For still our ancient foe
Does seek to work us woe
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (I Pe. 5:8)
Peter exhorts the believer to be sober, vigilant, and watchful; to restrain appetites and passions in both mind and body. This is like the urgent cry of a shepherd who sights a lion prowling around the flock in darkness while the guardians of the flock are preoccupied and resting. A roaring lion is a strong lion, a defending lion, a fierce lion, an aggressive lion. A male lion’s roar marks his territory, warning others he will defend it against intruders looking for opportunities to defeat the resident male and take over his pride. A lion’s roar, his first line of defense, can be heard from 5 miles away.
When we hear the lion’s roar in our life, when he assaults us, when he challenges our faith, we do well to remain steadfast, believing the truths and promises of the gospel, adhering to and confiding in Christ. Though our adversary would devour, swallow, and destroy us, the Victorious, Courageous, Good Shepherd, the Lion of Judah is on our side. In the animal world, most pride males are displaced by a younger, stronger challenger, so it is with us. Now we shall remain alert to the lion’s roar, the day is coming when Jesus, Lion of Judah, Lamb of God, will conquer the devil’s pride and open the scroll and its seven seals (Rev. 5:5).
The Screwtape Letters (C. S. Lewis), a satire on human life from the vantage point of Screwtape, assistant to the devil. Outlined are some of the ways our enemy, the devil, uses to defeat his Enemy, God, in the Christian’s life:
Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding a place in him.
All extremes, except extreme devotion to the Enemy (God), are to be encouraged.
Mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality, our best work is done by keeping things out.
There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy (God). He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.
Do you hear the roar of the enemy in your life today? Are you being stalked with his temptations regarding money, anxiety, extremes, pleasures, or your thought-life? To win the victory, The Lion of Judah would have you remain sober and vigilant, eyes fixed on Jesus. In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, Jesus has overcome. It is imperative that you remain vigilant, on guard, steadfast. “For still our ancient foe does seek to work us woe.”