The first few weeks living in Paris were so cold, but it was January, after all. Even the heat could not keep up with the freezing temperatures outside. I was so thankful for my new friend. I had never met Carrie in person, but we had been communicating by email for several months. Carrie had offered to take me around Paris; what a blessing was. She took me on the metro and showed me “the ropes” by giving me lessons on reading the metro maps and buying tickets, and then she warned me about pickpockets.
There is a saying, forewarned is forearmed! Carrie’s warning proved to be effective. Her advice saved me from ever losing my purse or my belongings to a cunning pickpocket.
My husband had two iPhones, one for the States and one for his French contacts. One night while in a crowded metro car, he felt something moving near his hips. He reached down and found both phones being pushed up and out of his pockets. Luckily, his vigilance paid off, and he was in time to save them both from the would-be thieves.
Not everyone I knew fared as well. Our friend, Jerry, was pickpocketed two times in one day. Now that was downright frustrating! He was able to point out the first group of pickpockets to the police and managed after several hours to get his empty wallet back, and then later that day, it happened again! Poor Jerry! After that, Jerry bought a purse of sorts that he could hold onto more effectively. It seemed the improved mode of “Euro-carrying” alleviated the problem.
In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter writes, Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Just like Carrie warned me, Peter is arming us by his warning. He is telling you and me that we need to be clearheaded and attentive. You see, our enemy, the devil, is freely roaming this earth, looking for an easy target. Just like those pickpockets are looking for an easy mark, our enemy is on the prowl as well. Thankfully, our enemy’s days are fleeting!
Adam Clarke was a British theologian born in the late 1700s. Here is what he said about our enemy, “He walks about-he has access to you everywhere; he knows your feelings and your propensities, and informs himself of all your circumstances; only God can know more and do more than he, therefore your care must be cast upon God.”
The truth is, our enemy can watch us and know when are the best time and best mode of attack. He can see our circumstances and our actions, and he is seeking to devour. Devour is the Greek word, katapinō, and means drinking or swallowing. When we consume or devour something, it is gone. As believers in Jesus, we know there is a vast difference between the devil’s desire to destroy and his ability to carry out that destruction. But, regardless of his ability to succeed, he is still trying!
Let me read you what I wrote in my book, Pack Your Baggage, Honey, We’re Moving to Paris! (available at Amazon) I am reading from the chapter, Knowing the Enemy.
“Recognizing the enemy’s handiwork and understanding the enemy’s modus operandi is essential to our standing firm. As a believer in Christ, you have been set free from the bondage of sin, which means the devil no longer has direct access to you.
I like to use the analogy of a hospital patient with an IV line attached. Before we come to Christ, we are like that patient. And the enemy has a direct line into our life. But when we come to Christ, the line is cut, and no longer does the enemy have direct access. Will we still sin? Yes, but the cord of bondage has been permanently severed, never to be restored or reconnected. But now, as a believer, we have choices to make. We hold the world and all it has to offer in a cup in one hand and the Word of God and the truths of God in a cup in the other. It is up to us what we will drink from. The enemy no longer has direct access, but he can lob fiery arrows from the sideline. And if you are seeking to live fully for God, be assured the devil will lob those arrows every chance he gets.”
So today, let’s remember that forearmed is forewarned. Let’s be vigilant and clearheaded. Let’s remember what Jesus did for us on the cross that changed everything about our situation.
1Co 15:54 tells us, Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.
Our enemy is seeking to devour (remember the Greek word katapinō), but Jesus victoriously swallowed (the same word katapinō) death! It is finished!
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