“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” - 1Peter 5:8 (NIV).
Thieves like to prey on their victims unseen. They can’t wait once they see an opening. In particularly crowded cities, if someone leaves an item unattended a pickpocket thief does not hesitate to take advantage and disappear off fast. Any novice who is just making his way to town is warned to be ever on alert, particularly with his wallet and crucial documents held tight, for a thief can easily take advantage of the slightest gap, and before one has noticed is off fast with the loot.
The Apostle Peter describes the devil as ever looking out for his prey, just as a lion searches for a meal throughout its habitat. It’s a common trait of most predators to conceal themselves well, underneath some shrub, and once the targets guard is down, then almost from nowhere leaps the devourer.
This said, is why it matters in the Christian life to be on guard, at all times. Believers are constantly targets and their nemesis the devil, like a pocket thief, is ever on the lookout. He is quite skilled at luring his victims in those territories where he distracts them. We should always be on the lookout of our whereabouts for some places and scenes are best kept out, as they hold a potential for negative distraction. Likewise also, what we entertain ourselves with!
There are a number of ways we can guard ourselves, and one, is the power of the word of God. For the psalmist says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I clothe myself in your word to protect me from falling astray, and bring me victory through this life, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!