1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.” (AMP)
I by no means have a green thumb, I never have and never will! I’ve managed to keep a few plants alive…briefly… However, I do have a friend name Michelle who was born with two green thumbs. She has one of the most beautiful fruit and vegetable gardens I think I’ve ever seen in my life. And more than once I’ve literally asked her to take me on a tour of her garden. And I must say this little city girl always learns a lot in that garden. One of the last times we toured her gardens she showed me a garden spider at work. Actually, it wasn’t at work, it was really at dinner! It was just finishing “filet a la grasshopper”; which just so happened to be the latest insect to be caught in his web.
Now, while I was watching, another grasshopper flew into the bottom of that web a few inches below the spider. And since the web is sticky, he stayed there. Well, Mr. Spider left his dinner, slid down this silk thread like a fireman would slide down his pole, and in a maneuver that you would have missed if you looked away for even a second, this spider spewed out a bombardment of silken thread that totally encased and imprisoned that grasshopper – kind of mummified him. It was over in seconds. From the very moment that he touched the web that grasshopper never stood a chance! Guess he didn’t read Isaiah 52:11, “Depart, depart, go out from there (the lands of exile), Touch no unclean thing; Go out of the midst of her (Babylon), purify yourselves, You who carry the articles of the Lord [on your journey from there].” (AMP). Amazing how much trouble just one touch can cause!
Now it’s not a spider you and I need to be concerned about. Well, maybe you are, but he won’t hurt you much. You’re a lot bigger than he is. But what we need to be concerned about is a lion with a deadly approach, not unlike that of the spider. Thus God’s sober warning in 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him!…”
There is this very day a powerful, shrewd, spiritual destroyer who’s looking for a way to entrap you, to invade your soul, to take you where you never thought you’d go; to devour you as dinner. And in a very real sense, the Devil’s trying to get you just to touch his sticky web. Like that grasshopper, you don’t intend to stay. You don’t intend to become a prisoner. You certainly don’t intend to lose everything. In fact, Satan never tells you he’s going to do all that. He just says, “Just touch this beautiful web one time.” And when you touch the Devil’s web, you’re his. And what does he have planned for you? Let’s look at 1 Peter 5:8 in a few translations shall we?
“…seeking someone to DEVOUR” (CEB);
“…[FIERCELY HUNGRY], seeking someone to DEVOUR.” (AMP)
“…sneaking around to find someone to ATTACK.” (CEV);
“…looking for someone to ATTACK AND EAT.” (ERV);
“…looking for some VICTIM TO TEAR APART.” (TLB);
“…looking for someone to SWALLOW UP.” (NIRV);
“…The Devil is poised to POUNCE…” (MSG)
First, that word “devour” is defined as: “to eat greedily or to consume destructively.” Its Latin Origin “devorare”, from “vorare” literally means “to swallow”.
And then that word “pounce” is defined as: “to spring or swoop suddenly so as to seize or attack; to take swift advantage of a mistake or sign of weakness.”
And that’s exactly what the Spider, Lion and Devil all do alike! They quickly look for a victim who has made a mistake or shown a sign of weakness and then they swiftly take full advantage of it and devour or eat them greedily, consume them destructively and swallow them whole! And you my friend are the next target on the enemies radar! So what’s one of the first things you need to do? 1 Peter 5:8, “Keep awake! Watch at all times. The devil is working against you. He is walking around like a hungry lion with his mouth open. He is looking for someone to eat.” (NLV). The key is “…WATCH AT ALL TIMES…” Because truth is, it’s always when we let our guard down that our enemy gains entry and victory! Which is why we need to follow the admonishment of Ephesians 4:27, “And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin…” (AMP). And the devil is always looking to gain an opportunity, which is why we have to be WATCHFUL AT ALL TIMES!
Let’s be honest, truth is, you might be flying perilously close to that web right now by the relationships, or the relationship you’re getting into, by listening to what you’re listening to, or watching things that glamorize or trivialize, or “humorize” sin. By the thoughts you’re dwelling on. By the websites you go to, maybe you’re falling for some of Satan’s most successful web lies, “Hey, just this once.” “Don’t you deserve this?” “Remember what they did to you first?” “You know, so many others are doing it, right.” “You won’t get caught.” “You can stop anytime you want to.” “Would God allow it so close to you if He didn’t want you to be near it?” “It won’t hurt.” “No one will know.”
Or better yet, in the words of Scripture: “The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’” The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.” When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it—she’d know everything!—she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate. Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on”—saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves.” (Genesis 3:1-8 MSG).
Amazing how much trouble one little conversation with the devil can get you into! They went from everything to nothing, by messing with the serpent! Don’t let the same thing happen to you! Don’t fall for those lies. They’ve destroyed too many people already!
Remember, once you touch the web, he can do what he wants with you, after all, you’re in his territory and on his property. He has legal right to take full advantage of the “foothold and opportunity” you’ve just granted him. That’s the danger of allowing the wrong people access into your life! Remember Ephesians, “…don’t even give the devil the opportunity…” which means in our simple day-to-day vocabulary: Don’t wait until the second phone call; the third text; the fourth picture; the fifth wink; the sixth ‘let’s just grab some coffee’; the seventh inappropriate Facebook inbox; the eighth Instagram like under your 45 week old picture; the ninth ‘I was just checking on you’; or the tenth ‘that color looks good on you’! NO! At the FIRST sign nip it in the bud and shut it down completely, before it bites you in the behind and shuts you down permanently!
That word ‘opportunity’ is defined as: ‘a favorable time or set of circumstances for doing something.’ And the word ‘opportunist’ is defined as ‘a person who takes advantage of opportunities as and when they arise, regardless of planning or principle.’ Lastly, the word ‘opportunistic’ is defined as ‘exploiting immediate opportunities, especially in an unplanned or selfish way.’ You see, the devil is just waiting for an opportunity to devour your life, family, marriage, reputation, character, integrity, ministry, job and church. The problem is, we don’t pay close enough attention to when ‘favorable opportunity moments’ arise. Moments like those appear when you and your spouse have had a falling out, and the next picture that you see while scrolling through your timeline is an ‘old friend’ who’s ‘just a friend.’ They see you online and send you a quick, ‘it’s been awhile, how you doing?’ And some are slicker than that, ‘how’s your wife, family, church?’ Seems innocent enough until you make the fatal mistake of a response that opens the door of opportunity, “hey, thanks for checking in, it’s been a rough day, wife is so-so….” And right at that moment, the Devil smiles as he pulls out his napkin, grabs his knife and fork and sits down patiently waiting at the table for YOUR WHOLE LIFE to be served to him for a Devouring Dinner! I warn you, the Devil is waiting for an opportunity because he needs a favorable time to attack. He waits for those moments when you make the worst decisions, moments like when you’re stressed, aggravated, annoyed, depressed, angry, lonely, feeling of low self-esteem and self-worth. Feeling used and abused and abandoned, taken for granted, under-valued, over-estimated, and discarded. He even waits for those moments when you’re feeling yourself; you dressed up in pride, arrogance, conceit and entitlement; moments when you just know you look good; you’ve lost some weight; your acne has cleared up some; you’ve been promoted in the church with a new title, position and chair; your hair has more volume; you started back at the gym; a construction worker paid you a compliment on your way to work; a coworker tells you how handsome you look in that suit. See, the devil will always look for favorable times to attack you because you’re not expecting it! You don’t realize that he’s an opportunist just waiting to take advantage of your ‘guards down’ moment so he can immediately exploit your weakness!
What people fail to realize is that you don’t always recover from a mistake or a willful decision to sin! Some people have given the Devil a ‘favorable opportune moment’ that has caused them to lose their marriages, children, jobs, friends, reputation, careers, and ministries and never get them back! Forgiven does not mean you get to press restart with absolutely no consequences. Which is why you should always pay attention to what you’ll lose forever by what you gained for a moment. Selah…
Interesting enough, while I was in my friends garden I actually saw another spider and a grasshopper that landed just below his web. The spider didn’t even move. He couldn’t touch that grasshopper if the grasshopper didn’t touch the web. People of God, you render Satan powerless against you in the same way. That’s why God said, “Be self-controlled.” “Be alert.” “Resist him.” Or in the words of James 4:7, “So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.” (AMP). In a nutshell, Submit to God and Resist the Devil! That word “resist” is defined as “to withstand the action or effect of; to refrain from.” Its Latin Origin “resistere”, from “sistere” literally means “to stop.” Which means no blame game, no excuses, no reasoning’s, no justification. Simply, when the devil presents you an opportunity (that simultaneously presents him with an opportunity), stop him dead in his tracks through submission to God and resistance to him! Remember what the Word of God says: “Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. THE TEMPTATION TO GIVE IN TO EVIL COMES FROM US AND ONLY US. WE HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT THE LEERING, SEDUCING FLARE-UP OF OUR OWN LUST. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.” (James 1:13-15 MSG). Sin, no matter how attractive, is designed not to hurt you but to KILL you! Even when it looks like a ‘little’ temptation, that ‘little’ can grow real BIG before you know it! That’s why we’re admonished to heed Song of Solomon 2:15, “Our vineyards are in blossom; we must catch the little foxes that destroy the vineyards.” (CEV) LITTLE FOXES CAN DESTROY BIG VINEYARDS! And so can what some would call ‘little’ sins! I’ve yet to hear God give size to a sin, but that’s what we do, especially when we want to justify what we’re IN because we don’t really want to come OUT! However, today is your day to get free and stay free! Because your life (here and the hereafter) are at stake! Church, it’s too late in the hour to keep entertaining sin. We’ve straddled this fence long enough, it’s now past time to choose a side and live by it and live like it, because you can’t have your cake and eat it too, no matter how many times Chef Satan tells you, you can!
