By CRAIG HARRIS
1 Peter 5:5-9 (NIV): All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith.
Peter pleads with us to be humble. This is the one trait we must possess to be used of God. He cannot use people who are full of pride. (In this case, a proud person is one who says, "I'm doing it my way and I don't care what God wants.") A humble person is submissive to authority. He respects and listens to people who are more mature. A humble person doesn't think he has all the answers. He puts others first, realizing that we're all in this together.
Then Peter writes, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." Notice this verse follows his reminding us to be humble. A proud person says he doesn't need God, but a humble person gives God all of his cares, worries and anxiety. A humble person knows he needs God and cries out to him. Go ahead, cry out to God -- he loves you more than you can imagine.
And while you are at it, ask God for help defeating your enemy the devil. The devil is real - he is our enemy and he is seeking someone to devour. He will steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He is like a lion on the prowl. Don't try to outsmart him. Don't ignore him or pretend he doesn't exist. But he is a defeated enemy and he knows it. How do we beat him? Peter says to resist him, standing firm in the faith. James says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:7-8). Paul says to put on "your armor" (Ephesians 6). We defeat him with God's power, not ours. We beat him by resisting his lies and standing firm in our faith. Stand firm, be humble, and hang in there!
Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel The Dead Peasants File are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist Churches.