GOD PROMISES WE CAN RESIST SATAN – 2
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9
In the last blog we started looking at the promises in this verse. We saw that it assumes that 1) we can resist Satan and 2) when we resist, he will have to back off. Great promises! But there are conditions to be met for this to happen. We can’t just live any way we want then expect God to always show up and win our battles for us. There prerequisites we need to have.
The first quality required of us to have victory over Satan’s lion-like attacks is to be self-controlled. Impulsive emotionalism opens us to disobedience and sin. God’s Word tells us to let our mind explain reality to our emotions. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We need His Presence to keep from sin and to obey His Word. We need His power so we can act and not react. We need His control so we overcome temptation. We need self-control to live a godly, Christ-honoring life.
Similar to this, but mentioned separately, is that we are to be alert. Satan is sneaky, deceptive and deceitful (John 8:44). He deceived Eve in Eden. Many today don’t even believe in Satan and demons, and that includes many born-again Christians. If they do believe he exists, they write him off as of no consequence. He is glad for this, for those who downplay him, or deny his existence, are not alert to his tricks and traps. That makes it very easy for the lion to get close enough to capture and destroy them.
Too many Christians have an entitlement mentality today when it comes to their faith. They focus on what they expect, even demand God do for them. Foremost in their minds is what they get out of it, what they feel God owes them. Satan uses this lack of alertness to sneak in and capture them. God says we are in a battle (Ephesians 6) and we need a warrior mentality. If you were walking around a jungle in Africa somewhere, or in an inner-city slum, you’d be alert to any danger around you. We need to have that same mentality as we progress through the 21st century world we live in. We need to be keenly aware of deception or temptation from what we watch on TV, what we listen to at work and who we let influence us. It’s a jungle here as well – so be alert!
We need a firm foundation from which to stand against Satan’s lion-like attacks. Peter says that footing is our faith, “standing firm in the faith.” “The faith” refers to the body of truth we have in God’s Word. It is the doctrine, the theology, the content of our faith. We need to know God’s Word and promises, we need to apply them to our lives and we need to stand strong in them when attacked. It’s only when we know God’s truth and apply it to our lives that we can “resist.” We can’t do it in our own strength, only in Gods. That’s where knowing and using His promises comes in.
We may think this is too hard, too much, and we can’t resist, we can’t stand. We may get the idea that we are the only one who has such great problems and so many terrible attacks. But Peter makes it clear that our brothers and sisters throughout the world are going through the same thing. Our battles aren’t unique to us. We don’t face anything worse than others face (1 Corinthians 10:13). We are not alone. We are all in God’s army. We are all soldiers of the king standing against His enemies. We need His armor to defend ourselves and to push on to victory (Ephesians 6:10-20). We need to have a front-line mentality. We are in a death struggle, a battle to the finish.
Being light in a dark world is serious business. Living like Jesus draws the attention and the attacks of the enemy. But God is faithful. He will be with us. He stood by Daniel when he was thrown to physical lions in his day (Daniel 6) and he’ll be with us as we face our lions today. We can resist and we can have victory. God says so. God promises it!
Finish memorizing 1 Peter 5:8-9. Pray daily for self-control and alertness so you can be aware of Satan’s attempts to trap you. Ask God to help you stand firm in your faith.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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