8 Be alert and of sober mind. 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 the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
All Christians are subject to satanic attack. That’s why we’re told to “be alert.” And just in case you don’t think it’s a big deal or you’re not a target for evil, Peter warns you should take this counsel seriously. Be “of sober mind.” It’s no laughing matter. You could be next.
This is the second of three devotions on the reality of Satan. Tomorrow we’ll look at 7 Ways Satan Attacks Believers. Bad things happen, but not all of them can be attributed to the devil. Today, however, we’ll focus on God’s instruction on how we can avoid and ward off those evil attacks.
We’ve already seen the importance of being alert and sober minded. By the way, Satan is a liar and deceiver. He would love for you to think all this talk about satanic attacks and spiritual warfare is much ado about nothing.
In verse 9, we’re told to “resist him, standing firm in the faith.” Hold onto sound Biblical instruction. Remain firmly aligned with Christ and His promises.
I find it amazing how family members and friends are experts on a faith they refuse to accept. And some of their arguments are convincing. They don’t mind treating you like you’re a fool for believing such nonsense. Don’t allow the devil to cause you to doubt your faith or change your godly belief system.
When your faith is challenged, don’t blow your witness. Remain true to godly values. Satan will push all your buttons to provoke you into saying or doing something you will regret. He’s a master at making the good guy look like the bad guy. Resist.
James 4:7 echoes Peter’s instruction and tells us what we can expect when we resist the devil. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
The most thorough teaching on how to resist Satan is found in Ephesians 6:11-17. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (v11) The verses that follow expound upon the extraordinary armor with which we have been equipped.
What does God say about you and your relationship to Him? What does God say about the situation with which you have been confronted? Abide by the Lord’s truth and not by Satan’s distortion of it. And if you don’t immediately know the answer, find wise counsel. If you can’t find it in God’s word seek help from a respected Christian. You’ve heard it all your life that the truth will set you free. Find it and resist the devil.
Don’t give the evil one an opening by engaging in sinful behavior. Once you have been lured down the path to temptation, it’s a long and hard road back.
(3) The Gospel of Peace
When you gave your life to Christ, you ceased to be at enmity with God. You entered into His peace. There is no peace to be found with Satan. His way always leads to chaos. Rest in the reality of the peace you have with God. Do not be suckered into anger that seeks evil revenge or results in ungodly behavior.
I can’t improve on that great old hymn, Standing on the Promises. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and put the devil on notice that you will not put up with his evil nonsense.
You are saved by grace and through faith. You’re a child of the King, your birthright is irrevocable, and you belong to Jesus.
(6) The word of God
When Jesus was confronted by Satan in the wilderness, he responded with the truth of God’s word. The greater our understanding and knowledge of scripture, the greater our ability to resist the devil’s attempts at tripping us up.
Verse 18 adds prayer to the list. It wasn’t included in the armor illustration used by Paul to instruct us on how to resist the devil. But prayer definitely applies. “… pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
The bottom line: God has equipped us with all we need for resisting the devil and his schemes. And we have God’s promise that He will give us strength and protection when we’re under attack.
For more on this topic, check out this article: 7 Ways Satan Attacks Believers