The proper way to view the relationship between man and God is to see God as big and man as little. Many despise the idea of anyone being greater than them; this is why they reject God as sovereign. Sadly, this pride is the primary cause of much of the great grief suffered in this life. You see, if God is not bigger than man, how can man humble himself to Him? How can man cast his cares upon Him? How can man submit himself to God? How can man resist the devil in a manner that causes him to flee? Lastly, how can weakness become strength? Answering these questions proves the best formula for our success is “Big God – Little Man.”
The following will provide a good scriptural basis for this discussion:
The Apostle Peter said:
1 Peter 5:5c-8
“God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are from the King James Version.)
James, the half-brother of Jesus, said:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
The Apostle Paul said:
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
With these passages as the foundation for this study, let us strive to understand what these early church leaders meant when they indicated the best way for man to thrive is to live with the mindset that God is big and man is little.
God is Big
Why is it so important that God be big? First of all, the bigness spoken of here is not in regard to size. Instead, it is about the position with which men view God. True faith sees God as greater than anything else, no matter what. Because of this, one who views God as big will live life differently than one who sees themselves as big. Perhaps, this is why Scripture refers to God’s called-out ones as children. A child, in a healthy relationship, readily recognizes that their position is subordinate to that of the parent.
Reflect back on your childhood for a moment. When you had a situation that was beyond your ability, what did you do? Most would probably answer this question by saying, “I went to mom or dad for help.” As you grew up, if you knew Jesus, you began to shift your pleas for help to the Lord your God. This is the way God designed us. He made us human, which is to say we are not god, which is to say some circumstances are beyond our abilities. Often, it is during these times that we remember just who God is.
John the Baptist clearly understood what it meant to humble himself in the sight of the Lord. In fact, he spoke these words about Jesus:
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John the Baptist recognized Jesus as the bridegroom and was perfectly happy to be the friend of the bridegroom (John 3:29). John humbled himself in the sight of the Lord. This is because he understood what many today do not. He knew that God must be greater than man. In these last days, an incredible departure is underway from this mindset as men clamor for attention in every echelon of society. In fact, people of all stripes seek to supplant God’s position as the Most High. Sadly, this is also true within the church, the group that should know better than anyone else that the best way for man to thrive is by way of the simple formula: Big God – Little Man.
The best way to counter this trend is to herald the greatness of God once again. As Christians, we must depict God as greater than anything. He must be preeminent in all situations. After all, no one can be saved without calling upon the name of the Lord, which is, in itself, testimony to the fact that the one who calls on Jesus recognizes He is greater than they are. Put another way, when men call on the name of the Lord, they are heralding His greatness. In other words, they are proclaiming, “God is greater than I.” By the way, this is the perfect antidote to the pride that ultimately leads to destruction (Prov 16:18).
Once proper perspective is obtained and God becomes big in a person’s eyes, the idea of casting their cares upon Him becomes a blessed reality. What a wonderful thing it is to know we have a Great Big God who cares for us. To illustrate this point, I am going to provide a personal testimony:
Many years ago, my wife and I dedicated our lives to ministry, which gave rise to us departing the military, after twelve years of service, without benefits. This meant we had no immediate income to rely on, and I would have to find work quickly in order to keep us afloat.
Incredibly, at this very moment, without warning, our daughter arrived on our doorstep, along with four grandchildren needing to live with us until they could get back on their feet. I clearly remember the moment that the reality struck that my wife and I would now have to provide for five more people who were counting on us to see them through their time of great need.
As I recall, I was mowing the lawn, and the weight of this care was crushing me when, all of the sudden, God brought to my remembrance the passage that we are to cast our cares upon Him (1 Pet 5:7). In response, I simply said, “Here you go, Lord; this burden is more than I can bear; please carry it for me.” Immediately, the peace that passes all understanding flooded my soul (Phil 4:7), and I never again worried about how He would provide for us all. I just knew that He would.
God wants us all to realize that He cares for us, and He wants us to know that we can count on Him, no matter what. However, there is a secondary effect of casting our burdens upon God, which may be even more important than the relief we receive from doing so. You see, it is often in our moments of need that we remember that God is bigger than we are, and this is right where God wants us, dependent upon Him to the point that we submit to Him.
