Difficulty of the devouring devil
1 Peter 5:8-11
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 dominion forever and ever.
In True Stories of Bear Attacks: Who Survived and Why, Mike Lapinski remembers that “three days apart in the spring of 1998, two men encountered grizzly bears in the same areas of Glacier National Park. One man would die; one would live.” Lapinski was the one who lived.
He spotted the grizzly some 200 yards away. It looked his way and then walked away, disappearing. But as Lapinksi entered a five acre grove of aspens, and halted in a dense growth of high ferns, “the hair raised on the back of my neck and a feeling of dread slowly spread over me.” Though a shoreline opened before him, with tall grass beyond the aspens, “the only place the bear could be was in the aspen grove—and I was standing in the middle of it. He was certain the bear was lying in wait behind a large, fallen spruce just yards away.
Running would only excite and challenge the bear, so gingerly he nudged toward the edge of the grove, walking briskly in a circle over several small cliffs, and eventually back to his vehicle. Yet 3 days later and 20 miles away, 26 year old Craig Dahl came up missing. Searchers followed his tracks, eventually making a chilling discovery. “Galloping grizzly tracks that converged upon human footprints… [Chris’] partially consumed body found a short distance away.”
The prowling, devouring enemy of our souls shadows prey every day. If given an opportunity by the unsuspecting, he stalks, attacks, devours. Peter understood these encounters cause us suffering, for a “little while,” until the God of all grace finally brings us home.
How may we dial back the danger? Notice the instructions in the verses. Think soberly about life. Stay alert for oneself, and for others. When sighting an attack, resist it with firm trust in God. We have brothers and sisters under attack all over the world. This means we must pray for one another, share in the handling of the tough stuff, actively reminding each other that there will be an end to the attacks, to the suffering. A day of restoration, confirmation, establishment before Him who exercises dominion forever.