Humbling Ourselves Under God’s Mighty Hand…
God is deeply marinading me in 1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV:
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
that he may lift you up in due time.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Here are some thoughts on this powerful passage of the Bible…
- Golfers are taught to call penalties on themselves before the rules officials notice, and even if the officials don’t notice, regardless of the penalty they will receive.
- No one in their right mind would call the IRS and ask them for a detailed, personal audit! (And even if you tried to do this, you probably couldn’t get through to them on the phone anyways!) 🙂
And yet this is what God is commanding…INVITING!…us to do in verse 6—
to willingly and voluntarily come before Him asking Him to:
- Show us our sinfulness (diagnose)
- Help us to repent (agree with His diagnosis, admit our guilt/responsibility & turn away from such sinfulness)
- Forgive us (cure #1—cut out the sin)
- Transform/heal us of the root of the sin (cure #2—keep it from re-growing)
This isn’t necessarily for our justification (i.e. the forgiveness of our sins–the wiping clean of our criminal record, so to speak–so that we can enter heaven someday). 1 Peter 5:6-7 focuses more on humbling ourselves daily under God for our sanctification–becoming who God made us to be! Unconfessed specific sins stunt our growth/maturity as Christians!
Let’s not wait for Judgment Day for God to deal with the sin in our hearts
(the sinful attitudes, beliefs & perspectives that lead to sinful actions,
the sin in us that taints our motives [why], our methods [how] and our mission [what]):
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (please click HERE)
Let’s voluntarily ask the Lord Jesus to deal with our sin now on earth so that He can shine through us more brightly to others, so that we can get even closer to Him & be filled with more of His joy, so that we can grow/mature & reach our full potential (John 10:10), so that our actions of love towards God and others can be 24 karat gold!
It seems that many Christians today don’t point out the sins of other Christians (“don’t judge me!”–that’s another post for the future!) but also never want God or others to point out their own sins either—we implicitly say to the LORD, “You leave me alone and I’ll leave You alone!” But no one ever grows/matures if we do that, if we don’t ask God & listen to Him pointing out our brokenness (for the sake of curing us–proper diagnosis is the first step towards healing!), if we don’t also get close to at least a few other Christians and give them permission to speak grace AND Truth into our lives, not telling us what we want to hear but sometimes what we need to hear. This is dangerous and risky, but it is necessary for us to mature in Christ.
This is precisely what King David said to the LORD in Psalm 139:23-24:
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
David sought out God here not for God to make David’s life easier but to make it holier, to show David his sins and sinfulness so that David could confess them to the LORD, be forgiven and be cleansed. Holy Spirit please help Your people to do this today!
“Under God’s mighty hand”
If the first part of 1 Peter 5:6 doesn’t frighten us enough, the second part of the verse terrifies many of us. Why would we want to be “under God’s mighty hand”? How frightening, right?! Many of us read this verse as “under God’s mighty THUMB,” as if God is licking His chops, so to speak, as we weakly crawl toward Him in humiliation so that He can pour out the punishment that we think He loves to drown us in…
And yet that is not at all what the verse is saying! (though of course there is often pain/discomfort as God disciplines His children in love)
Why can we trust God enough to willingly/vulnerably/frequently place ourselves under His mighty hand?
Let’s look at a few Bible passages that teach us about God’s hand and reveal to us the amazing character of God and His hand. Just as many dogs tentatively sniff the hand of someone offering them a treat, let’s sniff God’s hand through the Bible and see how approachable He is:
God’s Hand Guides Us Personally (please click HERE for Psalm 73:21-25)
God holds our hand to guide us, and the only way a parent can hold a child’s hand is with one of the parent’s very own hands! In these verses, even after the psalm-writer was terrible towards God, God’s hand guided him personally/up-close, not shoving him from behind but going before him to clear the path for his safety, to bring him to where God wanted him to be! What a loving hand God has! Smells pretty good so far, right?!
