Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
The 3rd Century patriarch, Cyprian wrote, “It is easy enough to be on one’s guard when the danger is obvious; one can stir up one’s courage for the fight when the Enemy shows himself in his true colors. There is more need to fear and beware of the Enemy when he creeps up secretly, when he beguiles us by a show of peace and steals forward by those hidden approaches which have earned him the name of the ‘Serpent.’”
Satan doesn’t always come through the front door wearing a nametag. In fact, he usually finds small ways to sneak into our thoughts—whispering quiet lies that grow to become the loudest voices in our head. His ways aren’t new or creative, but we continue to be susceptible to his lies. This is why Peter warned his fellow believers to keep alert. We can’t fall asleep on the job lest the enemy slip past us. This world isn’t Satan's—all of creation belongs to God alone. But he still has free reign until Christ returns. He is prowling around like a hungry lion looking for anyone who is easy prey. If we aren’t paying attention, we can easily walk into a trap without even realizing where we are stepping.
Peter reminded us to stay sober in spirit. That word means to remain watchful, temperate, and collected in spirit. It is our only means of staying alert and vigilant. If we are distracted and medicated by the things of this world, we will numb ourselves to both the work of God and the work of Satan. We won’t be able to discern or withstand his attacks. Standing firm against the devil requires the full armor of God (Eph. 6:11). Each and every day we have to cloth ourselves once again in the armor of God, readying ourselves for warfare. The enemy is looking for any opportunity—great or small—to overcome our defenses. Satan knows our weaknesses and won’t hesitate to capitalize on them. We need the Holy Spirit to make us alert at every step.
● Where do you need to stay most alert to the enemy’s attack? What are your weak spots where he continues to creep in before you are even aware?
● How can you recalibrate to remain more sober-minded and vigilant in that area of your life? Who can help you be vigilant (because it is impossible alone)?
● Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see and ears to hear Him above the lies of the enemy. Ask Him for vigilance to fight against the enemy’s repeated attempts to thwart the work of Christ in your life.