Satan the Roaring Lion
Satan is at war with Christianity; this is what Spiritual Warfare is all about.
Know 1 Peter 5:8 which reads: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan is not a wimp as some people teach, nor is he to be ignored; thus, we need to be prepared! Satan is not a cowardly lion like in the Wizard of Oz. A coward is someone who does not attract, and such a one invokes no fear; thus, no defense is needed. The term roaring lion comes from 1 Peter 5: 5-9, describing the most feared animal at that time. Such lions would strike absolute fear into the people who had no real defense against them (Psalm 7:2; 10:9-10; 22:13). This referred to Satan’s power and destructiveness, as he is someone who is out to get you and an enemy of God. He is your enemy, the devil/Satan, as his name means “the slanderer” and “our adversary.” This refers to the accuser or the prosecutor (Job 1:6-12; 2:12; Zech. 3:1-2; Rev. 12: 9-10). Peter says Satan is seeking to accuse us of wrong so he can blind us to God’s love and grace. He twists our mindsets to be ashamed, seek apostasy (because we think God does not care), or into not taking our faith seriously.
Satan seeks us out as the lion who seeks the weak prey. His prey is Christians, specifically those who are not mature and not always faithful. Christian maturity requires us to submit and to be humble. The result is respect, cooperation, unity, community, and the power of His Fruit at work. This is our armor and defense against Spiritual Warfare. But, if we do not submit, have no regard for unity, or have no respect for authority, our sinful nature will win out. The result will be Satan’s influence causing us to succumb to quarrels (because of pride), discord, and shame.
We have to see that God wants us to submit; this is best for us, both individually and collectively as a church. Keep in mind that when God talks about Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, it is in the context of who we are and how we are to be in Him! Humility, Fruit, and Character in the Word builds not only our precious relationship with Christ, but our defense in Him as well. He knows that his time is short. Satan knows that his authority and dominion are still under God’s sovereignty; he can do only what God allows for His purpose. Satan has lost and fights like a cornered animal as well as using all the weapons at his disposal to oppose God’s people and goodness. In the last days, he will become more intensely hostile toward the people of God (1 Peter 5:5-9).
Satan also seeks to destroy those who are doing a good work, those who are faithful and being used in service to Him for His glory. He hates those who live their lives for Christ, thus may wage war upon you. So, it is very important to remain in Him and stick to His precepts. Being a Christian and a church is about relying on Christ, not ourselves; it is about His mighty power at work in us—not our feeble ways! It is not allowing our frustrations, disappointments, and failures take hold of us and cause us to concentrate on them and not on Christ. His favor and power will be poured out on us when we are faithful, obedient, and meek (strength under control). Nevertheless, be warned; pride is the complete opposite of these. Pride is what Satan is all about; it will destroy relationships and churches fast and furiously. That is why God hates it so much! Thus, to be confident in Jesus and be used by Him, we need Him to empower us. With this mindset and empowering, we do not need to worry or fret because our mind is not on our status, situation, possessions, or experiences, but on Christ! We can then know the devil’s lies and ways. This comes about when we realize that Jesus does indeed care, and loves us ever so deeply!
The devil gets a hold on us when we fail to comply with the previous precepts of humility, Fruit, and Character! He will attack to discourage and sway us away from God and His ways. Our defense is simple; we are to stand firm in Christ, pray, and allow His work in us to be demonstrated; what we alone would bring to the table would just be fuel for the devil and his ways!
We also can be comforted that God is totally sovereign and Satan can do nothing to us other that what God allows. However, he still has power and has not been tamed yet. Consider that your will is the door through which he comes prowling and attacking; why give him an open door? Satan is still our adversary; he not only wants to take you away from God‘s love and precepts, he wants to utterly destroy you! Peter’s point in 1 Peter 5? Be on your guard and resist him; do not let Satan have that open door—as Peter personally experienced (Luke 22:31-34; Eph. 6:10-20)!
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