|I Peter 5:8-10
Contrary to what many people would like to believe, when we commit to following Jesus, life does not become a walk in the park. Real life just seems to keep on happening — COVID-19, quarantine, protests, social upheaval, curfews — and in the middle of it all, we’re still people of the Kingdom. When we follow Jesus, regardless of what may be going on in our world, Kingdom people are held to a higher standard, and that can make life tough at times. The good news is, these tough times can be what makes us more like Jesus and ultimately brings us the peace our souls (and our world) desperately want.
In our Pause reading this week, Peter (I Peter 5:8) tells us to be “self-controlled and alert” because “your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” When you go all in for Jesus, you quickly discover an enemy who is tricky and deceitful. I’m not happy about it and, to my dismay, I’ve seen this crafty deceitfulness working in me over the past couple of weeks. But there is good news! This passage informs us that Satan is threatened by the power of Jesus within us. For me, I understand that Jesus’ power in me begins first with how I think, and second, by my conduct which follows. Peter goes on to say that if we resist Satan and stand firm in faith (my emphasis: in our thoughts and by our actions), God will “restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).
The choice is ours. We can either stand firm or be devoured. My experience in recent days has been the unsettling recognition of just how susceptible I am to being “devoured.” In I Peter 5:9, we are encouraged to remember that while we are resisting Satan, we are not alone. Kingdom people all over the world are enduring similar tough times.
Finally, one of the best ways to defeat Satan, not just in these uncertain, difficult times, but at all times, is to surround yourself with people who love Jesus. Here are some questions to consider:
- What’s one way Satan has deceived you in the past?
- Is there an area of your life where you are more susceptible to believing Satan’s lies? What is it about that situation that leaves you open to attack?
- Who in your life can you turn to when you know you’ve fallen into Satan’s trap? If the answer is no one, your next step might be to join a group. To find one near you, please look at the Groups page on our website and reach out to a leader to get connected.
We really can’t do life alone.
Pastor Dan Hicks