Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11, ESV)
Brief thoughts about the text/sermon:
I suspect most people who will be present in worship tomorrow believe in the Devil, but CS Lewis was probably right when he wrote that many of us are either “superstitious” or “substitious” when it comes to what we believe about him. We either over-believe in him, which leads to an unhealthy fear because we see him everywhere in everything. Or we believe he exists, but we don’t really think he’s doing much of anything (e.g., he’s a cartoonish, harmless, semi-fictitious character).
The Bible generally–and Peter in this text specifically–paints a more nuanced picture. The Devil is real; the image of a “roaring lion” is vivid and frightening. But he’s not omnipotent, preying only on those weaknesses that we present to him. In this text Peter mentions two: pride and anxiety.
In our sermon time tomorrow, we’ll focus on the Devil’s work in our lives, and we’ll also speak to how the gospel addresses these attacks and helps defend us.