You have an enemy who is after your peace and joy in Christ every day. Your enemy’s best strategy is to remain incognito. Your enemy stirs up emotions, discord, problems in your life every day, but he is quick to hide and let someone else take the blame. He gets you to think your enemy is your brother, your child, or your boss. The true enemy you need to see is the enemy of your soul! Peter’s best advice regarding fighting the devil is to be aware. He wrote:
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Peter is the one who should know. He was the one Satan sifted like wheat on the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion. I’m not sure what “sifting by the devil” exactly means, but I do know it is not good. It hurt. Peter cried bitterly. He became an expert on helping others withstand the devil’s attacks from his personal experience (Luke 22:32).
The devil plays a mind game. You need to mind your mind. I have become aware of the best time for the devil to catch me unaware. It is when I am getting ready in the morning and especially while I am blow-drying my hair. Another time is driving to work. I usually don’t become aware of how the devil is prowling and pouncing like a lion until it goes on awhile. Suddenly, I find myself upset about something that I have no control over and an issue that I have previously turned over to God and received peace.
Awareness is the key to victory. In the Lord’s prayer Jesus taught us to pray that God would deliver us from evil. We know that God is constantly delivering us from evil, but I wonder if the reason Jesus wanted us to ask is so we could become aware of what is really going on. We need to consider that evil is waiting to distract us from all that God is doing in our lives.
After about three years of extreme draught and watering restrictions that have become a way of life in the Dallas area, God has opened the heavens and flooded us with rain in abundance. When it first happened in April, the newscasters were warning that the lakes were still not at normal levels. The rains continued and are continuing. As I go about my day praising God for the rain of blessing, I overhear people complaining about the rain. I even encounter sales people who become somewhat argumentative, because I do not join in their lament. I’m sure they are the same people that felt hopelessness and doom when our lakes were at draught levels.
Every morning, we have reasons to praise God. The devil wants to blind us to all God’s blessings. When I am unaware of God’s goodness to me, the more vulnerable I am to the subtle negatives that the devil wants me to notice. I do need to become sober minded as Peter instructs. Being of sober mind is to wake up each day more deeply aware of the mercies of God on my life. I need to be more aware of God’s commands and how I may be breaking them and thus inviting evil into my day. My enemy is the devil. Of this I need to remain constantly aware!