Defend Yourself Against the Devil
The street is quiet, but the hair stands upright on the back of your neck. Is something watching from the shadows? There's nothing there, so you continue. You hear the sound of footsteps approaching. Something is there! Adrenaline kicks in and you start running. No matter how fast you are, the steps grow louder. You're out of breath and afraid. You can't outrun them, and they're about to catch you. Then, suddenly, you wake up. It was only a nightmare!
"... Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
Few things fill us with more fear than being chased. Satan roams the earth like an angry animal, looking for his next kill (Job 2:2). He's devoured countless souls, but will you be his next victim? God isn't trying to fuel our nightmares here. He's posting warning signs on our journey, so we understand the dangerous road we travel. So what can we do to protect ourselves today?
Rely On God
You're not alone in the fight against Satan. When we all realize our weakness, we can come to God for help. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6–7). When you're worried or afraid, your strongest offensive position is on your knees in prayer! He's stronger than our Adversary and has already defeated him through Jesus' death.
My family lives on a corner lot at the entrance to our neighborhood. Our three beagles have taken up the charge of monitoring everyone's activities as they continuously look out the front window. Sometimes the house will be utterly silent, and then in an instant filled with the battle cries of danger as our neighbor walks to their mailbox. "Be sober-minded; be watchful" (1 Peter 5:8a). Aware of the devil's schemes, we're always on guard and ready for his attack. And we won't be caught by surprise when he tries to pull us back into the darkness.
Often, surfers who survive shark attacks escape by punching them in the eyes and gills. "You're not taking me without a fight!" But too often, people join hands with the enemy to be led away to their spiritual death. "Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world" (1 Peter 5:9). Not only can we call on God for help, but we can lean on each other for support. How did they break free of Satan's grip? Can I do the same?
May we all find strength and courage in our battle against the spiritual forces of evil!