“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Peter tells us that Satan is like a lion that stalks its prey in order to capture it in sin. No doubt Peter understood this danger better than anyone else, for shortly after he boasted that he would rather die than deny his Lord, he not only denied his association with Christ, but he did so repeatedly. Paul also warned us of this danger.
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12)
Paul not only warned us of the danger of falling into sin, he also told us how to be strong.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Rather than boasting about our ability to resist the devil, we should constantly seek God’s strength and protection. Consider these two important truths that Paul teaches us about receiving the strength to resist temptation.
1) God Understands That We Are Weak
One of my most favorite verses of scripture is found in Psalm 103:14”…for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” God knows that we are too weak to handle sin on our own; therefore He encourages us to pray – “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:13)
2) God is Ready to Help Us
According to the book of James, every person is susceptible to temptation because of the lust that lies within their heart. (see James 1:13-14) For some, it may be lust for sexual immorality, while for others it may be the desire to slander and gossip. Regardless of what our area of weaknesses is, we all need to pray for God’s strength and guidance.
According to scripture, God was fully aware of Satan’s plot to attack Simon Peter. Jesus said to him – “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.” (Luke 22:31) Apparently Satan asked for permission to attack Simon and apparently God granted it. But that is not all that Jesus said. “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.” (Luke 22:32) Jesus knew that Simon was about to undergo an extreme test and that he would need God’s strength and guidance. Therefore, Jesus started praying for Simon even before the temptation began. There is something else in this story that we need to consider. Jesus also encouraged Simon to immediately start praying. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
Brethren, we are just as weak as Simon; therefore we also need to pray for daily for God’s strength and guidance.