“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” 1 Peter 5:6
Nothing hinders spiritual service more than pride. In fact, humility is a crucial characteristic if we want to accomplish great things for God. The problem is that we tend to associate doing great things for God with being great in human terms. So the Lord works to bring us to a place of complete yielding and absolute abandonment to Him in every area of life.
God often uses hard circumstances and obscure places to prepare us for His purpose. We see this time and time again throughout the Bible. Noah endured 120 years of ridicule for building the ark before he enjoyed its safety. Abraham was tested as the father of one son before he became the father of a nation. Joseph suffered in a pit and a prison before he knew the power of the palace. And David was tested as a shepherd and chased as a fugitive before he was trusted as a king.
Likewise, before we can accomplish great things for God publicly, we must desire and depend on His presence privately. Oswald Chambers describes the drive of those who endure the hidden and hard places of God’s preparation, “First there is the hunger of the heart, often followed by a sense of desperation that leads to utter surrender of self. Thereafter there is the meeting of the soul with God in whatever manner the Almighty is pleased to reveal Himself to the desperate seeker who, like Jacob at Jabbok, will not let go until there is blessing.”
Do you have that kind of spiritual hunger—a hunger to accomplish great things for God? Are you currently in a hard circumstance or a place that seems hidden and obscure? The Lord knows exactly where you are. He will not abandon you.
He does, however, use the hidden and hard places of life to refine us and prepare us—to teach us humility. And while the responsibility to “humble [ourselves]” rests on us, the reward of humility rests on Jesus. He will “exalt you at the proper time.” Just remember, if we’re too big for the small things, then we’re too small for the big things.