Verse: 1 Peter 5:8-9
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Our devotions this week will relate to the parable of the sower. In this parable, Jesus tells us that some seeds fell upon the path and the birds came and ate it. Later Jesus explains this portion of the parable to mean that the word of God lands on people with hearts like the path, tamped down and not ready for seeds of truth, and the evil one snatches them away.
In today’s devotion, we have Peter, the apostle who Jesus called the rock he would build the church on, also warning us that the evil one is looking to take us away from the truth and our faith in Jesus. How can this happen? One way is that we can let the world harden our hearts. We can begin to believe that we are smarter than those that lived before us and that all the wisdom from the Bible is not for us modern people of today. This is where many of us start our faith journey. If you are new to the faith or still wondering if this is for you, consider taking that first step of suspending disbelief and consider the question, “What if this is really true?”
Or you may be in a place where you are struggling with your faith. We have all been there. As this scripture says, people throughout the world are suffering which can bring doubt. What should we do? Peter says to the early Christians that they should be self-controlled and alert. Self-controlled can also mean clear-headed or sober and alert can also be watchful or vigilant. So the first step is to know that there are forces that are against you trying to take you away from the faith. I think we can all agree on that. The temptations and diversions of the world are all around us.
Then he tells us to resist the evil one and to stand firm in the faith. Not just standing firm in your own power. Rather than hardening your heart during times of suffering and struggle, be alert to see that this is the devil coming to take joy and freedom and faith and purpose from you. The evil one wants to scare you like a lion roaring that all is lost and life is terrible. Instead, let your heart be softened enough to allow the seeds of life and truth in, so that you can stand strong in your faith and resist these hardships.