God’s Hand Secures Us & Reminds Us Of God’s Constant Presence With Us (please click HERE for Psalm 139:10)
My children often ask me to lift them up to monkey bars so they can climb across, but they frequently remind me to hold them tightly, to make sure they don’t fall, because they can’t get across the bars by themselves. God’s loving hand does this to us as well across the monkey bars of life, securing us, protecting us, helping us get to the other side! Now that doesn’t mean that nothing bad/painful will ever happen to us ever, but through faith in Christ Jesus it does mean that nothing bad/painful will happen to us FORever!
God’s Hand Helps Us To Not Be Afraid (please click HERE for Isaiah 41:13-14)
God’s Hand Helps Us To Reach Our Potential (please click HERE for Isaiah 42:5-7)
To be who He made us to be and to do what He made us to do. That is, to lovingly/humbly/gently/boldly show others the love and forgiveness and new life and adoption into His family that God the Father freely gives to all who cry out to the Lord Jesus in repentance and faith!
God’s Hand Is Big Enough To Hold Our Sins/Problems/Fears–Even Our Very LIFE! (please click HERE for Daniel 5:23)
Everything we go through can fit in God’s hand; this shouldn’t discourage us by making us feel small, it should comfort us by making us realize how BIG God is, big enough to handle for anything we go through (if we let Him!).
God’s Hand Blesses Us (please click HERE for Genesis 49:22-26)
With stability through the stress of life (his bow remained steady/arms limber),
With refreshment (from deep springs),
With nourishment (from the breast),
With life (from the womb).
God Has Engraved His People On The Palms of His Hands (please click HERE for Isaiah 49:13-16)
Goodness gracious what undeserved love the LORD has for His undeserving people! For all who are His by repentant faith in Jesus Christ, He has engraved us on the palms of His hands–that is how loved we are by Him, how close we are to Him.m Wow. Thank You, Lord, thank You…
The Son of God’s Hands Were Pierced For Us
We must never forget this most powerful act of the hand of God–even more powerful than the fact that God’s hand created us is the Truth that the Son of God’s hands were crushed for us. God the Son allowed His hands and feet to be nailed to a cross, to pay the penalty for the sinfulness of all who will cry out to Him in faith, to pay the penalty that we deserve. Oh the amazing hand of God…
Please click HERE for John 20:19-31 (especially verses 20, 25 and 27).
Please click HERE for Isaiah 53 (especially verses 5, 6 and 10).
What an amazing hand God has!!! Why wouldn’t we willingly place ourselves–sins and all–under such a mighty and merciful hand!?
And so God is teaching me to do this daily, to humble myself under His mighty hand regularly because God and His hand are strong, firm, loving, gentle, powerful and tender…Give me spiritual colonoscopies, GOD, for Your glory and the spread of Your fame! He promises to then raise us up off the operating table healed, whole, and holy…When we go low before the Lord in repentance and confession, He won’t leave us low forever–He will eventually lift us up! He invites us to cast our anxieties on Him—PILE THEM ON JESUS!—because He cares for us. May we humble ourselves under His mighty hand, not because we have to, but because we get to…because He cares for us…
God Holds Out His Hands In Invitation To Sinners (please click HERE for Isaiah 65:1-3)
Oh to understand all of the ways that I have spit in the face of God and spray-painted the graffiti of my sinfulness across the beauty of His holiness and character…to understand that and also to understand how He holds out His hands to me, inviting me to repent, to receive His Son Jesus as my Savior and to follow Him as my King. What a staggering Truth, the grace of my Savior; what a staggering Truth, the grotesqueness of my sin; what a staggering Truth, His long-suffering invitation to me:
Matthew 23:37: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
Oh make us willing, Lord Jesus, make us willing to run to You in full admission of our guilt, as You hold out Your hands to sinners like me…
But may we not reject this grace, my friends. If we do not humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God now in repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus, if our earthly lives end and we have not cried out to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation and new life and adoption, if we enter into God’s Judgment Day clothed not with the perfection of Jesus but instead with the filthy rags of our supposed good deeds (or the fig leaf of our supposed knowledge/wisdom), we will experience the justice and holiness and wrath of the hand of God:
Hebrews 10:36-31 (please click HERE), especially verse 31:
“It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”