Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring
lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you
know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings
Who is our enemy? Is it the man or women at work who
seems to be trying to undermine our credibility with our fellow employees or our
employers? Is it the neighbor who seems to be having a miserable life and is intent on
making ours as miserable as theirs? Is it someone at school who is spreading malicious
gossip about things that are not true, and means to ruin our reputations? Perhaps
Scripture would help us to understand who our real enemy is. Consider an enemy who can
have no change of heart, who will not respond to any amount of kindness, who will hate you
and continue to hate you no matter what. Even some of the most difficult people can be won
over in time--wounds can heal, and bygones be bygones. But there is no reconciliation with
the one true enemy, for he is always out to beset us.
We must always remember that the devil is our one true enemy, lest we forget and begin
thinking it is another human being. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, "For we wrestle not
against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of
the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Our battles
are not with human beings but with the dark powers that control a significant portion of
humanity. We wrestle with satan's control over the lives of others, and we wrestle with
his control of ourselves. And we must continue to wrestle--to resist the devil and to
stand "firm in the faith."
And our wrestling is not something we do alone, for there are many who "are
undergoing the same kind of sufferings." So we do not wrestle for our cause and for
our lives alone, but also for the lives of others like us who strive against the enemy and
fight to bring light to the world. The enemy would have us think that we are alone in our
struggle. He would have us believe that the majority have abandoned the call of God and no
longer listen to Him, for the devil knows that if we believe we are alone in our struggle
that we will be easier to defeat.
The enemy's tactics are old, but well practiced. He is one who divides churches with petty
differences or with opinionated doctrines. He distracts us with the pleasures and
pleasantries of this life--he feeds our ambition, he caters to our lusts and he motivates
us toward a life of self-centeredness. For he knows that if he can keep us distracted from
the realities of his certain defeat, that he will be able to take many with him when he
But Peter warns us to be alert. We are to ready ourselves and refrain from becoming
distracted from the truth of reality no matter how much it hurts to look at it. And Peter
also tells us to be self-controlled. For we know that the enemy will tempt us, but it is
the enemy within that yields to temptation. It is our selfish nature that will draw us
toward the enticements of our enemy,
What shall we consider as we go out into our lives today? Shall we do business as usual,
and do so in such a way that heaven and hell, and life and death escape our attentions.
Will we face a day thinking that those are important issues, yet not live our lives as if
they are. We know that in the church there are many people who say they believe in an
afterlife while acting as if there is no life beyond this life. And that's just fine with
the enemy, for as long as we live like we don't believe when we say we do, that just makes
his job all the easier.
Do you believe "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for
someone to devour?" Does it show in your life? What actions are you taking against
your truest enemy?