World English Bible translation
Yes, all of you gird yourselves with humility, to subject yourselves to one another; for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; 5:7 casting all your worries on him, because he cares for you. 5:8 Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 5:9 Withstand him steadfast in your faith, knowing that your brothers who are in the world are undergoing the same sufferings.
Peter has written to these Christians about the necessity of sharing in the sufferings of Christ. He has told them that God would bless them if they were persecuted for the sake of Christ and that they would be glorified on the day that Christ was revealed to the world. He had spoken to them of the necessity of putting away the sins of the flesh and how each of them represented Christ to their lost world. Finally, in yesterday's scriptures he wrote to the elders and told them that they should serve willingly and not for profit or under compulsion. They were not to lord it over those entrusted to their care but they were to live as examples and to provide for the flock that God had placed in their care.
Today's lesson is an extension of what Peter had written to the elders. He now tells all of them that they should live humbly and should subject themselves to one another. Humility is knowing one's proper place and not thinking more highly of oneself than one should. It is the quality that allows you to put the needs of other people before the needs of yourself. We first must be humble before God and then we can be humble before other people.
Peter tells these Christians that they are to humble themselves "under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." Humbling yourself before God means realizing that we were created by God and that we are under His care. It is putting our faith and trust in God before anything else and it means that we are not too proud to rely on God no matter what our circumstances. God lifts up the humble but He resist proud people that do not turn to Him. Pride is, in many ways, the greatest sin because it keeps us from turning to God when we need Him.
In addition to humility, Peter reminds them to be sober and to be watchful. He has something specific that they are to be watchful of, in this case. "Your adversary the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." Peter wants these Christians to know that they have a powerful spiritual adversary who is against them. This enemy, the devil, wants to overcome them and defeat them. We are to be watchful of his tricks and deceptions and not be caught unawares.
Peter tells them to withstand their adversary "steadfast in your faith." The devil seeks to attack us at the point of our faith. He attempts to undermine our faith and raise doubts in our minds. Our enemy knows that faith is the most important thing in the world even if we do not. But, it is this very faith that is our greatest weapon against him. If we hold fast to our faith and refuse to be moved from it, there is really nothing that he can do against us that is significant. We may suffer and we may be persecuted but, if we hold fast to our faith, we will be victorious.
By being humble we guard against the sin of pride and divisiveness within the body of believers. By being sober and self-controlled we guard against our enemies in spiritual places. It is the time to be watchful and to be on guard against those who would seek our destruction. It is the time to be strong in the faith.
Are you willing to humble yourself before God and to be subject to other believers? Are you prepared to stand against your spiritual enemy armed with your faith in God expecting victory?
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