Summary: One example of how Peter tells us how to live as Christians.
How to live as a Christian
What I would like to do is look at 1 Peter 5:8-9, “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.” The Apostle Peter, in these couple verses, is giving us a great example of how we are to live as Christians. Here is a quick overview of the history on the book of 1 Peter. It was authored by Peter, who was one of the original 12 disciples picked by Jesus. He wrote the letter with the believers that were all across Asia Minor in mind. It was written to both Jew and Gentile alike, both citizen and slave. In the letter he refers to its readers as “pilgrims of the Dispersion”, meaning they were scattered among strangers. Biblical scholars suggest that there are several indicators that Peter wrote this letter between A.D. 62 and A.D. 64. Now let’s go back to the verse. First we read “be sober” and “be vigilant”. Is he telling us to be sober because we drink too much? Probably not. What he means by this is that we are to be self disciplined, not to act foolishly, and to always try to think rationally. When he says to be vigilant, we are to try to take the correct steps in life to make sure we don’t fall into spiritual pitfalls. Some examples of some pitfalls could be: not praying enough, not reading our Bible, getting angry or frustrated at others when there isn’t really any reason to. I think one of the greatest pitfalls we fall into is not seeking Gods will for our lives.
In the next half of verse 8 Peter tells us the reason why we are to be sober and vigilant, “because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan is truly our adversary in life. As Christians HE IS our enemy. He is always going before God to accuse us of wrong doing. The Bible gives us examples of this in Job 1:9-2:7, Luke 22:31, and Revelation 12:10. Satan does not discriminate and when he attacks he wants to completely destroy his target. Imagine, if you will, walking through your daily life with a hungry lion around every corner just waiting for you to make a mistake or for you to let your guard down so he can devour you. I am sure the great Apostle used this imagery to remind us of how strong, cunning, and formidable our foe really is.
In the first part of verse 9, Peter tells us how to deal with our enemy. He simply states to “resist him, steadfast in the faith”. Here he is telling us not to run or hide but to stand firm in our belief in Christ Jesus. We must believe that we will have all we need to overcome and defeat our enemy by remaining faithful to God and knowing that He is more powerful than the devil. Another one of the great apostles, John, tells us in his letter 1 John 4:4 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
The second half of 1 Peter 5:9 states, “knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” is both a comforting and a commission. He comforts us by letting us know that we are not alone in our trials and sufferings. The devil does not only target you or me alone; he wants to destroy every single believer of Christ. Others all around us are going through difficult battles in life, just as we are. With that comes the commission to all of us: we are to come together, strengthen one another, and help each other. When we see one of our brothers or sisters in Christ going through difficulties, we need to reach out to them and be there for them. In turn, when we are struggling with temptations and feelings, like we just can’t get the devil off our back, we need to go to others and let them help us bear the burden and overcome together.
So I pose this question to you today: Is the devil so close to you that you can feel his breath on your neck? Do you know someone who could use a little help with the things they may be going through? Let’s all come together as believers in Christ and overcome and resist this roaring lion, the devil.
Let us pray: Mighty God, we come to You and ask for the strength that we need to be sober, vigilant, to resist our enemy the devil, and all his temptations. Give us the humility to go to others for help and open our eyes for those that may need help in dealing with certain situations in life. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Written by: Joshua D. Thompson