Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
In January we looked at Jesus’ promise from Matthew 16:18, I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Jesus is on the offensive, the devil is on the defensive. Yet while his power was defeated at the cross it would be a mistake to let down our guard because he is still dangerous. This is exactly the spiritual wisdom Peter gives us in a passage we’ll be examining at Bible study this spring. It is generally when things are going well as a chapel and as individuals that the devil chooses to strike. Why? Often in those instances we let our guard down. Peter, however, says we should never be spiritually naive and always have our guard up because 1) lions strike without notice, 2) they are always on the prowl, and 3) if we’re unprepared the results can be messy.
The devil is especially concerned when people and churches draw near to Jesus. He doesn’t want that and will stop at NOTHING to disrupt this. As a Christian, do not think temptations and trials of various kinds will diminish the more mature you become, rather the devil’s attacks will intensify. Likewise, he’ll seek to disrupt the unity, faith and peace of a growing congregation. How does he do this? Often by fostering a spirit of jealousy, bitterness, strife, pride and rebelliousness that will show itself in gossip, slander, anger, a reliance on worldy wisdom, and disrespect toward others and leaders (see Eph 4). In effect he tries to take our eyes off Jesus. So let us resist the devil, be on our guard and be on the lookout—firm in our faith—fixing our eyes on our shied and defender, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,