Know your enemy – A Word from Dr. Mike

All Christians have one common enemy – the devil. We face our enemy every single day! The apostle Peter gave invaluable information in regard to encountering Satan in our everyday lives. He wrote in I Peter 5: 8-9: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” 

In regard to the severe danger the devil (Satan) poses in our everyday lives, Peter admonishes us to “Be sober, be vigilant.” In this verse, the writer utilizes an analogy with a soldier in battle with the enemy. He writes, “Be sober.” This word is defined as “calm and collected in spirit.” One of the worst things a soldier can do in battle is lose composure and panic. In this analogy, the Christian must keep a calm spirit in the midst of an attack (i.e., temptation) from the devil. The word “vigilant” means “to be on your guard.” A soldier, on the front line of battle against the enemy, must constantly be on guard. So should every Christian who is on the front line of battle every single day in the war with Satan. 

Both verbs, “sober” and “vigilant,” are verbs parsed the identical way: 2nd person plural (“you all” – all believers), aorist tense (once for all time – it’s a lifestyle), imperative mood (a command), and active voice (You make the choice to be sober and vigilant). Literally translated, Peter declares, You all once and for all time keep on making the choice to be “calm and collected in spirit” and “on your guard” against your enemy, Satan himself. 

To engage in battle in order to win the battle over your enemy, you must know the details of who you are fighting. In verse 8, Peter provides 3 words or phrases that identify the enemy of every Christian, the devil himself. 

First, the devil, the Christian’s enemy, is “your adversary.” The word adversary is spelled antidikos (anti – “against” + dikos – “righteousness” = “against righteousness). The devil is our adversary. He opposes GOD. He opposes Christians. He opposes anything righteous. 

Second, the devil, the Christian’s enemy, is “the devil.” The word “devil” in the original language is spelled diabolos, from which we get our English word “diabolical.” In classical Greek, “the devil” meant “to slander, defame, or accuse.” The devil indeed is diabolical! 

Third, the devil, the Christian’s enemy, “walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” “Devour” has the sense of “to gulp down,” emphasizing the final objective, not to wound but to destroy. The devil’s intent is to destroy every Christian. 

So, how do Christians win the daily battle over their daily enemy, the devil? In verse 9, Peter presents the answer: “Resist him, steadfast in the faith and by knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by our brotherhood in the world” (being aware that other followers of JESUS are experiencing the same temptations). Indeed, we see other Christians resisting the devil and winning the battle with the devil through the power of GOD’s SPIRIT. We can as well! 

Pastor Mike

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