1 PETER 5: 6-10 (NLT) 'Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. 10 In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.'
In Ephesians 4:23 & 24 the Apostle Paul teaches the believer to 'let the Holy Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes, PUT ON your new nature created to be like God, truly righteous and holy.'
Our new nature has been created by God to reflect His perfect and holy nature. For you and I, because we still live in this human flesh there is a necessity for us to willingly lay aside the old nature and adopt this new Christlike nature.
The renewal of thoughts and attitudes comes from deliberately seeking out the guidance, development and encouragement of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. It is a process, a journey that every believer in Jesus Christ must participate in if they are to become like Him. It is a daily journey, BUILDING THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST into our lives, little by little as we submit to the conviction and work of the Holy Spirit. It's a journey of restoration, renewal and development growing at the rate we are willing to respond to the Holy Spirit.
When we first come to Christ there is a spirit of expectancy, everything is new as we begin to explore the new revelations of God's Kingdom, filled with joy and excitement we pursue the things of God with vigour. However if we do not learn to stand and fight for that which we have received from the Lord, we can become comfortable and somehow the Christian life can become ordinary. we lose the excitement of discovery and slip into a life of mediocre faith.
The devils purpose is to make us ineffective as Christians and in so doing he neutralises both the blessings God has for us, and the influence we have on others in our world.
STAY ALERT!, WATCH OUT
Our great enemy, the devil roams about like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8).
Do we consider this a genuine threat? The devil is a real enemy. He is the enemy of God and therefore the enemy of all that God has created. His whole desire and purpose is to destroy everything God wants to build. One of the great tools of the devil is deception and he will lull the unexpectant believer into lethargy if not alert.
We must take stock of where we are at in our walk of faith and STAND and FIGHT for all the promises of God. God did not put His promises in our hand but He did put them within our reach. Fighting for them strengthens our faith.
James 4:7 'Submit to God, RESIST the devil and he will flee from you.'
Every believer has authority over the devil, he knows that, he knows he is a defeated foe, and he knows his time of freedom is short. He knows he is about to be held to account for every evil and his intent is to steal, kill or destroy all that is God's if he can. STAY ALERT! BE WATCHFUL:
The devil will steal the Joy of your salvation
He'll kill off your enthusiasm for God and for fellowship
He'll destroy your relationships through misunderstood communication or gossip
John 10:10 says 'The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. . . . . . . .'
The Bible tells us to RESIST HIM - To oppose him, to STAND against him. We cannot do that without a fight.
RESISTANCE IS NOT PASSIVE
ISSAC NEWTON'S third law of motion states 'For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.' It is universal law, it is unchanging in the physical world in which we live.
There is a call for us to fight, spiritually and the best form of resistance is attack. The Bible teaches us 'Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.' (1 John 4:4)
We need a revelation of who Jesus Christ is in us. Understand that through putting on the new man, we are building the character of Christ into our lives; we build resistance.
SO HOW DO WE RESIST the devil?
1. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN WHAT GOD HAS PROMISED. Know your not being singled out for special treatment by the enemy. (V9) says that 'the same suffering is experienced by your brotherhood in the world'
The devil is not selective, he looks for a weak link and attacks that link.
2. BE STEADFAST IN THE FAITH - Remember it is God who has given us the gift of faith. Position yourself in the place where you can STAND steadfast. That place is in God's Word, it is in Prayer, it is in Fellowship with other strong believers. The enemy will always pick off the isolated. Having difficulties? The best place for you is right in the middle of God's people.
3. CHOOSE to fight the battle SPIRITUALLY - (it is a spiritual fight, and we can never win it if we try with natural instincts)
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 says 'It is true we live in the world, but we do not fight from worldly motives. the weapons we use in our fight are not the world's weapons but God's powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds.'
If you want your spirituality to count for something, to be more than it is, you need to be willing to fight for it. ITS TIME TO STAND & FIGHT, the devil, and your own natural desires (the desires of the old pre-salvation man).
4. SEEK GOD - Verse 6 of our text tells us 'humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He might exalt you.
You and I are being transformed, day by day, to be like Jesus. We quicken that process by our humble submission to God, seeking His face, learning to worship Him, learning to interact with the Holy Spirit and the word of God. God has begun a good work in each of our lives, and He will not give up on us. I pray that you won't give up on Him.
Psalm 34:10 'Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.'