“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
You’re being hunted. Were you aware?
Most people aren’t. Yet if you’re a follower of Christ, a disciple who lives to spread God’s Word, you wear a big target.
The hunter is one whom the Bible repeatedly warns about: Satan.
“Him?” you might say. “The goofy red dude with the funny horns? That guy?”
No, not really. Satan wears many disguises. You probably wouldn’t recognize him at all. He’s a master of deception. He lurks in our homes, our neighborhoods and, most of all, our hearts.
He awaits the perfect moment to pounce. The devil’s in no hurry. He has plenty of time. One moment of vulnerability, no matter how brief, is all the opening he needs.
It’s why, as Peter warns, we need to be alert. God will protect us. We should follow His path, and not stray. To quote Psalm 23, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
Fighting the Battle
“Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.” – Luke 22:3
This is no joke. A spiritual battle is being waged daily, with dark forces pursuing God’s believers. Yet how do we recognize the enemy?
Consider the desires and behaviors the Bible condemns: lust for money. Self-promotion and aggrandizement. Sins of the flesh. These are how Satan gains a foothold in our souls. To paraphrase Ephesians 4:27, “give no opportunity to the devil.”
We can invite Satan in without even knowing. The more time one spends in sin, the more he’s attracted. Sins of the flesh, especially, draw him close.
Are you engaging in sinful activities online? Lying to loved ones about guilty desires? Considering, or dabbling in, adultery? You’re hanging out the “Welcome” sign.
Oh, there are other, less lascivious pursuits, too. Addiction to making more and more money. Craving validation from others, perhaps through endless, narcissistic
social media postings. Working too much, and ignoring one’s family, while rationalizing
that the excessive labor is necessary to provide for them.
The last example is especially easy to live out, albeit unknowingly. Grinding, and moving up the ladder, is ingrained in our work culture. Success, obtained legally and ethically, is no sin. Yet with more power, comes more temptations. Beware the saying, “New level, new devil.” It’s wiser than we know.
When he spots an opening, Satan is quick to plant seeds – literally, seeds of doubt. We begin to question our beliefs. We can weaken to short-term pleasures, often with long-term consequences. We might embrace feelings of grandeur, similar to Adam and Eve after their bites of the history-altering apple. The devil has taken hold.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” – Ephesians 6:11
We need to recognize these traps, before they’re sprung. The best offense, to borrow a football cliché, is a good defense.
Satan is a coward. He doesn’t go after groups of believers. Rather, he targets the stragglers, the loners, the unsettled who have wandered from the flock.
We fortify our defenses against him by enjoying time within Christian communities. We strengthen our walls of love by supporting each other. We should seek to bring God’s light into others’ lives at every opportunity, and into every organization where we partake.
Meanwhile, let’s not be afraid to witness to our discipleship. When we’re hesitant to talk about Christ with others – whether in business, social or family circles – the devil is sowing his seeds.
Oh, you don’t want to “offend” anyone? You should be offended that Satan is trying to undermine your relationship with God! Don’t let him!
Satan is gaining enough of a foothold all around us. God has largely been removed from public spaces. Mentions of faith on social media generate huge blowback. Hollywood productions glorify depraved lifestyles, practically advertising for the devil’s domain.
We alone, as believers, can threaten Satan. We have the power of love with family, and friends, and communities and neighbors. He can’t overcome this … unless we allow an opening to emerge.
So don’t. Live as God commands. Don’t fall prey to temptations that create chinks in your armor. Maybe the devil will finally give up, and hunt for easier prey. Until that time … stay alert.
(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Participate in a virtual prayer session to ask God to be with those who have submitted requests. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])