Peter today gives us a fairly well known verse that we’ve used quite a bit over the past few years:
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Did you know you have an enemy? Pop culture has treated the devil as a red faced, pointy tailed troll doll that tempts us to do things we shouldn’t, but are really “fun”! He is portrayed as an entity that causes us to cross moral boundaries for our own personal pleasure. While we may pursue something that is morally wrong, we ultimately end up doing what we want.
Unfortunately, satisfying our own immoral desires is not Satan’s ultimate objective. Peter reminds us today that there is an enemy of our souls, and his intentions are not for our personal PLEASURE, but for our DESTRUCTION. If we understand Jesus and His ways as the ONLY way to flourish, it would follow that the devil’s ways are designed to destroy us and our communities. Our very lives are at stake. It may feel as though our transgressions only have personal or local consequences, but our actions play out on a grander scale that will lead to destruction in ways we can’t even imagine.
“For the wages of sin are death . . .Romans 3:23 (NLT)
God is not calling for personal piety for some sense of moral superiority. No, anything outside of the way of Jesus leads to destruction. The devil is an ACTIVE agent who is set on destroying people who participate with his ways.
- Gossip destroys. One person’s feelings of frustration quickly destroy any semblance of trust and love when they are shared outside of those affected.
- Lust destroys. Extramarital relationships, including pornography, destroy intimacy and trust between two devoted people.
- Anger destroys. While disagreements are inevitable, the anger that causes people to say things they don’t intend to say or do things they don’t intend to do can sever ties ultimately wreaking havoc in relationships.
- Lying destroys. While openness allows any issues that may arise to be dealt with, lying allows problems to fester and rot.
- Gluttony destroys. The pursuit of excess (food, possessions, money, power, success, etc.) eventually destroys people. There is never enough to fulfill our endless desires for more. Relationships are destroyed in the process of a constant need for something beyond what is obtained.
The list could go on and on. This is why we here at New Hope talk about the Way of Jesus so much. Jesus said,
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.John 10:10 (NLT)
Life. A rich and satisfying life! Anything else is not enough!
As a reminder, here are our steps for S.O.A.P:
- Find a quiet place and read the SCRIPTURE of the day. Read it again. Read it slowly. Read it out loud!
- What OBSERVATIONS did you make? What does this passage teach you about God or yourself? Are there any calls to action? Do you have any questions?
- How will you make APPLICATION of this scripture and live your life differently today in light of what you just read? Be specific!
- Let it marinate. Take some time for PRAYER – thank God, confess any shortcomings, and ask to be empowered. Sit for a few moments and see if God has anything else for you.
Here is our passage for the day:
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power to him forever! Amen.1 Peter 5:8–11 (NLT)
We are praying for you!