Grace For The Journey
Yesterday we learned that the Christian is in a battle. The Bible teaches that we battle every moment against sin, the world, and the devil. The Bible talks not only about the reality of the battles but how the Christian is to face and deal with them. The primary portion of scripture where God presents truths for dealing with this battle in in 1 Peter 5:6-10.
This week we are looking at the truths in this passage that will help us deal triumphantly with our battles. If you have been a Christian for very long, you have realized something that is an absolute certainty:
Every believer fights battles.
The problem is not that we face battles; the problem is that we face far too many of them in our own strength. We have forgotten what the Bible teaches about battles . . .
The Battle Is The Lord’s
It is essential that we deal effectively with our battles. Yesterday we learned the first
principle that will help us do just that – We are to be humble.
Today, we will look at the second principle that will help us deal effectively with our battles.
- Be dependent
This power truth is laid out in 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon Him, because He cares for you.”
Whereas pride makes one self-reliant, humility positions us to recognize and accept our dependence upon God.
The Greek word translated “care,” or “anxiety,” here is used to express the burden that comes with anxious care and apprehension. Instead of fighting this, we are to turn it back over to the Lord, because God is sovereign. If we are His, the only things that come into our lives are things He allows.
In fact, listen to what the Bible says in Psalm 55:22 says: “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will support you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”
The interesting thing about that verse in Psalm 55 is that the Hebrew word translated “burden” means, “What He has given you.” A literal translation might read, “Throw upon the Lord whatever burden He has assigned to you, and He will sustain you as you bear it. He will not allow you to totter.”
Whereas humility causes us to see our own weakness,
Dependence causes us to recognize and rely upon His strength.
And within the context of the verses we are looking at in 1 Peter 5:6-10, God is revealing to us that He often allows the difficulties to come our way to teach us both our own weakness and His supernatural strength.
One of the problems with much of modern Christianity
Is that it is nothing more than a secular self-help philosophy
Draped in religious garb.
Instead of preaching that we are to see ourselves as nothing and find all we are in Christ, many pulpits today preach a message that basically says, “God helps those who help themselves.” Nothing could be further from the truth of Scripture.
Douglas Baker, in an article entitled, “Putting Purpose in Its Place,” points to this trend towards self-help in religious circles. Baker says:
“Jesus never structured the purposes of God around themes of self-importance or self-esteem. Rather, he spoke of taking up a cross, laying one’s life down for others, and following in the footsteps of one described as a man of sorrows acquainted with grief. Daily life for Jesus could seldom be described in terms of a purpose that brought no personal problems or freed him from daily spiritual battle. Purpose for Jesus meant facing opposition at every turn, enduring persecution from those closest to him, and finally submitting to the full fury of His Father’s wrath as he hung publicly before a rude and crude world. Would such a “purpose” find a place in the bookstores of America?”
Peter says this to beleaguered and persecuted Christians:
Dependence upon the Lord means that
Instead of struggling with our cares, nursing our anxieties,
And complaining about all God has allowed to come into our lives,
We are to turn them back over to Him,
Accepting the truth that He will sustain us because He cares for us.
In the midst of these difficulties, in the course of dealing with the trials and tribulations, we must be alert – “sober and vigilant” as the Bible says. While the Lord wants to use them to develop us, the enemy would use them to devour us.
How do we do that? Tomorrow, we will look at verse 8 and talk about a third principle for dealing effectively with our battles.
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”