“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 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.” - 1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV
Every time I read this passage, my mind takes me back to the old television series Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, where the host, Marlon Perkins and his steady, trusted assistant Jim, would take us on somewhat of an African Serengeti video safari. There we would see all the normal African animals in, around or heading toward the water hole, the life blood of the Serengeti.
But then, there was always a cut away scene of a lion and lioness lying low in the tall grasses of the plains and you knew that it was about to go down.
And sure enough, after cutting away to another scene filled with antelope or gazelles or some other deer-like creature, we would see the lioness begin to slowly stalk her prey. Keeping low in the grass, moving steadily and undetected closer and closer to those deer-like creatures until she spies the weakest of the herd (the young, the injured, the old, the straggler, the wanderer). Then she takes off with explosive speed toward her prey. Sharp teeth bared and flashing, paws and claws slashing and knocking down the prey, then she pounces and.... cut to commercial.
We all knew what happened next... unless, of course, somehow the gazelle or antelope somehow broke free and bounded away.
Our enemy is like that lion, prowling around, looking for someone to devour. Peter reminds us to resist him, to stand firm in the faith, knowing that we are not alone in our struggles and sufferings.
Peter again is reminding us to stand firm, and as Paul would say, put on the full armor of God. Every day. In every moment. Giving the enemy no opening, no chink in the armor, no down time that he might slip in undetected and attack, tempt, steal, destroy.
In the Wild Kingdom, it was usually the strong and nimble that would fight their way free from the lion to live another day.
Be strong... Put on the full armor...
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem