Friday, May 8, 2015

OVERCOMING THE ROARING LION

1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  This is a very important verse for believers, as it reminds us who our real enemy truly is.  Our enemy is not our political opponents, our enemy is not those who oppose our religious freedom, our enemy is not a flesh and blood person(unless we are on a literal battlefield), but our enemy is the spiritual force that governs all things godless, namely Satan.

We see this truth played out in the opening verses of Job, when the angels presented themselves before God and Satan was also there.  God asked Satan, "where have you come from?"  Satan replied, "From going to and fro on the earth and from walking up and down on it."  Satan was roaming the earth in Job's day and he was obviously doing the same in Peter's day, and today, we have no evidence to suggest that anything has changed.  We are left with the conclusion that Satan is roaming the earth in our day as well, seeking whom he may devour.

The Greek word for devour could be translated as swallow up.  Satan is not satisfied with just distracting us into sin, he wants to completely absorb our entire lives so we are completely debilitated from serving God.  Satan wants our lives to be swallowed up by anything that distracts us or hinders us from serving Christ.  These things may be blatant sin, and these things may be things that are not inherently sinful.  An obsession with sports could swallow us up.  An fascination with video games or fishing or auto repair, or anything at all could easily lead to something that swallows us up.  

This goes beyond mere temptation to sin.  If you are a believer, Satan has lost your soul, but he would love to consume your life with distractions and problems that would hinder your spiritual growth.  This is not to say we should not have fun or enjoy things such as sports or fishing, this means we need to have healthy balance and be aware of things that can become our life's focus in place of Jesus Christ.  God does not want to be part of our lives, He wants to be our lives.  We need to get rid of that which distracts.  

As modern people, we are bombarded with distractions such as social media and  unlimited entertainment choices.  We must be aware that Satan will use anything at his disposal to crush our spiritual life.  This is not about walling ourselves off from culture and society, it is about being sober minded and watchful.  It is about keeping a check on our hearts, it is about being accountable, it is about seeking first the kingdom of God, it is about recognizing the Biblical truth that "anything not done in faith is sin."  

God loves you, Satan hates you.  That is the truth. Our focus should be on pleasing the one who loves us enough to give His Son to us as a sacrifice for our sins.  The influence of the church in western society is pitiful and dwindling by the day.  Could this be the result  believers being swallowed up by distractions and sin?  Satanic does not necessarily mean black robes and altars, it can take the form of anything that detracts from our spiritual growth.  

Be sober minded, be watchful, do not be swallowed up.   

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