Which is why we ought to also heed when the Bible tells us: “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.” The Word of the Master, God.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 MSG).
If you don’t play around the sticky threads of sin and temptation, the one who wants to devour you can’t even touch you, because you have done what the Bible says! You have resisted the one who would ruin you!
Listen, you’ve been flying pretty close to the Devil’s web lately, too close might I add? Therefore, would you accept this as not just me talking, but a loving warning from God, “Touch the web and you will pay a price you never could’ve imagined!” When sin looks good, remember that death on a sticky web! Our opening story gives us somewhat of a parable for playing with temptation and sin. Because the first grasshopper that went into the web became dinner; the second one that got too close was wrapped up like you would leftovers for the next night; but the last one that didn’t touch the web, couldn’t be trapped by the web, nor devoured by the spider! This is not a devotional telling you to get close but don’t get caught. It’s a devotional warning you that you have no idea how many have died just being in the vicinity of sin and temptation! The spider couldn’t touch the last grasshopper because he wasn’t close enough to catch. Likewise, if you don’t want the lion to devour you or Satan to steal, kill and destroy you, STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM THE WEB, THE SPIDER, THE LION AND SATAN AS POSSIBLE! You can’t blame someone for what they do to you on their private property that you willfully trespassed on! The destroyer is waiting to wrap you up and make you his next meal. Don’t let something happen to you that is preventable! Therefore, start checking the company you keep, the places you go, the things you do (and why), and all of them Publicly and Privately! Reevaluate your habits; be honest and address your addictions; readjust your attitude; ask God for clear and concise thoughts and speech; protect your character and integrity; remember that every choice comes with a consequence and others can suffer by association due to your unwise decisions. Ask God daily to remind you that in the midst of every temptation He’s already provided you a way of escape and all you need is the discernment to see it and the wisdom to take it. Pay attention to your attractions and triggers. Know your weaknesses and plead the blood over them. Take personal accountability and responsibility to make you better. Remember that eyes are watching you and ears are hearing you. And most dangerous of all, is the fact that there are people you influence who follow you. Don’t lead yourself or anyone else into sin! Don’t allow a dysfunctional emotional moment to cost you your life, family, ministry, purpose, calling and eternity. That price is out of your price bracket!
Saints, God and the Kingdom have need of you…Alive! You have gifts, ministry, calling and anointing to fulfill. You can’t hang out with the destroyer and meet divine destiny at the same time! So today is your day to choose Whom/whom you will serve? Tomorrow is not promised, and someone who thought they had another day realized that last night was their LAST night. Don’t straddle the fence any longer. No more compromise! Ask the Holy Ghost to place in you a conviction that keeps you on the right side of God’s Commandments.
Spiders will continue to make webs, but grasshoppers don’t have to keep entering them! Likewise, the devil will always make you demonic temptation offers that look like angelic opportunities. However, you don’t have to be fooled, nor do you have to accept. Remember the Word of God: “…we don’t want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief – we’re not oblivious to his sly ways.” (2 Corinthians 2:11 MSG). Don’t let the devils sly ways trap you in his sticky web!
Final Note: Many mice have died because they were so focused on the cheese that they under-estimated the trap! Don’t let it happen to you!
Don’t Become the Devil’s Dinner!
John 14:26, “But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.” (AMP)
John 14:15, “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments.” (AMP)
John 10:4-5, “When he has brought all his own sheep outside, he walks on ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice and recognize his call. They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” (AMP)
Galatians 5:22-25, “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites. If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit].” (AMP)
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