Podcast: 29 June 2020

Good morning and welcome to another week of lock down podcasts. I really hope that during this strange season that you are able to spend time with God each day and that the resources that STC are producing are helping you along the way.

Today I have the pleasure of closing out the first letter from Peter to the churches throughout providences in modern day Turkey. Thanks go to James and Liam for bringing us this far.


Today’s passage is 1 Peter 5:8-14. You will hear it in full at the end of this reflection but for now, I am going to focus on v 8-9:

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.

This is one of those passages that often gets quoted… It’s quite famous… not John 3:16 famous, but quite well known. It speaks of roaring lions, the enemy, and the devil…

Peter is in effect saying, “know your enemy, know his tactics, know his end goal”

We have a garden – I mentioned it the last time I was on podcast duty!

Slugs are my enemy, they are small, black and slimy, they slither out in wet weather and they want to eat stuff I am trying to grow…

I know when I need to be particularly vigilant, I know where I might find them and I know exactly what they are after. With this knowledge I am much better prepared to face my gardening nemesis!!

So what about our enemy the devil? Who is he? What are his tactics? And what is his ultimate aim?

So, first up, who is he?

Well the cue is in the name… not so much a name but a description: the devil – the slanderer, the accuser, the one who criticises, the one who condemns… FALSELY.

So what are his tactics?

Put simply, he is a liar! He is the father of lies. He loves darkness and confusion, he delights in miscommunication, half truths, in prejudice and inequality, he is a stirrer of trouble, he will whip up a storm, he will seek to cause a fight where no fight is to be had.

And as a liar and an accuser…

He is the voice in our heads that tells us that we’ve messed up, that we can’t, that we will never amount to anything. The one who reminds us of our faults and our failings, the moments in our past that we are ashamed of, that still cause us shame.

He is our enemy, our adversary in a law court, the one who will present us with the evidence of our lives for us to judge and find ourselves wanting.

And he’s the one who will egg us on when we find fault in others. He wants us to judge, he wants us to condemn, he delights when reject others, writing them off, belittling, ridiculing, slandering and causing hurt and pain. He is the father of racism, of segregation, of inequality and injustice.

And he prowls around like a roaring lion… he is all about getting noticed…

If a roaring lion walked into a crowded room we would notice… now I am not the most observant person on the planet. I can get absorbed in conversations to the extent that I barely notice what else is going on around me… but a lion turning up at a party… even I would spot that…

He’s a roaring lion too… he’s loud, he’s howling, making a scene.

He is going to shout in our ears, dance in our faces, parade our failures and our faults before us. He is not going to let us forget! Not at a party, not when we lie down to sleep in our beds. He’s going to remind us why we don’t trust that person, why they are no good, where they are lacking… he’s in that thought that demands our attention, that just won’t shut up and leave us alone!

And he prowls… he is like a burglar that walks around the whole house, checking doors and windows, looking for a weak point where he can gain access.

And If that is something of who he is and what he does… what is his end goal? What does he want? What is he out to achieve?

Well he wants to sever our relationships. He wants to create distance between us and others, he wants to separate communities and cultures and ultimately he wants to cut us off from God. His aim is to destroy trust and to isolate us, to cause our hearts to grow cold, to reject ourselves, to reject others and reject our father in heaven!

Someone once said that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. That’s our man, that’s who we are talking about.

He’s not a slug coming for our plants, he is a liar who has come for our hearts, our lives and our souls… we were made for relationship, it brings us alive. Love is the currency of the kingdom and he wants to make us bankrupt!

But in reality… truth is we have access to an endless a limitless supply of love. We know we are sinners… but God calls us saints! We know we are not worthy… but Jesus shares with us his crown of righteousness. He calls us beloved and shows us our precious… how honoured… how beautiful we are… despite our failings.

Knowing this:

Let us be alert, dear friends. That is the point of today’s podcast… Let us be aware of his schemes and his ultimate aim and take a stand.

Let us be sober… not drunk on wine of course but also not intoxicated… gripped by the enticements of the world … designed to distract us from the battle the enemy is waging.

Let us stand together and resist the devil… take up a completely opposing position… don’t hide away – be open and honest, unmask the fears and failures that the enemy uses against us. Walk in the truth that Jesus’ death has saved us from our sin and shame. Refuse to hide, be ministers of reconciliation, apologise, make amends, commit, repent… these are all spiritual weapons that Jesus taught us. Lets commit to grow family, to grow friendship and to tear down barriers that separate us.

And… Stand firm… stubbornly refuse to believe his lies…

Lies about us… God’s precious children, loved and forgiven…

Lies about others… don’t judge, don’t point the finger of blame… stop, ask… listen… seek to understand… extend grace and forgiveness, lets open our hearts

And Stand firm… trust God… follow Jesus… the way, the truth and the life.

Amen? Amen!


Father we affirm our faith in you today. Help us to recognise the enemy’s tactics, the lies we have believed and to take our stand. Father we seek to follow the life and teaching of your son Jesus even when it is difficult and we recommit ourselves to you and to relationship with those around us. Fill us with your love today Lord.  Amen.

BIBLE READING: 1 Peter 5:8-14 (NIV)

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.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.