Christian Living
Contending with the Roaring Lion
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Nov 3, 2023
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Read 1 Peter 5:8-9.

A lion stalks his prey as quietly as possible so that, by the time the animal sees him, it's too late. Only once he has pinned his prey and brought it under his control will he roar in triumph. This is the picture the apostle Peter paints for us in his letter: Satan stealthily drawing near to pin the believer in his grasp. That is why, when describing the devil's tactics, Peter warns, "Be alert and of sober mind" (1 Peter 5:8). 

God has provided His children with effective spiritual armor if we will but use it.


What does it mean to be "of sober mind"? Peter isn't talking about avoiding drunkenness, although the Bible clearly teaches we are not to be intoxicated (see Ephesians 5:18). Rather, spiritual drunkenness is living in disobedience to God's Word. When a person lives this way, their spiritual senses become numb, and they are no longer alert to the enemy's designs. But God has provided His children with effective spiritual armor if we will but use it—a permanent uniform, defensive weapons, and an incomparable offensive weapon—which Paul describes in Ephesians 6:13-17.

The uniform that the believer is to wear at all times begins with the belt of Truth with which you will be able to discern between false teaching and Biblical Truth. Then, the breastplate of righteousness—that righteousness we receive from Jesus Christ—protects our vital spiritual organs, if you will. It reminds us that Jesus accomplished our salvation on the cross. Next, there are the boots, "fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace" (Ephesians 6:15). Friends, rest in the peace that only comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All other peace melts away as circumstances change, but the peace Jesus offers is steady and sure no matter what happens.

Then Paul mentions our defensive weapons: the shield of faith, which offers complete protection for the believer from head to toe, and the helmet of salvation, which protects your mind.

Lastly, we are equipped with an offensive weapon (which can also be used defensively): "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (v. 17). When we seek to lead people to Christ and rescue them from the grip of Satan, the best and only effective weapon is the Word of God. It is Scripture that pierces the conscience and awakens dead souls to eternal life. So let it dwell in you richly as you soberly don the precious armor of God for your good, the blessing of others, and the glory of God.

Prayer: God, thank You for arming me for the spiritual battle I face in this life. I pray that Your Spirt would empower me to be disciplined about wearing this armor daily. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Identity Transformation, Part 14: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW