Posted by: Brad Beaman | February 8, 2011

Your Enemy the Devil

When I was a senior in high school I played on an undefeated football team. Our first three games we outscored our opponents 130-0. But we had to be careful. When the game went on to the fourth quarter the other team knew they could not win. That’s when cheap shots were common. The losing team was not worried if a late hit on the quarterback drew a penalty. It would not change the outcome of the game.  The desperation of losing brought out the worst of many teams.

In 1 Peter 5:8-11 Peter calls us to be alert. It is the fourth quarter of history. Satan is defeated and time is running out. The devil is like the cheap shot artist. His goal is to inflict damage to the Christian and to Christ’s church. Peter does not use a football analogy. He uses a lion analogy. The lion is looking for someone to devour.

Peter knows how very serious attacks from the devil are. Jesus warned him, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. Spiritual battle is real and the stakes are enormous. Peter warns of your enemy the devil. He instructs us on how to resist the devil. He gives us hope and the reminder of the ultimate victory in Christ.

1 Peter 5:8-11

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

 10 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. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

 

The Devil

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. A lion roars when hungry and he will seek prey to devour.  The devil or Satan (one and the same) is the one who tempted Eve through the crafty scheme in the Garden of Eden. Satan is the serpent of old (Revelation 12:9). Adam and Eve fell and sin entered this world.

 Where did the devil come from? What was he doing in the Garden of Eden? The devil is a created being. Only God existed eternally with no creation point. Along with other scriptures 2 Peter 2:4 teach that the devil and demons were angels who sinned and rebelled against God. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment (2 Peter 2:4)

Satan the devil and his fallen angels in their rebellion against God seek to accuse and destroy man separating us from God. That is the devils way of hurting God who he rebelled against. We are not to dismiss the power of the devil. Jesus call him the prince of this world (John 14:30)

God for the time being has allowed the devil dominion and authority on this earth, but only for a limited time. The devil is a fallen angel himself. He is the prince of demons the host of fallen angels Matthew 12:24) Satan and his evil army are not only powerful, but ever so deceptive as they disguise themselves as angels of light.

They are deceitful spirits who tempt and lead people away from God (1 Timothy 4:1-2). The devil is behind occult, astrology, Tarot cards, Palm reading, drug abuse, alcohol addiction and everything that destroys people.

Those involved in these things are directly opening themselves to the influence of Satan.   Satan is behind the false religions and false beliefs that ensnare people and put a grip on them from believing in Jesus Christ.

Hell, the lake of fire was created for the devil and his demons. But his driving desire is to destroy as many as possible and take as many with him to eternal doom. He is the deceiver, the destroyer, the thief, the accuser and the slanderer.

For one person he may destroy them through alcohol and drugs. Another he may whisper, go ahead and cheat on your family, betray your loved ones. The results are the same, broken lives. When you look around and see evil around you; drug abuse, gang violence, homosexuality, slanderers and God haters the devil is behind these.

Christians should not fight one another. The enemy is the devil. He would love to impart confusion and turn Christians on each other, or like he did to Eve, against God. The devil is our enemy and the more powerfully we proclaim the gospel the more violently Satan opposes us.              

 Satan shoots flaming darts (Ephesians 6:16). Satan sifted Peter like wheat (Luke 22:31). Satan caused Job intense pain and suffering. The lost are in the trap of the devil. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 says that they are in the jaws of the lion. It will take a miracle to save them.

What do we do? Should we be overwhelmed? Cower in fear? No! Greater is He that is in you than he than is in the world. God calls us to resist the devil and stand firm in faith.  

Resist the Devil  vs. 9

As powerful as the devil is, God works within us and we are called to stand. When we do stand the devil will flee from us (James 4:7). But it calls us to a spiritual alertness and a cutting edge faith.

Peter is writing to a persecuted first century church. No doubt the devil was directly behind much of what they suffered. They could easily feel defeated. Satan will use our suffering to try and turn us against God.

There is a call to self control (vs. 8). A soldier who goes into battle is disciplined. Knowing what you know about the devil prowling like a roaring lion, seeking to devour you can you even for a minute think that a complacent spirituality will be enough. You will become a victim. Standing firm will take more than human resolve.

This is a spiritual battle and you need to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and have daily time in prayer and scripture.  Don’t fail to prepare yourself spiritually to stand. Peter even calls us to take comfort and gain strength from the fact that other Christians are suffering along with you.

But you can take comfort and gain strength to stand in that the ultimate victory is God’s.

Ultimate Victory belongs to God vs. 10-11

We are not fighting in spiritual warfare so that Christ may ultimately win. Christ already won. The victory came on resurrection morning. Our battle is to keep the devil from taking those around us down to destruction on his sinking ship. The lost are in the jaws of the lion.

We are assured the victory. Look at verse 10 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.

 

The reason Jesus appeared is to destroy the work of the devil (1 John 3:8). The God of peace will soon crush satan under your feet. (Romans 16:20). In Christ you are rescued from the dominion of sarkness.

You can triumph over your enemy the devil because Jesus triumphed.  To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:11)

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