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 (NIV)
I have not been doing that. You have not been doing what? I have not been alert. I have not been watching out. I have not been careful. I have not been observant. Most of all, I have not been self-controlled. That’s not good. I have let the devil sneak up on me and attack me with his evil. I have been very slow to recognize that I was in a spiritual battle. I have engaged in a conflict that was not my own. I have foolishly fought with my own strength, which, we both know, never ends well. That’s true.
You sound discouraged. You seem depressed. Is it that easy to hear and see? Yes, it is. Even if it weren’t, my thoughts and feelings cannot be hidden from you. You know what I am thinking and feeling even before I do. Yes, I do. I do have a question for you. Go ahead, I am listening. Do you think your spiritual battle with evil is now over? Has the attack you have been under completely passed by? I thought so. Do my questions make you want to think again? Yes, they do. What are you just now realizing? My spiritual battle with evil is not over. Why do you say that? I feel this weight of condemnation. As you noticed, I am discouraged and depressed. I have been living under condemnation because I have been caught napping. I have been discouraged and depressed because once again I have experienced a defeat because I was not vigilant. I was not watching out. I was not on guard. Even more foolishly, I relied on my own power and strength once the battle began. Yes, you were not vigilant. Yes, you relied on your own power and strength. But, don’t let yourself fall under the condemnation of the devil. That is not my desire for you. It is my plan that you will learn from your mistakes. Will you learn? Will you get up and keep moving forward with me? Yes Lord, I will. That is very good.
So, you can be very sure that all is not lost. How so? You tell me. Once again, I am learning a lesson. I am learning to be vigilant. I am learning to watch out. I am learning to rely on you when I am faced with a battle. You will help me. You will fight with me. You will fight for me. You will fight through me. You will help me stand against the Devil and all his evil. Yes, I will. Rely on me. Yes, I will. That is very good.
Lord, I have been caught napping. I have not been watchful and on alert to attacks by the Devil and his evil. Help me to be watchful, careful, disciplined and alert. Help me to resist him and stand firm against all his evil attacks. Strengthen me with your power. Amen
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