Thursday, September 26, 2013

What happens when you're caught off guard?

1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

I was reminded this morning of just how aware and alert I am supposed to be as a Christian. When life seems to be going smoothly and all seems to be right with my little world, I am still to remain vigilant. Why? Peter tells us here in 1 Peter 5:8, Satan is looking for us to be caught off guard so he can devour us. The enemy would like nothing better than for us to get so comfortable we lower our shields of faith or take off our breastplate of righteousness.

Curious, I performed a google search on how lions in the wild prey on their “dinner”. According to,

“…lions have developed two main hunting methods. The first is a version of grandmother's footsteps, in which the lion stalks from cover to cover with a final burst of speed at the end. (If spotted the lion will sit up and stare nonchalantly into the distance.) The second method is to find a bush close to something your prey needs - usually water - climb in and wait. “

The article went on to say that lions are incredibly good at hiding and remarkably patient. Now I am not sure about Satan’s patience level, but I do know he is good at “disguising” himself. By disguising himself I mean he will “show up” in things that are good and “lure” us into taking them to the extreme.

For example: I like to chat with friends on Facebook and play a “harmless” game or two (Farmville, Words with Friends, etc.). There is nothing wrong with any of these things. The problem comes when I decide to allow my time on Facebook to consume an entire day taking my focus off of my priorities (God, Spouse, Family, Job/Church/Ministry). I will admit that there have been days I’ve gotten so consumed with “social media” that absolutely NOTHING gets done….no quiet time or prayer time, no time to work on what God has called me to do, no family time. It’s days like these that I get depressed and down on myself.

When this happens Satan has successfully caught me off guard. Too much of a good thing can take our focus off of Christ…and this is where we fall “prey” to Satan.

It’s so important to stay vigilant (or alert) with the armor God has given us securely in place. Satan is always ready to pounce and will take advantage of us (devour us) any time we let our guard down.

 I like the way the Message paraphrases the Armor of God – Ephesians 6:10 – 18

“… God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

**The Message paraphrase doesn’t provide the specific pieces of armor as found in translations such as the New International Version, the New Century Version, or the New King James Version, but it does make its point. I suggest you go to one of these translations for a deeper study.


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