People of Promise 100 Exalted
Christians always talk about God in terms that make it seem like we need to exalt Him every chance we get. And yes, we do. After all, He gave everything that we might live. When Jesus told the disciples, “this is My Body, given for you,” he was really saying “this is My Body given in your place.” We deserved to die (Rom. 6:23); He did not, and yet He died in our place. How can we not exalt Him for that kind of care and love?
And yet, at the same time, God wants to exalt us! This is the part where it gets sticky. We know we are supposed to be “humble” and yet we are supposed to be exalted? How do the two fit together? Very good question, but there is an answer, and one that God has ably provided.
First, we need to understand what “humble means.” And here is the answer directly from 1Peter. Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully (1Peter 5:6-7). We humble ourselves by not worrying, rather we are to cast all our cares on Him, all our concerns, once and for all. This is not as easy as it would seem. After all, humans are worriers. But look closely at the end of this statement that Jesus makes about not worrying. So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble (Matt. 6:34). I like the way the King James Version makes the last part of this statement: Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
In other words, there’s plenty that we have to fend off each day without “worrying” about what tomorrow will bring. Better to stand in the strength of the Lord on a daily basis, trusting Him completely to help us get through the day than fretting about what is coming down the road. Now, let’s take a short diversion right here. God never says that we can’t plan ahead. In fact, only a fool would not plan ahead. What He is saying is to involve Him in everything. Otherwise, why would he tell us, Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will] (1Thes. 5:18)?
We involve Him in everything, regardless of the nature of that “everything.” Don’t hold back when times are good, don’t hold back when times are bad. Don’t hold back at any time. What happens when we do this is very simple, we are putting God first in everything. That’s what He wants. Not because He needs to have His ego pumped up, but because when we put Him first, He can pour out the greatest number of blessing on us. The writer of Hebrews absolutely understood this and wrote, But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out] (Heb. 11:6).
We need to remember that God does not change, and so David could write, Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass (Ps. 37:5). Paul put it this way. Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7).
When Jesus was discussing the parable of sowing of seeds, He noted that those that fell into the thorns and were choked represented people that received the Word, but Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless (Mark 4:19). These are the people who do not humble themselves under the Mighty Hand of God, giviong Him all their cares and letting Him lead them. These are the ones that shout, “Mother please, I’d rather do it myself.” And God lets them. Sadly, they get exactly what they asked for. As I live, says the Lord, what you have said in My hearing I will do to you (Num. 14:28). And yet, who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?
God’s love for us is unending, and He has put His love in us (Rom. 5:5). This love in us is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong] (1Cor. 1`3:5). And if we really love God the way we say we do, we will listen to what He says and delight in doing it. Jesus told us, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him (John 14:23).
Okay, so now we are not worrying, not anxious, not fidgeting in our chairs; we are relaxed in the Lord. Ah, but there’s more. We may have to wait. Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it] (Heb. 4:16). It’s the “coming just when needed” part that makes this statement so difficult for humans. Why? Because we were not built for waiting. Advertisers play on this all the time. Fast food exists for one reason—it’s fast. No waiting.
So, get ready. You may have to wait for while. It will be God’s timing, not yours. In the meantime, give thanks that He has heard, and is getting things ready for exactly the right deliver time (1John 4:15-16). Don’t fade in your reliance on Him. Allow Him to do what He needs to do. If you have a hard time hanging in there, go and talk to Him about it, and ask for His help to be patient; wait on His timing.
If you do wait patiently, without worrying or fretting or being anxious, then His exaltation will come. You will receive—that is your exaltation. To exalt means to lift up or elevate, to praise, and even to intensify. When God exalts us, He lifts us from our present position or circumstance to a higher one. Now watch closely, He praises us. That’s right. When we put our faith totally in Him, He praises us for being so reliant on Him. In His parable of the servants, each given money to use until the Master returned, Jesus quoted the Master as saying to the servants that used their money wisely: Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys (Matt. 25:21, 23).
The servants were exalted, praised, elevated in position, and rewarded by sharing in what the master enjoys. And that’s what He does for us when we are faithful to Him. How I long to hear “Well done my good and faithful servant” from the lips of my Lord and Savior.