Read 1 Peter 5: 5-9
The second aspect of this passage in First Peter is about spiritual warfare. The devil gets a hold on us when we are not complying with the previous precepts! He will attack to discourage and sway us away from God and His ways. Our defense is simple; we are to stand firm in Christ, pray, and allow His work in us and not ours; what we would bring to the table is just fuel for the devil and his ways! We can take to heart and as fact, that God is totally sovereign and Satan can do nothing to us other that what God allows. However, he still has power and has not been tamed yet.
· Consider that your will is the door through which Satan comes prowling and attacking; why give him an open door! Satan is still our adversary; he wants to not only take you away from God's love and precepts, he wants to utterly destroy you! Peter's point? Be on your guard and resist him; do not let Satan have that open door--as Peter has personally experienced (Luke 22:31-34; Eph. 6:10-20)!
· God calls us to be self-controlled, which means allowing God to be in control of our will and heart and seeking the Spirit to enable us. Then, we will know what not to do and be able to guard the areas in which we are weak. This will allow us to have discipline and restraint as we are obedient to God and others. It means not allowing distractions to derail or remove us from His will and plan; that way, we will not be held back from what Christ called us to do (Prov. 16:32; 25:28; Rom 13:12-14; 1 Cor. 6:12; 9:25-27; 1Thess. 5: 22; Titus 2:12; Heb. 12:2).
· God tells us that we have an enemy; the devil/Satan means "the slanderer," and "our adversary." His name here refers to being the accuser or the prosecutor (Job 1:6-12; 2:12; Zac. 3:1-2; Rev. 12: 9-10). Peter says Satan is seeking to accuse us of wrong so he can blind us to God's love and grace. He twists our mindsets to be ashamed or seek apostasy (because we think God does not care), or into not taking our faith seriously.
· The devil is described as a Roaring lion, which was the most feared animal at that time, striking absolute fear into the people who had no real defense against them (Psalm 7:2; 10:9-10; 22:13). This refers to Satan's power and destructiveness. It was also a colloquialism meaning someone who is out to get you or an enemy of God. At this time, Nero was starting to use Christians as entertainment by having them fed to lions.
· What we can do is, resist him/ the devil. This means to beware of the Devil and resist him, to be sober and vigilant (as in alert) of Satan's tactics and influences, to flee the Devil's kingdom, his values, and his wisdom, and embrace God's kingdom, values, and wisdom. This has more to do with moral values than spiritual warfare. The devil does not have equal authority or power as the popular "Ying/Yang" philosophy states; rather, he only has the power we give to Him. God has absolute power. The devil is not invincible; he is easily thwarted. We put on God's armor so we can fight his temptations and flee from him; we evade the lusts of our heart and world by running from it, not toward it (Eph. 6:11-18; James. 3:15, 17; 4:4, 7-10)!
· We are not alone, we are told that we have brothers; this means we are all the body of Christ, in community with one another and in unity by Christ and His work. Therefore, we are never alone, away from God, or away from one another (unless you isolate yourself).
If you are looking for a solution to your problems, then search no more. If you feel life is overwhelming you, seek your comfort in Christ. He does care for you! Receive His care, receive His love, and surrender your doubts, your frustrations, your concerns, and your frailty. Trust in God's love in all of your circumstances. Allow Him to be your inward peace and contentment! We are to have an attitude of accepting whatever God provides, and being happy with it. We are not to seek self-gratification or temporary happiness in the shallow things of life. The fruit of anxiety is discontent, distrust, selfishness, unhappiness, and stress, as the focus becomes your situation, and not who you are in Christ. Being discontented will prevent the work of God in your heart and your will (Proverbs 16:9; 19:21; Romans 9:19-21; Philippians. 4: 10-13; 1Timothy 6:6-9; Hebrews 13: 5).
So cast you anxiety, fears, trepidations, stress, and difficulties… upon Him! All of our cares are to be surrendered to our Lord. Not some, not a little, not almost all; all, but all of our cares--all that we have held in the past, the present, and will be in the future.
1. What will happen to your spiritual life and relationships when you realize that Jesus does indeed care and love you ever so deeply?
2. How does the devil get a hold on you? How does he discourage or sway you away from God and His ways?
3. How does the devil twist your mindset? How can you form a defense to him?
4. How do the foundational blocks of attitude, of submission, and of humility help prepare you for life and leadership? How do they influence who you are and what you do?
5. Do you realize that your motives will determine your actions as well as your correct understanding of who you are in Christ? So, what can you do to make sure you have good, healthy, biblical motives? What are you going to do about it?
6. What do you need to do to more fully take hold of your dependence on God, seeking His will, and being in prayer?
7. What does it mean to you to cling to the cross? How will confessing your sins and seeking forgiveness from God and others whom you have offended help you? Now, what are you going to do about it?
© 2005, R.J. Krejcir, Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.discipleshiptools.org/