Yes, the enemy of our soul is preying on us, hoping to destroy our spirit!
1 Peter 5:8
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Satan has made it its duty, to bring souls to perdition. It will stop at nothing, until it gets what it has so patiently been actively working on. No matter the time expended or the manipulations exhausted, it will never concede loss.
Have you ever watched a lion, preying on its next meal? Well, perhaps most of us have not seen it live; but plenty of us have seen it on documentaries. It subtly moves about, stalking its next meal, unbeknownst to the creature that it has targeted. Sometimes, it hides in a bush near a body of water, where it knows that the animal will undoubtedly seek to cool down, from the temperatures of their environment.
They often hunt at nighttime in order to minimize its exposure, and once their mark is within a few yards, it swiftly charges forward, to make the kill.
The devil works in the exact same manner. It watches you vigorously. It hears what you say, and it sees what you do and where you go. It ambushes you with temptations that you never fathomed that you would ever fall into. In fact, if all those people that have fallen in one way or another would have been asked, prior to their downfall, if they were capable of such an act, most would emphatically reject the mere notion. Yet, they did not know their own heart, as well as they thought.
So, what happens to people that never fathomed that they could, let alone would, cheat on their spouse? How about the individual that never saw an adult film, but suddenly turned to pornography? What about the person that only drank socially, but eventually found themselves behind prison walls for killing someone, while drinking and driving?
You see, everything starts subtly. At first, you may do something that doesn’t quite seem right; but you eventually get over the discomfort. It eventually becomes tolerable. Your conscience no longer seems to eat at your soul.
The word “leaven” is mentioned 23 times in the KJV Bible, and the word “leaveneth” is mentioned 2 times, as well.
In the Bible, leaven is consistently used to represent evil or sin. Did you know that leaven is fermented dough and it is placed in new batter in order to make it rise; but you only need a tiny amount for it do its work?
Galatians 5:9 (KJV)
9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
In this verse, it was referring to the Pharisees’ corruption of the church; but the point remains that a little sin here and there, can result in the destruction of the temple of God!
1 Thessalonians 5:22 (KJV)
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
What does it mean to abstain from the appearance of wickedness? Well, one thing that you can do is to not give occasion to the flesh. Going out to lunch, alone, with your colleague of the opposite gender, for example will give rise to gossip. In doing so, you may start getting comfortable with their friendship—soon finding yourself sharing your troubles at home, with your spouse. This will lead to something that you never, ever intended. Don’t give Satan, the roaring lion, any ammunition.
Do you recall that I mentioned earlier that the lion’s target has to get away from the heat of its environment, in order to find a moment’s respite, and that’s when the predator comes out of the seemingly safe grass, swaying in the wind?
Sometimes, sharing stories with your friends will give you a moment of reprieve from family conflict; but do you know that if that friend is not a Christian, they may not be giving you Godly advise? In fact, they may be leading you astray; especially if your friend is of the opposite gender. There’s no need for you to ever find yourself getting closer to them, romantically. Don’t give into the temptation, that can arise from becoming intimately acquainted.
1 Peter 5:9
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Resist the devil, no matter what it presents to you in a form of innocent distraction:
Always go out with a group of friends. Don’t ever make excuses to be alone with someone that is not your spouse! Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes. Would you be perfectly content if your spouse shared their hurts and concerns with someone that can become your rival?
Do you recognize that a pornographer did not start as such? They started delving into books and magazines; eventually into films or online sites. Turning to pornography will not simply keep you there. It will lead you down a path that you never fathomed. So, stop and ask yourself if you would view whatever is at your disposal, with your spouse; your child; your parent; your sibling; your God! If the answer is, “No!” then don’t look at it. Put it away!
The drunkard that killed someone without intent never imagined that they’d find themselves behind bars. They were only drinking socially. They can’t even recall how they ended up in such a tragic predicament; facing life; torture; self-hate; unwilling to forgive themselves for something that started out as “innocent” fun. Personally, I don’t believe in alcohol consumption, but there are differences of opinion; so make up your mind that if you ARE going to drink a glass of wine, that you will limit it to 1. Ask a friend beforehand, if they’d be your designated driver, in the case that you forget your promise to yourself and consume more than 1. Whatever you do, NEVER put yourself in a situation where you lose your state of self-awareness.
1 Peter 5:10
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
If you have a meaningful relationship with God, you will certainly have one with your loved ones, as well. Continue your path of living for Him—never allowing the enemy to come into your thoughts, let alone your actions!
If you find yourself in the “cross hairs” of the lion that is awaiting your demise, you still have hope! Never give up on Him, for He will NEVER give up on you!
God CAN and WILL mend all things if only you will give Him the opportunity to do so! Surround yourself with His presence. He needs to be your number one, and all thing will assuredly follow! Jesus died for your sin and for mine—that’s how much He truly loves you! People give up on themselves or their loved ones, but God NEVER does! You can do this! Keep on keeping on!
1 Peter 5:11
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Glory be to God! Thank you Jesus, for allowing us to be plucked from the claws and the jaws of the roaring lion!