Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
A lion is known as the king of the jungle. He knows exactly what he’s doing and has claimed his territory. When on the prowl for food, a lion can hear his prey from a mile away. Lions are known to hunt and kill their prey with precision and success. Our adversary, the devil, is like a lion.
That’s a little scary.
The devil is good at what he does. Just like we are on a mission here, so is he. Our mission – to bring more souls to know Jesus. His mission – to destroy and devour souls so that they never know Jesus. He doesn’t come around in all red wearing horns and carrying a flaming pitchfork. No, “for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). He is sly, cunning and a deceiver. He looks like something good. He sounds nice and is charming. He seems to care about you, but he doesn’t. He cares to take you away from the truth. He is lies. He comes in all shapes and sizes. He wants you on his side.
Why would Scripture tell us to “be on the alert” if the devil wasn’t a big deal? He is a big deal, but he has no power unless you let him have power.
When we read the story of Job, we see that the Lord allowed Satan to test him. Job was a faithful man and the Lord was confident that Job would choose Him even if unexpected, horrible circumstances hit him. And the Lord was right. Job chose who he knew to be ever-faithful and true. We read in chapter 1 exactly what Satan was up to before he set his eyes on Job.
The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”
He was looking for his next meal. He was walking around on the earth waiting to pounce upon a soul. The Lord let him pounce upon Job, but did He let him win? Nope. Job was never consumed by Satan. Job stood steadfast. He didn’t see any of it coming, but that didn’t change what he knew. But it also didn’t change Satan. Satan didn’t give up after he saw that he wouldn’t be able to devour Job. He went on to the next person, and then the next. And he’s still going. He’s running around looking for those to devour. He’s waiting for you to let your guard down.
When does he stop to look at you? When you stop looking at Jesus.
We must put on the full armor of God. We can’t lose our focus. The minute we let up is the minute we let him in.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
With this armor of God, there is no way the devil can have victory over us. With the Lord Jesus we have an unbeatable power. We have victory. But even still we must be on the lookout. As Satan is watching and waiting for us, we must be careful in all things. We must think twice about all of the decisions we make knowing that our adversary could be dressed up in a white robe with a halo floating over his head, ready to meet us.
Brother and sister, understand the power the Lord gives us. Know that this power is real. Be strong and firm in His power. And if you haven’t taken the Lord Jesus Christ’s power for yourself and accepted His gift, know that Satan is coming for you. He will be your ruler through all of the lies and deception that he is. It’s your choice – just like Job, you have the choice to choose a God who is all-powerful and who rules over the devil. “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).