December 12, 2005

On the Prowl

1 Peter 5:6-11

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8


There was a report in the news of a tiger roaming a neighborhood 40 miles outside of Los Angeles. The tiger weighed 600 pounds; that's the weight of 10 good-sized dogs. The whole community was on high alert. Police and animal-rights activists were out in force, anxious to immobilize the tiger before it turned hungry. It's a fearful thing to have a tiger prowling your neighborhood. Peter tells us to be "self-controlled" (show good sense) and "alert" because our enemy the devil prowls our neighborhoods "like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." This lion is always hungry. But we are often careless, unmindful of the prowler. We think a bad mood is only a bad mood, and a sin only a sin. In fact, these things make us vulnerable to our great adversary. Paul warns us, "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and [that means] do not give the devil a foothold" (Ephesians 4:26-27). Remember, we are engaged in a great conflict. We are to resist the devil by "standing firm in the faith." John Piper in his book Future Grace writes, "Faith stands or falls on the truth that the future with God is more satisfying than the one promised by sin [and the devil]. When this truth is embraced, and God is cherished above all, the power of sin is broken." Then Satan is disarmed; the lion is immobilized.

O God, teach us to be careful and help us to make the most of every opportunity. May we be strong in the Lord and resist the evil one, in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author — Jack Roeda

Rev. Jack Roeda is the senior pastor at Church of the Servant Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and an adjunct professor of preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is married to Carol Sue Kok, and they have three children and two grandchildren. Pastor Roeda has served two previous churches: Exeter (Ont.) Christian Reformed Church and Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan.

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