I don’t have it all together. Can I admit that? Sometimes, I feel that, as a preacher, I need to have it all together for everyone. I don’t. I’m not perfect, I’m still a work in progress, and I need Jesus just as much as anyone. There’s some circumstances in my life that trigger me. There are times, I stumble and fall. And the one thing I always need to let my guard up on is thinking “I got this.” This morning, I woke up with “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12) and “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8) ringing in my head. I’m not strong enough. I’m not good enough. Satan wants to devour me. So where is my hope?
Loved ones, this isn’t merely a warning for me, but for everyone: none of us are strong enough to handle things on our own. We’re not strong enough, on our own, to deflect the enemy of our souls. It’s why Jesus lived, died, and rose again: so that by His might and power, by the Holy Spirit He sent to us, we may stand. And it is ONLY by the power of God we may stand. We don’t need to pick a fight with Satan, we need to flee temptation, and to, by the power of Christ, resist him that he may flee. Beloved, watch out for roaring lions. The enemy of our soul is cunning, crafty, and seeks to devour us. Let us do all within our power to cling to Christ, and thus give him no opportunity to devour our souls.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Peter 5:1-11
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.