Staying Vigilant

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Friday, August 09, 2019

Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:8-10

A man was arrested after allegedly killing four people and injuring two others in a stabbing and robbery spree across part of Orange County, Calif. Wednesday night. Police said the suspect, Zachary Castaneda, a 33-year-old resident of Garden Grove, used "multiple knives or machetes" in the attacks. The incident comes less than a week after a total of 31 people died in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

I strongly think that people should be held accountable for their actions. We should never blame the devil for our evil deeds. After all, we have free will, and the devil cannot make us do anything we do not want to do. Almighty God has given us the power to resist the devil and rebuke him in the name of Jesus.

Nevertheless, the devil has intensified his evil operation in this country. I have to admit that this country is experiencing a disturbing onslaught of demonic attacks. Many people are living in fear. No one knows if his or her city or neighborhood is not going to the next place that will be the target of a mass murderer. Parents are anxious when their children go to school. Employees are suspicious of their co-workers.

Clearly, the devil has been prowling around like a roaring lion throughout the cities of these United States of America, looking for anyone he can devour. He is destroying marriages and families. The devil has been on a killing spree throughout this country with over 206 mass shootings, so far this year.

Notwithstanding how helpless some of us may feel we can fight the enemy in the name of Jesus. In today's text, Peter gives us the blueprint to defeat the enemy. The first thing Peter told us to do is to be sober-minded. The term sober-minded literally means "free from intoxicating influences." More broadly, it means that we do not allow ourselves to be dominated by any type of influence that would lead us away from sound judgment. The only way to stay sober-minded is by thinking with a renewed mind.

The second thing we have to is to be alert. We have to be spiritually vigilant and discerning. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary to be alert is "to be in a state of careful watching and readiness, especially for danger or opportunity." Believers have to be in a constant state of careful watching and readiness in their relationships, in their spiritual practices, in their personal affairs, in their habits and attitudes. We have to be cautious about what we say to and about one another, and the way we treat others, especially those who are different than we are.

The third thing proposed by Peter is for us to resist the devil. The idea here is that of guerilla warfare. We have to use hit and run tactics against this enemy. We have to exert spiritual force through prayer and fasting in opposition to his wicked deeds. Many of us have to resist the urge to discriminate against others because of race or ethnicity or economic status. We have to resist the temptation for greed and the lust of the eye.

In short, we have to stay vigilant. We have to stay informed and involved so we can know how to prevent this enemy from destroying our families, churches, communities, and cities. No one can be neutral in this spiritual war. Those of us that have already sided with Jesus need Holy Ghost power to frustrate all the works of this enemy so he can flee from us.

The time is now for believers to intensify their prayer life. We should be more intentional about our service to others. Agape love must be prioritized over personal preferences. More importantly, we must allow the Holy Spirit to rule every aspect of our lives, including our relationships, our businesses, our politic, and the way we entertain ourselves. Then watch and see how quickly the enemy will flee from us.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, I pray for the families of the victims of this week's attacks. Give comfort and solace amid their emotional hurt.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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