Resisting God – I Peter 5:5

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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When I was twelve years old, I drove our pickup into a field and parked on a hill. While I was walking away, the pickup started moving. I quickly ran to the front hood and pushed against it with all my might. I was resisting its forward movement, but the power of gravity, with all that weight, made my effort futile. In the end, the pickup rolled to the bottom of the hill. Thankfully, it didn’t hit anything, and I was able to get out of the way without being injured.

As Peter wrote to Kingdom saints, he addressed proper conduct in their local assemblies. He addresses the elders who led the churches, urging them to minister willingly as good examples (I Peter 5:1-3). Then he directed his instructions to younger saints saying: “…submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (vs. 5). In these words, we have an extremely important principle. It is noteworthy that when Solomon listed seven things that God hates and that are an abomination, at the very top is “a proud look” (Proverbs 6:16-19). God hates pride because it hardens one’s heart toward Him and leads to further sinful behavior contrary to His will. Peter was implying that, when any refuse to submit themselves to church leadership, the real reason would be pride, causing God to resist their efforts. To “resist” means to oppose or set oneself against. What a futile condition when believers put themselves in a position where the power of God, like a weighty object, is working against their efforts. Furthermore, they miss out on the grace, meaning God’s divine influence on the heart, which would otherwise be given to them. The Apostle James likewise wrote: “…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6). The context reveals that James was addressing “… fightings among you” in local churches, improper prayer, and worldliness (vss. 1-5). Here again, these saints are warned that God will resist the proud conduct of those who harden themselves to the Lord’s work in their hearts that produces proper conduct.

In I Thessalonians 5:12-14, Paul addresses this same subject with similar instructions. Compare them for yourself. In your circumstance, are you humbly submitting to God or proudly refusing to submit, bringing God’s resistance? Choose the path of humility.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."