Our Enemy Wants to Devour Us

1 Peter 5:5-7 NIV

“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“’God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.’

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Humble Yourselves

The proud think of themselves more highly than they ought. They are proud of their intelligence, their knowledge, their possessions, their talents, their accomplishments, and of their own abilities and perceived freedoms to do whatever it is they want to do, sometimes thinking nothing can touch them.

The humble, though, recognize that without God they are nothing. They admit that they are sinners by nature and that they can’t save themselves. They know that they need God. And they know that their only hope of salvation is to submit to God/Jesus Christ and to his righteousness.

The humble do not take God’s grace for granted. They don’t assume God does everything for them and that they can ignore his commands, and that they can live however they want and still have salvation from sin and eternal life with God. It is pride that ignores God’s commands.

The humble realize their total dependence on the Lord in all things, and they walk in the fear (honor, respect) of the Lord. They take God and his word seriously, and thus they make it their practice to die to sin and to walk in obedience to their Lord in surrender to his will for their lives.

They also know that everything that they have comes from God, and thus it also belongs to God, so they don’t hold on to the things of this world. They realize that this world is not their home, and that we are here just for a time, and it is for us to live our lives for the glory and praise of God.

Your Anxiety

We are not to be afraid of people, circumstances, or “what ifs.” We are not to fear being rejected by other people. We especially are not to compromise our character, morals, beliefs, and our values out of fear of rejection of others. We must remain pure in our walks with the Lord.

When we give in to fear, we are lacking in faith in God. I am not saying here that the emotion of fear is wrong, for we have been given our emotions by God for a reason, and sometimes feeling fear is a warning to us that something is wrong and/or that we ought not to go a particular direction.

If we are feeling fear, we should pray and ask God for his counsel. But when we yield ourselves over to those emotions, and when we allow our emotions to control what we do and what we believe and how we behave, then that is wrong, for it means we are not trusting the Lord with our lives.

So, although we may not always be able to control how we feel, we can control what we do in response to how we feel. We can feel the fear and do it anyway. For example, the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians that he came to them in weakness with great fear and trembling (1 Co 2:3). But that didn’t stop him from speaking the truth of God’s word to them in love.

1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV

“Be alert and of sober mind. 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 the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

We are always to be spiritually alert. And we can’t be spiritually alert if we are spending our free time ingesting into our minds and hearts all the garbage the world is feeding us through television, movies, music, videos, video games, the news media, social media, and the internet.

Now I am obviously not saying that everything on these platforms or on these mediums is garbage. For, because of the internet, many of us have been able to share the word of God and the gospel of our salvation with people all over the world, so I am grateful for that.

Through these mediums we are also able to listen to some biblical preaching and some good biblically based Christian music. And we are able to enjoy Christian fellowship with other believers and operate as the body of Christ in encouraging each other in our walks of faith.

But we must be so discerning of what we watch, read, and listen to, as well as what we participate in, for not everything is godly. Not everything is moral and upright. Not everything is truth, either. So much of what is out there is worldly, of the devil, deceptive and alluring to the spiritually weak.

So, we can’t take everything at face value, no matter how good it may appear on the surface. We also can’t presume that people are who they say they are. There are so many liars and deceivers out there that it is honestly hard to know if anyone is telling the truth anymore.

We have to test everything we read or hear or think we see because there is so much deception and so much that is faked, and there are so many actors in positions of influence in the government and in the media and in the gatherings of the church, and way too many people are being deceived.

We have to be aware of the enemy’s tactics against us so that we are not caught off guard and so we don’t fall into his traps. So, we must be daily in the word, walking in obedience to our Lord, putting on the armor of God and putting to death the deeds of the flesh, by the Spirit.

1 Peter 5:10-11 NIV

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

Yes, Satan’s tactics against us do cause us to suffer, but suffering is part of the Christian life. We are called to suffer for the sake of our faith in Jesus Christ and for the truth of the gospel of our salvation from sin. Suffering is part of what helps us to be humble, too.

For, when we suffer, we are weakened, and we realize even more than usual how much we are utterly dependent on the Lord just to make it through every day. So, it causes us to lean on the Lord for our support, and to trust him with all the situations in our lives.

A Believer’s Prayer

An Original Work / July 31, 2012

With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.

Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.

Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.

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