381. Stay Alert and Stay Strong

90d837a6e3da89b1d38c67d71a5260011 Peter 5:8-9 NLT  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  (9)  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

Some people don’t believe in the devil, but the Scripture is clear that he exists and he is our enemy.  Peter wrote that he, “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”  Yet we don’t have to fear him when he roars and you really don’t want to either.  You see that’s how he locates those he can devour.  He prowls around and then lets out a ferocious roar to see how you react.  At that moment when that horrifying and deafening roar occurs, even the strongest in faith might startle, but how you respond makes all the difference.

“But wait,” you might say, “I’ve only heard a lion roar at that zoo.”  However his roar doesn’t sound how you might expect.  The devil’s roar rarely ever sounds like an actual lion and it really doesn’t matter what it actually sounds like at all (sometimes he even sounds like you).  Instead it matters more what the roar says.  While on the prowl he roars words.  He roars things that cause fear to rise in people.  Things like, “LOSS” “DEBT” “ALONE” “LOSER” “PAIN” or he’ll even roar, “CANCER!”  Then he’ll just crouch down to see how you react.  Will we start to sweat, panic, run, say, yell, or stand in faith and speak the Word.

Though I’ve never seen a Harry Potter movie (I’m not getting in the argument of whether or not it’s ok to watch or read the books. You decide for your family. I just don’t have any interest), I did read a great quote taken from one.  “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  The enemy is counting on us to reveal our fears in what we say and how we react when we hear his roars.  But what he roars are really just names.  Names of things people fear.  People hear cancer and shudder, but as nasty as the disease is, it is still just a name associated with a disease.  A name that does not compare to the name we are associated with.

We have a name that is associated with Creator, Savior, Provider, Comforter, Victory, & Healer.  We have the name of JESUS!  When the devil begins to roar, you can stand strong in your faith, smile and say, “Jesus.”  Your struggle is not unique.  The devil prowls about looking someone, anyone to devour and though his specific roar might be different to all people the grace of God and the Name of Jesus empowers us to stand fearless and strong in faith no matter how loud he roars.  The devil is on the prowl and he roars the things nightmares are made of, but we have the Lion of Judah, the Name above all names, Jesus, living on the inside of us.  No matter what name the devil roars, stand firm, smile, strongly roar back, “JESUS!” and Fear Not!

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