by Joe Collingsworth
1 Peter 5:8-10 –“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
When it comes to the people and the work of God, make no mistake, the devil will strike!
He is not walking about seeking whom he can prank. The Bible tells us that he is walking about “…seeking whom he may devour:…” The devil wants to destroy our churches, our homes, and our marriages. He wants to ruin every bus route and every Sunday school class. He wants to defile every young person, discourage every parent, and defeat every preacher.
However, the Bible says we are to resist such an adversary and to be steadfast in the faith. What does that mean? Well, I believe if we look at a few words here in these verses, we will get a better understanding.
That word “adversary” speaks of the devil and his system which is the world. It speaks of those who are against all that is right, holy, pure, and of God. Now, we must remember that when we are saved, we are of God. That means no matter how much the devil and his system will flirt with us, they will always be against us. These are our adversaries.
The word “whom” in these verses is important because it represents those of us who the devil is trying to devour. He is trying to devour our families and our churches. The devil is OUR adversary. The Bible goes on to teach us what we need to do. We must be sober and vigilant. We must “…resist stedfast in the faith,…”
That word “stedfast” means loyal, faithful, and committed. It is to whom or to what one is devoted; and because of devotion, we will not change, waver, or compromise because we are steadfast.
That word “faith” speaks of our relationship with Jesus Christ. It speaks of our salvation and the teachings of Jesus Christ written in the Scriptures to govern our lives. Thus, to be steadfast in the faith means we are committed to the cause of Christ. It means we will be loyal to truth and will not compromise or waver in our convictions. We are steadfast in the faith because we are devoted to the Lord.
The thing that we must never forget is that our adversary, the devil, is against all of that. He is against our convictions, our standards, and our God. That means we had better be sober, because the devil WILL strike.
I was looking through an old hymn book which said inside, “Property of the First Fundamental Baptist Church in Akron, Ohio.” I decided to look up that church. Sadly, it does not even exist anymore and has been replaced by a church that is neither fundamental nor Baptist. What happened? The devil struck!
If we are not careful, that can happen to our own churches! If we are not careful, our bus routes will close, our Sunday school classes will fade away, and our soulwinning will die.
There are many who are steadfast in the faith. They are committed to Christ and to their churches, but because they do not RESIST, they ruin everything they have tried to build. I believe this happens at times with our young people. I believe they are committed, but if they do not learn to resist the devil their commitment will become weak. As a result, the devil and the world will devour them. The key here is to resist our adversary!
The Bible tells us in James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Plainly, if we are going to resist the devil, we must submit to God. We have to get that right first.
A common mistake made by Christians and churches alike is that they assume the word “resist” means to shoo Satan away. On the contrary, that word “resist” means to oppose, combat, defy, or take a stand against. It means to contend for the faith.
Satan is not intimidated by our voices; but he is intimidated by our actions. He will not flee without a fight. Satan has this reputation of being big and bad, but he only uses that to intimidate us. He will use the world to intimidate our young people with peer pressure until they give in and are perverted by worldly philosophies.
When watching a lion stalk its prey, I find it interesting that every time it pursues its prey, that prey tries to run away until it becomes exhausted and ultimately overtaken by the lion from behind. That is exactly how our adversary the devil will overcome us. He will exhaust us in our ministries. He will discourage us. He will distract us. We must be sober and vigilant because, in all honesty, the devil does not want to fight us. He just wants to devour us.
Satan maybe stronger than us, but he is no match for the Spirit of God living in us! “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4
We must “…resist steadfast in the faith,…” This does not mean that there will not be scares, nor does it mean the devil will not catch us off-guard. It means we can be ready. It means we can “…earnestly contend for the faith…” It means we can “Fight the good fight of faith,…”
Today, we desperately need fighting Fundamentalists! We do not need to fear the fight, but we must be scared of the failure to stand. The Bible says, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” It does not say to sit, but to STAND!
The Resistance fighters during World War II were committed to fight for their cause, a cause that an Axis of evil was against. If it were not for their resistance in fighting to recapture their towns, ones that the adversary had taken from them and attempted to destroy with such evil, the war might have turned out differently without them.
The devil has done multiple things to capture our towns and our cities. He has done much to capture our nation. We have seen homes destroyed, marriages fall apart, and people hurt from living in a life of sin.
It is time for a resistance! It is time for some of us to get back in the pulpit and preach the whole counsel of God’s Word. When the devil strikes, let us go soulwinning! If the devil is going to take one of ours, we must take one of his. Let us go in search for some souls to be saved. We must not let the devil keep defeating and keep discouraging us! Let us keep preaching the Gospel. Let us keep encouraging the brethren.
When the devil gets someone out of church, I will look for someone I can get into church. When I hear about someone having a tough time in our church, I am going to pray for them. When I lose a family on the bus, I will go find two more families that need a ride to church. When we are feeling a little sad and find ourselves in the choir on Sunday or standing in the congregation with a hymn book in our hands, we should sing a little louder.
What should we do when the devil strikes? We need to strike back! We should overcome evil with good; and the greatest thing we can do to resist the devil each and every day is to tell as many people we can about what Jesus did at Calvary.