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Be on Guard!

1 Peter 5.8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
C. S. Lewis once suggested that the two mistakes Christians make in talking about Satan are that we either joke about him or we ignore him. According to this verse, neither of these is an option. In essence, this verse says, "Wake up! Pay attention! We are involved in a spiritual battle. You need to know the enemy and his characteristics. You need to understand that we are in a life-and-death battle."

Biblically Satan, or the devil, is described as the prince of this world (see Ephesians 2.2). His residence is on this earth, and he moves from place to place. Because this earth is the devil's territory, believers are constantly under attack. Additionally the Bible speaks of the devil as a personal spiritual being in active rebellion against God. He leads many demons like himself. Peter envisions the devil as a cunning and evil personal being who has the ability to attack Christians and to disrupt the life and unity of the church. Satan and his henchmen are bent on destroying life and introducing every sort of evil. They use deceit to attack believers and to blind unbelievers to the gospel. The commander-in-chief of these opposing forces is Satan himself. He is the master of ingenious strategies, and his tactics must not be allowed to catch us unaware.

How can we be ready for his attacks? Well, he attacks the sick, the weak, and the isolated. Be alert to support and surround with prayer those who face illness, those who are weakened with pressure and stress, and those who are on the fringes. He attacks the newborns. Be especially watchful over new Christians. Help them face doubts and temptations that will weaken their defenses. He attacks those who pull away from the church. Go after those whose participation in church has dropped off. They may be especially vulnerable. He attacks using fear. Today’s climate of economic, social, and political problems along with the COVID-19 pandemic makes us afraid. Beware lest fear drive us to doubt God or abandon His call to love and service. Who can you encourage and pray for today, asking God to protect that person from Satan’s deceptive, destroying ways? Do it with urgency!

Pastor Jeff
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