My kids always enjoy a good April’s fools joke. This morning because they had forgotten what day it was and were still half asleep, my husband ran into their room and pulled a sleepy Andrew from his bed. He told him to come quick, that there were a bunch of turkeys outside in the yard. (Previously they had been turkey hunting and saw none). So excited, Andrew got up to see, only to hear his dad say, April Fools! When he came in to tell me laughing, I told him, he’d better be on alert for Andrew would be sure to try to get him back later.
As I thought on my own words of being alert, I was reminded of the Scripture that tells us this very thing. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith ( I Peter 5:8).”
We must as believers be alert and on guard against the enemy. For he wants nothing more than to surprise us with an attack. He wants nothing more than to get us to fail our Lord, to believe lies, to make us doubt God and to fill us with fear. He is after marriages, homes, churches, children etc. So often we don’t recognize his tricks. The Bible describes Satan as crafty and the Father of all lies. He knows exactly which buttons to push, he knows our weaknesses, and he longs to cause us to sin. He can’t take our salvation as believers, but he can take our testimony and our reputation. He can destroy marriages and wreak havoc on our lives. He can make us fail so that we will be ineffective as Christians.
Therefore, just as I told my husband to be alert, the Bible tells us to be alert. To understand and know that the enemy hates us and is out to get us. We must then be ready, we must be diligent to study the Word, to know what we believe. to fight the lies with Scriptures. To take every thought captive, to walk in the Spirit, to live for Him. Peter tells us here clearly that we are to resist him by standing firm in our faith.
I do not by any means want to give him more credit than he is due, but I don’t believe we are fully aware or alert enough at times to recognize his attacks. Paul also understood quite well the attacks of the enemy, for in Ephesians 6 he tells us, ”
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Dear friend, our struggle is not against others, it is against the enemy who longs to make us fall. We need to be alert, we need to recognize his schemes and be ready to fight back, to resist and to stand strong.