their mind cannot normally handle it and so in an effort to self-medicate, they drink (or consume drugs). This of course is pharmakeia and will open the door to the wicked one. As well, when one is anxious, worried, stressed, etc. about a thing, there is a tendency to deny their feelings, especially if they are of the household of faith. This too will open the door to the wicked one. 

    Rather, it is more expedient for the human to recognize their worry, humble themselves by casting it on the Lord and praying for His guidance, direction, and deliverance. Then they should believe Him for His peace and that He really does care for them. 

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