I have always felt a strong call to action when I read Peter’s words in 1 Peter 5:8-9. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him…”
The bible is full of imperatives which are commands and calls to action for the believer. A story from a good pastor-friend of mine drove this home recently.
This brother was preparing for an international trip one morning well before daylight, when suddenly there was a violent knock at his front door. Looking at his watch he saw that it didn’t yet register 5:30 am. He wondered who would be at his front door at this hour. In that moment of uneasiness, he also remembered that there had been a couple of recent break-ins in his neighborhood. With stealth, he made his way through the dimly lit hallway that led to his front door, and crossed to a nearby window that would give him an unnoticed point of view. From there, he looked out and saw a man with his face mostly covered by a hoodie, peering into the tiny window in the front door. The man held one hand behind his back and stood in a very offensive posture. Fearing the hidden hand held a weapon, my buddy went on the offensive (this proved to be true, as the man had a pistol). By recognizing the signs of a home invasion, my friend was able to stop the man in his tracks and send him fleeing. The police were called and the man was later arrested. What began as an attack that could have left my friend’s family hurt or killed, turned into a thwarted plan that left the armed burglar in jail, lucky to not have been shot. My friend’s vigilance saved lives. A tactical principal held true. Action beats reaction. Every time.
This story ended favorably because he not only read the warning signs, but he remained vigilant and steadfast. And he was armed. He knew the posture and signs and had armed himself in the defense of his family. But locks and guns only go so far. His MINDSET is what saved his family that morning.
I wish more men would take the spiritual defense of their own families more seriously. We have been called to holiness, and to fight for our wives, marriages, children, and our own godliness. This requires vigilance. I have to be aware of my own temptation and sin, my own weaknesses and tendencies, and my own knack for abandoning my walk with The Lord. As a father and shepherd, I am responsible for the safety of those in my home, in my care. Defending my family isn’t just a physical responsibility, it's a spiritual one and an emotional one too. If I am vigilant in my pursuit of Christ and godliness for my own life, then I will more likely be in tune with the needs of my wife and kids.
When the enemy comes, I will take action and go on the offensive, rather than waiting until after he attacks and trying to react defensively.
Knowing the roaring lion and his tactics as Paul instructs in 2 Corinthians 2:11 is critical. Knowing The Lion of Judah and submitting to him daily will enable me to ROAR BACK. Besides, action always beats reaction. Arm yourself.
2 Corinthians 2:11
2 Corinthians 10:4-6