1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
In the evil days in which we live, so many people are fascinated with the occult, with the devil, and with demons. It is as if they think that they can befriend Satan and his legions. Peter tells us in his letter that this is the furthest thing from the truth!
In 1 Peter 5, the Apostle Peter reminds us of the enemy’s intent. He is not friendly. He cannot be won over, and he has nothing but evil intentions for you. Satan is our adversary and desires nothing but our destruction. While this is indeed true, thankfully, we have an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving Father who desires nothing but the best for us. Why then do we fall so quickly to Satan’s temptations? Why is it that we choose to follow our fleshly desires rather than act in light of our new nature? Why don’t we choose to follow God’s plan, a plan that we know will bring us the greatest joy in life?
We would be wise to listen to the advice of Peter which we find in his first epistle. Heeding his advice can protect us from a world of hurt and pain. Peter begins his exhortation in chapter 5 verse 8 with two imperatives, “Be Self-controlled,” “Be Alert.” Why are we to be self-controlled? Why are we to be alert? Because we know that Satan is our enemy and he is on the prowl desiring to wreak havoc in our lives.
In practical terms, how can we be self-controlled and be alert?
Being self-controlled involves keeping in fellowship with God. “If you walk in the Spirit you will not gratify the lusts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Continue the all-important spiritual discipline of beginning your day in the Word and prayer. Be in communication with God throughout the day. When you sin, run back immediately to Christ’s embrace, confess your sins to God (and others when appropriate) and restore that sweet fellowship (1John 1:9).
Being alert involves an awareness that Satan and his legions are at every turn, looking to lead you into sin. Being alert includes learning from the past. In what areas and in what situations did you fail previously? Being alert requires planning ahead. Make a plan to succeed.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”