We were all saddened to hear of the passing of our dear Johnnie Hinson last Sunday morning. Johnnie had been in church the previous Sunday. Johnnie’s devoted son Jerry, our Sunset Music Minister, was in church, and, with God’s help sang the beautiful Dottie Rambo song “If That Isn’t Love.” We pray God’s comforting care for Jerry. Johnnie will be missed by all who knew her. Her graveside service was on Tuesday in Palestine, conducted by the Sunset pastor.
The Sunset pastor on Sunday continued our series in “First Peter—Trials, Pilgrimage, Courage and Hope” with a message, “Like a Roaring Lion.” The text was from 1 Peter 5:8: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking from someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith….”
The pastor made two points: (1) Who Is Our Enemy? (2) What to Do about It?
(1) Who Is Our Enemy? Peter says, v8: “Your enemy the devil….”
(a) Our enemy is not people. Paul writes [Ephesians 6:12]: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but … against the spiritual powers of this dark world….” People are not the adversary we fight. Our battle is against dark spiritual powers, fought with the spiritual weapons of prayer and the word of God.
Paul wrote [2 Corinthians 10:4]: “Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.” Our battle is fought in the heavenly realm, not on the earth.
(b) Peter says, v8: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The devil stays hungry and he never has enough. He roars—makes a lot of confusion and commotion—to intimidate. He looks for the weak, those ignorant of God’s word, and the one who is spiritually asleep in their Christian walk.
(c) Our enemy the devil was rebellious against God, was cast out of heaven and today leads the whole world astray. Revelation 12:7ff: “And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.”
There’s lots of evil and wickedness in the world, and it originates in the evil one. He’s called [Revelation 12] “the accuser of the brothers.” He’s full of scheming deceptions. Paul wrote [Ephesians 6:11]: “Take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Lying is his business, and deception is his method.
(2) What To Do about the Devil? (a) Peter says, v8: “Be self-controlled and alert.” The meaning is, be in full control of your faculties, which is why Paul says [Ephesians 5], “Do not get drunk on wine.” Then, “be alert”—alive, awake, and watching for lurking danger.
So, if I’m asleep on the job, ignorant of God’s word and will, unaware that I’m in a war for my soul, I’m apt to lose the battle against the devil.
(b) V9: “Resist him, standing firm in your faith.” We do not resist the devil by opposing people but by trusting in God—standing firm in our faith. We resist the devil by praising the Lord and doing right.
The devil cannot stand prayer and praise.
The devil has no power over the believer unless we surrender it to him. His power was broken at the cross. We have the power of God the Holy Spirit within us. When we stand against the devil, he cannot overcome God in us.
To all our friends: We invite you to our Sunset Thanksgiving Fellowship Dinner on Sunday, November 20 at Noon. Be our guest!
“The Spirit of the Lord spoke… ‘When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.’” [2 Samuel 23:2-4]
Let us pray that the elected leaders in our county, state and country will rule in the fear of God—our prayer from your friends at Sunset Christian Church.