Date: 26th November 2020
This is such a meaty passage - so much to chew on! The verses that I want to touch on are 8 -10:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
The devil wants to take us out. I remember years ago a family member told me about a vivid dream they had. They dreamt they were on a beach watching a lion walking. Thinking they were safe, they were alarmed when they realised the lion had started stalking them and cut off their way of escape. I remembered this passage and shared it with the relative. God was showing them an area of temptation in their life that they thought they had control over, that it wasn't such a big deal, but God was showing them it was. Not because it hurt God, but because ultimately it was harmful to the person.
How do we resist the devil? We do God's will. There is no point in praying spiritual warfare if you are still sinning. When we choose to distance ourselves from the temptation and focus on loving God, we are resisting the devil. If we haven't yielded authority to him through disobeying God, he cannot hold onto us.
I love how Paul reminds us that many others have experienced the same suffering, and that with the suffering there is a promise. After we have suffered a little, God will perfect is, establish us, strengthen us and settle us. We are settled when we have His peace. This is such a beautiful thing - to he able to put our head on His shoulder and rest. We have an awesome God who walks with us and wants our best.
God bless you.