Summary: The Apostle Peter will show us that there are five things that keep us lion alert.
How Can I Live a “Lion Alert” Life?
1 Peter 5: 5-14
“In the jungle, the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight.” Do you recognize that once popular song? While it is true that most lions sleep from time to time, in our sermon text the Apostle Peter speaks of a lion that never snoozes.
He says that this lion has been devouring unsuspecting prey from the beginning of time and remains on the prowl. That lion of course is the Devil and his aim is to take as many of us to hell with him as he can.
Therefore if Peter had written that popular song his opening lyrics would have gone something like this. “In the jungle, the mighty jungle the lion snarls tonight.” Since the Devil is out to get us it would be good to know WHAT MAKES US LION ALERT AND NOT LION DESSERT. The Apostle Peter will show us that there are five things that keep us lion alert.
Read Scriptures: 1 Peter 5:5-14
I. Live a Humble life.
Vs. 5-6 “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
It was pride that got Satan kicked out of heaven. We are taught from scripture that it is pride in our lives that goes before destruction.
What does that mean in Proverbs 16:18 “pride goes before destruction”.
It means that we allow ourselves to get too close to sin, because in our pride we think that we could never fall in that way. “Well I can kiss him in the back seat of his car; I won’t let it go to far.” Nine months later you are trying to figure out how to raise a child and finish high school.
No preacher sets out to fall into sin. The problem is that so often we are called upon to go into some sin thick places and minister to some really sin sick people, and we are not on full “lion alert” then that is how some fall to temptation.
In our lives we must live a humble life under God’s might hand, because none of us are above falling into sin, but if we live humble lives, realizing who we are as fallen creatures, and rely on the power of almighty God to stand up to temptation, then we can live on full lion alert.
II. Live without second guessing God.
Vs. 7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
When we “cast our cares or anxieties on the Lord” that makes us lion alert because the Devil likes to use our cares and concerns to get us to second-guess and doubt God. In fact the word “anxiety” means “diversion” and is used in the story of Mary and Martha.
As Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, Martha fussed about the kitchen worrying about whether or not there would be enough food to eat. Her cares and concerns so diverted her attention from the one thing needful of listening to Jesus so that she even complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t doing anything to help her.
The Devil continues to plant diversions doesn’t he? Is it the exams you have coming up? Graduation preparations? Is it the prospect of starting a new job or the stress of losing the one you have? Satan will stop at nothing to get us to rely on ourselves instead of God so that we end up worrying and breaking the first commandment.
Don’t become lion dessert but remain alert by believing God and truly casting your cares on Him. There is no better place to take your concerns than to Jesus. Jesus loves you and has promised to care for you. Therefore do what the Greek verb “cast” implies. Take every care and concern and pack them one by one into a bag that you then give to Jesus to carry.
God will take care of our problems better than we ever could so what’s the use worrying about them if we’ve handed them over to Him?
That sounds so easy to do but do you know what often happens? We carefully pack our concerns into a bag and take them to Jesus, but we don’t let go of the pack. We think that if we don’t at least keep an eye on our problems they will never get solved.
Therefore instead of letting God carry our problems and lead where we should go we try to lead God instead and end up treating him like a dumb pack animal. That’s not the way to remain lion alert. Let the Lord bear your burdens and let the Lord lead!