Humble Yourself

Week Five Introduction  
 
The purpose of this study is to move us closer to the love of our Heavenly Father.  The remarkable fact is that God truly does desire for each one of us to come to Him, but how do we accomplish this?  The answer involves humility!  
 
We learned last week that God does not want us to feel anxious about anything no matter how big or small.  When we feel anxious we sometimes are tempted to ACT on our own behalf to try to solve our issues.  
 
Many times it is tempting to want to "grab" our problems back from our Heavenly Father, but we must not do this.  Because if we do, we are at that point distancing ourselves from God.  If our goal is to remain in His presence, we must allow our burdens to REMAIN in His hands!  
 
We must be patient and allow God to SOLVE our problems in His time and in His way. In order to accomplish this, we must be humble!  


 Focus Verse  
 
1 Peter 5:6-7 (NKJV)  

6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  

 Focus Words 
 
Humble: (verb) to make low  
 
Original Word: ταπεινόω (tapeinoō; tap-i-no'-o) 
 
Definition:  make or bring low, humble  

Drawing nearer to our Lord and Savior requires humility.  Before we can actually move closer to God we must first be willing to submit our complete control to Him.  This includes releasing the grip that we may have on our personal burdens and cares. These verses are literally saying: before God can exalt us (lift us up out from under our cares/burdens), we must first lower ourselves and bring everything we have under His protective hand.  When we humbly relent our cares to God, He can then exalt us from them!  Jesus truly does care for us.     Notice the primary first step.  We must humble ourselves.  This means that we must first stop attempting to "fix" problems on our own.  Peter is literally teaching us that before we look to the Lord for help, we must first learn to crawl under God's Almighty Hand.   
 
Biblical History  
 
The author of these verses, Peter, was a former fisherman.  Let's learn about the power behind humility through his story.  As we read the following verses it is important to note that at this time Peter is known as "Simon"     Luke 5: 1-9 (NKJV) 
 
Simon Peter Is Called
 
1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.  
 
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.”  6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”  
 
9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.  
 
Let's examine the steps that Simon (Peter) took in order to come to Jesus.  
 
Focus Words  


MONDAY    Luke 5: 1-9 (NKJV) 
 
Simon Peter Is Called
 
1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.   
 
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.”  6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”  
 
9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.  
 
Toiled: (verb) work extremely hard or incessantly     Original Word: κοπιάω (kopiaō; kop-ee-ah'-o) 
 
Definition: to feel fatigue; by implication, to work hard  
 
Peter was weighed down under a burden.  He had toiled all night, but caught nothing.  He depended on catching fish for his livelihood, yet he had worked all day and had not caught a single fish. In a matter of seconds, Peter's outcome was about to change.  As we continue to read the story, we see that Jesus Himself was about to exalt this fisherman named Simon.  But, before this would happen, Peter had to literally pack up his fishing nets.  
 
    
TUESDAY    Luke 5: 1-9 (NKJV) 
 
Simon Peter Is Called
 
1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.  
 
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.”  6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”  
 
9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.  
 
Let down: (verb)   to allow someone or something to move to a lower position     Original word: χαλάω (chalaō; khal-ah'-o) 
 
Definition: let down, lower let down, lower, slacken, loosen.  
 
Peter let down his net a second time, but this time he relied on Jesus to help. (verse 5)  
 
This time Peter depended on God's guidance and mite to help him.  It is vital to see that Peter was still responsible to "man" the net, but this time Jesus was there to lead and bless the direction of the "drop".     Jesus does not want us to sit on the sidelines and be simply a spectator in this life.  He wants us to be involved in solving our problems, but He wants to guide and direct us first.  It is not up to us to figure everything out on our own, we must simply be humble and follow His voice.  
 
 
 
 WEDNESDAY    Luke 5: 1-9 (NKJV) 
 
Simon Peter Is Called
 
1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.  
 
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.”  6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”  
 
9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.  
 
forsook: (verb)  renounce or give up     Original Word:  ἀφίημιI (aphiēmi; af-ee'-ay-mee)  
 
Definition: send away, release, remit, forgive, permit(a) I send away, (b) I let go, release, permit to depart     Finally, Peter had to release all (including all of his burdens) before he could follow Jesus - verse 11.  

 
Once again, let's look at the symbolism in this verse.  Before we can truly draw nearer to Christ we must first lay all our burdens down.  Our hands should be light and free so that we can hold onto His mighty right hand.  
 
I love how Simon did not have to catch any fish (solve any of his problem) before he was invited to abide with Jesus.   
 
I also love how Jesus asked Simon to forsake all.    
 
Let this be a lesson for us.  We can totally depend on Jesus to solve our problems, but we must first release control of our burdens. This means that we must intentionally lay our burdens down.       
 
THURSDAY    

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NKJV)  

6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  

 Humble: (verb) to make low  
 
Original Word: ταπεινόω (prospiptō; pros-pip'-to) 
 
Definition: drop close to the ground    

Drawing nearer to our Lord and Savior requires humility.  Before we can actually move closer to God we must first be willing to submit our complete control to Him.  This includes releasing the grip that we may have on our personal burdens and cares.       What do you need to release to your Savior today?  
 
Connection to Us    

As women it is hard for us to admit that we cannot fix every problem.  After all, mending broken things is our specialty.  Women are experts at repairing damaged toys, calming hurt feelings, and retrieving "lost" objects.  
 
If we are incapable to fix a problem, we will wear ourselves out trying to repair it anyway.  It is very hard for us to admit defeat.  After all, as women we should be able to fix everything that goes wrong in our lives. RIGHT? WRONG!     It is this type of thinking that gets us into trouble.  It is this type of thinking that Satan wants women to believe.  In our scripture today, Peter is instructing us to humble ourselves. This is usually easier said than done!    Admitting that we cannot resolve troubles on our own is where humility comes in.  Acknowledging that we need help from God should never make us feel weak or like less of a woman.  Having the power and might of The Creator of the Universe available to us anytime day or night should actually make us feel more like a fierce superwoman than an inadequate failure.     We must never forget that we are living in a spiritual world.   
 
The issues we face cannot always be fixed by adding glue or even by applying a Barbie band aid.  There is nothing we can purchase through Amazon or at the mall that will ultimately give us more power!  The only way to achieve victory in these battles is by allowing God to do our fighting for us.     For victory's sake - we must humble ourselves and draw nearer to God!   
 
Strategy for this week:

Drawing Nearer- Intentionally sit and reflect upon today's lesson.  Ask God to help you release all of your problems to Him - even the ones you are not aware of at this time. As you relax your mind and body, start coloring this week's coloring page. Intentionally seek God's presence.  He is right there beside you! Talk to your Heavenly Father.  Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.  Thank Him for loving you in such a deep and meaningful way!  
 
Prayer
 
Dear Heavenly Father,  
 
I deeply desire to draw nearer to you. I am so grateful that you want me near to you. Please help me to totally move into your loving presence. It is one thing to believe in You, it is another to willingly MOVE toward You. Please help me each and every day to draw nearer. I know I need to bring my burdens with me.  
 
Please help me to not only pack up my burdens, but to also release them to you. To do this I need you to help me loosen my grip on my burdens, sorrows, and worries. Father, I need you to lead and help me. I desperately need you to teach me how to truly be humble and dependent on you.  
 
Thank you for loving me! Help me to release everything I am and have over to YOU! 
 
In Jesus name I pray,  Amen

Here is a meditative coloring page.  Spend time now coloring and reflecting upon God's amazing love for you.