1 Peter 5:6-7
“6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
In an effort to conquer fear, Christians often quote 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” but that only gives us a partial picture. If we want a more complete picture when it comes to casting our care we need to include the verse preceding, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” Conquering fear doesn’t start with casting it starts with capitulation. A fear free life:
- Starts with Surrender
Instead of living scared lives we are called to live surrendered lives. Dealing with fear means living by faith, which requires that we turn to and trust in God. For many submission has a negative connotation because we have a perverted perspective, we see submission as giving up or giving in, when it really involves gain. Submission frees us from having to figure everything out. Instead of having to be in charge and trying to carry the burdens we give control to Christ. Submission to the Savior doesn’t take away our freedom rather it lets us live free lives, because instead of us having to try we get to trust. Submission is turning over control to Christ, its letting the Redeemer take the reigns. One of the reasons we cast our cares only to real them back in is that we have never really surrendered control to Christ. We come to Him to fix our problems not to fall on our face and yield to His plan. We want the help we just want it our way. This isn’t just seeking God in the scared times but submitting to him at all times. I would suggest that one of the real reasons we are living scared lives is because we are trusting in self and not the Savior. As a result everything rests on us instead of resting on the Redeemer. We will never cast what we try to carry. Living a fear free life starts with submission which leads to a:
- Humble Heart.
Inseparably linked to submission is the virtue of humility. A humble heart is the result of a surrendered heart. Verse 5 exhorts all of us, both young and old alike to clothe ourselves with humility, “And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” This is not just a call to humility it’s being clothed with humility. The word clothe here refers to a servant’s garment, literally the apron of a slave that was worn over their other clothing and tied with a knot. Once this garment was on, the slave was ready for their task. Likewise we will never be of service to God until we clothe ourselves with Christ’s humility. I wonder how many saints would be scantily clad if they were clothed only in their humility? Until we clothe ourselves in true humility we will never cultivate a heart of humility. How does a humble heart combat fear, by freeing us from the poison of pride. Pride produces an attitude of arrogance and if you don’t recognize pride it will slowly and silently slip in and poison your life. Pride promises us fame but delivers failure. Instead of living a faithful life we end up living a foolish one. Life becomes about self-effort instead of the Savior. It becomes about my work instead His. Pride puts us on a never ending path of performance. Instead of resting in the finished work of redemption we end up running on the never ending treadmill of trying. And no matter how much we achieve it’s never enough. Pride was the poison that Satan used in the garden of Eden to taint Eves thinking, Genesis 3:4 “The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5″For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” Pride causes us to compete with God instead of communing with Him. Instead of an exciting life we live an exhausted one. Are you tired of the treadmill of trying, do you recognize pride in your life, are you ready to resist it? If you want to succeed then you need to stop trying and start trusting. Pride causes us to work at promoting self, but humility frees us from the endless work of promoting self to the worthwhile work of proclaim Christ. Instead of spend our lives serving self we spend them serving the Savior. We protect against pride by positioning ourselves under the powerful hand of God. The key to success is submission to the Savior. We need to remember that Christ is the commander and he calls the shots. The antidote to arrogance is admitting that we need the Almighty, it takes a humble heart to hide under God’s mighty hand. The humble find protection but the prideful find hardship. In Daniel chapter 10 we find Daniel in deep distress, he had had a vision and had sought the Lord for answers. Verse 12 reveals the reason for God’s answer, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.” It was a heart of humility that caused heaven to hear. When we humble ourselves under His hand we find help but when trust in self we end up suffering. Pride will always keep you from prayer, but a humble heart provides protection. When it comes to humility C.S. Lewis offers us some great insight: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” When we put ourselves in our rightful place, God lifts us up at the right time. Pride is the plague of our time, selfishness is the sickness that has infected our society and one of the symptoms of selfishness is fear. But servants of the Savior are not focused on fear and bound up in the bondage of worry because they are busy engaged in the work. Are you wasting your energy in worry or engaged in the work? Humility means having the heart of Christ, the One who though He was God yet for our sakes emptied Himself and became a bond servant. Philippians 2: tells us that He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. John 13 tells us that He wrapped a servant’s towel around His waist and washed His disciple’s feet. What are you wrapped up in today is it an apron of service or an attitude of selfishness? Are you wrapped up in His work or your worry?