“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
A native of Prichard, Alabama, I spent my first twelve years there. When I was in the seventh or eighth grade, there was another kid who would beat me up almost every day. It seemed that no matter which path I would take home from school to dodge this bully, I would run right into him.
I would never fight back, because I was taught that fighting was wrong. I remember coming home from school a couple of days and my adversary not being there. It was such a relief, that I had gotten comfortable. Then one day, there he was. Come to find out, my adversary had been sick for those few days and now things were back to normal.
One year, Hurricane Fredrick tore through the Mobile and Prichard area, tearing down trees and power lines, leaving destruction in its path. By this time, I had become pretty fed up with this after-school bully and decided to stand up for myself. A few days after Hurricane Fredrick, when we returned to school, I once again took the same path home that I used everyday. Lo and behold, there stood my adversary. This time, I picked up a nice size limb that Hurricane Fredrick had left behind; I was now ready to stand my ground. Needless to say, I had no more problems with this kid after that day.
Those who are saved have a spiritual bully. But unlike this childhood bully, you can’t just pick up a stick and run him off. Peter calls this spiritual bully, “your adversary the devil.” We are instructed to be sober (of sound mind, watchful) and vigilant (watchful) because we have an adversary who “as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
How do we fight him? By resisting steadfast (solid, stable, strong) in the faith (Jesus Christ); it is in the name of Jesus that we fight against this spiritual bully (Ephesians 6:10-18). So the next time this adversary shows up while on your way home, stand your ground; stand in the name of Jesus. He will help you fight your battles.