READ: 1Peter 5
BACKGROUND: Receiving God’s grace means that we ought to humbly serve one another and give our entire lives to him.
1 – Elders or pastors/leaders in the church have the primary function of serving their people, not being served by them or ruling over them.
5 – From Proverbs 3:34
7 – This is continuation of verse 6. Casting all your anxiety is a subordinate clause to the command to humble yourselves which means that part of humbling ourselves before God is trusting him with all of our worries and fears.
8 – Devour also means drown out or swallow. Satan wants to totally drown out and swallow up our testimony.
13 – Babylon was a code word among Christians for Rome – the place where Peter was writing this – that helped them avoid detection and persecution from Roman authorities.
THINK: On October 5th, 1877 Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce realized that his people were vastly outnumbered, outgunned, & undersupplied. They had been on the run, trying to escape to Canada after being informed that they had to move out of their home in the Wallowa Valley in northeastern Oregon to a reservation in Idaho or be forcibly driven out by the Army. The 800 Nez Perce had successfully evaded and fought off the 2,000 man U.S. Cavalry that was pursuing them for some time on a journey that covered over 1,000 miles across parts of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, & Montana. Finally though, after a major 5-day skirmish in freezing conditions, they could neither fight nor run any longer. Realizing this, Chief Joseph said, “I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Too-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are, perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”
Have you ever felt like Chief Joseph? In no way do I mean to minimize his struggle or his situation, but I think that sometimes we all reach points of hopelessness. We all feel so overwhelmed by the stress and the struggles and the brokenness of life that we just want to surrender. And the reality of our broken world, as Peter reminds us in this passage, is that the devil prowls around like a lion looking to devour us. We are locked in a spiritual battle every day, and we need to be aware of that. And we cannot handle it on our own. We are outmanned, outgunned, & undersupplied. Ultimately we all have to surrender. But there is good news! We don’t have to surrender to the world or the roaring lion. Instead we can surrender to God. We can cast all of our anxieties upon him. And we can have great hope in that because he loves us and he has the strength to win victory over all of our troubles and trials. Surrender to God means victory not defeat!
ASK: What keeps me from surrendering all of my worries and anxieties to God? How might life be different if I gave that all up to him?
PRAY: Ask God to help you be humble and get rid of the pride and the lack of faith that keeps you from casting all your cares upon him. Praise him for being trustworthy and loving; thank him for his willingness to carry your burdens.