I’ve had recent discussions of the reality that once a person officially enters into the ministry of Jesus Christ, there seems to be a target on their back.
1 Peter 5:8-9
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
In the past year I have had friends, and close acquaintances, fall from their positions in ministry. It’s easy to shake my head and wonder how they could let that happen, but the reality is that I am in the cross-hairs; and so are you. Peter has written his letter to Christians, and so if we have committed our lives to following Jesus in this world then the devil is on the prowl for us; preacher and parishioner alike.
I generally think the devil hates us, but I wonder if this is true. A lion doesn’t prowl around because of hate, a lion prowls because it is hungry.
I once saw a documentary where photographers in Africa had gotten chummy with wild lions. So long as the lions were well fed during the night, the human photographers were able to form real relationships with the lions during the day. It was really cool to see these wild lions actually enjoy the friendships with these humans, but they were still lions and one night one of the humans went outside the gated compound and was killed by one of the prowling lions. The lion didn’t hate the man; it was just a lion doing what lions do.
I might have been right in the first place, the devil probably really does hate you, but the point is that we should never be lulled into thinking that it is safe to let our guards down because the devil is going to do what the devil does and we need to always be sober-minded and alert.
44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
1 Thessalonians 3:5
5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.