RECOGNIZE RESIST AND REST
1 Peter 5:6-11
Peter chooses to end this letter the way he started it. Our future inheritance arrives by way of present sufferings. (1:3-6) This means exaltation follows humiliation. Our eternal glory comes after earthly suffering. Suffering always precedes subsequent glories; this was so for God’s Son. This will be so for us as well. (1:11) Christ Jesus is our ultimate proof for our future hope and present calling. (4:19)
Two things Peter tells his readers
to be aware of….
Recognize And Rest Under The Mighty Hand Of God As You Wait Future Glory. (v5-v6; v9-v11)
This life we live is anything but your best life now. What Peter has been saying all along is that the attainment of Heaven will be by way of an excruciating journey. But as you go through this he says, “Humble yourself” (v6) and in (v5) he says “cloth yourself with humility” “Cloth” means to tie something on one self, like a tie or an apron around your waist. The word “Humility” means “lowliness of mind” or “self-abasement” This describes the attitude of one who willingly serves, even in the lowliest of tasks. Paul describes clothing ourselves with humility this way, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” 2 Cor 4:7
First Century pagan world saw humility as a weakness and cowardice, to be tolerated only in the involuntary submission of slaves. Scripture speaks of humility in line with the person and work of Christ, as He washed the feet of His disciples. John 13:3-11. Because after He did this, Jesus said, “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” John 13:12-17
Why is humility such an important characteristic of the believer? The opposite is proud and boastful, which is really: self-seeking and self-centered, misguided and un-alert to dangers. The Scriptures are very clear on this issue, “These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.” Prov 6:16-19. It’s belittling to look down upon others; or looking upon them with disdain; or reckoning them as unworthy to be looked upon. It’s having a higher opinion of your own worth and merit and God hates this.
James warns the believer about having a proud heart and the dangers it leads to if you continue to persist down that road. “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:2-10
This why we must humble ourselves under the Mighty Hand Of God.
This is descriptive of God’s sovereign power at work in and through your life. Whether it’s your salvation, and deliverance from sin, you’re chastening, and your sufferings. God’s might hand always accomplish His eternal purposes on behalf of His children. It’s God’s providential timing, His appointed time, when the Lord lifts the humble and submissive believer up out of difficulty. “He may exalt you” As Jesus said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. to raise or lift up" Luke 14:11. This “lifting up” refers to a proper time or determined time when God will lift you out of your trials, suffering and tribulations. (v6)
Peter wants us to rest in the sovereign God of the
universe because He cares for you!
This is how we endure and find strength in the midst of trials and sufferings, by trusting in Him alone. Peter says “casting” this means throwing something on something else or someone else. (v7).
It’s the idea of throwing all your anxiety on the Lord and this would include!
And anything else that causes your heart to feel heavy with burden. Whatever is weighing us down; we can put it on Him. We cast all our anxieties upon the One who hears our cries; this is Peter’s encouragement for a people called to a life marked by humility. We cast all our burdens onto Christ because He cares. How do we know He cares? The Apostle Paul reminds us of how much He truly cares for you and me. “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21
What does that mean?
Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath for us so that He could extend the cup of God’s fellowship to us. This doesn’t exclude our suffering/trials in life, but we don’t get wrath anymore. We get the sweet, satisfying reality of His eternal fellowship in Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit. Because in (v10) Peter comforts us once again what true grace looks like for us who believe. This reminds me of what John wrote in his first epistle. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3
Who restores……to perfection, to bring to wholeness.
Who confirms….. to set fast.
Who strengthens…..to make sturdy.
Who establishes…to lay as a foundation. 1 Peter 2:3-8
This is what God wants us to know as we face the battles
of this world and the present evil that is over it.
Christian, Resist, Stay Alert To The Devil Who Prowls Around Like A Lion Seeking Its Prey. (v8)
What do we know about Satan? First, what does
our culture say about him?
A myth or fable.
A scheme to scare people into believing in God.
A person created by Christians.
A figurative picture of evil, not literally a person or being.
A red guy with pointy ears and a tail carrying a pitch-fork.
