Chapter 5:8-11 (ESV) - Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Question to consider: What should our reaction be to the knowledge that the devil seeks our destruction?
The subject of the devil in Christian circles seems to spark a really diverse set of opinions. Some deny his physical existence and think of him more as a literary personification of evil in the world. Some think he is a foe for us to vanquish by proclaiming scripture verses and decrees in the name of Jesus like jolts from a wizard’s wand. Some use him as an excuse for their sin proclaiming that they give into temptation because they are oppressed by a demon of smoking, drinking, lust, etc. Some are so terrified by the adversary, that they live in utter defeat.
According to Peter, the devil is very real and seeks to devour us as prey, but we can and should resist him and stand firm in our faith. Because the devil desires our destruction, we should be sober-minded and watchful. Paul advised the Ephesians in 4:26-27, “be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil,” because he knew that Satan would take any opportunity he could to drive a wedge between church members.
The seventy-two who were sent out to proclaim the coming of God’s kingdom were excited to be able to battle and defeat demons in Luke 10:17-20: The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Above all else, we should keep our eyes on Christ who has defeated the devil by taking away his greatest weapon against us, the law. Because Christ fulfilled the law and then gave to us His righteousness, the devil can make no accusation against us before God.
So we are watchful of the devil’s schemes to help avoid unnecessary trials and tribulations, but we are hopeful in Christ who has defeated the devil and sovereignly reigns from heaven.
Dear Lord Sabaoth, we put our faith and trust in you to protect us from the schemes of the devil. Help us to keep our eyes on you and walk in your Spirit so that we can stand firm in our faith and be witnesses of your love and mercy. Amen.