1 Peter 4:7-11
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:6-11
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Who is Satan?
Satan is a Lion. He is looking for lunch. What’s on the menu? “Non-sober” Christians.
Do you remember God’s curse on Satan? God said he would eat dust (Genesis 3:14).
And how was man created? What were the raw materials? Exactly! The dust of the Earth (Genesis 2:7). This warning from the Apostle Peter originates in the Garden.
The problem is that many use this text to teach the wrong thing. We stand no chance against the power and prowess of Satan.
The good news is so much better!
Satan is weaker than you think
First, Satan is not everywhere. And he doesn’t know everything. We don’t know how fast he is, how far his immediate knowledge stretches. Nor how quickly his network (demons) spreads info.
We do know Satan has limits. He’s limited in his presence (prowls around) and in his knowledge of his prey (seeking someone to devour).
Second, he can’t eat Christians who are sober-minded. What is a sober-minded Christian? One with a heart full of hope and eyes looking to the future. Notice how Peter commands us not to be anxious, and then follows with a warning about Satan.
Satan is a creature that has to hunt for his prey. But he can only go after the weakest of the flock — pessimistic Christians.
Your strength is Christ’s victory
First, trust in Christ’s victory in history. We serve so that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. We hope in Jesus, who has glory and dominion forever and ever. In other words, our hope in Christ’s victory is both for today and tomorrow.
Second, believe in the authority and power of God’s throne room. God commands us to cast all anxieties on Him. Why? Christ will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. We pray, knowing that God will establish us amid our troubles. Praise be to God.
Third, know that short-term suffering is not normative. When will we be established? After we have suffered a little while. Think back to all the trials, sufferings, troubles, and anxieties you’ve ever had. You can probably remember some big ones, but you most likely cannot remember every single time you’ve felt burdened or at your limits. That’s God keeping His promise.
Fourth, uphold the shield of service. We should love one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Fifth, remember that humility is the route to exaltation over those who persecute you. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace…will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. We can humbly endure the pressures of the evil one and his minions because Christ’s humility has “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Colossians 2:15).
Sixth, arm yourself with hope for warfare. This point is the culmination of the previous points. Hope defangs Satan. Our hope-driven participation in the current historical advance of Christ’s Kingdom is how “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Romans 16:20).