“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”
This verse serves as a climax to the challenge to both the leaders and followers of verses one through five. Humility is common to the function of both roles.
The word “humble” primarily signifies low-lying. Allow God to lower your level of autonomy. Often God uses suffering to birth humility in us.
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
“Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ–who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you” (2 Corinthians 10:1).
The Greek indicates that humility is to allow oneself to be humbled by God (passive voice). Humility here means recognizing God’s grace, that is, what God does on the Christian’s behalf. God brings situations into our lives so that we understand that we are finite, not infinite. We are not God. We are at the mercy of His design for us. In His providence, he places events and people into our lives so that we concede our need for him.
Do you want the grace of God in your life? Humble yourselves.
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
Humility is recognizing God’s grace and providential care for our lives.
Our verse says that we are to “humble yourselves.” Humility is our responsibility. When God directs that we humble ourselves, and we then turn around and ask God to humble us, we insult God. If God does humble us, it will not be a pleasant experience (2 Corinthians 12:21).
Humility is not self-effacement. It is not standing round-shouldered. Do not confuse humility with asceticism. A humble person can use the first person singular, “I.” Humility is an attitude toward God that gives Him credit for who we are and what we do.
God possesses indescribable intelligence. He is all-knowing. He has never had to learn anything because he has always known everything. That is why God is never surprised, astounded, or shocked. No one has ever put God in a bind. This God never asks us to do anything unreasonable. His commands are his enablements.