He is a fictional character who has his own TV show called “Lucifer”
Many think that Satan is a god who is at battle with a good God, and this has been going on since the beginning of time. This is called a dualistic heresy were superstitious Christian’s of medieval period viewed God as the good, and Satan as the evil influence in the world. Even todays films have popularized the idea of a “force” with light and dark sides.” It’s a battle of the so-called gods trying to win the hearts of the people [meaning you and me) that battle of good versus evil. Eastern cultures call this “yin and yang” positive and negative. See, the culture at large doesn’t take Satan very seriously. That’s Satan plan! We need to understand Satan is a very powerful angel, but he is only a created one as well. Satan isn’t equal or more powerful, than almighty God; that was proven in the book of Job. And we know that he is defeated and humiliated as we read in Isaiah, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. "Those who see you will gaze at you, And consider you, saying: 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities, Who did not open the house of his prisoners?'” Isaiah 14:10-17
“Is this the man” which describes the complete role reversal from the most powerful to utter humiliation will provoke universal amazement. But don’t be fooled! He is the great deceiver who will do everything in his power to see people stay blind to the truth of God. Why do you think we have all these different types of religions? Why do you think we have so many people believing in Evolution….it removes a personal God and the fact that we are accountable to Him? Why do you think there is so much hostility towards TRUE CHRISTIANITY?
What does the bible say about this adversary, this enemy?
He sinned against God. (2 Peter 2:4)
He was cast out of Heaven. (Jude 1:6)
He is the author of the fall. (Gen 3:1-14)
He perverts the scripture. (Ps 91:11-12)
He opposes God’s work. (2 Cor 4:4)
He works lying wonders. (2 Thess 2:9)
He assumes the form of an angel of light. (2 Cor 11:14)
The scriptures call him…….
Father of lies
Angel of the bottomless pit
Prince of the power of the air
Ruler of the darkness of this world
Ruler of demons
The god of this age
Accuser of the brethren
Peter warns us by calling him “As a roaring lion” It’s interesting to note that……. He doesn’t look like a lion, but he prowls around like one! He never sleeps or rests, Satan untiringly, like a predator in the night hunts to kill. And will do whatever it takes to destroy the church, our Christian’s testimony, our hope, our holiness and possibly our lives. Lions tend to hunt mostly by night or in the early mornings, and for much of the rest of the time are the examples of laziness. However, being opportunists they'll hunt whenever the chance arises and that could be the middle of the hottest day. There are however two things that help the lion considerably. First they’re incredibly good at hiding and phenomenally patient. Lions have two main hunting methods. The first is a version of grandmother's footsteps, in which the lion stalks from cover to cover with a final burst of speed at the end. (If spotted the lion will sit up and stare nonchalantly into the distance.) The second method is to find a bush close by where their prey needs water, so they climb in and wait. This has the great advantage that the lion can catch up on sleep while technically "out hunting". They will wait patiently for hours to ambush their prey and even examine the risks before they attack their prey.
This is one of the many jobs of the shepherd to protect God’s people from an ambush that lurk outside our homes, communities and so on. (As we see in the opening of this chapter). Warning the people about the dangers of those who leave or venture away from the Word of God or the local church. Remember! A family is its strongest when they all stick together. This example of a lion and its prey is what Peter is trying to tell us about Satan…..the prince of the air who want to devour his prey…..ME and You. “Devour” in this passage means “to gulp down” not to simple wound, but to destroy whatever it attacks. Something else we need to understand about this passage! (v8) He’s your Adversary! Which means this is personal for him and his fallen angels. He hates you! Not only does He hate the God of all creation…..he hates you personally, and he will do whatever it takes to destroy you. He roams around like a lion seeking to devour his prey; these specifically are the unprepared ones, and the babies in Christ! He’s not looking for the strong and alert ones who are rested and ready. He’s looking of the busy, tired, and weak in spirit Christian who are consumed and drained by this present world system! He will always attack the weakest link in the church and especially in our families. The bible says we are to flee from all forms or evil, this means? “Abstain [reject] from every form [appearance] of evil” 1 Thess 5:22
Paul said, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Tim 2:22. See, you and I can’t do that, when were preoccupied or distracted with the things of this world. When were so distracted of keeping up with the Jones or the status-quo. We don’t see, or realize, how easily we are blindsided by the evil of this world system. Remember! Satan wants you distracted and focusing on self. He has had thousands of years to study or observe humankind, and he has become an expert in human nature. He knows what will keep or steer us off the narrow road. What’s so sad about this is that it happens so fast and he strikes before you can flee…and little did you know you are engulfed in sin. Think about it for a moment! What’s the first thing that happens when you’re tired, weary, miserable, depressed, frustrated and over worked? Nine Times Out Of Ten the closest people to you are the target of your rage. Whether it’s your wife, husband, children, neighbor, friend, or whether it’s someone from your church family.
