1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Satan is sly. He roams the earth. (Job 1:7) He gets permission to work against God's servants. (Luke 22: 31). He is a murderer and liar (John 8:44) He is the the ruler of this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11) He brings calamity on property, health and family (Look at the Book of Job). He tempts (Matthew 4:3). He deceives (Genesis 3:13) He accuses (Revelation 12:10). He wishes to devour us.
He uses all his evil tools to get us to doubt. He seeks to have us curse God. He wants us to deny our faith. He wants us to run from him in fear. What hope do we have against him?
Peter knows who Satan is. Peter has been sifted like wheat because Satan got permission. Peter ran, hid and denied his Lord. He knows how it happened. He knows what he said the night before he abandoned his faith. Peter was neither self-controlled nor alert.
Peter was sure that he would never deny Jesus. He was sure of it because he knew who Jesus is. He was sure because he had never backed down from a fight. He was sure because he was Peter. He was full of himself. He lacked self-control. Self-control has nothing to do with your conduct when everything is fine. Self-control takes place when you can still think through each thing which happens when your world is upset. It is remaining steadfast when emotions are running high. It is being prepared for the storm.
Peter never expected to come to a moment when he was so outmanned. He intended to fight his way our of any and every situation. He didn't know what to do when Jesus told him to put up his sword. He ran.
Peter watched from a distance to see what would happen to Jesus. His fear was greater than his convictions. He moved farther away each time he was accused of having been with Jesus. Finally, he severed his connection with Jesus with a curse. His denial was so demonstrative that Jesus heard it. He went out and wept. He was sifted through and through.
Self-control must always be accompanied by being alert. Peter was not alert at the time of Jesus arrest. He didn't even stay away and pray when Jesus needed him. He had been warned but complacency left him unguarded.
Satan did not have much of a challenge with him. He loves to roan and devour Christians who are neither self-controlled nor alert. He scatters them like fox scatters chickens. Some are eaten but most just run and hide.
We will never be much of a challenge for Satan if we do not prepare ourselves for the battle. We must put on the full armor of God. We must have our time of prayer. We must have our time with God each day. We must look at how Satan is trying to defeat us.
Is he after you? Is he bringing people into your life who are causing you to doubt your faith? Is he bringing calamity in property, family and health to get you to deny God? Is he telling you lies to get you to believe something is not true? Is he turning you against someone or having someone turn against you?
If he isn't now; he will.
Today is a day to renew our resolve against him. We must stand firm. We must recite and renew our faith in Jesus.
If we don't, he'll eat us up.
1 Peter 5:9 (NIV) 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Oh my! Wow did I need this today :) I was rehearsing this verse to myself today, posted it on my Facebook and then I get on to blog and see yours! I will not let Satan defeat me today. Thank you for sharing God's word with your creative and unique style that I so appreciate.
Your writings are getting better and better, Ps Prentis.
Your opening paragraph is such a nice and tight layout of things Satan is doing. Thank you for the reminder.
Indeed, there are several key things we must always bear in mind, in our journey. Amongst them included perseverance (this I repeatedly emphasised in the past), need to holy, and be self-controlled and alert; this last one, you have beautifully emphasised here.
In the last few posts, we have pointed out that we are in the world, and Jesus said, as in John 16:33, we will have trouble while in this world. Because we are in this fallen world, although now we are no longer of this world, we have to have certain posture to maneuver through this world. We cannot subscribe to "When in Rom, do as the Romans do"; no, we cannot do that, and we have to be always focusing on the prescriptions of God, that we are now of His Kingdom, and so, we are to subscribe to the ways of His Kingdom, and NOT be drawn back into following the ways of the world. Just as God wanting us to be living according to His ways, Satan who rules this world wants us to succumb to his ways. All believers must know, we are in two kingdoms at odd. Satan wants you to be over at his side so that he could use you to sabotage God's plan of establishing His Kingdom, on earth, and for all eternity.
God is goodness absolute, or holiness, Satan the opposite. There is life with God, but destruction with Satan. Ultimately, Satan wants us to be destroyed. John 10:10a said it very clearly that Satan is here to steal, kill and destroy. God is holy and righteous, but Satan is evil and perverse.
In righteousness we must persevere. Romans 14:17-18 said that the Kingdom of God is about righteousness, and Ps 89:14 and Ps 97:2 revealed to us that righteousness and justice are the foundation of God's throne. So, if you and I are of the Kingdom of God, we must persevere in righteousness.
Often, I have people coming to me, asking if it is alright for them to give up on continuing with a works when they are facing challenges, obstacles and hurdles that seem insurmountable. I have learned to tell them that one of the first things they have to ask, is if what they are doing, the works, is righteous. If we give up easily on matter of righteousness, what does that make us? Are we still sons of righteousness? Or have we once again have reverted to be sons of perdition? Is there no such way of viewing our position? 1 John 3:10 gave us one test of sonship in God! - He who practises righteousness and He who loves his brethrens.
Kingdom is NOT firstly, a place, but is, subjects willing to be subject to the ways or rule of the King. A place truly become a part of a Kingdom when the people there become willing to be subject to the ways or rule of the King; otherwise, there would be opposition or rebellion against the King; and sabotages of the efforts of the King would be common place.
When Jesus taught us how to pray in the Lord's Prayer, that "Thy kingdom come and thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven", Jesus, I believe, was speaking in accord to the understanding I have just given above, in the preceding paragraph.
Satan knows that is how kingdom is primarily defined, and is established, and so, he will do all things aimed at undermining the Kingdom-posture. When Satan manages to get you off the way or highway of holiness or righteousness (Isaiah 35:8-10), he knows he is sabotaging the establishment of God's kingdom; this is regardless he knows or knows NOT, his days are numbered.
Cont. from above
And so, it is NOT surprising that 1 Pet 5:8b was recorded for us, depicting the approach of the Devil – always prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Verse 9 of this text of 1 Pet 5 went on to say, we are to resist him, the Devil, standing firm in the faith, because that is what he, the Devil, does, all over, aiming at all brethrens throughout the world. The call is for us to resist the Devil, standing firm in the faith. But before you even resist the Devil, you got to be alert. And you got to be self-controlled. And so, 1 Pet 5:8b was preceded with “Be self-controlled and alert”.
Some preachers teach that we should just ignore the Devil, as if he is nothing; it is NOT helpful, it is over-simplifying matter, and it is NOT wise. Rather, the wiser thing is to note that we are in a scenario of two Kingdoms at odd; NOT wanting to know about the enemy, is like one just keep shooting aimlessly into the air; enemy coming at him from the left or right, he isn’t even aware; worst still, when he needs the bullet to shoot the charging enemy, he may have none left! We need to be self-controlled and we need to be alert, so that we recognize a snare of the Devil, and we don’t fall into one.
It helps when we know our King or God, and so, also know the ways, the righteousness and justice that form the foundation of His rule or throne; and it also helps, when we know how the Devil acts. 1 Pet 5:8b revealed to us that we cannot be complacent, for the Devil is always at work, prowling around, looking to devour. Apart from that, it is good if we know more, like the modus operandi of the Devil. If you are interested, hop over, and read this article of mine on the subject, written some time back, “http://high-expressions.blogspot.sg/2010/02/modus-operandi-of-satan.html”
May God bless the reading of this comment, and even the article referred to.
Anthony Chia, high.expressions
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