Humility and Warfare

January 12, 2014   I Peter 5:1 -11   

 

  "Humility is something we should constantly pray for, yet never thank God that we have."  Do we thank God that we are humble?     I suppose it is one of those areas where there is always room to grow.   Henry Augustus Rowland, professor of physics at Johns Hopkins University, was once called as an expert witness at a trial. During cross-examination a lawyer demanded, "What are your qualifications as an expert witness in this case?"   The normally modest and retiring professor replied quietly, "I am the greatest living expert on the subject under discussion."   Later a friend well acquainted with Rowland’s disposition expressed surprise at the professor’s uncharacteristic answer. Rowland answered, "Well, what did you expect me to do?   I was under oath."    In other words I will not lie it.     It is good to be self effacing but not to extreme.   All of God’s great leaders were and are self effacing.  Moses was a meek man above all the men on earth. 

    Humility is an interesting subject.  We have heard of the church that gave the pastor the humble button or badge and then took it away because he wore it.   It is very important topic also because pride comes before a fall and haughty spirit before destruction.   Pride has destroyed many a good person.  .  What is humility?   Certainly there can be many ways to define it.   It means being of low estate.  To me it means being focused on God and on others.   It is not being stuck on yourself.    The humble Christian is obedient to God and does not choose to disobey God.   That means that how they talk, what they watch, what they do and how they spend their money is governed by the Lord.   The truly humble person does not knowingly and willing sin against the lord. It has been said that you can measure your humility by your sense of unworthiness of God’s goodness and grace.  The humble person sees and understands the goodness of God.  That person sees how unworthy they are and then sees how good God is and they understand that everything is from God.  Everything that we have we have received and every good thing comes from God.  God is the source. 

    I would certainly comment that if you want to have a close walk with Jesus you have to be humble.  I believe that if you want God to use you there will be some brokenness that will come your way and many Christians do not want to pay the price.   We simply do not want the pain.    Jesus said I am meek and lowly in heart.  Humility comes from God.   God is humble.   In Philippians the Holy Spirit tells us in your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.    And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!   It is plain that God is humble.   Scripture asks the question can two walk together unless they are in agreement.  God resists or opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble as verse 5 tells us.  If God is resisting us or opposing us because of our pride then we are not walking close to him.    Our sin nature is against God and our pride is against God and it is something that all of us has and can work on.   

   The Holy Spirit in this passage moves us from humility to casting all our care upon God which is a natural flow because the humble person casts their care upon the Lord.  They depend upon God.   They trust God and not them self or herself or himself.   Cast all your care, anxiety, concerns, and burdens upon the Lord.    What a great invitation.   God wants to be involved in your life.   God cares about you.   God is concerned about those thoughts that in your mind that at times are troubling thoughts and questions about life.  What a great God.  The scriptures tell us the reason for Jesus ministry was that he had been anointed, “ to preach the gospel to the poor; ….to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised”.  That is us.   That is you and I.   We never get away from those needs.  Every generation has those needs.  That was Jesus purpose and his ministry and his job.  Jesus was anointed to do that and Jesus is the same today as he was then. 

     This is such a great invitation.  God the creator invites us to cast our concern upon Him.  I do not see a lot of compassion outside of the church today.   I do not see a lot of compassion apart from God.  There is sacrifice in true compassion and most folks today are just busy with their own life.  God genuinely wants to be involved with your concerns.  Cast your burdens and struggles on me God tells us.  Do not be anxious.  Do not fear.  As a Christen you have an outlet for the needs and struggles in your life and God says bring those things to me.  He says I am here for you.  It does not mean you will have a care free life but if you bring those needs to God you will have a better life.  My yoke is easy Jesus said and my burden is light. 

