Resisting the Enemy

1 Peter 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.

Peter had experienced the attacks of the adversary.  He was close to Jesus and was therefore an enemy of Satan.  And Peter’s most shameful moment of denying Jesus three times could very well have been due to an attack by Satan.  Peter’s defenses were down because he didn’t take the threat seriously.  He didn’t watch and pray with Jesus.  He thought he was strong enough on his own to face whatever came, but he wasn’t able to resist.

Who from the flock will the lion be able to take?  Those who are unaware and unprepared.  When we are ignorant of our enemy and his tactics, we are susceptible to attack.  We are vulnerable when we aren’t paying attention and are not on guard for the threat.  It’s not that we live in fear of attack, but we prepare ourselves to dwell in enemy territory day by day.  And our understanding of our enemy gives us an advantage.  He may be powerful and strong, fearsome and relentless, but he is not more powerful than God.  We have God’s power within us and His protection over us, and at the name of Jesus, he has to flee from us.

To resist the enemy’s attacks, we must be properly armed.  We trust our Shepherd to guard and protect us, but then we also put on our armor and carry the sword of God’s Word, ready for battle.  We can be actively engaged in fending off attacks by knowing God’s Word and trusting His truth to combat our enemy’s biggest weapons of lies and deception.  And we carry our shield of faith that we can use to deflect whatever he tries to throw at us, knowing we can trust in Jesus for help and guidance and safety.

The truth is, there is an enemy seeking our destruction, but he doesn’t have to win.  We have to be vigilant, refusing to let down our guard and fall into complacency.  We can’t let ignorance or pride lead us into his traps.  We don’t have to worry and fear, but we should be aware, living with understanding of the danger that is out there.  So may we rest in Christ, trust in Him, and not give Satan an opportunity to come into our lives and do damage.

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