“Be self-controlled and alert.” 1Pe 5:8 NIV
When nations decide to end a conflict their leaders sign treaties that allow for the restoration of peaceful relations between them. Christ’s death and resurrection defeated Satan fairly and squarely. Then Christ the victor “ascended up on high, [and] he led captivity captive” (Eph 4:8). He was welcomed back to heaven as conqueror. But here on earth no treaty was ever signed between Satan and God’s people. You are still his target. He continues to be a thief who comes to “steal, kill and destroy” (Jn 10:10 TLB). He still “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1Pe 5:8 NIV). But Christ’s victory on the cross has positioned you to walk in daily triumph over him. However, winning your personal war with Satan isn’t a matter of brains or brawn; it’s a spiritual battle and you can only win it by employing God’s strategies for victory. For the next few days let’s look at them: “Be self-controlled and alert” (1Pe 5:8 NIV). Being “self-controlled” implies staying in charge of your emotions, thoughts, words, decisions and actions. It requires taking responsibility for your own life: not allowing people, circumstances, or the Devil to take the steering wheel from your hands, usurp your power of attorney and gain control. Being “alert” means being conscious of your weaknesses and Satan’s corresponding ploys. You can’t afford to coast, run on autopilot, or go with the flow. Being alert exposes Satan’s well-laid strategies, enabling you to stop him dead in his tracks.