The Ways of the Devil

The Ways of the Devil

March 10, 2024

Series: New Testament

Book: 1 Peter

Bible Passage: 1 Peter 5:8-11

Our enemy, the devil has been illustrated by Peter as a roaring lion that has been attempting to seek a person that can be “swallowed.” Isn’t a lion usually pounce on its prey? But why this verse stated that “be alert and of sober mind”? That was because a devil, your enemy, has been wandering around like a roaring lion. This is not to emphasise a lion quietly ambush its prey and the food that the lion will eat. This is not what Peter has illustrated, instead, he illustrated the devil differently that he wants to emphasise that devil is like a roaring lion that has been attempting to seek a person that can be “swallowed.” Peter wants to illustrate the lion or the devil in its power and authority to destroy and annihilate us should we do not possess weapons to combat the lion. The roaring lion has terrified and threatened us that it is over for us should we do not possess weapons. This comes as a warning for all of us.

Before we can talk about the weapon to combat this devil, we therefore need to understand the power and threat that the roaring lion to Christian people. Verse 9 stated that “Resist him, standing form in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” However, Revelation 2:10 assured us that “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.” This is one of the devil’s ways of threatening us and to destroy us by throwing some of us to the prison and these people will die. We see that when we fight with our firm beliefs, when we are on guard and be on alert to face the devil, it does not mean that we will not be impossibly die. But it means that it will not be possible for the devil to kill the spirit and life that God provides. Jesus said “Do not be afraid to those people that can kill your body but be afraid of them that can kill both your body and your spirit eternally.”

We need to understand that devil wants to use suffering and death threat to destroy our faith. This was why Peter warned us to be on alert and to face the devil with our firm beliefs as this is a serious threat, that the devil aims to seek for people who can be “swallowed.” The term “swallow” in this context also means that devil not only wants to kill us physically, that they also want us to leave God by no longer following in God’s path, or to obey / faithful in the eyes of God but to follow own’s path, own mind, world’s way. This is dangerous, particularly when difficulty and suffering came into our lives. Therefore, Peter reminds us again to be vigilant and to be on guard and to face your enemy that is wandering devil like a roaring lion and to seek for people who can be “swallowed.” Face them with our firm beliefs.

Then one question appears – does Christians, the children of God, who has been newly born, can be “swallowed” by the devil? The answer can be yes and no. The answer “yes” can be understood as we, as children of God, need to believe in God’s promise. We need to hold firmly to God’s words, because without them, there will be no one that can be justified by God. We need to be vigilant; we need to be on guard and we need to combat against the devil with our firm beliefs, otherwise we will not win and success to defeat the temptations from the devil. The answer “no”, because ultimately not our faith guarding us being “swallowed” by the devil or not, but ultimately God Himself that can guard us. This was stated on verse 10 that assured us “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” Yes, it is true that we have to fight devil with our firm beliefs, but ultimately not because of our faith, nor our strength, nor our struggle, but the strength of our faith, our struggle and our obedience that we can do them because God supports us. Ultimately, God looks after us, God will lead us, God strengthen us, and God guards us, however, it does not mean that God done these things that we don’t have to do anything and letting God to do them for us in our lives. As to revisit the question, can Christians, at the end, be “swallowed” by devil? The answer is no, because God has worked, God has called you into Christ, in eternal glory.

May we be reminded once again that we can believe, we can lean, persevere in our faith, as well as to realise that God will look after us, will lead us, to give us strength. This is a sign from a true Christian, that they will fight, and they will not remain silent when facing difficulty, suffering and temptation from the devil that attempts to “swallow” us. This is not perfect, but we will continue to live in the life that God has provided to us and will continue to fight against devil with strength from God. May we be reminded to be more faithful to fight against the world of sin with firm beliefs and heart that leans to God.