Standing in the face of 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:  (9)  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

  • We have an enemy that seeks to destroy us.He is like a lion on the prowl for prey. I remember a story about two men who found themselves faced by a lion. One of them started lacing up his sneakers, The other said to him “you will never out run the lion.” to which he answered “I don’t have to out run the lion, just you.”
  • When a lion is on the hunt, it runs down it prey from behind, grabbing it by the neck, using it powerful jaws to break the neck of it’s prey killing it.
  • In fact, all the experts say that if faced with a lion never run. Stand tall, make noise, keep you face towards the loin. Stare at it. Let it know you see it. Some say throw rocks or sticks at it but I say why provoke it by being a threat to it? I remember how David Jeremiah recounted a story on how a wildlife expert was faced by a mountain lion who was in a bush near a lake (he noticed the eyes staring at him). The lion was not retreating so he put his back to the lake, and took out his knife and stared at the lion. Whenever the lion moved, he turned to face it. Eventually the big cat moved on.
  • I found a satirical article in The Onion on how a mountain lion successfully defended itself from a group of hikers. How she felt threatened by their behavior in her territory invaded by a father, mother and two children. The started yelling and clapping and throwing stones at her and she felt they were trying to injure her, so she attacked the husband, killed the wife who started hitting it with a limb. The article was from 2008 but I could not verify the truth in this but it does illustrate the point that whether we are dealing with the lion or the devil, we need to make sure we are doing it right. Remember those who tried to cast out a devil in the name of Jesus but they did not know God? The demon answered: Jesus I know, Paul I know, who are you? And the demon attacked them.
  • When we stand in the face of the enemy we have instructions as well.
  • Be Sober. G3525 nay’-fo; to abstain from wine (keep sober), that is, (figuratively) be discreet: – be sober, watch. Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.
  • Be Viligant. G1127 gray-gor-yoo’-o; to keep awake, that is, watch (literally or figuratively): – be vigilant, wake, (be) watch (-ful). Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries
  • But in the meantime watch. There is a close connexion between this, and the duly casting our care upon him. How deeply had St. Peter himself suffered for want of watching! Be vigilant – As if he had said, Awake, and keep awake. Sleep no more: be this your care. As a roaring lion – Full of rage. Seeking – With all subtilty likewise. Whom he may devour or swallow up – Both soul and body.
  • Resist Steadfast in Faith. By no means give way to him, by indulging any sin, or yielding to any temptation, but oppose him, and stand against his wiles, his cunning and his power: steadfast in the faith; both in the doctrine of faith, which Satan endeavours to remove from, or cause to stagger in; and in the grace of faith, exercising it on the promises of God, and his perfections, particularly his power and faithfulness concerned in them, and in the blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and person of Christ, which faith is capable of making use of, as a shield, to good purpose, against all the fiery darts of Satan; as also in a profession of faith, which, as it should be held fast without wavering, and which the devil is very busy to keep persons from making, or to cause them to drop it when they have made it, by violent suggestions, strong temptations, and a flood of reproaches and persecutions; all which should be disregarded.

Excerpt from Spiritual Victory, from the series Suffering Saints, a study in First Peter | Listen to Sermon.

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