EVIL IS ALL AROUND
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:8-10
It is amazing how fast satan can work in this world. I know that we have stayed away for a while about talking on this subject, but I am telling all of us that when we think everything is silent... that is when satan is preparing to pounce. In many of our lives there is a constant, day to day battle that we face. Even though it may seem as though it has been a while, the reality is that satan has not quit the battle. Satan is waiting on a perfect moment to attack and take away the center position that God has in our lives. We are so quick to spin and realize that we are in another spiritual battle when there is a lull and we think that everything is at peace. That is when the king of mischief and distortion is able to go to work. Reality is the fact that the truth has been discarded and satan is able to weave in our minds a whole new alternative truth that we are quick to take hold of as reality. WHY? Really, why are we so adamant about claiming Jesus as the Lord and Savior of our lives and in almost an instant, we spin the conversation because satan has been able to infiltrate our minds. Truly the words of the Peter hold true today when satan is spoken of as a lion that is ready to pounce.
The real reason is that satan has just been waiting for an opportunity and has been tracking us for some time now. Then we open the door just a crack and find out that everything has been taken into high gear of spiritual battle. It should not surprise us because at the center of satan's dominion is doubt, fear and chaos. Satan is doing anything and everything possible to change the minds of what we see and distort it into a alternate reality. We are able to recognize that the struggle for our hearts, minds and souls is still a constant, daily
battle. We may think that the battle is over, but satan has just retreated in anticipation of finding another opportunity to attack us at one of our weakest moments. Why? Because evil truly exists and we have to recognize that until Jesus comes back, evil will continue to have dominion in this world. That does not mean that God has no control, but it does mean that we have been given a time to be tested and discern for ourselves who our master truly is in our lives. For some of you reading this today, I hope and pray that you recognize that satan does have free reign in this world at this time. God continues to provide for us an opportunity to step out on faith and follow God, but we have to make that decision for ourselves. The world is fallen, but God provided a bridge through the life of Jesus, to allow us a chance to receive grace. The gift of grace is free, but we have to accept it in order for it to have power over the evil in this world. Crazy that we would even have to say that, but the real reality is that people know that we have grace through Christ, but we use it more as fire insurance than an opportunity to be a part of the solution NOW. The battle is every day and so we have to make the decision to be ready and prepared to give our answer to whom we serve each day.
Peter is talking to the Jewish Christians who have been driven out of Rome by the emperor Nero. Once again the Christian faith is under attack and Peter is helping them and us to see that this should not be a surprise. God's people have been under attack by satan from the creation of the world. It should not be any surprise that the world that is filled with evil wants to do anything and everything to stop the spread of Christianity. So once again, God's people find themselves in a place where they have to once again stand up for their faith in God. Once again, they are being reminded that they must walk with each other and pray for each other if they are going to make it through this spiritual warfare. Peter was probably in Rome and was firsthand watching how Nero was using his power and authority to persecute the church. Realize that good will always be under attack by evil. This battle has been a constant all throughout the Bible. Even when Jesus was here with us, we watched how evil that was at the heart of the people, quickly changed their cheers of joy into shouts of destruction. We have to be willing to protect ourselves and in our darkest days and hours, fully rely on God to walk with us and carry us through this battle. The days for all of us are numbered and we need to stop allowing satan to stick his foot into the door. When you think that we are in a place of peace and calm, be ready because satan is preparing to strike and cause disruption and calamity. When Jesus left and Pentecost occurred, the church began to grow faster than any other time in history. But satan did not quit. Instead, satan began finding ways to chip away and cause more disruption in the believers' minds.
In closing I just want to answer some questions that I have been asked over the years of ministry. Is satan still active and alive in this world? YES!! If we serve God who is in control of all things, why does God allow evil to exist? Due to the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden, we are living in the days of a fallen world. God could easily change the game and
allow all of us to go to heaven. BUT God has given us the freedom to choose who we serve. God has all of the authority, but has created us with an opportunity to discern and determine
which path will take. We have to choose with our hearts to make Jesus the Lord of our lives. Evil exists because we choose to have evil in the world. We continue to live in a corrupt world and satan is ready to pounce on the opportunity every chance that he is given. Who wins in the end? God... plain and simple God wins in the end. I have read the Bible many times and form the beginning of time to the last days, the story has never changed. God continues to reveal His grace, love and mercy to the world, but we must be willing to receive this gift fully in our lives. Knowing this, satan will do anything and everything possible to deter us from making that decision. Satan continues to prowl and wait for opportunities to cause us all to falter. We are called to stand firm in our faith and stand on the foundation of the truth of God. God will restore us from this battle if we are truly willing to submit all that we are to Him. Yes, we have to submit all we have to Him, and in doing so we may look like a battle worn soldier when we come to the end of our lives. But God will restore us. We are not fighting for eternity in this world, but to prepare for an eternity in heaven with God. We must be willing to stop allowing satan to infiltrate and deceive us. God is ready to restore us for the battle and from the battle, and kick out satan from trying to take the seat at the center of our lives that belongs to God.