“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.”
I Peter 5:5-8 NKJV
In my younger days, I was the epitome of one self-centered. It was all about me. I went about with a huge pair of blinders, that shut out everything around me. In my pride, I seldom asked for advice and I had the tendency to view myself above others. I went about, a snoot, looking down on all and valuing none. I often found the pitfalls of such a position, as I frequently found myself running into bad situations that could have been avoided if I had listened to someone, or at least watched others.
In my youth, the old folks were scaredy cats, and overly cautious. I had not acquired the wisdom to understand that they were the way they were because they had learned the hard way. In the christian life, it is crucial to submit oneself to the authority of others. The passage I read today, reminded me of that and how that humility can guide one through the turbulent waters of a walk in the faith. Those who have walked the walk of faith longer than we have, have great experience and have learned much.
Conflict comes when people of opposing views, encounter each others and there is no willingness to consider compromise. In our pride, we neglect the ties that bind and seek to force our will on others. In the church, it is the basis of church splits, pew splits, and group antagonism. Few people grow in such a situation as all energy is drained. Sadly, the Gospel is not preached, people do not grow spiritually and sin abounds.
In the economy of God, dividends are paid to the humble, to those who die to self for the good of the body. They are the ones who yield even when they are right, taking the conflict to the Lord in prayer. The reward of humilty, is grace. In my walk with Christ, I have the misfortune of being in situations where people try to size me up without getting to know me. So many try to apply the stereotype that they may harbor in their suburban minds. The result is that I have little desire for fellowship, and desire most to be left alone.
I can say that God’s grace has given me the support I need to place myself in body of believers and use the gifts that He has given me. I am an encourager and an intercessor, both are unlikely, given my desire for solitude. The Lord propels me to love and to serve.
Brothers and sisters, we are in a diffcult time that is getting more difficult by the day. The tendency is to go to war, to seek to gain advantage in the battle over the culture. In conflict, doors are closed to the Gospel. I humble myself in the culture war, as I stand for my faith. I do not affirm people in their sin, but I do not slam them over the head with my bible either. I share the Good News of the Gospel, that they come to the cross and are saved. I pray for the Holy Spirit to convict, to open hearts and to provide the opportunity to share.
In these perilous times, pride is dangerous, as temptations abound and the evil one is waiting to ensnare believers and destroy testimonies. He is truly a ravenous lion, and is looking to devour lives, and take souls into hell. In humility, we are looking down, hearts bowed, we are circumspect, as we examine ourselves to see if there be anything that can inhibit the presentation of the message of Jesus. That introspection allows us to see the pitfalls, and also be aware of the opportunities to tell someone of the great salvation in Jesus Christ.
Let us go humbly and in submission that God be exalted in us, and that He exalt us for His glory. As these times become more dark, let us cast all of our cares on the Lord, and seek Him daily. He truly cares for us. He is a faithful at all times. Let us use the adversity as an opportunity to show the glory of God.
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.”
James 4:10-11 NKJV
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