Thursday, December 17, 2015

Submission Precedes Exaltation

UV 1616/10000 Submission Precedes Exaltation
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
I Peter 5 v 6

Humility before God is an attribute quite different from humility before men or modesty. Humility before God is an act of surrendering oneself wholly and on a daily basis to the Lord and His will in our lives. Such act of submission instead of resistance pleases the Lord and wins us favour in His eyes. Scripture says, “ He gives grace to the humble but resists the proud.” What keeps a lot of people from believing and surrendering their lives to the Lord is a hidden pride and confidence in their own strength, a refusal to submit their wills to the Lord. Everything is us and around us points to the glory, might and grace of the Lord and yet many delude themselves to ignore it and to harden their hearts against belief, submission and surrender to the Lord. When we live in this manner, we exclude God’s power and grace from acting on our behalf to lift us up. We try to exalt ourselves by our own efforts and find ourselves in a lot of pain and misery. Jacob tried to exalt himself over Esau and had to escape to save his life. But when he submitted in humility to the Lord, he began to be blessed. The Lord even moved the heart of Esau to forgive his brother and brought about reconciliation between them in due course.
The mighty hand of God is the X factor in our lives, the hidden hand that is always working to lift us up in every sense and in every way as we submit to the Lord in humility. Obedience precedes blessing. Submission precedes exaltation. The uni-verse comes with the promise that once we obey in humbling ourselves before the Lord in our thoughts, words and deeds, He will certainly exalt us. He will bring about our advancement, ensure our progress, guarantee our promotion and secure our well being. An inward attitude of humility of heart rather than an outward demonstration of piety and religiousity wins the Lord’s attention and favour.

An important rider in this uni-verse is that the Lord will exalt us in His time, not as per our expectations or our human calendar but in due time. It implies that we need to keep learning and growing as we wait for the due time. The Lord has an inner work of sanctification and enabling to do within us to prepare us for exaltation. It could take our whole lifetime or it could take a long or shorter time but it would mean that along with humility, we need to be faithful and patient. Jacob had prospered over a fairly long period of time from being a fugitive from his father’ s home to being a shepherd for Laban, his father-in-law and at the apt time in the Lord’s calendar, he emerges as owner of a large flock of sheep and cattle, the father of twelve sons who were to be the twelve tribes of Israel. He is exalted as the Prince of Israel in the sight of the Lord. He also sees his son Joseph in due time exalted as the ruler in Egypt, second in command to Pharaoh. Faith implies that we are thankful in anticipation of all “due time blessings”. Scripture says that the Lord will humble the mountains to be valleys or that all those who raise themselves, ignoring the Lord, using their own intellect, will, talent and guile will be brought low. The Lord will raise up the valleys-all those who humble themselves and are put down by others or looked down upon. We should, therefore, not be proud of our mountain top achievements or moments even as we should not be ashamed of our bottom of the valley experiences.
Prateep V Philip

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