Alert and Sober

1 Peter 5.8 warns be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion imagelooking for someone to devour.

The Bible tells the story of God and His work in the world. In that story is an enemy, one who wishes to be like God but cannot since he too is created and not the Creator. His frustration results in his attack upon creation, particularly humanity, that part of creation the Creator made in His own image and which He most loves.

This enemy of God is a liar and deceiver, inviting people into beliefs and actions that promise them benefit but always bring remorse. The enemy of God is an integral part of the story for his role allows humanity to reveal their free will to love God on their own.

This love for God is manifest by obedience to God. Those who love God obey God and avoid the schemes of the enemy, those who reject God follow the voice of the enemy causing destruction to themselves and usually others as well.

Being successful in life comes down to two things according to this passage.

First we must be alert. We must know what is true and be awake enough to recognize when we are being pulled away from truth. The first truth is that God is true and in Him there is nothing false. This truth allows us to trust Him and to place our confidence in Him. God is most clearly revealed to us through the Bible which is why reading, studying and learning it are essential for being alert and doing God’s will. God has revealed Himself clearly through the recorded history of His actions among humanity revealed in the Bible.

Second, we must be sober or self-controlled. We must not allow our eyes, ears or any of our senses to become dulled through moral failure. Since God must be able to call upon us at any time and since our fellow human being could be in need at any time, we must be sober in order to respond to their needs. We are not here to be served but to serve, first God then humanity. Our love for God almost always gets revealed by our love for humanity.

Loving others at personal cost requires us to be sober, self-controlled, not engaged in those things that remove clarity of thinking or doing so that we can resist the enemy of God who comes only to steal, kill and destroy us and our neighbor.

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