Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:6-8 NIV
It may be disconcerting, but nevertheless true, that we have an enemy that prowls around like a roaring lion hoping to devour us. In this passage Peter gives us three very practical things we can do to make ourselves less vulnerable to his attack.
- Be humble. There is no place for arrogance in the life of a Christian. Pride is one of the most destructive tools of the enemy, and when we start thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought, we place ourselves at risk. Pride leads to a sense of entitlement and when our needs are not met as well or as soon as we think they should be, we can very quickly become agitated. Anger opens up the door for Satan to attack. As James reminds us, the anger of man does not achieve the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:20)
- Do not allow anxiety to settle into your heart and mind. As soon as you start to worry about something, drop to your knees and hand the situation over to God. Acknowledge that He is completely in control, trust Him to handle it, then simply let it go, all the while remembering that God cares about you immensely!
- Be alert and of sober mind. Don’t be naive, and don’t do anything that will put you at risk to fall prey to the attack of Satan! Be watching for it! Learn to recognize it as soon as it begins so you can see the situation for what it is and react accordingly.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:9-10
Peter tells us to resist the enemy and to stand firm in faith. In other words don’t let his attack knock you off your game! Don’t let him get into your head and create doubt about the things you believe to be true, and don’t allow his attack to move you away from your commitment to the Lord. When he reminds you of your weaknesses, remind him of God’s strength. When he reminds you of your past, remind him of your future in Christ. As long as you remain faithful to Christ, your future is secure! Stay focused on the Father and believe that He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to successfully bear so stand strong.
There are so many different attributes of God that Peter could have mentioned, but in this context He decided to remind us that we serve the God of all grace! How fitting as we so often need God’s grace when we are under attack. Why is it so important to resist the enemy and stand firm in our faith? Because, as Peter reminds us, we have been called by God to share in His eternal glory! The stakes are high! We have much to lose if we fall prey to the enemy.
What happens after you have endured the attack for a little while? God Himself will personally restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast! That’s most definitely worth enduring for!