“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Please take special note of the word “vigilant” in the above-mentioned verse. It is the Greek word γρηγορεύω (pronounced gray-gor-yoo’-o). In every other place, with one exception, in the New Testament it is translated as “watch, let us watch, watching, watchful.” The only other place it is translated as something else is found in 1 Thess. 5:10, where the word “wake” is used. And even here it conveys the meaning of being awake and watching. Because if a man is awake and paying attention, then he is watching.
The first definition of this word in my Thayer’s Greek Lexicon of New Testament words is, “to have been roused from sleep, to be awake.”
When someone in the military is told to keep watch over the front gate of a military compound, because there were rumors of an impending terrorist attack; then just what is this man expected to do? He is expected to keep awake and to keep a very attentive eye out for any enemy that may try something. Other peoples’ lives are dependent upon his guard duty. If he is caught sleeping on his duty during a time of war, he takes the chance of being court-martialed and dishonorably discharged from the military.
But a serious guard who really thinks that there is an enemy lurking outside seeking a way in is going to be on his utmost guard; knowing that his own life and the lives of many others are at stake. His whistle will be in his mouth, and his hand will be holding his assault rifle in combat mode, and his eyes will be constantly scanning the landscape for the slightest movement.
This man is very serious about his post. He talks to no one except a commanding officer, knowing that any casual conversation may divert his attention from what is really happening out there. The Secret Service are not allowed to talk to anyone in the audience while guarding the President. They understand that the enemy uses ruses to draw away their attention from what really matters: the protection of the President. Their eyes are watching everything. They have been trained for years to look for certain things, certain signs that can give away someone’s evil intentions.
Another definition of this word from the same Greek lexicon is, “to give strict attention to, to be cautious, active; to take heed lest through remissness and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one. To be watchful in, and to employ the most punctilious care in a thing.” And the word “punctilious” here is an adjective which means, “to be extremely attentive to; strict or exact in the observance of the formalities of your conduct or actions – marked by deep concern and carefulness.”
I cannot speak for other men, I can only speak for myself. But the realization of the seriousness of the war we are in has dawned upon my spirit and my mind just as if someone put a freezing cold, wet coat upon me. A soberness, and seriousness has come upon me as never before in my 25 years of walking with the Lord. I am on guard with everything now. Even when fellowshipping with other Christians, my guard is up and I’m at constant attention in the spirit for anything wrong.
Such a realization has taken place inside me as to the enemies tactics, that it has come to govern my conduct, my conversation, and every other aspect of my life. God’s Word has indoctrinated me and has inoculated me from the cancer of what the world is and what it has to offer.
Friends, satan is real!! He is alive, and he is after your soul. He is ruthless, and unrelenting. He never gives up. He has millions in his employ. Not just all the demons, but all his children who live on the earth and do not believe…and who will tell you anything so that you may not believe either. Just as the Lord directs His people in their spirits to speak in His Name; so satan does likewise with his children. So you have to be on guard and be listening attentively and scanning the landscape of spiritual things so that you might detect your enemy.
The Word of God tells us that we are not ignorant of satan’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11). This word should have been translated as “thoughts.” Because the word “devices” connotes an outward scheme or an outward attack. But the correct word denotes an inward thought. So then how does satan use his thoughts to sway us or deceive us or tempt us? By words!! He uses the words of friends, media, the world, and countless other mediums to get his thoughts into us. But dear reader, we are not ignorant of how he operates.
Did you know that the Lord Jesus spoke more about “watching” and being on guard more than almost anything else He spoke about? Don’t you find that compelling and deeply interesting? I do!! Why would He spend this much time, and this many words on the subject, unless it weighed heavily upon His heart? He knew that we were in a real war. A war for our minds…and a war for our souls. Our very lives are at stake here, and there are some who are sound asleep at their post. What post you may ask? Why, the post of their souls and the souls of those who are under their care (their wives, children, and the flock that God has entrusted to them).
There are many who are still playing around with sin. I’m telling you here today that if you’re in sin or playing with sin, then you have left your post and the guard duty of your own soul, and have shown the enemy of your soul that he is free to come and destroy at random and in any way that he so pleases. And according to John 10:10 he will come and steal from you, kill you and your family (spiritually, soulically, and even physically), and he will destroy anything and everything that you give him license to. The choice is totally yours. What tree are you choosing to eat from today…the tree of life, or the other one?
If you had inside information that an enemy was going to come to your house at a certain time and attempt to rob you, or kill you, or kidnap your wife and children…would you just sit idly by and allow it? NO!! Any man that is a true man inside is going to break out the big guns, call the police, put his family up at a friends house, and sit up drinking coffee waiting for the enemy to come. And when that enemy comes in the door, he’s going to get a big surprise…a surprise that may just cost him his life. But yet we allow the greatest enemy of all time and of all the ages to come to our houses and do just that…and many sit idly by and let him have his way with our women and our children and everything else.
And satan just laughs and laughs. Why? Because we’re not man enough to stand upon God’s word and thwart his attacks. Because many are spiritual sissy’s and won’t protect their own families…let alone their own selves from satan’s onslaughts. Do not sit idly by and slip away quietly into the night. Let your voice be heard!! Stand up for yourself and for your family and for those whom God has entrusted to you. Quit allowing yourself to be bullied. Don’t go whining to the teacher about what the bully is doing to you. Just take matters into your own hands and take care of business. It’s pretty simple really.
There’s only one way to deal with a bully, and that’s just to crack ‘em real hard in the mouth. When you use the Word of God, this is exactly what you are doing to satan…you are cracking him in the mouth. And what comes out of a person’s mouth? Words. If you’ll use the Word of God on the bully, you will shut his mouth. I thank God I raised my two boys to never allow themselves to be bullied by someone. I taught them to take matters into their own hands and at the opportune time to take care of business and they would never be bullied again. In the same way, God ain’t raising no sissy’s…He’s raising son’s that will deal with the bully just as He dealt with the bully in His day.
I remember an incident in which my son was being bullied by some kid at school. I instructed him to not start a fight, but if the kid laid a hand on him then it was a different story. One day in the locker room the kid started in again and my son took care of business; and the kid never bullied him again. Let’s deal with the spiritual bully with the same tenacity and with the same military spirit that was in our God…for “The Lord is a man of war.” Exodus 15:3
We’ll pick this same topic up next week in Part 2, and I will show the many things we are to be guarding…and guarding against.
See you on the front lines.