      We live in rapidly changing times and where many things are converging and coming together.   We live in the last days and as time goes we need to be casting all our care upon Him knowing that God cares for us.   There is an Old Testament verse that tells us that the men of Issachar knew the times.   They knew the people and times and the flow of life.   We need to have that wisdom today.   We have become a world market and a world economy.     Did you know the US cannot make a fighter jet anymore here in the US without imports?   I have just heard that in the news.  Some of the material that is used comes from China.   There are world nations that we have seen that are in debt and we have seen the banks close up for a season.  We have states that have debt and the US government.  There is a push for world currency.   We have seen the European countries pull together and the euro as a common source of money exchange for those countries.    We are seeing the weather in the world get more extreme.   I think it was Diane Sawyer that said recently that we are seeing weather of biblical proportions.   We live in the shadow of nuclear threat.   Homeland security said 3 or 4 years ago that we would most likely see the explosion of a nuclear device somewhere in the world within 5 years and the clock is ticking.   A leading pastor in America has stated that he believes there are dirty nuclear bombs in the US right now.   We have seen movies on it.  Computers make the one world government a possibility. 

    America had a little wake up on 9/11 on terrorism.   The EMP or electromagnetic pulse that can put a place back in the 1800’s is pretty easy technology that terrorists can use.   The EMP or electromagnetic pulse does not have to come from an airplane.   That can be used on a smaller scale from a truck and totally shut down a city like Boston and surrounding areas.   I heard in the national news 3 or 4 times about 4 years ago that the United Nations was saying that China had a military far too big than what China needed to protect its borders.   Revelation 9:16 tells us that the number of mounted troops was 200 million.  China can raise that army today to head into the Middle East.  China has a huge need for oil adding thousands and thousands of automobiles weekly in the country.   Peking was adding at least 1,000 cars a week just in that city alone and I have read that they are graduating more engineers than the United States and India put together.   God and Magog Ezekiel 38 which is modern day Russia is very interested in the Middle East.  Israel is very close to attacking Iran.   There are a lot of world events that converging together and this New Year will reveal more to us.  I don’t want to scare you but we need to be aware and we need to cast all our care upon Him for he cares for us.   In these days it is good to have extra on hand and it is a good idea to be debt free. 

     Peter writes casting all your care upon him and then the bible tells us to be sober to be alert because we have an enemy the devil is seeking to destroy the Christian.  It is not so much us against the Arabs or Muslins or the Jihadist but it is darkness against light.  Jesus said in the last days it will be kingdom against kingdom and ultimately there are but just 2 kingdoms – God and the Devil.   I am glad I am on the winning team.  Peter writes be alert and self controlled because of the devil.  There are 2 great tools in this passage to help us be alert and self controlled.   One of them is to be humble and to humble our self and the other is to be casting all of our needs and cares upon God.  I think it is beautiful how this passage flows. 

    Jesus said the thief comes but to steal, kill and to destroy.   In his book, Don't Waste Your Sorrows, Paul Billheimer wrote: "Satan is the agent of destruction, not God. Who was it that destroyed Job's fortune, family, and health when God permitted it done?  Satan. Satan brings about accidents, sickness, disease, and calamity, and then tempts men to think that God brings these things to pass. Thus God is blamed for the work of the devil by millions, even by some Christians who should know better. The permission of God is never the same as the evil work of Satan after permission is granted him; withdrawing protection is not the same as the destruction itself.  God's work is that of deliverance; Satan's is that of destruction." (p. 102) God does not delight in death even of the wicked.   God does not delight in destruction and sin.

       Larry Wise shares "Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom" -- a familiar saying in our country. We remember from Pearl Harbor what it's like to get caught off guard. The enemy can be so deceptive: Japan's peace envoys were seated at the negotiating table at the very moment the attack was launched. Our country depends on a strong defense -- on being watchful so we are not surprised by a sneak attack and on being powerful so that we are prepared to fight when we have to. The same holds true in the spiritual realm.     The Holy Spirit gives a warning to those that believe in Jesus - you and I today.  We have an enemy.    We too are involved in combat with an enemy who is powerful and deceptive.   God tells us in 2014 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).  May the Lord God speak to your hearts today.  May the Holy Spirit drill into us the words of this passage.