1 Peter 5:6-11 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around, like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
This is a lengthy passage to start with. I was going to only put the roaring lion part because I feel as if something ominous is in the air. That’s the warning part, but instructions on what to do are throughout. That’s really what we want to focus on.
1. Humble ourselves. Why? So that he may applaud us. When? At the proper time. His time. Do you realize God fully intends to do this for us? The word used was exalt. That means to hold in very high regard; think or speak very highly of. Ponder this for a minute. God himself will hold you in what? Very high regard. He will speak very highly of you – at the proper time. Humility is a requirement. Peter personally received a good lesson on this.
Matthew 26:33-35 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all disciples said the same.
Peter became humble after the denial. What happened then? Jesus lifted Peter up. He shall do the same for you and me.
2. Cast our anxieties on him. Why? Because he cares for us. Have you ever been around a child that was worrying? Don’t you wish you could take all that burden from them? Well, God actually CAN take it – if we give it to him. Why would he do that? Because he cares.
3. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Apparently, Peter learned well a valuable lesson in the Garden.
Matthew 26:40-41 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
It wasn’t long before Peter denied Jesus. Satan sifted Peter and presented an opportunity. Peter entered into temptation and sinned. We are instructed by Peter the same way Jesus instructed him.
4. Resist the devil. Why? Because he is seeking to devour you. Don’t think he won’t? Tell that to Peter or the countless numbers who have lost family, friends, and fortunes because they miscalculated the costs of entering in to temptation. Satan has no mercy.
5. Be firm in your faith. Take comfort knowing that you are not alone. Satan has not isolated you. We have strength in God and his church.
6. Understand there is an end to the trial. When? After a little while. At that time, God will what? Restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. Who will do that? God himself. Listen, God is not assigning this task to an angel. God, himself, will do this. Isn’t that what the bible says? God will personally do this. Restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. Oh, how I wish I was able to do that for my children! Yet, we find this is a promise of God for us all.
Peter is going out of his way to teach us so that we might not have to learn the hard way. It’s for our own good. These instructions are powerful. Think of them as a powerful recipe of protection. It takes all the ingredients. I’m not saying you won’t have troubles with Satan. You will. But, these are good instructions to reduce the frequency and recovery time.
Please don’t underestimate this. Peter’s own instructions in his first letter might just be his summary statement of his experience at the end of Jesus’ life. Don’t let that go unnoticed. More importantly, listen carefully to him.
Father, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil. I resist the devil and draw near to you. I understand the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy and that you come to give abundant life. I choose you. Help me with my armor: my helmet of salvation to protect my thoughts, my breastplate of righteousness to ward off sin, my shield of faith to repel the devil’s attacks, my belt of truth, my shoes that are quick to share the gospel, and my sword of the Spirit, your Word. I am committed to stand firm against Satan’s schemes and lies. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers