Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Peter 5:8
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
This verse paints a very clear picture of something many do not think about. There are two who are watching us. God, of course, whose interest is for our good. He knows us like no other, and He loves us with an everlasting love. Then there is the other one. It is known as the Devil, or Satan. These words truly describe what he is. The word devil comes from the Greek word ‘diabolos’ meaning false accuser and slanderer. The word Satan comes from the Greek word ‘satanas’ meaning accuser, as found in a courtroom. He is also referred to as the enemy. “and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.” Matthew 13:39.
This verse is telling us we must be on watch for his activities. He is not going to come right out and say, “It is time to tempt you.” He will come without us recognizing it. His desire and goal is to destroy us because He hates us who love God, who love God and follow Him. As Peter Davids puts it in his commentary on 1 Peter, ‘there is a devil who wants to destroy those who are committed to God’.
And Satan has several methods to make us fall and possibly deny Christ. First there is persecution. He will bring across our paths people or objects that will display incredible hatred toward us. In many countries, this is a common lifestyle for Christians, such as China, North Korea, Islamic ruled countries and now much of India. And we are beginning to see it even more in the United States. He tempts us using fear that we will be beaten, jailed or killed. He uses various methods in order to scare us into denouncing Christ. Sometimes he will use humiliation. I once saw a person deny Christ in the midst of verbal abuse. If it works, he will use it. Another method is temptation. This can be presented in several forms. The first is to promise good things if we give in. Payment for wrongdoing is one example. Second, there is prodding our desires we have to sin. He knows our weaknesses, and he will do what he can to exploit them so we fall. And if he can make it happen, to give up our Christian walk for fulfilled desires, he will do it.
There are so many things that could be said here, but just realize there are as many ways he tempts us as there are people. We must stay on the alert for Satan’s ways, and we must resist him. “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:7. James gives us several steps to beat it. First, submit to God. We must give ourselves to Him continually, only doing God’s will, and not our own or the enemy’s. And when we submit to God, we resist the devil. There are two things that encompass most of his temptations: pride and envy. And ways we resist are through faith, humble prayers and heavenly wisdom. Also, stay away from areas that can tempt us. Whatever is tempting to us, we must avoid. If you do all these things, James says the devil will flee from us.
And one last thing, we need to cast all our cares on Him. (See 1 Peter 5:7.) Many times we stumble because we are anxious about something and we will do whatever it takes to resolve it. Cast all cares on God, trusting Him completely, and the enemy will lose a huge tool. Again, be watchful and clear hearted. When you see the enemy working, resist him. And when he flees, life will get a bit easier.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.