I Peter 5:5-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
Submit to God, Resist the Devil
5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The greatest battle you and I face.. is temptation.
--To anger. Criticism. Jealousy. Lust. Evils.
--It comes to us all. Yes indeed, there is a devil!
--No one is temptation-proof, so fortify in prayer.
--Our character will be tested so we need a Savior.
--"Resist the devil and he will flee" (James 4:7).
Remember the hymn, "Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin, each victory will help you some other, to win. "Look ever to Jesus, He'll carry you through".
--God carried St. Peter through; he had denied Jesus.
--But the Lord forgave, restored and used Peter.
--God can use each of us, also. Mark I Peter 5:8f.
"Be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him steadfast in the faith."
--Thanks, Peter, for warning us, showing us victory!
The Bible shows many who did not "Resist the devil."
--And, we see they suffered immense consequences.
--Adam and Eve doubted God, ate forbidden fruit, and were cast out of that perfect paradise of Eden.
--Abraham's half-lies about Sarah, displeased God.
--Lot saw fertile "plain of Jordan" and turned to Sodom - a place of iniquity, God was to destroy.
--Removed by God's grace, Lot's wife looked back, and she became "a pillar of salt" (Genesis 19: 26).
--Achan coveted "silver and gold, and took them," to cause the defeat of Israel and loss of many lives.
--A beautiful woman tempted David, otherwise, godly.
--So we see flirting with temptation is very costly. Even Jesus, "God with us," was oft tempted on earth.
--Tested many ways and days, "fasting, praying," in a wilderness; directly, by Satan himself, sinned not!
--So, Jesus proved He is God - and able to "keep us."
--Know, and let us practice, how Jesus defeats Satan.
--By the Word of God! "It is written," in the Bible.
Being "saved," Scripture and prayer, helps us win over sin, and all kinds of testings and trials.
--"The Lord knows how to deliver the godly" (2 Pet2:9).
For Jesus, temptation came in three major appeals.
--It was one of the toughest trials of the many that Satan dealt Jesus. "Tempted, fasted forty days."
--Note, for our remembrance, Jesus fought back with a most powerful weapon - "It is written! It is written! It is written!" Read it in Matthew 4.
--So let's saturate our soul and mind with Scripture.
Just because we are a Christian does not mean all our problems are solved, and no trials, or temptations.
--Don't you wish we could eliminate them all?
--But my friend, testings are what make us strong!
--It is like the storms, and strong winds, that drive the tree roots deeper and deeper, so it may stand!
--So when you are sorely tried, consider that you are a child of the Savior - let Him strengthen faith.
Spiritual drop-outs hardly notice Satan's presence.
--Such, like the unsaved, are already on his side it seems - for they are not exhibiting God's side.
--Such are doing the devil no harm, or God any good.
--But the Evil One is bent on ruining the effectiveness of the Lord's own followers, trying to obey.
--God bless all trying to grow in Christ, and living the best they know, in following and serving Him!
If Satan is hounding your heels, menaces your mind, or dogging your lofty desires, chances are you're saved.
--But there are times when we must say - like Jesus - "Get thee behind me Satan!" Away with you!
--Times when we too must fall on our knees, praying, "Lord; help me. Help me overcome. Give victory."
So when temptation comes, resist it with God's help.
--Circle in your Bible, James 1:12, "Blessed is the man who endures (overcomes) temptation, for .. he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised ..." God rewards His overcomers.
There are all kinds of temptations. Consider some.
I. THERE IS THE TEMPTATION TO DISBELIEVE GOD.
--Satan's secret tactic is get us to doubt and disbelieve God, and His Word, and way. To disobey.
--Satan used that device on Eve and Adam, long ago.
--He used it on Jesus in Matthew Chapter 4:3, said, to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." Satan is an enemy.
--Trying to get Jesus to doubt His deity or mission.
--But Jesus knew Who He is! Where He came from!
--What He came for! Has a holy life to save us.
Jesus had been fasting for "forty days," Famished!
--The devil always takes advantage of our weakness, weariness, and hunger for something.
--And if Satan can get us to doubt God, he's got us in his clutches, to defeat us - unless we pray!
--At Jesus' baptism, God defeats all doubts_as from heaven, "You are my beloved Son." God encourages.
--But the devil is "a liar, and the father of lies."
When "born again" and baptized, the devil can try to get us to doubt our salvation, or deity of Jesus.
--Don't let the devil do it! Resist the devil!
Disbelief and doubt take many forms like pride, prejudice, self-sufficiency and self-righteousness.
--Even leading to anxiety, worry, depression, fears.
--We can resist the devil by faith in every promise!
--And in every word of the Word of God! Trust Him.
II. THERE IS THE TEMPTATION TO OUR OWN PRESUMPTION.
--Or to disobey. Or presume unduly on God's mercy.
--That is, if we go ahead and lie, cheat, sin.
--a loving Heavenly Father will overlook it or just keep on allowing us to get away with it - unpunished.
--No, friend, there is always a pay day, some day.
My dear mother used to say, resist temptation.. and never put temptation in another's way. Good words.
--The Bible says, "Abstain from all appearances of evil" (I Thess. 5:22). Or, what looks wrong.
Yes God's grace does "keep on forgiving," but we are not to presume upon it, friend. Would that be fair?
--Presuming unduly upon God is asking for trouble.
--Jesus said, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God" (Matt. 4:7). Undue presumption is tempting Him.
When I was in the Navy, I was really "born again" by trusting Jesus as Savior - but in an unwholesome environment, for the most part. Not many were saved.
--I sought out other real Christians to buddy with.
--To study the Word, and pray with. Attend chapel.
--Worship in church as able. Avoided evil places.
--I carried a pocket-size New Testament, to read.
--Added to all this, I made small cards of Scripture verses, and locations, for memorization - to help.
--What a blessing and God-given tools these are.
--"Resist the devil and he will flee .." (James 4:7).
Listen! As the thought of a godly father, a praying mother, a faithful wife, an innocent child who looks up to you, can hold people back from sinful temptations - let God use these memories to empower us!
--How,much more also should the thoughts of Jesus!
--A Risen Savior's response can deliver us from temptation; as Jesus taught, pray The Lord's Prayer.
III. THEN THERE'S THE TEMPTATION TO COMPROMISE.
--Unable to win over Jesus by doubt and presumption, Satan then sought to do so by compromise.
--The devil still tries that on us! Just this once!
--Go on, try it. Nobody will know about it. Go on.
--The devil sells his sin with, "It's easier, and is more fun - sin now, worry about its cost, later."
--To compromise principle for pleasure, dilute faith to fit the situation. These are his counterfeits!
The Bible says that "sin has pleasure, but only for a season" (Hebrews 11:25). Brief season. High price.
--The blessings of obedience last a lifetime - ever.
--I like what Peter said, "We ought to obey God, rather than men" (Acts 5:29). God, not the devil.
We all fail or fall some ways. Confess it to Jesus.
--"He is faithful and just to forgive" (I John 1:9).
--No one is put out of a family for failure - nor of God's redeemed family - if we confess and repent.
--That's why we need a Savior Who arose, to help us.
--For you, for me, there's none finer than Jesus!
--He knows "how to deliver the godly from temptation, keep us from falling." Why not follow Jesus now?
--You will be so glad. - Wilbert D. Gough, ThD. 451