“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (I Peter 5:8-9, NKJV)

I had never really considered how a lion tracks its prey, so I did a little research online. I discovered that lions are calculating, stealthy, and patient. Most of their hunting is done at night, but they will also hunt during a storm as that makes it harder for their prey to hear and see them. As you might guess, their easiest targets are the older and weaker or the younger. But the lion is not afraid to attack bigger, faster, and closer animals as well.

Perhaps it is because of these characteristics that I Peter 5:8-9 compares the devil to a roaring lion. He is on the prowl to attack anyone he can catch unaware—old and weary, young and uncertain, or strong and mature. The enemy does not care. He will seek out and try to devour anyone.

How do we face off against such an intimidating adversary? The passage in I Peter 5 gives us steps we can take.

Be sober (calm and collected in spirit). Do not panic or allow fear to take hold. Satan does not have the upper hand. He may roar, but that is to intimidate you and frighten you.

Be vigilant (watchful, cautious). You know his habits. He will wait until circumstances look dark or until you are caught in a heavy storm and then try to attack. Just remember that the Lord is not only Light but also the Master of the storm.

Resist him (withstand, oppose, stand against). The best way to do this is by using the Word of God against his accusations and tactics. This is what Jesus did when He faced a time of temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4). James 4:7 assures us that when we resist the devil, he will flee.

Stand firm in the faith. When we are in a frightening situation, our first instinct might be to turn and run. Don’t! Stand firm and face forward. Look the enemy in the eye. After all, you are wearing your full armor (Ephesians 6:13-17) and are carrying the sword of the Spirit as your defensive weapon.

Submit (obey) and draw near. James 4:7-8 tells us, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Not only will the devil seek to intimidate us, but he will also try to isolate us from God and from our fellow believers. Remember, it’s the ones at the edge of the herd that are the easiest prey for the lion. Do not pull apart from others or the Lord.

In II Timothy 4 the apostle Paul writes to Timothy, his son in the gospel, during a very bleak time in Paul’s life. He was in Rome to stand trial before Nero. He wrote, “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me” (verse 16). This would be the perfect time—dark and stormy—for the enemy to pounce. But Paul was not alone in his trial. Others may have forsaken him, but God did not.

“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” (verses 17-18, NKJV)

Whether Paul was speaking figuratively or actually faced the lions in the Colosseum, I do not know. But I do know that he did not face his dark trial alone. God stood with him. We have the same assurance today.

Lord, thank You that I never need to fear when I stay close to You. The enemy may roar and seek to intimidate me and isolate me, but You will always stand with me in times of storm and darkness.

 

Author

Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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