1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  As the Apostle Peter’s first letter draws to a close, he has several words of direction for his readers. (Of course, Peter wrote under the inspiration of the Lord.)  Let us look at this particular verse carefully and find direction for ourselves in these words.

Be sober. – This might better be rendered as ‘be sober minded, or serious.’ Peter had written formerly in 1 Peter 1:13, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, BE SOBER…”  He also wrote in 1 Peter 4:7, “But the end of all things is at hand: BE YE THEREFORE SOBER, and watch unto prayer.”  For the believer in this present evil world, we need to be sober minded.  We need to be careful concerning the things around us.  As soldiers camped near their enemies, the soldier of the Lord needs to be watchful so that he is not caught off guard by the actions of the enemy.  In fact, the Apostle Paul translates the word ‘sober’ as ‘watch’ in 2 Timothy 4:5, “But WATCH THOU IN ALL THINGS, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

Be vigilant. – To be vigilant means to be alert, or to stay awake!  It is so easy to become complacent and lazy and cease to be aware of the activity of our common enemy…the devil.  How important it is for believers to be serious and watchful for our enemy is constantly trying to destroy us.

Because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about. – As I said, as believers we all share a common enemy…the devil.  Here, we are told that the devil walks about.  In Ephesians 2:2, he is called, “the prince of the power of the air.”  We see then the influence Satan has is all about us.  Let us not be unaware and think that Satan is held captive in Hell.  He is not.  He is here walking about, and his presence is even in the air around us.  As to his walking about, we read in Job 1:6-7, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from WALKING UP AND DOWN IN IT.”  The day will come when he will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10), but that day has not yet come.    To compare him to a roaring lion refers to his power and to his rage.

Seeking whom he may devour. – The intent of the devil is to devour us.  The word for devour might also be translated as to swallow up.  The desire of the devil, like an insatiable lion is to consume all around him.  He longs to destroy our testimony for Christ.  In Revelation 12:10, Satan is called “the accuser of the brethren.”  How he loves to find our weaknesses and failures and use them against us to cause us to become despondent and to give up on our testimonies for the Lord. Satan is restless and unwearied.  He is at work constantly to destroy us, thereby bringing dishonor on our precious savior. 

Yet, we are instructed in verse 9, “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”  As steadfast as the devil is in his evil works, we must be steadfast in our resistance him.  Ephesians 4:27 tells us, “Neither give place to the devil.”  James 4:7 tells us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

To be sure, we have a mighty enemy.  But “…in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37).  Through God, His Word, and His Spirit we are able to live victoriously in Christ Jesus.  (455.6)