We start our week 3 SOAP off with our memory verse! Our reading and context focus around verses 6-9. Verse 8 is our memory and SOAP verse for today.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (NIV)
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (NKJV)
I also like The Voice for this scripture, along with its notes:
8 Most importantly, be disciplined and stay on guard. Your enemy the devil is prowling around outside like a roaring lion, just waiting and hoping for the chance to devour someone. (The Voice)
First, let’s look at the study notes from The Voice:
Humility is rarely a virtue that our culture values. We’re trained from an early age to show our strengths and hide our weaknesses. This type of thinking also spills over into our models of leadership, as we learn to dictate to others how they should perform. Peter, however, says that we should be humble in our relationships with one another and not lead as dictators. In fact, this humility before one another and God is actually the position of the greatest strength. Our enemy desires to consume us, but we find strength to resist him when we are dependent upon God for His strength.
Halley’s Bible Handbook Notes also offer great insight on our reading verses
Very few people get through life without a good deal of suffering of one kind or another: physical suffering, mental suffering, heart suffering. Christians are to be prepared to willingly suffer unjustly for doing good. Such suffering enables the Christian to set straight personal priorities. Sinful desires and unrighteous activities that once seemed important become insignificant during times of suffering. The enemy, who causes persecution and suffering for Christians, hopes that they will fall away from God during these times. But suffering often has the opposite effect of drawing Christians closer to God!
My observation confirms what I have known for a while. There will be suffering in this life, and that suffering will test our faith. But God is good and will always be there for us…no matter what. But we must always be on the lookout for the enemy, because the moment we take our eyes off of it, it will pounce and get us, and if we let it…it will drag us away from our God! But God is bigger and we should never loose sight of that!
Prayer and time in the Word! I cannot think of a better way to combat the enemy. The Word is my armor and strong protection. Imagine if I suddenly stopped bible study and just let this word dictate what I do, say and feel. Oh, it tries….and it continues to tempt everyday with a new onslaught of weapons (ie: material items, prideful inclinations, non-Godly ways). But if we are prepared with the Word of God, and humbly pray for God’s help, His strength will get us through.
And if you think you can do this on your own, well, go ahead and try, but know that that enemy will make you think you have won and done this of your own strength, which will make his attack that much more wicked.
Lord, the temptation of this world is a constant battle. The enemy is everywhere waiting to attack. My flesh and mind are weak. My pride keeps me from depending on You fully to fight off my attacker, and in my moment of weakness I am forever torn apart. But Lord, Your graces and mercy are stronger than any attack I fall to, for with You I can rise again to bring You glory and honor. May each attack teach me dependance on You, Lord! In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.