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.1 Peter 5:8-9 NKJV
Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”Revelation 12:12 NKJV
As I contemplated the untimely passing of a friend this week, I was reminded of something the Lord said to me just a few days before: “Shore up your weak spots. The time is short and Satan will hit you where he thinks he can win.” I’ve heard all my Christian life in times of trouble, that Satan is doing extra duty because he knows his end is coming soon. I always just thought, “How sweet. Pentecostal zealousness.” Today, I’m less skeptical. I believe the devil is taking his shots at our historically weak spots.
Peter gave us 3 keys to navigating a time of increased spiritual pressure: Be sober, be vigilant, resist.
- Be sober: Surely, we know to avoid alcoholic intoxication, but let’s also be mindful of other things that cloud our minds. Jesus said that we could be weighed down by the cares of this life just as much as by drunkenness and debauchery (Luke 21:34). We can get drunk on worry. Sober up! Cast those cares.
- Be vigilant: Stay spiritually awake and aware. This is done, not by watching the news reports, but by standing sentry duty on the prayer ramparts. Paul said to “watch in prayer (Col. 4:2).” From that vantage point you can see the enemy coming a great way off.
- Resist the devil: Don’t just heave a sigh and say, “Ain’t it awful how the world is a mess.” You are the resistance; resist! It’s an assault on the Body not just on you. The purpose is to stop the Church from reaching the world. Resist the devil in your own life. Take time to pray for others as the Lord puts them on your heart. Stay closely connected to your spiritual home team. You need them to watch your spiritual backside.
As we gather this week to worship Him and be equipped for duty, let’s remember who we are, the authority we have, and the purpose we serve. The time really is short!