1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (ESV)
I get lots of unsolicited email. I view their subject titles and origins, just in case a genuine email is found, like a needle in the proverbial haystack. If only these communications were true and I gave them my bank details, I would be a billionaire now. They seek to get rich at my expense, to empty my bank account!
In similar manner, I believe the evil one seeks to entice the unwary into his web of deceit, especially Christians, new and old alike. He comes in various guises, to test our understanding, fidelity, and persistent endurance. The evil one seeks to find out where our weakest link is so that he may entice us at that point.
There may be a human to blame with the intent to harm or exploit us for some personal gain, but behind that facade, have no doubt, there is the evil one chipping away, waiting, testing our wisdom and resolve, as in today's Scripture.
Like my email spam filter, I have to be alert about the life choices I make: how I think, then act and react. If Jesus is ruling in my heart, I can view my thought topics as the Holy Spirit guides me to focus on the good, or to turn away and "just say no", to delete the bad thoughts. In so doing, I save myself from a lot of heartache — despite the promises or any appealing menu portrayed.
John 16:33 – I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (ESV)
Jesus' word to His disciples also applies to us today. We can expect trouble, trials, and temptations, but we can also expect, where He rules in us, for there to be peace in Him always. He has overcome the world and is our Rock. Through Him, we can filter out the harmful and still not be afraid of being in the world, even though we may be physically wasting away!
Prayer: Lord, we have been sifting through the things of the world again. Please enable us to delete the bad and unhelpful within, and then, clean us up. In Jesus, we ask You to forgive us our failure when we get sucked into the world's perspective. Please strengthen our faith, wisdom, and resolve to overcome the things of the world that may rob us of Your eternal peace. Amen.