Fierce Adversary (1Peter 5:8-9)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8–9, AV)

On occasion I have seen a nature show on television featuring a lion. The lion is a ferocious carnivore that seeks to devour prey. It has the ability to use stealth to stalk its prey, moving very slowly and quietly through the brush until it is in striking distance. Then the lion will dart out at high speed to catch the prey. If the prey is in a herd of animals, the lion will normally catch the straggler or weakling that is not keeping up with the group. I would not want to be the prey of the lion.

As fierce as the lion is, we have an adversary that is ferocious also. Peter indicated that our adversary, the devil, is on the prowl seeking to devour someone like a roaring lion. For this reason, Peter gave several exhortations. First, he tells us to “be sober.” We are to be calm and collected in demeanor. We must not be given over to anything that can get us off track from the righteous ways of God.

Second, we are to “be vigilant.” This means to be watchful. Like a soldier on the front line in combat, believers are to stay awake, so that they will be alert. While on a military exercise one night, I would watch and listen attentively, paying attention to the slightest movement of vegetation and any sound. The reason was so that we would not be taken by surprise. The devil will sneak up on us so to speak when we let our guard down and put ourselves in compromising positions.

Third, Peter tells us to resist the devil. By being steadfast in the faith. We must resolve to stay firm without compromise in our relationship with Christ. We must never waver from trusting Him and being obedient to His will as we understand it from His word. James tells us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, AV). If we are submitted to God and keep on resisting the devil, he will flee from us. Do not give in to the devil’s evil schemes that he will throw at us through temptations in the trials and tribulations of life.

Last, always remember that we are not the only ones who have this adversary. Throughout history, the devil has been seeking people to devour. He wants nothing more than to destroy that which God has created. Moreover, he especially wants to trip up God’s elect. He will never be able to trip us up if we remain sober, watchful and continue to resist him by having a steadfast resolve in the faith. Remember that Jesus has given us the victory. Be strong in the battles of life.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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