“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Read this verse over and over. What is God whispering to you?
Sometimes it is hard to comprehend that the devil is real. On one hand people discredit the idea and on the other hand people over estimate how much the devil can do. The devil wants it both ways in this case. If we don’t think he’s there, then he can easily pick us off. If we give him credit for more than he does then we live in fear of him and do his work for him.
The devil can’t read our minds and we are capable of sinning all on our own, but the devil can whisper in our ears to plant ideas in our head. The devil can’t be everywhere at once like God can, but he does have his own evil spirits that assist him. Peter wants us to be alert. Look out because the devil is real and wants our ruin. Peter is warning the elders, leaders in the community. The devil won’t attack those who he already has under his control. Those lost in the darkness of the world. But as soon as you try to be a Christian leader or even turn your life over to Christ you can bet He will attack.
In verse 6, Peter tells us to be humble and verse 7 to cast all our anxiety on God because He cares for us. The point is the devil’s best attack is on our pride. We are easy picking when we are prideful. He also attacks our worries. Fear is the opposite of faith. So, the more fear the devil can give us the less our faith is. Then in our verse Peter tells us to be self-controlled. The word is used to mean abstain from wine or be discreet. When we allow our desires to control us we can get out of control and be easy pickings of the devil.
The devil does well to observe us. He can see from how we act what our weaknesses are. Don’t give him the information he needs to destroy us. Stay under control. Don’t make a big fuss about yourself. Keep a low profile not seeking praise or reward. Those things will only bring attention. When there is a lion prowling around looking for food you don’t make yourself stand out as an easy meal.
Next, we are to look out. Understand who the devil is and how he attacks. Pay attention so that you are ready when he comes. He will use others good intentions to attack you. He will use family members, coworkers, even church family. Often with out them knowing and often with out them doing anything wrong, he will just use what they do right to get to us, like through pride or jealousy, envy, anger etc. We will suddenly think the other people are out to do better than us. We will think they intentionally are trying to hurt us. We will think they are trying to take over when they are only trying to help. They may just say nice job and we will get a big head. They may be upset by something we do our say and we will take the bait and start fighting. The devil will use our personal preferences to start fights. He will use our need for recognition to get us to be upset. He will try to get us to do more than we can handle to overwhelm us.
If we live our lives for God, temptation won’t keep us from Him. Temptation only catches us when we allow ourselves to live for me. Don’t fall for that trap. Live in love and peace and trust God all the way.