“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
Paul warned us to be aware of the devil’s schemes so that he would not outwit us (2 Corinthians 2:11). But sadly, so many believers are falling into his traps and are being outwitted. The context of knowing Satan’s schemes is forgiveness (v.10). Huh?! Paul also warned us to stand firm, be alert against the devil’s schemes and attacks (Ephesians 6:11). But so many miss the subtly of the enemy’s tactics. The context of this command to stand firm is preparing for spiritual battle by putting on the armor that God provides. But tragically, how many actually intentionally clothe themselves with this armor before heading off into their day? In other words, many go into battle naked and unprotected, then wonder why are they so beat up. Paul warns us that the devil masquerades himself (and by implication his wicked cohorts) as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Jesus warned ferocious wolves dressed like sheep will sneak into the flock to deceive and destroy (Matthew 7:15). The bottom line is we need to be alert to what the enemy is doing in our midst. He is not just working in DC or in Ukraine, but he is actively working in our city, in our churches and in our homes!
Paul instructed us not to give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). Do you know what a foothold looks like? If you don’t then how do you know you don’t have one? James tells us to resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7). When was the last time you intentionally resisted him? And when you resist, you must continue to resist until he flees. Resisting is not a once and done thing! Our struggle against the devil and his forces cannot be casual, or accidental. We must intentionally stand, resist and fight!
Ask the Lord for a grace to be more intentional in preparing for each day’s battles. Ask Him to reveal the schemes of the enemy. Ask Him to expose any place where the enemy has made a foothold in your life. Ask Him for greater endurance and stamina to resist the devil until he flees. Ask Him to grant you a new level of sober-mindedness and alertness to the true battle around you. Ask Him to open your eyes to see the spiritual world fighting around you. Ask all these things for your pastor as well. May your church be a place where he enemy has no footholds or access. Pray that a mighty army of wholehearted warriors for Jesus would rise up and be ready for the battle, in season and out!