Be Ready for Conflict

"Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour. Be firm in the faith and resist him, knowing that other believers throughout the world are going through the same kind of suffering" (I Peter 5:8-9).


Now that you have become a Christian one of the first things you realize is that you are involved in a spiritual warfare.  The apostle Peter warns us that Satan, our enemy is like a roaring lion.  As one writer expressed it, "The animal kingdom teaches us that predators like lions usually lay-in-wait for animals that are weak or have strayed from the flock. Such strays are vulnerable because they lack the protection afforded by the larger group of animals. Our adversary likes nothing better than pouncing on sheep who try to "go it alone."


First: Peter not only warns us about the conflict with Satan he also tells us how to deal with him.  First, he says, "Keep your mind clear."  In other words, we are to be in control of our thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking.  Paul expressed it as follows: "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ", (2 Corinthians 10:5).  We are most likely not in control when we are being tempted by something we really want or desire.  Satan will try to frustrate us by putting us into some situation that will cause us to turn from clear thinking and lose the confidence we have in God.  That is why Peter had just said before our warning, "Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you" (1Peter 5:7).


Second: Peter said, "Be alert" or be on watch. As Christians we are to be watchful like a shepherd looking after his flock.  David, as a wise shepherd, was ready when the lion attacked his sheep and he was victorious over it.  But notice that he did not take the credit for his victory but credited God as the One who delivered him.  "David said moreover, "The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Go, and the LORD be with you" (1 Samuel 17:37).  It is our responsibility to be alert to every attack by Satan while being firm in the faith and depending on God to deliver us.


Third: We are to "resist" the devil. The term "resist" means to set one's self against or oppose in a defensive fashion.  James also said, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).  Submission and humility before God go hand-in-hand with resisting the devil.  We do this by being firm, strong, and immovable in our faith in God's ability to help and deliver us from Satan.  We are to be strengthened by "knowing that other believers throughout the world are going through the same kind of suffering."  Praise God for your mighty deliverance, but be ready for conflict.


"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might" (Ephesians 6:10).





Christian, seek not yet repose,

Hear thy gracious Savior say;

Thou art in the midst of foes:

Watch and pray.


Principalities and powers,

Mustering their unseen array,

Wait for thy unguarded hours:

Watch and pray.


Gird thy heavenly armor on,

Wear it ever night and day;

Ambushed lies the evil one:

Watch and pray.


Hear the victors who o'ercame,

Still they mark each warrior's way;

All with one sweet voice exclaim,

Watch and pray.


Hear, above all, hear thy Lord,

Him thou lovest to obey;

Hide within thy heart His word:

Watch and pray.


Watch, as if on that alone

Hung the issue of the day;

Pray, that help may be sent down:

Watch and pray.



Words: Charlotte Elliott, 1836


"Daily Devotions by Guy Roberson"





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