Be self-controlled and alert. 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 your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9
In the preceding verses, Peter told his readers that they were to humble themselves under "God's mighty hand, that he may lift them up in his timing." Believers can cast all their cares on the Lord. God is sovereign; the "faithful Creator," and those who follow Him can entrust themselves to His care.
God is in control, but that does not nullify human responsibility. In today's passage, Peter reminds his audience that Satan is strong, cunning, and out to get us. He is on the prowl seeking to destroy our faith, testimony, and very lives. God is our only hope that is sure, and we are to partner with Him to stand "firm in the faith" and "resist" the devil's schemes.
Peter's two imperatives--be self-controlled and be alert--are strong reminders that we cannot let our guard down. We have to be in God's Word daily. We have to be men and women of prayer. We have to make a break with the pattern of sin that defined our lives before we trusted in Christ. The moment we let down our guard, we are Satan's prey. We must buckle up with the full armor of God every day.
Father, we know too many people who have let their guard down and have fallen into serious sin. By Your Spirit, keep us self-disciplined and alert. We desire to finish this race strong for You. In Jesus' name. Amen.