“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares about you. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood the world.” 1 Peter 5:5-9
It always amazes me how much press is given to self-centered, arrogant and bad behaving celebrities. Why should our society care less about the antics of some self absorbed actor or singer who has had the bad taste to go out in public without their underwear? Should we really care that some pop star got arrested for driving fast in the streets of Miami? And why does the world hold its collective breath because a singer acts poorly on stage and embarrasses herself with rude crude behavior?
In North America we are losing our way as we surrender spiritual ground to the pathetic self-promoting, win at all costs, foolish beliefs and teachings of our pop culture. Today mainline and pop culture are so intermingled that we don’t know where one stops and the other begins. And as our society grows older many people will do anything, believe anything and promote anything that will make them look like they are relating to the latest trends.
Who cares what our culture thinks? Do we really care that the kid down the street thinks that we’re not as cool as his classmates? Instead of standing around envying youth we should be reaching out to them in the name of Jesus Christ. Peter is right on the mark when he reminds us that, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Yet, in our world we worship at the feet of the arrogant and prideful and dismiss the humble as mousy, too shy or not talented enough to make it.
Just think about our texts for a moment; we are to be humbled under the mighty hand of God. We don’t need slick magazines, advertisements, celebrities or talking heads telling us what to think, act like or believe. We get our marching orders from the mighty hand of God that leads us to spiritual exaltation.
Turn on your television and you are bombarded with manufactures telling you that their product will make you well, remove depression and anxiety, make your sex life better, make you look younger and help you look prosperous and successful. Meanwhile, Jesus says, “cast all your anxieties upon Him, for He cares for you.” Have you ever thought about the second part of that text? It is such a simple phrase but it is the greatest assurance we could ever be given. Jesus cares for us and because He does, He calls on us to throw our anxieties and problems onto His shoulders.
As Christians we are to be sober and watchful. We are in this world but not of this world. The ways of this world are not to be our ways because they lead away from God and place ego in the center of our thinking. When certain celebrities have to act out the way they do in order to get attention, how sad is that? We are to go about our daily living ever mindful that we live in harmony with God and His plans for our lives. Why should we try to live as the world when we have been given the privilege to follow Jesus the Savior of the world?
All too often we lose focus that we are in a spiritual battle. We struggle against principalities and powers (evil angels and forces) that seek people out for destruction and death. Peter says the Devil, “prowls around, like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” Satan is constantly prowling and searching for anyone to grab a hold of and devour. The idea of devouring is to eat and make an end of someone. To fall under the power of Satan is to be spiritually destroyed and finally totally lost.
As Christians we are admonished to resist him, by being firm in our faith. It is time we became serious about our relationship with God, get off the couch, turn the television off and take our Bible out and started studying. Paul tells Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
It is time we began to rightly handle the word of truth as workmen who need not be ashamed of our endeavors. If we are Biblically lazy and don’t open the Bible from one day to the next do we honestly think we will know God or His will? We will be blown around by every crazy idea that comes down the pike. When we can spend a couple of hours a night in front of the television while the Bible sits on the shelf we are fooling ourselves if we think we are born again Christians. We are simply cultural followers of a religion. If you follow slavishly every tweet of some movie star or spend hours listening to the music of some pop artist, but can’t find the time to pray, fellowship, attend church or read the Bible you need to reevaluate your relationship with God.
I know some of you are saying who am I to tell you what you need to do or to judge your relationship with God. And you are exactly right; I don’t have that authority or moral superiority to do any of that. But, as a fellow Christian who longs for revival and spiritual renewal within the body of Christ, I can’t keep silent. Remember, when I write these posts I am writing them to me and you are listening in on my conversation with God and myself. I hope we all wake up and tune in to the grace of God that transforms us from rebels into children of God.