Submit to the Lord
Submitting to the Lord means the forsaking of one’s own leadership for that of God’s. This submission is much easier when it is established that God is greater than anything, and He is a God who cares enough to take upon Himself all of our cares. This may sound simple; however, often a tug of war exists in the life of one who is not completely yielded to God. On one side of this battle, God faithfully seeks the surrender of the person on the other side. The main sticking point, for most, is the idea that they will have to submit to someone else’s leadership in their lives.
This submission, however, is crucial to any believer who desires to be more than a Sunday saint and a Monday ain’t, a lifestyle that many believe will suffice. These mistakenly believe they can dole out a portion of themselves to God and that He will count this as enough. Well, God actually desires more than a little of us. He, in fact, wants exactly one hundred percent of us. That’s right; God desires that we submit all of ourselves to His leadership. However, there is another reason God desires our complete submission; He knows this position is the only one from which we can resist the devil.
Resist the Devil
Remember, we have an adversary, the devil. He roams about seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8). This one is sly beyond comprehension, and many mistakenly believe they are more than a match for him. However, even one of the mightiest angels did not bring a railing accusation against him (Jude 1:9). Instead, he did exactly what we are to do. He said, the Lord rebuke you. He simply submitted himself to the Lord’s preeminence and trusted in the fact that God was greater.
This brings to mind a very important point worth mentioning. The devil is very happy when humans attempt to order him around because he then has them right where he wants them. They now believe they are in authority and have no reason to submit to God. This is the worst possible position for a believer to take. Because without submission to God, resisting the devil will have no effect on him. However, in operating in one’s own authority, a believer falls for Satan’s oldest trick; after all, he has always desired for men to see themselves as god (Gen 3), thereby rejecting the greatness of the true God.
Incredibly, God has made a way for men to deal with this greatest of deceptions, and this is by assuming the exact opposite position from what the devil would have one take. God would have us assume a position of weakness.
Our Weakness is Our Strength
In order to best care for his children, God has given us His marvelous Word, which, when studied properly, affords us the understanding necessary to war righteously in this battle which is not fought in the flesh but in the spirit (Eph 6:12). In this type of warfare, we find our strongest position is actually our weakness. For in understanding our weakness, we come to realize that we must rely on the same God upon whom we cast all of our cares. Incredibly, He has provided us His spiritual armor to war with. Head to toe, God has protection for us, and each and every piece of His armor is designed to cause us to rely upon Him (Eph 6:10-17). Understanding this made Paul an incredibly effective servant of God.
The Apostle Paul was a man who had received great revelation. He had even been caught up to the third heaven and heard unspeakable words that are not lawful for man to utter (2 Cor 12:1-4). Undoubtedly, he understood just how big God truly is and how small man is in comparison. In fact, Paul’s understanding of this made him the perfect person to champion the gospel to many unevangelized areas of the world. Think about it; Paul’s ministry flourished because he continually lived in the knowledge that he served a God who could see him through any circumstance, no matter how weak he was. As a matter of fact, Paul speaks of God’s strength manifesting most when man is at his weakest. Remember, God told Paul, in response to his request for the removal of his thorn in the flesh:
“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9a).” In response to this, Paul adopted this mindset, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor 12:9b-10).
It is very important to understand that Paul was not out looking for trouble so he could manufacture weakness. Instead, Paul was simply trying to point out the great need for man to see God as Greater than himself. For it is in this position that man is more apt to seek and follow the will of the Father, which will bring about God’s intended purpose. Paul is simply teaching that we should live our lives as subordinates of God, at all times. 
Realizing the fact that God is bigger than we are is the first step in the process of becoming yielded vessels of honor, fit for the Master’s use (2 Tim 2:21). Accordingly, this understanding affords us the opportunity to submissively humble ourselves before God, who stands ready to carry any burden we cast His way. From this position, we also stand ready to resist the devil and his wiles as we live for God.
In His great wisdom, God knew we would face many trials in this life, and we would be in need of spiritual weaponry that would see us through any battle. Ironically, His armor only works for us when we are willing to assume a position of weakness. This is because God’s armor can only be donned by believing that God is greater. In other words, we must know that we cannot make due on our own, and we are in need of one greater than we. Therefore, God’s armor is most effective when we trust God enough to rely on Him alone.
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”
Website: In His Commission
May 17th, 2022
 For greater understanding, see the article “Not Yet.”