So, we're working our way through these five final directives that are in the last section of 1 Peter 5. The first one was, “There's a King and He is not you.” The second one is.
“Rest in your Savior’s care.”
Here's the third one in verse 8, “Take life seriously.”
Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
I love these two phrases. “Be sober-minded.” That's, be serious in the way you think about life. Don't just live for the comfort of the moment, the pleasure of the moment, whatever you feel like at the moment, be serious. And then he says, “Be watchful.” A serious-minded person is watching ahead, planning ahead, looking ahead, be watchful.
But here's why he says that sober-minded, watchful living is important, because “Your adversary the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” We do believe it's inescapably taught in Scripture in the presence of real evil. We do believe in a real enemy; we do believe in the forces of darkness. And because of that, there's danger afloat.
Do you take life seriously? Do you expose yourself needlessly to temptation, to danger? Are you watchful? There is real evil.
Fourth directive, “Resist the devil no matter what.” Verse 9:
Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
Now, I don't know if you just heard what I said, but it's a curious thing to say. He says, “Resist the devil; and oh, by the way, you're not the only one that's suffering; everybody else's suffering to?” Why would he say that? Peter is being a good pastor; and he knows when you suffer, the enemy whispers in your ear, “Where's your God now? Why have you been singled out? Maybe He has favorites.” Peter is trying to silence the lie of the enemy saying, “Look between the ‘already and the not yet.’ We're all suffering because God has chosen us to live in this broken world. So don't let suffering break down your resistance. Resist the devil, no matter what you're going through.”
You know, in the face of suffering, it's easy to give up and say, “Why am I reading my Bible? Why am I praying? It doesn't seem like God is even there.” Peter says, “Don't ever let go of your resistance no matter what you're facing.”
Fifth directive, “Trust God's sanctifying grace.” I love this. He says:
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
God will complete His work. God will complete His work. God will complete His work. He will restore, He will confirm, He will strengthen, and He will establish! Listen, our problem is never God's faithfulness; our problem is our faithfulness! God will do what He has promised to do.
Here are the five directives. There is a King; he is not you–live that way. Rest in your Savior’s care. Take life seriously. Resist the devil–no matter what. And trust, build a life based on the surety of His sanctifying grace.
Do I want to be a king? Do I doubt God every time hardship happens? Do I have a silly way of approaching life that lacks seriousness? Do I let go of my resistance when things are hard? Do I really trust God's sanctifying grace? Five beautiful directives that define what it looks like to live in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ!