OBSERVATION: The Christian life is no cake walk! It is a battle! Our adversary, the devil, is always looking for ways to trip us up, distract us, and dissuade us from following Christ. Jesus made it very clear – he is a thief with only three things in mind – to kill, steal, and destroy. We need to keep our minds clear and be alert. We all can be led astray by the deceitfulness of sin. It takes sober mindedness and understanding to walk in the victory God has provided for us through Jesus Christ.
In these closing verses in Peter’s first epistle we gain some insight into how this is done. He writes prior to this verse,
- “Be humbled by God’s power so that when the right time comes he will honor you. Turn all your anxiety over to God because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7 GW)
Humility and prayer are the two keys that keep our mind clear and alert. When we understand that all the power is from God, and not from us, we will continually look to Him. This is true humility. Humility is not self depreciation. Humility is clear minded thinking about our ability and God’s ability. When we understand this correctly we are drawn to prayer. Jesus said, “So far you haven’t asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive so that you can be completely happy.” (John 16:24 GW). All the anxieties we carry, all the needs we have, God invites us to turn them over to Him in prayer.
- Humility and prayer brings the inner assurance that God cares! We are not alone! If God is for us, who can be against us!
Now we are ready for battle! We are not striving in our own strength. We are rising up in the strength of the Lord, humbled before Him, positioned in prayer, empowered for obedience to His Word. It is then that we begin to strike the winning blows against the adversary!
- “Be firm in the faith and resist him, knowing that other believers throughout the world are going through the same kind of suffering.” (1 Peter 5:9 GW)
We resist the devil when we walk in faith! Faith begins with humility, is nurtured through prayer, and is evidenced by obedience. When we obey the Lord, by grace through faith, we resist the enemy. And James reminds us – “So place yourselves under God’s authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you.” (James 4:7 GW). It is not shouting, “I rebuke you Satan!”, that makes him flee.
It is shouting, “I place myself under the mighty hand of God’s grace and mercy, and I choose to walk after the Spirit in humble obedience!”, that sets him to flight!
Victory is promised. The trial will not endure forever. Weeping may endure for the night – but the Lord always brings joy in the morning of His appointed time!
- “God, who shows you his kindness and who has called you through Christ Jesus to his eternal glory, will restore you, strengthen you, make you strong, and support you as you suffer for a little while.” (1 Peter 5:10 GW)
We cannot escape the battles of life. We can only surrender to them, or be victorious over them. Through Jesus Christ we are called to be Overcomers. The enemy wants to convince us that we are overcome. He is but a toothless, old, roaring lion! He wants us to run away from the mighty hand of God in fear. Yet, when you hear his roar – run to God’s mighty hand. It is never shortened. His heart is always open and attentive to the cry of His children. Victory is ours through the Cross of Jesus Christ!
- “Power belongs to him forever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:11 GW)
In Jesus Name!