Be sober, vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour:I Peter 5:8
Dear mom, does this concern you? Does it give you a heavy heart? It does for me. With the announcement of new and more horrifying headlines each day, I often feel overwhelmed at the task of defending our families against such a horrible adversary – especially when I think of my children. I have prayed for each of my six children since before they were born, desiring God’s glory from their lives. Yet, every day I hear of more Christians who are forsaking the truth of the God’s Holy Word, believing the “lie”, and succumbing to that ancient “man-eater.” I wonder how my young “olive plants” (Psalm 128:3) will ever make it. Do you ever feel this way?
How can we as parents stem this rising tide of perversion and wickedness? How can we fortify our homes and families and truly even ourselves, against this man eating lion? In the rest of chapter five, Peter encourages us to take precautions. First, Peter starts out exhorting the elders – these aren’t spindly young “olive plants” these are the rugged time-worn seasoned Christians. He instructs them to feed the flock, serve willingly and not for money, and not being lords over other Christians, but being examples. Then he speaks to the younger encouraging them to submit to the older ones (in order to learn). Then he speaks to ALL. Here is where I was able to find encouragement… and hope… and even see HIS strength in the battle.
- Humble yourselves – to each other and under the hand of God- which by the way is also a place of protection and shelter (aka. A safe place from the man-eating lion)
- Cast all your care on Him. The battles that we face are too great for us to carry. We can’t be ready to fight our adversary if we are carrying burdens that we aren’t meant to carry. He is all powerful and ABLE!
- Be sober – serious, subdued, staid, composed, and reasonable To me this speaks of having our wits about us… being wise and understanding the gravity of the situation. This is definitely not the time to be naive.
- Be vigilant -keenly watchful to detect danger or sleeplessly watchful. This is exactly the feeling I have when I read I Peter 5:8 and think of my children. I would forgo sleep to keep our adversary from them.
- Resist the devil steadfastly in the faith. To be steadfast means unmovable and unwavering, but to me it gives the idea of KNOWING. Knowing that the temptations of the world are also the temptations of the saints. It also portrays the idea of having your eyes wide open – of understanding the danger of these days and doing something proactive about it.
We’ve been told a little something about the “last days” in II Timothy 3. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
If you haven’t noticed it sounds like a page right out of our local newspaper. Undoubtedly we are in the last days. As we teach and train our children daily to be more Christ like, let’s give them the tools or the foundation to resist the temptations of these last days! Our Bible isn’t outdated and neither is our God. Jehovah is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
So, who’s with me? Who is ready to stand in the gap, to stand in defense of our children, our loved ones and even our own souls – who is ready to fight our ancient adversary -the man-eater?
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