We forget to be ready….. And most of all we forget how subtle Satan really is at destroying your relationships with your family, the church, even the unsaved world. The apostle Peter says we are “to be on alert!” This means “to be watchful” or “stay awake” Why? Satan is subtle in his deception! Remember the words of Jesus before he was arrested in the garden! “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matt 26:41
He Is So Subtle Satan Comes As An Angel Of Light. Be aware of his strategies because they are subtle and deceptive. “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Cor 11:14. As John said “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:16
He Is So Subtle Our Temptation Of Sin Is Always Before Us. As James said “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” James 1:14. Again, Satan is going to use everything in his arsenal to entice you most, possibly a thing, or person, which will draw you away from God.
He Is So Subtle We Tend To Have An Apathy And Indifference To His Presence. A person who apathetic and indifferent is insensitive and therefore cannot be alert. Paul said “…let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor 10:12. We are to be very careful because the shepherd’s warning call can fall on deaf ears at time. Why? We’re sometimes proud in thinking that nothing could breach my walls! I’m a super Christian, but as Peter wrote, “God opposes the proud..” (v5) Satan doesn’t come in the front door……he will patiently wait in the bushes for hours and wait for you to let your guard down and breach the weak walls of your heart.
He Is So Subtle His False Teachers Are Around Us And They Are Here To Destroy And Trample On The Word Of God. Many people today are wolves in sheep’s clothing, who are trying to distort the truth of God’s word and draw you away from the great Shepherd. They’re trying to steer the sheep in a wrong direction so that the lion can devour their prey more easily. Paul told the elders they are obligated to protect the flock from danger “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:9
He may be the great Deceiver, but we
have complete victory in Christ.
Praise God for we have victory in the Son through the finishing work of the gospel in His redemption. When we take communion the bible says “we remember and proclaim” the two great motives for faithful and alert living. We look back at the finished work on the cross where Jesus defeated sin once and for all. But we also look ahead where Jesus defeated the grave as we look forward to the imminent return of Christ. How? By being alert! John penned these words “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!" Rev 16:15. This is what Peter is telling is trying to this us morning! The Great Shepard is coming back, so stay alert and focused on Him and His promises. (v10) Peter said to be alert, sober-minded because we are at war. But as you stay sober-minded and alert to the dangers around do this by clothing yourself with humility.
Understand! The war for soul has already been won by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian desperately needs to have “alert perception” when it comes to detecting his spiritual enemy or enemies.
It would be nice if God had giant siren to warn us of any coming attack by the devil. But the Lord doesn't operate that way. Instead He gave the Holy Spirit to give us the ability to be prepared for the next attack. How? Reading the Bible regularly, meditating on His truths, maintain a prayerful attitude throughout the day, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Only then will we be sensitive to an imminent onslaught of the evil one, and be armed by grace to meet it. The Christian will be victorious if we are spiritually alert for satanic influence coming through our surroundings and relationships and potential temptations. As believers we should remind ourselves that Satan is a defeated foe. Is this the man as Isaiah wrote about?
Jesus tells us that “the ruler of this world has been judged.” John 16:11. Though his influence is still felt around the globe. Though he may be able to harm us at times, temp us to fall into sin. But! He’ll never be able to remove us from our sealed position in Christ, as God’s chosen children. Recognize we are to walk/cloth ourselves in humility. Resist the Devil by being alert and standing firm in the truth. Rest in the promises of God, which He will bring you to glory.