1 Peter 5:8a…. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
In our text we find two attitudes that we are to have as we enter into conflicts with Satan…. to be sober and to be vigilant. Let’s look at the need to be sober as we go to warfare against powers of darkness in this world.
“Be sober” – The Scriptural meaning of “sober” is “to be under control”. Why are Christians encouraged to keep themselves under control as we prepare to struggle against Satan’s onslaughts? One of the most common, and effective, ways that Satan tries to mislead God’s people is by appealing our natural desires.
In 1 John 2:16 we have listed for us the three different types of natural desires that we all share as human, fallen mankind…. “For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The natural desires of our fallen nature are given the titles:
1. “the lust of the flesh” – desires that arise due to the physical needs of our fleshly bodies
2. “the lust of the eyes” – desires that arise due to appealing appearance
3. “the pride of life” – desires that arise in the pursuit of self-exaltation
Why must we learn to keep these desires under our control?
1. Because they are leading us to pursue that which are sinful and will eventually pass away…”… And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
2. Also, it is these three areas that Satan will attack as he tries to mislead us from the will of God for our lives. We see this illustrated in two of the most well-known temptation against men, the temptation in the Garden of Eden and the temptation of Christ in the wilderness….
1. The lust of the flesh – “good for food” Gen 3:6…“command stones to be made bread” – Matt 4:3
2. The lust of the eyes – “pleasant to the eyes” Gen 3:6…“shewed Him the kingdoms of the world …” – Matt 4:8
3. The pride of life – “to make one wise” Gen 3:6…“cast thyself down…” – Matt 4:6
This is why it is vital for us to learn to keep our natural fleshly desires under the control of Christ, through His Spirit. Satan will not get the victory if these lusts are under the control of the Spirit. (1 Pet 2:11-12)
Titus 2:11-14 (KJV) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Let us seek to live lives that are under the control of the Holy Spirit as we go about the Lord’s business today.
May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.
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