“When the Enemy Attacks”

I Peter 5:6-10

v.6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

v.7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

v.8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

v.9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

v.10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

Here are the 5 steps, from the verses above, that Christians can use to help protect themselves when the enemy attacks:

Humble yourself before God.

Isn’t it our Christian duty to… stay tough?  Fight back?  Don’t waste any time standing around?  Use all of our intellect and bodily strength to out-maneuver the enemy with haste?

The problem is that if we act hastily, we end up saying things or doing things against people that are not really our enemies.

Our mates bear the brunt of our disappointments; a business provider (like a doctor or a mechanic) gets assaulted verbally because they didn’t meet our expectations; a neighbor gets jilted because we didn’t understand them… etc.

So, the very first step isn’t to react.  It isn’t to get even.  It isn’t to get mad.  It isn’t to do anything, but rather to be something:  to be humble.  This is not only the first step, it is the most important step for us to grasp when the enemy attacks!

 Cast your anxiety on Him.

The word “cast” is the Greek word ep-ir-hrip’-to, which means to “throw upon.”  So, the picture is of someone taking their worries – their concerns; their fears; their fear of getting hurt – and unloading them… surrendering them to God!

Worries tend to have glue all over them.  They stick to you.  So you’ve got to really cast them, or throw them off intentionally.  Otherwise, you bring them back over, and over again.

When Jehoshaphat was outnumbered and prayed for help, God said, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” (II Chron. 20:15)

The Lord, speaking through His prophet Jahaziel continues, “You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.” (v. 17)

It’s easier for me to start fighting than it is for me to stand and watch.

When I start fighting, I’m not letting God have control.  If I lose my composure, it’s a sign that I have not truly cast my anxiety on Him.

Be on the alert for Satan.

The text says, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

We shouldn’t be surprised to hear that our enemy employs the “element of surprise” as a strategy against us.  Why?  Because a surprise attack is more likely to strike fear into the heart of victims.  And when you are acting out of fear instead of faith, you are more likely to falter.  But remember… “Greater is He Who is in you…” (I Jn. 4:4)

When the enemy has the element of surprise against you, it causes you to panic.  You don’t think clearly when you panic.  You may be more likely to say something out of frustration or anger.  You may act in a futile way – being more non-productive.  You may turn to desperate means as an aversion to some anticipated suffering.

 Resist him, firm in faith.

We are to resist the devil, while remaining firm in regards to our faith in God.  Jesus demonstrated His resistance to the devil’s words, and the temptations that faced Him in Matthew ch. 4.

Read Mat. 4:1-11 and answer the following questions.

Who led Jesus out into the wilderness?  For what purpose?  Are you surprised that God would allow us to be tempted?

Who tempted Jesus?  When did this occur?  Why?

How does Satan use sickness, stress, and fatigue when he tempts us to sin?

Romans 13:14 reads, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”  Rewrite this verse in your own words.

James 4:7 reads, “Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  What do you think it means to submit to God?

What happened after Jesus resisted the devil in Mat. 4:10-11?

Read I John 4:4.  The Spirit of God lives within us.  Who is greater – The Spirit who is in us, or the spirit who is in the world?

According to I John 5:4, what gives Christians the ability to have victory over the world? 

Wait on God; trust Him.

Waiting is not necessarily easy.  Does today’s culture tend to teach us how to wait or how to get-it-done fast?  Can you think of some examples?

Read Proverbs 3:5-6.  What is better – Figuring things out for ourselves, or trusting God?

Read Isaiah 40:31.  What happens to those who wait for the Lord?

Waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing.  There were two farmers.  Both prayed for rain so that they could grow a good crop.  One prayed and then went inside and watched out his window day after day.  The other prayed and then went and bought seed and got his equipment ready.  Which one demonstrated more faith?  What character quality should accompany our waiting? (Rom. 8:25)

What does James 5:13 say concerning anyone among us who is suffering?

How long does our suffering last, according to I Peter 5:10?

Who will perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you?

Do you suppose God might allow suffering in our lives to perfect us?

Look at a tapestry or a woven cloth from the underside.  Is it pretty?  Does it make sense from this view?

Do you suppose that Satan could want us to doubt God or stop trusting Him?  Who wages war with those who believe in and obey Jesus? (Rev. 12:9, 17)

Review the 5 steps outlined in I Peter 5:6-10 that Christians can use to protect themselves when the enemy attacks.

 

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