Be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
According to Peter and supported throughout Scripture, we are the hunted. Our enemy – God’s enemy – is out to devour us!
Now, if we are a believer – that is we have professed that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior - we believe that we are eternally secure in the loving arms of our Father. The enemy cannot devour us in the sense that he cannot take our standing with God, rob us of our eternal destination, or remove us as citizens from the Kingdom of Heaven. But he can ruin our witness, cause us to sin, hinder our relationship with the Father, cause us to get out of step with the spirit – in other words, he can chew us up and spit us out.
Though we cannot be ‘killed,’ the condition of being the hunted is no less ominous.
What then, as the hunted, especially by so formidable an enemy, are we to do? The answer is simple and straightforward: prepare.
Jesus spent 30 years preparing for only three and a half years of ministry. 30 years! The disciples were prepared for three years before launching their ministries. Paul spent three years being prepared for his ministry. Jesus fasted for 40 days before being tested by the devil. Over and over again in scripture, we see men and women preparing for what lies ahead.
And there seems to be a common thread in what comes out of their preparation: Knowledge of Scripture. Jesus, the disciples, and Paul seemed to have a repertoire of scripture that they could quote frequently and correctly. It seems that they read, studied, and memorized scripture as part of their preparation.
When the enemy tempted Jesus – He had scripture ready to fire off in response.
When the disciples were persecuted – they had scripture to lean on.
When Paul was teaching – he had scripture to point to.
We have this unbelievable gift – the written word of God. A love letter, an instruction manual, a how-to guide, a FAQ … all at our fingertips. We have everything we need to stave off the attack of the lion. We have everything we need to face tough times. We have everything we need when we are unsure of which way to turn.
Are we reading? Are we memorizing? Are we studying?
Are you preparing?