Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,1 Peter 5:5-6 NKJV
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, always give thanks for everything to God the Father. Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ.Ephesians 5:20-21 GNB
I thank God for the internet and all the ways we can look at people having church while we sit at home. In the time of the pandemic it has been invaluable. But I‘ve always been more than a little frightened by the last part of 1 Peter 5:5. Peter is apparently quoting from Provers 3:34, but this same idea is found throughout the Scriptures (See also James 4:6) This is very plain: The believer who is prideful will be resisted by God. That’s never a good thing. God always wins that fight. Our culture thrives on arrogance, self-centeredness, and self-exaltation. That’s directly contrary to what God made us to be.
Peter says that if I want to be brought to the heights that God desires for me, I must first humble myself. This is done by submitting to others. First to God (James 4:7 seems to imply that if we don’t then the devil can run over us freely), then to people. I yield to my spiritual leaders (Yes, I know that some have abused their privileged position, but we all need elders.) Then, I yield to other believers. I don’t have to have it my way. You get to talk, I don’t have to. You get the last piece of cake, I’ll be fine. In fact, short of sin if your way and my way collide, have it your way. Paul says that we do this out of reverence for God. I esteem and yield to you because you are an image-bearer of the Almighty. When I yield my will, I glorify Him.
These things can’t be done sitting at home. Today is Sunday. The Church is gathering in its various permutations all over town. Sitting home just because it’s inconvenient to get up and go is rebellion against the revealed will of God. Period. In addition, it’s impossible to submit to one another if you never get around one another. I don’t want God to resist me, so I think I’ll humble myself and go to church where I can practice not getting my way with no complaint. Glory! Why not join me?