Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
By David Wilkerson
If you claim to have no enemies, I suggest you take a closer look. Of course, every Christian faces an enemy in Satan. The apostle Peter warns us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Jesus makes clear that we have nothing to fear from the devil. Our Lord has given us all power and authority over Satan and his demonic forces: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). Christ clearly states that the battle with Satan has already been won.
The Greek meaning of the word “devour” as used in verse 8 above is “to attempt to swallow you in one gulp.” Peter is talking about any single issue —a struggle, trial or temptation — that could swallow you up and send you into depression, fear or discouragement. This is referring to our trials with human enemies — flesh and blood opponents, people we may live with or work alongside.
You may be able to testify that you have won a great victory in Christ. You have successfully resisted all temptations and evil desires, all lusts and materialism, all loves of this world. But at the same time, you may be devoured by an ongoing struggle with someone who has risen up against you, manifesting envy and bitterness; misrepresenting your actions and motives; smearing your reputation; opposing you at every turn; seeking to thwart God’s purpose in your life.
If this describes you — you’re enduring a trial brought on by a human adversary — this personal attack may have robbed you of all peace. When you read Jesus’ words to love one another, you may protest, “Lord, I’ll serve you with a whole heart but don’t expect me to lay down this hurt. I just can’t do it.” Jesus says, “Love your enemies … do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
We bring glory to our heavenly Father whenever we overlook hurts and forgive the sins done to us. To do so builds character in us — and the Holy Spirit brings us into a revelation of favor and blessing we’ve never known.