Grace For The Journey
This week we are looking at the truths in this passage that will help us deal triumphantly with our battles found in 1 Peter 5:6-10. If you have been a Christian for very long, you have realized something that is an absolute certainty. . .
Every believer fights battles.
The problem is not that we face battles; the problem is that we face far too many of them in our own strength. We have forgotten what the Bible teaches about battles . . .
The Battle Is The Lord’s
It is essential that we deal effectively with our battles. Monday we learned the first
principle that will help us do just that – We are to be humble. Yesterday we will look at the second principle that will help us deal effectively with our battles. – Be dependent.
In the midst of these difficulties, in the course of dealing with the trials and tribulations, we saw yesterday that as we depend upon the Lord we must also be alert … “sober and vigilant” as the Bible says. Today we will look at verse 8 and see.
III. Be alert
The verbs translated “sober,” and “vigilant,” literally mean “to be mentally calm and alert, both at the same time.” Instead of being anxious, because we are depending upon the Lord we can be mentally calm and yet, because we know we have an enemy, we must be alert to the reality that our enemy wants to use every circumstance of our lives to destroy us.
The imagery of Satan here is that of a hungry lion on the prowl, looking for someone to devour. The literal meaning of this word translated “devour,” means “to consume, or to swallow up.”
Satan is the enemy of all believers. He is the eternal enemy of our souls. From the very beginning of time, in the Garden of Eden, Satan has sought to destroy all that God created to be good. Today he seeks to destroy you and me as we seek to live the Christian life.
How does he do this?
- Through Temptation
He entices us to act contrary to God’s plan to cause us to disobey God and displease Him.
Satan cannot have your soul so he wants your witness.
If he cannot have you for eternity,
He wants to render you ineffective in the present.
Because he knows human nature better than we do, he is an expert at appealing to our fallen nature, our carnal desires.
The Bible says in 1 John 2:15-17 says, “Do not love the world, or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. Because everything that belongs to the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride in life, is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.”
Satan will use the strong desires we possess to tempt us and draw us from God. That is why we must be sober and vigilant.
- Through Deception
He causes us to believe things about God and ourselves that are not true. Since we always act out of what we believe, we must believe what is true. The Bible says that the devil is the father of all lies (John 8:44) and a deceiver (Genesis 3:13). He will appear as an angel of light 92 Corinthians 11:14). He will get us to do his bidding, making us think we are somehow serving God. That is why God has given us His Word so that we might be led us down the right path.
The devil has a way of causing us to question whether or not living for Christ is worth it. The Psalmist expresses this: “But as for me, my feet almost slipped; my steps nearly went astray. For I envied the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Psalm 73:2-3).
There are times in life when troubles come our way, and we look at the godless and their lives seem to be trouble free. It is in these moments that we are tempted to question our faith, to question the life we live and whether or not living for Christ is worth what we must endure. The devil loves discouragement. He loves to get us on self-pity kicks, to take our focus off of Christ and to put our focus on ourselves.
When we are totally surrendered to the control of Jesus, we will not focus on ourselves, but rather on what it is God wants to do through whatever He has allowed to come into our lives. As someone has said, this is “the difference is between an ego-centric life and a Christo-centric life.”
The devil wants to devour us, like a roaring lion. But instead of giving into his tricks, his temptations, deceptions and discouragement, we are told to resist, steadfast in our faith.
Tomorrow, we will look at verse 9 and talk about a fourth principle for dealing effectively with our battles.
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”