1 Peter 5:8
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Stay alert, or be vigilant, don’t let your guard down, when you hear those words you know you need to be on the lookout for something and be prepared. The next part of the verse tells you the reason you need to be cautious, you have an enemy and he is a liar, a thief, and a killer. When you think of all the bad things in the world, it begins with the enemy. He is roaming around and looking for someone to attack with a fierce hunger that can never be satisfied, so my question is, when you know you have a lion waiting for you, do you go out without your weapons or armor?
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12
The first rule of battle is to know your enemy. You must know who you are fighting against and you must know how they attack so you can be prepared. You have to know what is of GOD and what isn’t, even the devil and his demons can quote scripture, just used out of context. The best defense is a good offense, so read your Bible, read it daily, memorize scriptures that you can hold to when you are attacked. And when someone gives you scripture, look up that scripture and read the chapter, read the footnotes and references, know the scripture and know the truth.
When the devil attacks, hold fast to your shield of faith so you can block those arrows (thoughts of defeat, self-doubt, fear, reasoning and practicality) and cling to your sword the word of GOD. (see the whole armor of GOD in Ephesians 6:10-18) When Jesus was being tempted by the devil for those 40 days, everytime the devil would tempt Jesus, Jesus would use the sword of the Spirit, the word of GOD. (see Luke 4:1-13).
Discern what is from GOD (joy and peace can only come from GOD).And know that the devil will rob you of your joy, load you down with depression, he will steal your peace and try to kill something in you. If GOD gives you a promise, hold to that promise with faith. When we start to doubt those promises, we are stopping the will of GOD and helping the devil. You need to be able to stir yourself up for the Lord. You need to know you cannot go by your ability, but by GOD’s ability and by HIS ability, there is no stopping you! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 We can do ALL things, but we do have our part to do; we must stay strong in our faith, with perseverance and patience.
The lion watches for the wounded, lone, helpless, (those that aren’t prepared, don’t know what they are up against, don’t know they are in a battle, and/or don’t use their armor of GOD), those are the perfect prey for the devil. I remember a story once of pastor who came to visit one of his church members, who had stopped going to church. On that cold wintery day, the two didn’t have much to say to one another, the pastor removed a coal from the collection of coals in the fire, the lone coal went from red to black as the coldness of its surroundings became more than the heat of the group of coals it was with, until it finally had just burnt out; the illustration that the church member who left the congregation, his fire within would grow cold and die without the rest of the church to strengthen and encourage his fire for GOD.
You have to know what to resist and what to yield to, they are not interchangeable. You don’t want to resist GOD and yield to the devil, so use your armor so you are resisting the devil and yielding to GOD. The devil is a reasoner, always questioning what GOD is telling us, he defeats us with practicality. The devil uses our human doubt to reason away GOD’s ability, we convince ourselves that we couldn’t possibly accomplish what GOD told us we could, when it was never our ability, if GOD gave us a job to do, it’s going to be based on HIS ability not ours. GOD created the heaven and the earth, he knows our thoughts before we think them, so how are we to tell GOD that HE overlooked this one part of HIS plan?
When GOD gives you a word, do you get excited, do you get pumped, do you feel like you can anything? Then when you’re at that mountain peak, the devil shows up and starts telling you all the reasons why you can’t do what GOD told you, you could. Your joy is lost, your excitement is gone and you start to fear, and then all the reasons why something isn’t possible, or say it’s just not practical, that’s when you’re listening to the enemy. GOD doesn’t need something practical or complex reasoning, he created you from dust, he doesn’t need anything from you, except your faith.
Don’t let fear govern you, the enemy is trying to make you settle, when GOD doesn’t want us to settle. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 Did you catch that, HE is able to accomplish infinitely more than we can even imagine!! HE is a GOD of abundance, when you give GOD your faith, your faith is rewarded: “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38 Amen, that’s the kind of GOD we serve, we never deserve HIS grace, but HE is always faithful in his loving-kindness to HIS children with HIS endless mercy and everlasting love.