“Defeating pride through 1 Peter 5” works as a title for a sermon and as a poetic device (in that it rhymes) but it’s no reason to be proud. In fact, we have nothing to be proud about. Nothing. Spurgeon makes the point, “We have reasons for almost everything, but we have no reasons for pride. Pride is a thing which should be unnatural to us, for we have nothing to be proud of.”
But this chapter offers some awesome thoughts from Peter’s own transformed life (from the pride of denial and fear to the humility of praise, worship and surrender).
1) God actually opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5). We don’t fully appreciate how ridiculous pride is. As Spurgeon says, ‘we have nothing to be proud about’ and we must remember that breath in our lungs, sanity in our minds, strength in our bones is nothing more than sheer grace. Every day. Pure grace. How can we be proud? Let us again bow and receive the grace we need.
2) He longs for us to be lowly so He can lift us (v6). This isn’t the motivation for getting low but it is an encouragement in the process. Peter encourages us to get down because it is the location of personal revival and there is no greater ‘lifting’ than the one unto greater intimacy with Jesus. Jesus will never lift the proud.
3)The hand of God is mighty (v6). This means that when we are humble under His hand it is a place of safety, security, impenetrable protection. Like the place of ‘Onething’ for David in Psalm 27. Armies and enemies may advance but, even then, you shall be confident. Equally it means that when He lifts us (in the proper time) it is a mighty lifting not just a ‘hand up’
4) The devil is not a natural lion (v8). The strutting, arrogant, blasphemous picture of a lion roaring as it looks for food is disgraceful. No natural lion does this. Natural lions get low and humble themselves, containing their strength, before they are exalted to feed on nature. Perhaps this is a part of divine order revealed in the life of the king of beasts. Maybe God views the lion as being exalted when it feeds on something as beautiful as a gazelle or as strong as a Buffalo? The devil is a liar and he is fool. Any wild animal that would be consumed by a roaring lion would be stupid. (See Isaiah 14: 12-15 for the pride of the devil and Revelation 2: 5 for personal application).
5) As we humble ourselves we will hear the Lion of Judah roar. Hosea 11:10 pictures the true Lion and His children returning. The roar of a lion is here an invitation to come to the Lord in intimacy and humility.
Resist the prominent scheme of the devil today to be proud by humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God that He would lift you at the right time and that you would know an anointing to increasingly live in that place.