Be Alert To Remain Effective
Two words of Warning and Exhortation
1. Be Self-Controlled
- having strong control over your emotions and actions (Cambridge Dictionary)
- Be sober-minded, clear-headed, well-balanced and self-disciplined
- Be a Christian who is not easily swayed, shaken, moved, changed or agitated by circumstances
If we don’t exercise self-control, 3 things can happen:
- Pride will set in and cause our downfall
- Ego will surface and cause our alienation from people
- Emotion will run wild and cause a myriad of problems
1 Peter 5:5-6
2. Be Alert
- quick to see, understand, and act in a particular situation (Cambridge Dictionary)
- Be vigilant, careful, cautious, attentive and watchful
- Be constantly on guard against the subtle and deceitful ways, attacks, lies and influences of the devil
If we are not alert, we will suffer the consequences.
Why must we be self-controlled and alert?
Because our enemy (adversary, opponent) the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
- Devil: the slanderer and accuser of God’s people; the enemy of our souls
- His mission: Oppose God and discredit Him; Steal, kill and destroy all believers (Jn 10:10)
- His existence: He is very present, powerful and dangerous
But we don’t have to be afraid of the devil! Why? Because:
- He is a conquered enemy
- Jesus has defeated him for us at the cross of Calvary once and for all
- His destiny is certain, and he is doomed to the lake of fire
1 John 4:4 reminds us that “He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world.”
How to overcome the devil’s threats, temptations and attacks?
1. Resist Him
- Oppose him and refuse to accept and comply with his suggestions
- Don’t live in fear and don’t give any ground to his threats
- Say NO to sin and all wrongdoings
- Be quick to repent
Jesus acknowledged the presence of the devil but wasn’t afraid of him. When tempted in the wilderness, Jesus opposed him by using the Word of God and said, “It is written…”
! 2. Stand Firm in Faith
- Remain true to Jesus. Love Him wholeheartedly (HSMS – Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength)
- Trust Him and His Word completely and confidently
- Don’t be double-minded or live double lives
- Declare with conviction and sing with certainty: “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.”
3. Know That You Are Not Alone
- Believers all over the world are tempted, threatened and thrashed for their faith in Christ
- Rewards and commendations await those who believed, endured and remained faithful to the end for Jesus
4. Know That God is With You
- He will restore you
- He will keep you strong, firm and steadfast (NIV)
- He will confirm, strengthen, and establish you (MSG)
What must we do today to be victorious?
Peter said, “Be self-controlled and alert. Resist the devil and stand firm in faith.”
James said, “Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
Question: Are you willing to submit and yield yourself completely to Him?
Be Alert to Remain Effective
To do so, we must:
- Be self-controlled and alert. Resist the devil and stand firm in faith.
- Submit ourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from us.