"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"-1 Peter 5:8
Have you considered your "adversary"? He doesn't want you to. He doesn't want you to know that he really exists. He would have you go merrily on your way, while he walks about, lurking in the shadows, destroying families and lives. If you love the Lord, I can assure you that he has his eye upon your and yours. He has sized you up and is at this very moment hatching some diabolical plot to destroy your life, your testimony, and whatever good that you may accomplish in this life. Jesus described him as a "liar" and a "murderer"(John 8:44). Considering his fitting titles, you have probably read or heard of some of his work over the past few weeks which is only a sure testimony that He is alive and active. Have YOU considered YOUR "adversary".
Peter knew a lot about him. He, too, had been caught unaware by this hideous monster. That is why Peter tells us to be "sober" and "vigilant". The word "sober" means 'WATCH'. Keep your eyes open! Be aware! If you knew there was a lion loose in your neighborhood, one that was devouring men, women and children, would you not approach the day with caution? When you went out for the day, would you not survey your yard, look behind the shrubs and under your car before you walked out the door? But how many of God's children look for Satan, each day?
That is why Peter also uses the word "vigilant". Vigilant means 'KEEP AWAKE'. Don't let your guard down even for a minute. We are not suggesting that God's people live a life of paranoia. But we are encouraging them to be cognizant of his existence and abilities at all times. Whether you like it, know it, or want it, you have an adversary! Today, we expose him.
Many wonderful people have suffered from his assaults: David, Solomon, and Job all had their bouts with this enemy. Are we less vulnerable than these great men? Should we not be on our guard? Consider a few of his methods:
(1)PRIDE: He was ever present among the apostles. He hated their work. If he could not scare these men into seclusion with his roar, he would destroy them with pride. Thus, they began to argue who would be the greatest(Luke 22:24). But the eye of or Lord was always open to the devil and seeing Peter's temptation He said, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren"-Luke 22:31-32. "Only by pride cometh contention"- Proverbs 13:10a.
(2)Lust: Lust is the desire for something that is not rightfully ours. It is setting the heart upon something that God has forbidden. Satan destroyed the first home with this tool and has succeeded countless times with this bait since that day. Solomon, in all of his wisdom fell prey to this temptation. Satan and Hollywood are co-partners in this method; they know what the flesh feeds upon. By their enticements, one will become dissatisfied with what God has provided and desire that which is forbidden.
(3)The love of money: People will do anything for money. Judas betrayed the Lord of glory for a few pieces of silver. And who was behind that scheme? People will lie, cheat, and steal for it and all the while Satan is sifting them as wheat.
(4) Compromise: He is behind compromises. David would have one more look over the wall at Bathsheba. This is where we find the "white lie"; do everything once; and the be open-minded about everything mind-set. Give him an inch and he will take a life.
(5)Peer pressure: While parents will warn their children about peer pressure, it may come as a surprise to the parent to find themselves pleasing the neighbor and "keeping up with the Jones'." Christ is our example,we must seek to please him and not man.
(6) Fear: We must mention fear, because our text declares it. Many times, a lion will roar to scare and paralyze its victim. Let not his roar scare you. He has been conquered. Christ has wounded his head(Gen3:15). Alone, we are no match for him. But with Christ, we are more than his match. James said, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you"-James 4:7. Remember, you have an adversary. Recognize him for what he is; look for him on every hand; and resist him. Lord, open our eyes to his schemes and pray for us as you prayed for Peter!
Come to worship with us at HARMONY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday morning. Phone 501-337-1115.
by His Grace,
Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor.