Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time (1 Pet 5:6)

This is a very short and simple verse, but, the message it contains is both deep and remarkably broad. It gives a command to their readers to humble themselves. We are used to the idea that someone humbles or perhaps humiliates us, but that is never God’s way. It is our responsibility to humble ourselves. God will never do that for us, for to do that would involve an element of coercion, which is totally contrary to the love of God. The second thing to note is that when one humbles oneself, there is an acknowledgement that the other, in this case God, is much greater than us. We know that God is sovereign, all powerful etc, but for so many there is a stubborn resistance to the idea that we should acknowledge His position as truly God. All too often people will refuse to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, because they do not want to surrender the ‘lordship’ of their own life. Being prepared to truly humble ourselves before God requires that we recognise and acknowledge that He is Lord of all, and we are merely a part of His creation.

And then we have to recognise the implications of this action. We know that once we have humbled ourselves before someone, we have placed ourselves at their mercy. Should they choose, they have the ability to take advantage of us. It is only because Peter knows the kindness, grace and above all the love of God, that he is willing to suggest to his readers that they should humble themselves before God. He knows that God will only and ever do good to those that come and bow before Him.

And finally Peter writes that humbling ourselves before God, places us in a position of total dependence upon God. He will lift you up, when He sees fit. It may take a week, a year or it could be a decade or more; none of us know. However, we have placed ourselves in a position where we are dependent upon God alone, and not on our own cleverness, abilities, strengths etc, but entirely upon God. If He wasn’t full of compassion and mercy, this would be a most dangerous place, but as it is, it is the safest place anyone could be. For he will bear us on eagles wings!

Have you truly and deeply accepted God’s unique sovereignty? Have you humbled yourself before Him and acknowledged that you are totally dependent upon Him? Are you patiently waiting for Him to exalt you, rather than trying to do it yourself? If so welcome to the company of true believers.