Monday, April 7, 2014

Two Lions

Many people like cats. They are cute, cuddly, but they are also fickle! They like you one minute and not the next. (Personally, I am allergic cats, so of course, many cats like me, but I don't like them).

But not all cats are nice. Of course, there are alley cats, but there are also wild cats. As in wildcats, cheetahs, leopards, etc. And then there is the lion. The Bible says that the devil is like a lion waiting to devour us (1 Peter 5.8). Much like a cat that wants to cuddle one minute and then leaves the next, sin is so enticing (as our friend) one minute, and then leave us distraught the next.

In his first letter, Peter gives us some practical measures for not being devoured. His advice:

1) Humble yourselves. (v. 6)


Satan's fall was due to his pride. He wanted to be exalted above God. He wanted to best God.

He led a rebellion, and God crushed it. Because God is God.

Pride is a deadly sin. But it is mostly our pride that makes us sin, thinking we know better than God. Or that we can know as well as God. Isn't that what the serpent did in the Garden? Don't you want to know more? God knows good and evil...what is He holding back from you? Here, just eat this fruit, and you can be like God!

Think about it. God had given them good. But the serpent made it sound as if evil was something to be missed.

The woman wanted more. And then the man did as well. And now, we face sin daily because of it.

So, we are to remain humble recognizing that only God is God. Because the might right hand that crushed Satan can crush us as well. But, it is also that mighty right hand that can lift us up and exalt us. If we are humble.

2) Cast our anxieties on Him. (v. 7)


Because He cares for us.

At different times in our lives, certain things concern us/bother us. But some really just stick and we can't seem to shake them. A big one for our family right now is trying to sell our house in the town in which we previously lived. Hopefully, that concern will soon pass, but then another will surely arise.

But I am not as anxious about it as I was a couple of months ago, because God has shown how He does care for me, and has cared for me during this process.

Again, like in the Garden, God has only good for me, and if I am humble before Him, it really doesn't even matter if it doesn't sell soon. I am trying to cast this completely before Him.

3) Be sober-minded and watchful.


Because when we are distracted, tired, etc we are more susceptible to sin. And instead of us calling for the kitty, the kitty comes calling for us.

This shows that we have our part to do. The first two points were more about what God can and will do.
Be humble so HE MAY exalt you.
Let Him deal with your concerns.

But watchful. And sober-minded. Basically, be about your wits.
This word (Gk – nepho) does have alcohol in mind (don't be drunk). But the greater meaning is to be calm and collected.

First, this is possible when we are not drunk. But it is also more possible when we have cast our cares on Him. Thus, we are not distracted by being intoxicated with alcohol, but nor are we overly concerned with other matters.

4) Resist him, firm in your faith.


Trouble is coming. It will be tough. Others are experiencing it right now...and you will too.

But it is temporary. And the rewards are literally out of this world.

When you have been beaten down, battered, and feel torn from limb to limb, the glory of God will:

  • Restore you – make you whole
  • Confirm you – make you know your suffering was worth it
  • Strengthen you – piece you back together better than everything
  • Establish you – you will have been proven trustworthy, and God will share greater things with you.

Does that bring you hope? It should!

Yes, Satan is prowling around like a lion ready to devour. But the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5) has already won the battle. It is just for us to realize, in our humility, that Jesus has made the way. We CANNOT do anything in our own power to defeat sin, but we CAN in Jesus' power. In fact, with your trust placed fully in Him, you already have.

So, be humble, remain alert. Cast your anxieties. And when you fail, don't be devoured. Ask God to forgive you...He is the only One who can grant it. And ask Him to strengthen you to stand firm knowing He has already won the battle for you.

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