1 Peter 5:8-9
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
We are not immune from Satan’s attacks against us, either within or without. Often we leave the door open to Satan by our spiritual weakness or lack of faith. Peter’s admonition leaves no doubt as to the warfare in which we are engaged. Satan is a master at his evil craft; he has been at it a long time. In 2 Corinthians 2:11 Paul reminds the church “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” To know the things we need to beware of will strengthen our position in the battle, “To be forewarned is to be fore-armed!” Peter as he reminds us to stand firm in our faith reveals the reality that we are not the only ones suffering. Today in our progressive culture we have made the purpose of life pleasure and we have little time for persecution. When Satan came asking to strip Job through suffering he was convinced that Job’s faith would fold, but here is when we see the power of persecution, you see suffering can silence Satan. Lions hunt by separating those they hunt from the herd, Peter reminds us that we are not alone in our suffering because he doesn’t want you to become separated. Satan wants to convince you that you are all alone and that it is hopeless because then you will give in and give up. As we continue with part 2 we are reminded of some of Satan’s devices that we dare not take lightly.
Satan loves to distract us so that we turn from God’s purposes to our pleasures. I John 2:15 reminds us: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Jesus said: “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24. Today in our desire for satisfaction we are trading the Savior for the temporary shinny things of this world. To Judas the thirty pieces of silver seemed so appealing before the betrayal; only after the trade did he realize their worth. The things of the world are like that; to covetous eyes they sparkle and shine and we give up things of much greater worth to obtain them. The only way to weigh the worth is by comparing the cost. Today in our mad rush to get we fail to realize what we give. We turn from the truth for the temporary trinkets. Satan wants to divert us onto the road of destruction, today in our attempts to get love we sacrifice our lives, we trade our bodies for beauty, we give sex to feel special, we give all to get attention, we give up holiness to get ahead and to obtain love we give in to lust. To stand firm in the faith means we must turn to truth, true riches are found in the Redeemer it’s not about the money it’s about the Master. Has Satan distracted and diverted you, what are you trading?
Satan’s first plan of attack with Adam and Eve was to sow the seeds of doubt, Genesis 3:1 “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Doubt is designed to cause you to distrust because then you will disassociate. When Jesus rose from the dead he revealed himself to His disciples and asked them a pointed question we need to ask ourselves today: “And He said to them, ’Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts.” Luke 24:38. When Peter took his eyes off of the Savior he began to sink and Jesus said to him: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31 Today are you focusing on the foundation of your faith, on The Lord or a lie?
We will all deal with disappointment sin this life the question becomes how we will deal with them? Most of us have a plan of how things should go and when God doesn’t fit into our plan He becomes the problem and focus of our disappointment. Satan loves to play the selfish card and convince us that life should be about self, he knows that is he can get us to exchange God’s plan for ours it’s only a matter of time before disappointment derails us. Judas had an expectation of Jesus, that He would follow man’s plan not the Fathers. Disappointment was how Satan got to Judas. When he realized that Jesus wasn’t going to overthrow the Roman government and give him his place in the kingdom his attitude dissolved into disappointment. Disappointment caused him to depart, he was determined that his actions were justified. Today many depart from Jesus during times of disappointment, we justify our actions using the phrase “I deserve to be happy” Like Judas, Satan can convince us to focus everything through the lens of self so that all we see is our disappointment. It’s amazing that while Jesus was on his knees serving Judas like a slave, washing the dirt from his feet, Judas felt justified to make plans to betray Him. Be careful about what disappoints you in serving God. Jesus said in Luke 7:23, “God blesses those who do not turn away because of me” The devil can use disappointment to snare you and devour you.
Even though God delivered His people from Pharaoh they still got stuck in the muck and mire of discouragement. Numbers 21:4-5 “Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. “And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.” Discouragement caused them to despise Gods provisions, instead of living in wonder they saw His bread as worthless and began to whine. Are you discouraged today? What are you focusing on, the circumstances or Christ?
In our give it to me now world we get very distressed by any delay. In Daniel 10 we are told of a delay that Daniel experienced because of demonic activity: “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel. Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision. 2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” We are then told the reason for the delay “12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
Are you waiting on the Lord today, delay does not need to result in despair.