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  • Writer's pictureVic Bernales

Alert and Sober


We should not forget that the Christian life is a continuing battle against our relentless enemies - our sneaky sin, the ungodly world, and the deceptive evil one. And the battle is becoming fiercer each passing day.


Our victory now over these formidable foes does not secure our triumph the next hour or the next day. Constant vigilance or watchfulness in our daily battle against these enemies is necessary.


The word of God tells us to be always alert and sober for our "enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Watchfulness are required from us, dear children of God.


We can't let our lust or greed prevail over us and make us slaves to its evil desires again. We ought not to allow our craving for earthly success or acceptance of the world make us forget who we are. We are the Lord's.


Yes, Satan may tempt and entice us with girls (or guys), gold, and glory. But we don't have to give in. Like our Lord Jesus Christ, we must resist the devil, standing firm in the faith as children of God (cf. 1 Pet. 5:9).


We must affirm that our lives do not depend on what we have or don't have but upon whom we belong. We belong to the Lord. He owns us, in life and in death, both body and soul.


The Lord redeemed us from sin not with silver or gold but with the precious blood of His Son. And He cleanses us from all our sins.


We should not forget this truth as we keep ourselves alert in the battle. Hindi pupwedeng patulog-tulog o papatay-patay (We can't afford to drop our guard)! When it comes to our struggle against sin and Satan, bawal ang paidlip-idlip (to drowse is not allowed).


On that night when Christ was betrayed, He also faced temptation. And so He brought three of His closest disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Peter can well attest how his Lord told him to be vigilant, staying awake (literally) in prayer that he might not enter or give in to temptation.


And with that admonition Jesus, facing the cross, went off to pray alone. He entrusted himself to His Father in that hour, and God sustained Him.


But Peter and his companions - James and John - did not keep watch but went to sleep. Jesus had to rebuke him saying, "Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."


Later on, in weakness, Peter denied his Lord three times. But even before Peter could deny his Lord, Christ himself assured Peter that He was praying for him.


The Scripture says, "And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.' But [Peter] said to him, 'Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and death.' Then Jesus said, 'I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me" (Luke 22:31-34).


Did Peter forget who the enemy was? Did he really think that he had enough strength on his own to combat the enemy?


If we don't know the power of the enemy, we will be relaxed or easy-going. We will be spiritually weak or asleep.


Don't give in, my friends. Be watchful! Your adversary, the devil is on the prowl. He is busy 'going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.' So he prowls to this day, looking for someone to afflict, to turn that one against God.


And the solution, of course, is the same for us as it was for Job: humble yourselves under God's mighty hand (cf. 1 Pet. 5:6).


Like a lion, Satan is a creature that prowls about seeking to swallow you and me whole. He aims at nothing less than the destruction of our lives now and forever. He is stronger and faster than us. He does not grow weary in the chase.


But thanks be to God that when the battle seems hard and tiring and when we feel weak, God gives us the grace to persevere. Just don't give up. He will carry us through. Just be sober and vigilant and God will not let you be devoured or deceived by the enemy.

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