By Brooke Holt
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9
Yesterday, I wrote about a teenage girl who was resisting authority. As a parent of three children who have all now surpassed their teenage years, I fully understand the angst of her parents. Parents have a desire to sit down and explain all the dangers of adolescence and how choices made today can impact their future.
Peter feels this same angst for you, his reader. He knows the joy of walking with Jesus, and he knows the devastation of denying him. Peter understands the battle that rages for the souls of the disciples. Jesus warned Peter just as Peter is warning you: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32). Peter fulfills these words of Jesus as he writes to warn his readers about the enemy who seeks to devour the followers of Jesus Christ.
Peter does not mince words in his warning. He uses the metaphor of a roaring lion for a reason. If you are walking through grasslands and hear a lion roaring, you know instantly you must seek refuge. Even if it’s the loveliest of days and on the most beautiful and pristine savannah, you are still in grave danger! A hungry lion will devour you in any setting.
Likewise, Satan, the adversary of your soul seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (see John 10:10). He will come against you in obvious ways like temptation, but he will also come in more subtle ways like envy, anger, fear, and unhealed pain. Whatever it takes to plant doubts about God’s goodness and love, to make you question, and to take your eyes off Jesus – that is his goal. Satan knows you are secure in God’s love, but he can deter you from experiencing that love and living in alignment to God’s will.
Wise counsel follows the warning: “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:9). Satan loves to isolate and deceive you into believing only you are suffering in this way while everyone else is doing just fine. Peter tells you God’s truth. Everyone has their struggles whether you see them or not. The Christian life is not easy. That is why you need the Holy Spirit and the fellowship of believers. Together, with the Holy Spirit, you can stay anchored in God’s truth and be able to stand firm against every attack of the enemy.
You must acknowledge the enemy and constantly be on the watch for his attacks then, through the power of the Holy Spirit, you can stand firm against Satan and his attacks. He still roars today, but he is a defeated foe!
God is real. He loves you and seeks to lead you into the fullness of life; you also have a real adversary who hates you and seeks to devour you. Simple yet profound as you consider to whose voice you listen – God’s or the enemy’s. Whose path are you following? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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