Summary: Overcoming the enemy once does not mean he will stop his harassment of us. This is what he is, and what he does. So our posture toward him, both defensively and offensively, needs to become habitual and reflexive. We need to overcome our ignorance of the
Opening illustration: One morning, I watched a rabbit nibble grass in my backyard. He was on the small side, with brown flecked fur and a cotton-puff tail. Suddenly, a hawk sliced through the air as fast and precise as lightning. With talons outstretched, he snatched for his prey. But the rabbit recognized the approaching danger and sped to safety, just inches ahead of the hawk.
Like the rabbit that spotted its predator and scurried away, we as Christians need to be watchful so that we can evade our enemy. “The devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5: 8). Satan wants to devour us by winning us over to his ways; he does this by toying with the truth (John 8: 44) and trying to deceive us (Genesis 3: 1).
The devil’s schemes reflect his dishonest nature, and his tricks are meant to catch us off guard. In response, Christians should be alert and clear-headed (1 Peter 5: 8). Living in this state of active readiness helps us discern false teaching (1 John 4: 1-3; 2 John 1: 7-11) and overcome temptation (Matthew 26: 41).
Today, watch out for your spiritual predator. What kind of lies is he whispering? How is he tempting you? Resist him, and he will flee (James 4: 7). (Illustration by Jennifer Benson Schuldt, Our Daily Bread)
Let us to turn to 1 Peter 5 in God’s Word and catch with the instructions for overcoming our arch enemy.
Introduction: These days that we are living in are both great and horrible at the same time. Never in history have we had such a great explosion of wisdom and understanding. On the other hand, never in history have we had the enemy of hell trying his hardest to persuade God’s people with his temptations and diverse tricks to keep our eyes off the Lord. I hope this message that God led me to write concerning overcoming the enemy will equip you to fight the devil and encourage you to know that you will have the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.
There is indeed a battle going on, it’s raging all around us. Sometimes it seems it’s out of control. As bad as the war in Iraq is (and it is horrific), this war exceeds it because it is a war for the hearts, minds and souls of every one of us. What we see on TV, hear in our music and sense in our culture is all about getting our minds off of our Lord and on ourselves. Within this melee it is difficult to “be sober” or “think clearly.” Peter desires for us to think “soberly” which means to let no outside or evil influence sway your thinking. Satan is one contributor to our cares and problems. He is the Christian’s adversary, our enemy. The word devil means accuser and slanderer. Christ said that the devil “. . . was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies” (John 8: 44).
Recognizing the enemy and knowing his tactics (plan: deception and distraction) and weaknesses can surely help us to overcome him. The Word of God gives us some …
How to overcome our arch enemy?
1. Soberly Vigilant (v. 8a)
"Be sober" - be free from every form of mental and spiritual drunkenness; well-balanced; third warning, 1: 13 and 4: 7. Speaks of our ability to look at reality with a clear mind. It means serious, disciplined, self-control at all times; of sound moral judgment; spiritual alertness.
We must respect the fact that Satan is a dangerous enemy. Satan is a serpent. Have you ever seen a rattlesnake that can dart quickly and bite you before you know it? Satan is a deceiver and a manipulator. He often comes clothed as a harmless sheep or an angel of light, but he is anything but. Watch out! He really wants to devour you. From the beginning of time Satan has been out to destroy God’s people. Keep that in mind. Verse 8 opens with the words, “be sober,” in some translations. In this case it’s not referring to drinking but to being serious minded and alert. Our culture makes light of Satan and his work by describing him as if he were a cartoon character with red horns and a pitchfork, and with sayings like, “the devil made me do it.” We hear the word “devilish” or the phrase “oh, you little devil” used to refer to light-hearted mischief. All this is a carefully laid plan of Satan’s to keep us from taking him seriously. He is strong and clever and has an army to assist him in his tactics against us.